Discovering Dulwich Picture Gallery

I was struck by the beautiful simplicity of Dulwich Picture Gallery. The artwork is evenly spaced and it is easy to float about the rooms to look at the paintings.

The rich red color of the walls allows the paintings to pop and catch your eye. I knew that the gallery had an impressive collection, but I was star-struck when I saw so many works by Reubens, van Dyck, Gainsborough, Rembrandt and the likes. I am no art history major, but I was lucky enough to take an art history course when I studied in London two summers ago, so I could appreciate the wealth and variety of artists that are housed in the gallery.

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One of my favorite things about the gallery was the sense of community it had. The rooms were filled with groups of eager, young schoolchildren on visits and they seemed genuinely happy to be surrounded by so much art and culture. They asked questions about all of the paintings and got to try their hand at drawing their own portraits. Everyone in the gallery seems like they connected with the artwork. It is England’s first public art gallery and it is easy to see that it continues to uphold its mission to serve the public and share the visual arts with the community.

Judy teaches a group of students about the works of art in the gallery on July 9.

Judy teaches a group of students about the works of art in the gallery on July 9.

The permanent collection is quite a contrast to the temporary exhibit “A Crisis of Brilliance.” It features work by C.R.W. Nevinson, Stanley Spencer, Mark Gertler, Dora Carrington and David Bomberg. The exhibit starts off with simple sketches and progresses into oil paintings and abstract works of art from the First World War.


The entire collection is breathtakingly beautiful. Every detail is worth taking a second look at. The chairs and vases are ornately decorated. The entire atmosphere is striking. As a photojournalism student at the University of North Carolina, I appreciated the care and the attention to detail of the gallery’s arrangement. The  balance and symmetry of the hangings are pleasing to look at.


For further information about Dulwich Picture Gallery, please visit

About this article

Katie Sweeney

About Katie Sweeney

Hey y'all! I am a senior English major with a journalism minor at the University of North Carolina. I have worked for our independent student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel for three years and I will be the Visual Managing Editor in the fall. Photography is one of my biggest passions. I am studying and interning at Dulwich OnView in London this summer and loving every moment in the city.

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