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What we do

Dulwich Picture Gallery

The Gallery is the world’s first purpose-built public art gallery and was established more than 200 years ago because its founders believed as many people as possible should see great paintings. Today, we believe the same.

We house a world-class collection of Old Master paintings in Sir John Soane’s unique building allowing visitors to experience exceptional art in an intimate, welcoming setting.

We remain relevant by uniting our history with our present using innovative exhibitions, scholarship and pioneering education to change lives:

Caring for the Collection

A unique story in the history of art for public enjoyment

We were founded in 1811 following the bequest of 370 17th and 18th century paintings by Sir Francis Bourgeois RA to Dulwich College for the “inspection of the public”. One of our core duties is to preserve, display and interpret both the collection and Sir John Soane’s famous building, for present and future generations.

World-class Exhibitions

We unite our past with our present through a unique programme of innovative exhibitions, approaching art and artists from new and different angles. Our shows might introduce new artists to the UK; or rediscover artists once famous, now neglected; or present new perspectives on household names. Currently, our programme has four principal strands: Contemporary then, contemporary now, Trailblazers and Revelatory.

Community Engagement

Find yourself in art

At Dulwich Picture Gallery we empower our audiences to connect, create and make sense of their world through meaningful interactions with art. We place people at the heart of everything and carefully craft our offer to meet different people’s learning styles and need. Our inclusive programmes cater for audiences of all ages from 0 to 100 year olds inviting people to unlock the stories behind paintings and find personal connections with the collection and temporary exhibitions. We work closely with partners in our local boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham to ensure our programme support the needs of our surrounding communities. Schools, families and community groups can book onto our programmes or get involved through partnership projects. To find out more or if you’re interested in working with us please contact us at

Dulwich Picture Gallery is a registered charity: no. 1171287.  Company no. 10445344.