Naked figure standing face to face with a snake.

UK touring exhibition

Living with art
Picasso to Celmins

Exhibition / -

Tour schedule

The British Museum
14 January – 5 March 2020

F. E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio, Northern Ireland
11 December – 24 December 2020

National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
May 10 
– 7 June 2021

Danum Gallery, Library and Museum, Doncaster
24 July – 2 October 2021

The Burton at Bideford, Devon
21 January – 24 April 2022

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Spanning almost one hundred years of modern art, this exhibition will showcase highlights from the wide-ranging collection of Alexander Walker (1930–2003), longstanding film critic for London's Evening Standard newspaper and prolific collector of modern and contemporary prints and drawings.


In life, Walker surrounded himself with works from his collection in all rooms of his Maida Vale flat including his kitchen and bathroom.

He bought works of art for pleasure rather than financial gain and generously left his collection of over 200 works on paper to the British Museum when he died. This is the first exhibition in over 10 years to showcase the art through the lens of his collection.

The exhibition will include 30 prints and drawings by artists ranging from Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to Lucian Freud, Bridget Riley, David Hockney and Vija Celmins. It will demonstrate Walker's interest in artists' working methods and in transitional pieces that show an artist developing a new style or subject, or experimenting with a new technique.

The exhibition aims to trace the development of 20th-century art in Europe and America through key pieces in Walker's collection, which he viewed as a record of his own art-historical education. It will also demonstrate Walker's own tastes from the figurative to the abstract and consider what motivates collectors like Walker to surround themselves with art.

With the support of the Dorset Foundation, the exhibition will travel to four venues from October 2020 until April 2022.