City of London,

Guildhall Art Gallery to close temporarily for essential maintenance

Guildhall Art Gallery & London’s Roman Amphitheatre will be closed for essential maintenance work from 23 December until early April 2022.

The Gallery will update its hundreds of sprinklers with each of its 250 individual artworks wrapped for protection and moved into specialist storage.

During the closure a new installation will be put in called Inspired!. The exhibition will include paintings, drawings and sculptures which show the inspirations and influences for artists from the 17th to the 19th century, including portraits of writers, actors, composers, and musicians.

The Gallery’s website will provide updates for both sites.

Established in 1886, the Gallery holds works of art dating from 1670 to the present day, including 17th-century portraits, Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces, and an extensive range of paintings documenting London's history.

The remains of London’s Roman Amphitheatre, which dates from AD70, have been preserved and are in the basement of the art gallery. In Roman Times it was used for gladiator fights, wild animal hunts and even executions.

Abandoned in mid-4th century, the site lay derelict for hundreds of years. In the 11th century, the area was reoccupied and by the 12th century, Guildhall was built next to it.

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said:

“This essential maintenance will ensure the safety of our staff and visitors and provide vital protection for the Gallery’s artworks.

“We ask our visitors to bear with us whilst we carry out this important work and check our website for updates.”

The City Corporation, which owns and manages Guildhall Art Gallery, is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £130m every year.

In partnership with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra, and Museum of London, the City Corporation is leading the development of Culture Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate, a multi-million-pound initiative to create a new cultural and creative destination for London.


Notes for Editors:

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Guildhall Art Gallery, is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. 

For media enquiries contact:

Matthew Cooper, Culture Communications Officer: COVID-19, City of London Corporation Email