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In 2007, In 2007 London’s National Gallery teamed up with creative agency The Partners to promote the gallery’s permanent collection of over 2,300 paintings. How do you get people to come indoors on a sunny day and see the art inside the gallery? Design experts The Partners turned the brief on its head, and instead brought the paintings outside to people on the street.

For 12 weeks during the summer, life-size high quality replicas of 45 of the National Gallery’s most famous paintings were hung about the streets of London. Complete with ornate frames and helpful information plaques as you find alongside the real artworks, the city itself became a giant art gallery.

A range of tours were offered, including ‘Lunchtime Tours’ designed to fit in with the hour-long breaks of workers in the city. By taking busy office workers around their own buildings, the tour made them reconsider the artworks as well as their own city. Each tour was supplemented by a downloadable interactive map as well as audio guides, downloadable from the gallery’s website.

Placing the paintings in a different context, viewers were able to interact with the art in a new way, with the whole experience being deliberately more modern and interactive.

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