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In the Spotlight

100 ways to wear a bra

On a cold November morning in 2006 one hundred models dressed in black knickers and bras posed on the Sainsbury Wing steps. They were there to promote a new Wonderbra that can be worn in one hundred different ways. The only concern for National Gallery colleagues was whether the public might think this was a new uniform to gather the crowds!

High Victorian

Brief Summary

  • Locations:
     Opulent gallery spaces, grand entrance foyer, shop, temporary exhibition space.
  • Style:
     Ornate and elegant decoration.
Gallery level 2: Victorian Locations

William Wilkins’s National Gallery opened in 1838 and spans the entire north side of Trafalgar Square. It is classical in style, symmetrical in design and has at its centre a portico supported by Corinthian columns.  

The Portico steps at the main entrance offer unrivalled views of Trafalgar Square. 

As the collection grew E. M. Barry was invited to add a series of opulent galleries to enlarge the building in the 1870s. Barry’s exhibition rooms, which lie behind the east half of the original building, are an impressive display of Victorian High decoration. Every room has its own colour scheme.

The original Wilkins rooms were faithfully restored in 1988 to their true Victorian splendour and polished wooden floors and heavy leather couches all evoke the richness of that period.

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