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 the gallery 
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 the former library 
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 aims 
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 history of firsts 
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 partnerships 
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 need for change 
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 economic impact 
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  ‘Whatever the art, the Whitechapel has looked at it freshly and without prejudice, with spectacular results.’ Mail on Sunday

The Whitechapel’s history is a history of firsts:

1939
Guernica, Picasso’s iconic depiction of the horrors of the Spanish civil war is displayed at the Whitechapel on its first and only visit to Britain

1958
The first major show in Britain of seminal American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock

1961
British premier of Mark Rothko – the installation of his work at the Whitechapel becomes his template for all subsequent shows

1970 and 1971
First shows of British artists David Hockney, Gilbert & George and Richard Long

1982
The Whitechapel introduces little-known Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo to London audiences

1993
The Whitechapel showcases Lucian Freud, one of Britain’s greatest living figurative painters

2001 and 2002
Liam Gillick and Nan Goldin stage their first major solo shows in the UK

The Whitechapel has curated groundbreaking group exhibitions ranging from the proto-pop art show This is Tomorrow of 1956 to the revisioning of modernism in the 2004 blockbuster, Faces in the Crowd

Since 1901 art has been presented alongside education. A not-for-profit educational charity, the Whitechapel has pioneered artists’ residencies in schools and other education innovations that have been adopted as models across the UK and internationally

The Whitechapel Project will create the next century of firsts.


Images top to bottom:
Clement Attlee MP in front of Picasso’s Guernica in the Whitechapel at the opening of Aid Spain, 1939. Photograph by Norman King. Courtesy Marion King and the Whitechapel Archive.
Gibert & George, at the Whitechapel 1981, Courtesy the artists.
David Hockney at Paintings, Prints and Drawings, 1960–70, The Whitechapel Gallery.
Mark Rothko, Installation at the Whitechapel Gallery, 1961


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