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Peace and Reconciliation

The Herbert has been actively developing a collection of art on the themes of conflict, peace and reconciliation. This is an important subject for the museum and for Coventry, reflecting the city's role in promoting peace and reconciliation. This grew out of its experiences during the Second World War, and particularly the destruction of the Cathedral in the Blitz of 14 November 1940. The story is told in the Herbert's Peace and Reconciliation gallery, which opened in 2008 and is reflected in the Herbert's collections, through John Piper's iconic painting of the ruins of the Cathedral the day after the Blitz.

A major grant from the HLF Collecting Cultures fund enabled us to purchase a number of new works of art to strengthen this collection. These include powerful pieces by Raymond Mason, Peter Howson and John Keane. One of the Herbert's most significant acquisitions is a body of work by Peter Kennard, a key figure in the development of anti-war or protest art in this country. The collection also includes pieces by contemporary artists such as Langlands & Bell, Matthew Picton and Ross Jones.

This collection featured in Caught in the Crossfire, a major exhibition developed by the Herbert and shown here from 25 January to 7 July 2013.