Which artist should be on the next £20 note?

17 June 2015 By Kerry Walker, Assistant Category Buyer - Arts, Crafts & Creative Textiles

£20 notes

The Bank of England is calling on the general public to help them decide who should feature on the next £20 note. In today's blog we put forward some of our favourites and continue our own search for artistic talent.

Ever wondered how the Bank of England decides which people from history appear on bank notes? Well you now have the chance to have your say.

The Bank of England is looking for nominations from members of the public of who they would like to appear on the next £20 banknote. Nominations are to be British people (who are no longer living) from the visual arts field, to celebrate Britain’s achievements in this area.

With so many greats to choose from, it will be tricky to decide. Here we’ve put forward three of our favourites at YPO.

  • Dame Barbara Hepworth - Born in Wakefield (the home city of YPO), it would be wrong if we didn’t mention our very own Barbara Hepworth. Hepworth was an English artist and sculptor. Described as “one of the few women artists to achieve international prominence”1 there are two museums that are dedicated to her work, one in Wakefield and one in St Ives, a place where she spent much of her adult life. Her work can also be seen at a variety of venues in the UK and beyond.
  • J. M. W Turner - Turner was an English romanticist landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker, born in London in 1775. He is seen as one of the most important painters in history. Controversial during his time, his work has been admired for hundreds of years. His importance to British history is typified by The Turner Prize being named after him. Since 1984, this has been presented to a British visual artist under the age of 50.
  • Henry Moore - Henry Moore is another artist born in the great county of Yorkshire. He was a sculptor and artist, best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures. He is seen as being one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th century, with various other sculptors acknowledging his importance and the direct influence he had on their work. His collection included over 600 sculptures.
How to nominate

The easiest way to make your nomination is by completing the Bank of England's online form. You can also send your nominations via post to: The Banknote Education Team, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH. The deadline for nominations is 19 July 2015.

Calling all budding artists!

The above celebrates greats from the past, but let’s now focus on the future. Do you have some budding artists in your school? If the answer is yes, then you might like to enter our art competition, seeking the next generation of artistic talent to be published in our 2016 catalogue. You never know, they might even appear on a banknote too one day!

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the fantastic range of entries we’ve received so far.

A selection of entries received so far

 1 Gale, Matthew "Artist Biography: Barbara Hepworth 1903-75" 



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