The Victorian industrialist Lord William Armstrong was a passionate art lover who collected hundreds of paintings and sculptures to display in his grand Northumberland home.
But visitors hoping to admire his celebrated collection at a National Trust exhibition were furious to find ‘room after room’ of artwork covered with white sheets.
The trust, which owns Lord Armstrong’s former home of Cragside, covered up paintings and sculptures depicting men to highlight the ‘lack of female representation in art’.
It meant visitors who had paid up to £49 to view the famous collection found almost half of the paintings hidden behind white sheets, while sculptures of men had bags placed over their heads.
One said: ‘It was ridiculous. Whole corridors and room after room were completely covered.’
It was so unpopular that staff reportedly had to empty the visitor comments box three times a day because it was overflowing with complaints.
The trust initially defended the ‘thought-provoking exhibition’ but later admitted: ‘Sometimes it doesn’t work as we intended.’
Sir Roy Strong, 83, former director of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, said: ‘Lord Armstrong would be horrified to see his art being used to deliver a diatribe on political correctness.
‘His art collection was given to the National Trust in good faith. The fact they have gone on to use it in this way will be extremely off-putting to any future donors.’
He added: ‘If the public pay to see an art collection they expect to see what is there.
‘It’s insulting … to censor paintings to make a political point. I find the whole thing infantile and rather sad. It is completely pointless. I’m sure the donor would be turning in his grave.’
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)