Columbia Threadneedle supports National Gallery’s primary schools exhibition for fourth year. This year’s free exhibition will run from 17 June until 12 September 2021.

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is proud sponsor of the ‘Take One Picture’ programme and exhibition at the National Gallery in London which opens today and runs throughout the summer. Take One Picture is the National Gallery’s countrywide scheme for primary schools which uses one painting from the Gallery’s collection to inspire cross-curricular work in primary classrooms. The programme is also supported by Columbia Threadneedle’s charitable entity, Columbia Threadneedle Foundation.

Artwork by Year 6, Trinity Primary Academy, London

Artwork by Year 6, Trinity Primary Academy, London

This is the fourth year that Columbia Threadneedle Investments has supported the programme and is also the start of a new five-year commitment.

Each year the National Gallery’s Take One Picture programme invites primary schools nationwide to focus on one of its paintings and respond creatively to its themes and subject matter, historical context, or composition. The programme aims to put art at the centre of children’s learning across the curriculum, inspiring a lifelong connection with artists’ work, museums and galleries. This year the National Gallery has selected The Battle of San Romano (painted probably about 1438-40) by Paolo Uccello as the source of inspiration.

Ranging from armoured beasts and shining shields to plumed helmets and printed flowers, the exhibition will feature a range of works reflecting the richness of children’s creative responses to Uccello’s painting. One of the reasons for the choice of painting was the hope that it would inspire children to talk about conflict and resolution, encouraging them to think about valuable life skills including fortitude and resilience in the face of great difficulty. Many of the projects were created during lockdowns in the UK when activities were limited due to Covid-19 restrictions, echoing the battle with a global pandemic.

Painted picture showing a battle on horses

Paolo Uccello, ‘The Battle of San Romano’ (about 1438-40).
© The National Gallery, London

Alison Jefferis, Head of Corporate Affairs at Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Chair of Columbia Threadneedle Foundation said: “Take One Picture is a brilliant programme, and a truly innovative way to inspire a love of arts and creativity in children, whilst building on their broader primary school education. By encouraging children to analyse, interpret and debate what they see, it provides skills they will take with them throughout their education and into their working lives. What is particularly impressive about this year’s exhibition is the way many of the artworks were created collaboratively during lockdown. Our commitment to support Take One Picture for a further five years reflects the value we see in this national programme.”

Karen Eslea, Head of Learning and National Programmes at the National Gallery, said: “The children’s wonderful responses show that when art is at the centre of learning it ignites curiosity and inspires children to research, to create and to develop important literacy and life skills. It also encourages them to connect to their communities and to inspire adults to engage with art and with other people.”

Columbia Threadneedle Foundation invests in the community through partnerships that create positive social impact. The Foundation focuses on charities that use education, art and sport to engender lasting social change through programmes that build skills and confidence, challenge perspectives and broaden horizons.