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Volume 230: debated on Thursday 29 June 1876

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asked the First Commissioner of Works, Whether it is not the case that a large number of pictures by J. M. W. Turner are stowed away in cases on the basement or ground floor of the National Gallery; whether these pictures were not bequeathed by the painter to the nation on condition that they should be exposed to public view; whether, practically, the public have ever enjoyed access to them; and, whether any steps will be taken now that the Gallery is enlarged to render these pictures accessible to the public?

I presume my noble Friend alludes not to the pictures—for there are no pictures of Mr. Turner which are stowed away in the manner he speaks of—but to a certain collection of important water-colour drawings, which for some years were shown in the full light; but, at the request of Mr. Ruskin, they were framed and glazed, and placed in the position they now occupy, where they can be seen by any one who will apply to the director or secretary of the National Gallery. It is to be hoped that later on some position may be found wherein they might be shown with more facility to the public than at present, without endangering them to exposure to the full light.