How Britain’s migrants sewed the fabric of the nation


Immigration minister Damian Green last week said Britain did not need any more unskilled workers or family dependents; instead it should accept only migrants of substance. “We want only the brightest, top of the range professionals” who will “add to the quality of life”.

As chance would have it, his remarks coincided with the opening of a new exhibition at London’s Tate Britain designed explicitly to showcase the profound impact migrant artists have had on the native tradition. The show traces the way whole genres that seem typically British – landscape painting, for instance – were brought here by migrant painters before being naturalised.

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