Grayson Perry, The Vanity Small Differences

9 January 2016 - 10 April 2016

The Vanity of Small Differences tells the story of class mobility and the influence social class has on our aesthetic taste. Inspired by William Hogarth's A Rake's Progress the six tapestries, measuring 2m x 4m each, chart the 'class journey' made by young Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects Grayson Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds for the television series 'All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry'. The television programmes were first aired on Channel 4 in June 2012. In the series Perry goes on 'a safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain', to gather inspiration for his artwork, literally weaving the characters he meets into a narrative, with an attention to the minutiae of contemporary taste every bit as acute as that in Hogarth's 18th century paintings.


To coincide with the display, the Arts Council Collection has launched an app for iPad and iPhone produced by Aimer Media with commentary from the artist, art historical references and a guide to the making of the works. This is Perry's first app and will give users the chance to see the tapestries up close with detailed zoom facility and Grayson's own audio guide. The digital guide, Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences, is available exclusively on the App Store (£2.29).


The 2016 exhibition tour:


Victoria Art Gallery, Bath (09 January - 10 April)

The Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry (22 April - 3 July)

Croome Park, Worcester (09 July - 11 September)

Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury (07 October - 04 December)


Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens (28 June - 29 September 2013)

Manchester Art Gallery (24 October - 2 February 2014)

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (14 February - 11 May 2014)

Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool (16 May - 10 August 2014)

Leeds City Art Gallery (23 August - 5 December 2014)


Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre London and British Council.  Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from AlixPartners.

Venue: See tour dates & venues above



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With nearly 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyondThis website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.