Art Everywhere was dreamed up by Richard Reed, the co-founder of Innocent Drinks, to bring huge reproductions of British art work to thousands of billboards and bus stops around the country.
The project is backed by the Tate, the Art Fund and the poster industry.
The two-week campaign in August will concentrate on British art from the past 500 years in public collections around the UK.
Reed thought up the idea when walking to work at Innocent through Shepherd’s Bush in London. “For one month, in one year, someone had put on one poster site a beautiful picture. It wasn’t titled and didn’t have a logo on it. I never knew why it was there but all I knew was it was a beautiful thing,” adding: “It put a bounce into my step.”
The British public will be asked to vote for their favourite 50 works after a group of art directors and creators compile a list of 100 pieces. That list will be published later this month.
Sir Nicholas Serota, director of Tate, said: “At a time when people think about cuts it’s about opening up galleries, it’s about presenting British art to the audience that owns it – it’s all from public ownership – and reminding people these great things are in our museums and galleries and in most cases are free to see on any day of the week.”