October 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
At the Imperial War Museum, London, until 1 January 2013
Cecil Beaton is one of Britain’s most celebrated photographers and designers. His glamorous photographs of royalty and celebrities projected him to fame but his extraordinary work as a wartime photographer is less well-known.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Information in July 1940, Beaton was the longest serving high-profile photographer to cover the Second World War. He travelled throughout Britain, the Middle East, India, China and Burma and captured a world on the brink of lasting change.
In later years, Beaton attributed his war photographs as his single most important body of photographic work. Through his photographs, drawings and books as well as his work in theatre and film, this exhibition tells the story of how the war became a personal turning point in Beaton’s career. « Read the rest of this entry »
February 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Friday 20th April 2012, 10.30 – 17.10, V&A, Houchhauser Auditorium, London
This symposium at the V&A is a fantastic opportunity to explore the complex presence of the past, national identity, taste and nostalgia in relation to the Recording Britain collection of water colours and drawings produced at the start of World War II with both art historians and practicing artists. Speakers include Patrick Wright, David Heathcote, and artists Ingrid Pollard, Abigail Reynolds, Simon Roberts and Paul Scott. At the outbreak of the Second World War an ambitious scheme was set up to employ artists on the home front. The result was a collection of more than 1500 watercolours and drawings that make up a fascinating record of British lives and landscapes at a time of imminent change. Recording Britain was the brainchild of Sir Kenneth Clark, who saw it as an extension of the Official War Artist scheme. By choosing watercolour painting as the medium of record, Clark hoped that the scheme would also help to preserve this characteristic English art form – you can find out more about the scheme here.
April 9, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Women War Artists Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum
Focusing on work by women war artists from the First World War to the Kosovo conflict, the display highlights the Imperial War Museum’s outstanding art collection as it explores artists’ response to conflict – as eyewitnesses, participants, commentators and as officially commissioned recorders.
Women War Artists illuminates both the constraints and possibilities offered to female artists in war time and offers a unique opportunity to revisit key moments in the last century of Britain’s history of war and conflict, through a largely unexplored perspective. Featured artists will include Anna Airy, one of the first women officially commissioned during the First World War, Dame Laura Knight RA, Linda Kitson, Mona Hatoum and Frauke Eigen.
A book to accompany the exhibition has been published by Tate Publishing in association with the Museum and is now available online.