Category Archives: War Artists

Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War

The Wyndham Lewis exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North, in Salford, is very good indeed. It is the first I have seen that lays out the whole of Lewis’s career as a visual artist, from art student to Vorticist to war artist to satirist to portraitist to fantasist to blindness. I learned a lot […]

The Fusiliers Museum, Bury

I’d wanted to visit the Fusiliers Museum at Bury before I gave my Ted Hughes paper last month. This is because Ted’s father had served with the 1st/5th Lancashire Fusiliers at Gallipoli, and later in France. The regiment was based in Bury, which was William Hughes’s home town. I didn’t manage it then, but finally […]

Aircraft Repair Depot

Above is a painting of an Aircraft Repair Depot towards the end of the war. Not No. 3 Western depot in Gloucestershire where my grandfather was stationed, but No.1 Southern Aircraft Repair Depot, South Farnborough. The painting is by Graham Glen, and shows  ‘Women’s Royal Air Force at Work on Aeroplane Salvage’. Click it to […]

Images of the Great War

The cover features one of my favourite war paintings, Orpen’s ‘Thinker on the Butte de Warlencourt’. A soldier squats to ease the weight of his immense pack, and looks quizzically at the viewer, as though wondering how on earth the devastation around him could have been allowed to happen. A very human figure in the […]

Mr Kennington’s Prophecy

There’s an exhibition at the University of Delaware that I wish I could get to. It’s of documents about the First World War from the collection of Mark Samuels Lasner. The exhibition’s website gives you several specimens, including a letter from Rosenberg and sketches for Gassed by Sargent. Mr Lasner is  an expert on Max […]

War Art at Leeds

For the past few months, Marion and I have been attending the lectures on art and the First World War at Leeds Art Gallery. I blogged here about Sue Malvern’s excellent talk on Nevinson; even more memorable was the account of Herbert Read by his son Ben. I’m glad to say that the lectures are […]

When War Art is Bad Art

In Manchester on Friday Marion and I visited the refurbished Whitworth Art Gallery. The handsome building has been enlarged, and its redesigned interior looks very stylish indeed. ‘Stylish’ also describes some of the art inside, but in a not-so-positive way – in the sense of ‘more style than substance’. One piece struck me as the […]

C. R. W. Nevinson

Yesterday at Leeds Art Gallery Sue Malvern (author of the excellent Modern Art, Britain and the Great War, Witnessing, Testimony and Remembrance ) gave the latest in their series of talks on art and the Great War. Her subject was: ‘C.R.W.Nevinson, the “bad” boy of modernism.’ It was a good bracing talk. She doesn’t rate […]

‘War, Art and Surgery’ at the Hunterian Museum

I had a bit of spare time in London last Friday, so took a look at the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. I’d never been there before. The main museum space is packed with medical curiosities – deformed skulls and pickled gall bladders, that sort of thing. Invaluable […]

Portraits, Epstein, handwriting

I’m delighted to learn that the National Portrait Gallery will be mounting a large exhibition of First World War portraits next year, starting in February. The NPG is my favourite art gallery. I popped in while I was in London last weekend, and had my spirits lifted by a small display of William Nicholson woodcuts, […]