The Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts Canteen Concert, Isle of Dogs, London, E14 by Kenneth Rowntree – IWM (Imperial War Museums) 1941
At the beginning of the Second World War, the War Artists Advisory Committee was created to look at ways that Art could be used to support the war effort.
The Committee was led by Sir Kenneth Clark , Director of the National Gallery with the remit of documenting the conflict, raising morale and promoting national culture.
It was recognised that the original war artist scheme in the First World War had played an important role and Clark bought together a number of well known artists and commissioned work at home and aboard.
Artist such as Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and Stanley Spencer produced works,however there was a large number of artists who used the conflict to record the day to day existence of ordinary people.
In this small selection of paintings it is interesting that some convey very clearly the despair and the determination of a people under attack.
Invasion Craft Being Built in the West India Docks, 30 May 1944
by Paul Ayshford Methuen – IWM (Imperial War Museums -1944
Night Raid over London Docklands by Wilfred Stanley Haines
Date painted: 1940–1945 Museum of London
Food Van at the Royal Docks, London Women’s Legion
by Elsie Gledstanes 1940 Imperial War Museum
The Long Night: London Blitz by Arthur R. Harrison IWM (Imperial War Museums)
Date painted: 1942
London Dock Fires, 1940 by Helen Lavinia Cochrane
Victoria Art Gallery Date painted: 1941