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Paintings of the London Docks 1939 – 1945

(c) Adam Rowntree; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

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.

(c) James Methuen-Campbell; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Invasion Craft Being Built in the West India Docks, 30 May 1944
by Paul Ayshford Methuen – IWM (Imperial War Museums -1944

(c) Museum of London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Night Raid over London Docklands by Wilfred Stanley Haines
Date painted: 1940–1945 Museum of London

(c) IWM (Imperial War Museums); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Food Van at the Royal Docks, London Women’s Legion
by Elsie Gledstanes 1940 Imperial War Museum

(c) IWM (Imperial War Museums); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The Long Night: London Blitz  by Arthur R. Harrison IWM (Imperial War Museums)
Date painted: 1942

(c) Victoria Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

London Dock Fires, 1940 by Helen Lavinia Cochrane
Victoria Art Gallery  Date painted: 1941