• 16 January to 28 April 2017
  • Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm
  • Paul Mellon Centre

This Drawing Room Display looks at particular items from the Centre’s library, archive and photographic archives collections that consider what the effect of war was on the art world. It brings together seemingly unrelated material that, as well as being of art historical value, provides an insight into the climate in which it was created.

The display features items created between 1938 and 1949 and explores the exhibition, creation, protection, destruction and restitution of art in wartime. It is not a comprehensive look at this period but rather an exploration of these themes through individual items. It also demonstrates the intrinsically multi-faceted nature of archive and library collections that although originally preserved for one reason, may in future serve to highlight another.

Art & Publication, Destruction and Preservation

Elizabeth Rivers, This man: a sequence of wood-engravings, (The Guyon House Press, 1939). PMC ref: LR: 094 RIV.

This Man (Guyon House Press, 1939) by Elizabeth Rivers is on display as part of ‘The Price of War’ Drawing Room Display, held at the Paul Mellon Centre. To see all the pages of the book, have a look at the digitised version below:

The display contains a number of items from the Centre’s archive on the topic of wartime destruction and preservation. One of which come from the Ellis Waterhouse Archive (item 4). In this audio clip, Brian Allen discussing Ellis Waterhouse’s role as a monuments and fine art officer during the war and after it ended.

Head and shoulders photographic portrait of Sir Ellis Kirkham Waterhouse in sepia

Figure 1.
Brian Allen, oral history recording, Archive Reference: PMC59/3/1, S1T3, 0:07:00- 0:08:00

Black and white photograph showing Han van Meegeren in a court setting with policeman behind

Figure 2.
Brian Allen, oral history recording, Archive Reference: PMC59/3/1, S2T1, 0:14:42- 0:15:45

The Drawing Room Display is on view at the Paul Mellon Centre. And open to all, free of charge.