The Weather in Our Souls: Curating a National Collection of Second World War Art at the Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum (IWM) in London is perhaps most well known for its collections representing the British perspective of the Second World War. Its fine art collection of this period can be understood as consisting of two parts: around 3000 works of “official” war art derived from the Ministry of Information’s wartime collecting scheme and the museum’s own collecting during the 70 years since the war, bringing the total number to nearly 8000 artworks. This chapter explores the ways in which the “official” collection has influenced and shaped the Second World War art collection as a whole, how the collection reflects British national identity at a time of total war and considers the interpretation of the term “war art” in the context of a UK national museum.
- Adlib Collections Content Management System, IWM.Google Scholar
- “Art Term: War Artists.” Tate. Accessed December 12, 2017. http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/w/war-artists.
- Bevan, Sara. “Collection Review Proposal, Contemporary Art Collection.” IWM Internal Document, 2013.Google Scholar
- Brenard, Claire. “Collections Review Report, Second World War Art – Unofficial Material.” IWM Internal Document, 2014.Google Scholar
- Celinscak, Mark. Distance from the Belsen Heap: Allied Forces and the Liberation of a Nazi Concentration Camp. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015.Google Scholar
- Clark, Kenneth. “The Weather in Our Souls.” The Listener 25, no. 642 (1 May 1941): 620–621.Google Scholar
- Darracott, Joseph, and Belinda Loftus. First World War Posters. London: Imperial War Museum, 1972.Google Scholar
- ———. Second World War Posters. London: Imperial War Museum, 1981.Google Scholar
- Foss, Brian. War Paint: Art, War, State and Identity in Britain 1939–1945. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007.Google Scholar
- “History of IWM.” IWM. Accessed December 12, 2017. http://www.iwm.org.uk/corporate/about-IWM.
- Hudson, Mark. “Paintings Packed with joie de vivre – John Minton: A Centenary Pallant House, Chichester Review.” The Telegraph, 29 June 2017.Google Scholar
- “Long Read: Artists’ Responses to the Holocaust.” IWM. Accessed December 13, 2017. http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/artists-responses-to-the-holocaust.
- Mayes, W. Philip. A Concise Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture of the Second World War, 1939–1945. London: Imperial War Museum, 1956.Google Scholar
- Palmer, Kathleen. Women War Artists. London: Tate Publishing, 2011.Google Scholar
- “The Neo-Romantics Watercolour Exhibition 03 Oct 1981–04 Jan 1982.” IWM Art Archive File, ART/AD08/SMA/035.Google Scholar
- Various Authors. “Origins of the Art Collection in the Imperial War Museum.” IWM Information Leaflet, August 2013.Google Scholar