The Art of World War II - A Personal Collection

Submitted by Soldiers of Oxf... on January 10, 2023 - 13:00

Venue, Timing and Cost

Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum
Saturday, 25 February 2023 to Sunday, 7 May 2023
Tuesday to Saturday 11am - 5pm, Sunday 2pm - 5pm
Museum Admission: £6.50 (adult), £5.50 (concessions), £3.50 (child). Includes all museum exhibitions, family tickets, annual passes and other offers available.
Pearl Falconer, A Fond Farewell. Watercolour painting of a woman kissing a man in a military uniform against a dark background

An exhibition of diverse, original artwork, all produced during, and depicting scenes from, the Second World War.

The Art of World War II exhibition has been curated from John Noott’s personal collection of artwork, gathered together during his career as an art collector and dealer for over 40 years. Drawn together, the art forms a history in pictures of the Second World War while showcasing incredibly personal perspectives which reflect a varied range of experiences before, during, and after the conflict. Through the work of artists of the time, visitors will see the war unfold ‘as it happened’.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see a view of Dunkirk as troops are evacuated, painted by a nephew of Winston Churchill, John Spencer Churchill, a reflection of what he had witnessed during his own army service. The artist would return to England to inform his uncle personally of the need for boats to assist in rescuing the troops there.

Elsewhere, the plight of both evacuees and refugees is seen as artists of the time depict the many people displaced by war, such as those coming to Britain as part of the Kindertransport rescue programme in the build up to the Second World War.

The artists whose work is included in the collection range from skilled amateurs to professionals, from those already renowned at the time to those who would go on to make a name for themselves in a post-war world. A sketch by Eduardo Paolozzi, better known as a pioneering pop-artist, contrasts newly arrived American troops with a typical Oxford scene of a student cycling through the city with the famous skyline as a backdrop. The artist faced discrimination and later internment under the Enemy Aliens Act, along with many of his family, when they moved to Britain from Italy.

The exhibition also features art from Vogue fashion illustrators forced to flee Paris, and Beano cartoonists that turned their hand to cartography to aid General Montgomery in North Africa.

Further Information

Contact Details: 

Venue Address: Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1SN


Phone: 01993 810 210


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