Bosman, S The National Gallery in Wartime

ISBN 13: 9781857094244

The National Gallery in Wartime

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9781857094244: The National Gallery in Wartime
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On August 23, 1939, with World War II looming, the National Gallery, London, was forced temporarily to close its doors to the public to evacuate the bulk of its collection to secret locations in Wales for safe-keeping. By May 1940, the collection had been transferred to Manod Quarry, a slate mine in the mountains, beneath 200 feet of solid rock. The Gallery, meanwhile, remained "open for business" --despite being bombed several times during the Blitz. This enthralling and richly documented book recounts for the first time the story of how the National Gallery functioned during this eventful period. With extensive archival photographs, many of which are published here for the first time, alongside press accounts and Gallery correspondence, it discusses the preparations to move the pictures; the Gallery's decision to keep the building open for temporary exhibitions and lunchtime concerts fronted by internationally renowned pianist Myra Hess; director Kenneth Clark's role as chairman of the War Artists Advisory Committee, whose aim was to commission and exhibit pictures recording the war; and the institution of the Picture of the Month, which exhibited in succession 43 of the Gallery's best-known pictures during the war, and which continues today.

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Review:

"... [a] copiously illustrated book."
-- JG, History Today, June 2009

Synopsis:

This is the story of how the paintings moved to Wales, but the gallery stayed 'open for business', a photographic record of the paintings' war, and a celebration of the wartime spirit when Londoners found solace in art and music. On Wednesday 23 August 1939, the National Gallery closed its doors to the public, not knowing when they would open again. The paintings were to be secretly evacuated in a relocation that took only eleven days. The last shipment left Trafalgar Square on 2 September, the day before war was declared. At first the majority of the collection was stored in a number of private houses and public buildings, predominantly in Wales. However, by May 1940 - as the conflict progressed and the risk of bombing in Wales increased - it was felt that the paintings were no longer safe, and they were dispersed further.Ministers briefly considered transporting the entire collection to Canada, but Churchill immediately vetoed the plan stating, 'hide them in cellars or caves, but not one picture shall leave this island'. The paintings were eventually stored in Manod Quarry, a slate mine covered by 200 feet of solid rock in the mountains above the village of Ffestiniog.

This book tells the story of the National Gallery's war for the first time. Extensive and eloquent archive photography, alongside press reports and Gallery correspondence, provide the basis for a story that captures the public's relationship with the collection.

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Book Description National Gallery Company Ltd, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. On August 23, 1939, with World War II looming, the National Gallery, London, was forced temporarily to close its doors to the public to evacuate the bulk of its collection to secret locations in Wales for safe-keeping. By May 1940, the collection had been transferred to Manod Quarry, a slate mine in the mountains, beneath 200 feet of solid rock. The Gallery, meanwhile, remained "open for business" --despite being bombed several times during the Blitz. This enthralling and richly documented book recounts for the first time the story of how the National Gallery functioned during this eventful period. With extensive archival photographs, many of which are published here for the first time, alongside press accounts and Gallery correspondence, it discusses the preparations to move the pictures; the Gallery's decision to keep the building open for temporary exhibitions and lunchtime concerts fronted by internationally renowned pianist Myra Hess; director Kenneth Clark's role as chairman of the War Artists Advisory Committee, whose aim was to commission and exhibit pictures recording the war; and the institution of the Picture of the Month, which exhibited in succession 43 of the Gallery's best-known pictures during the war, and which continues today. Seller Inventory # AAH9781857094244

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Book Description National Gallery Company Ltd, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. On August 23, 1939, with World War II looming, the National Gallery, London, was forced temporarily to close its doors to the public to evacuate the bulk of its collection to secret locations in Wales for safe-keeping. By May 1940, the collection had been transferred to Manod Quarry, a slate mine in the mountains, beneath 200 feet of solid rock. The Gallery, meanwhile, remained "open for business" --despite being bombed several times during the Blitz. This enthralling and richly documented book recounts for the first time the story of how the National Gallery functioned during this eventful period. With extensive archival photographs, many of which are published here for the first time, alongside press accounts and Gallery correspondence, it discusses the preparations to move the pictures; the Gallery's decision to keep the building open for temporary exhibitions and lunchtime concerts fronted by internationally renowned pianist Myra Hess; director Kenneth Clark's role as chairman of the War Artists Advisory Committee, whose aim was to commission and exhibit pictures recording the war; and the institution of the Picture of the Month, which exhibited in succession 43 of the Gallery's best-known pictures during the war, and which continues today. Seller Inventory # BZV9781857094244

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