PREVIEW: Perspectives of Destruction: Images of London, 1940-44, Museum of London

Now on display at the Museum of London is a new exhibition of blitz artwork, featuring recently acquired Sutherland drawings. 

View from St. Paul%27s to the East%2c c.1945%2c Arthur Cross and Fred Tibbs.jpg

View across the City of London from St Paul’s Cathedral looking East. C.1945, Cross and Tibbs (c) City of London Police. 

This new and free exhibition at the Museum of London explores how artists and photographers responded to the devastation of the capital after the intensive bombings during the Second World War.

Much of the artwork, which was commissioned by the government’s War Artists Advisory Committee, concentrates on the damage to buildings as opposed to the death and injuries – which would have damaged morale.

Perspectives of Destruction is centred around nine recently acquired drawings created by official war artist Graham Sutherland, all of which concentrate on depictions of structural damage inflicted on the City of London and the East End between 1940 and 1941.

The exhibition also features a 1941 oil painting of Christchurch on Newgate Street by John Piper, who was commissioned to depict bombed churches, and unofficial war artist David Bomberg’s ‘Evening in the City of London’ from 1944, which shows St Paul’s Cathedral dominating the horizon above a devastated Cheapside.

Francis Marshall, senior curator of paintings, prints and drawings at the Museum of London, said: “After the Great Fire of London, the Blitz is arguably the second most destructive event to have happened to our capital. This collection of paintings, drawings and photographs really brings home the large-scale devastation that London suffered, particularly in the east, as well as the inevitable emotional toll that this had on Londoners.”

Perspectives of Destruction: Images of London, 1940-44 will be on display at the Museum of London until the 8th May. For more information visit: http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/whats-on/exhibitions/perspectives-of-destruction