Rupert Lee, artist: papers

Scope and Content

Photographs (ca.1880s - ca.1930s); personal papers and correspondence (1890 - 2001); artwork and reference material (ca.1916 - ca.1950); papers relating to the London Group (1917 - 1945); press cuttings and articles (1920 - 1950); papers relating to the Contemporary Art Society (1920s); papers relating to the New English Art Club (1927 - 1930).

Administrative / Biographical History

Rupert Godfrey Lee (1887 - 1959) was born in India and educated in southern England. He attended the Slade School of Art from 1911, where he became friends with Paul Nash and joined the New English Art Club . An accomplished musician, in 1913 he was employed as Director of Music at Gordon Craig 's School for the Art of the Theatre . He served in the Artists' Rifles during the First World War. In 1918 he married Madge Pemberton .

During the 1920s Lee taught sculpture at the Westminster School of Art and joined the London Group , later becoming president. In 1930 he moved to Holland in an attempt to obtain a divorce and announced his engagement to Diana Brinton , then secretary of the London Group. In 1935 Lee and Brinton announced their marriage. In 1936 they organised the first Surrealist exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries for the London Group.

Rupert Lee served as a Major in the Home Guard during the Second World War and in 1944 moved to Hedgerley near Denham, where he worked processing films at the British Film Studios. In 1946 he moved to Spain due to his wife's ill health, where he concentrated mainly on painting: this work was shown at the New Burlington Galleries in 1948 and 1950. Rupert Lee died in 1959.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Study Rooms by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Acquisition Information

Given by the Estate of Rupert Godfrey Lee, 2001.

Separated Material

Some items of ephemera transferred to the Imperial War Museum, Brooklands Museum, the British Film Institute, 2001.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Related Material

Papers (20th century). Imperial War Museum Department of Documents.


Wilcox, Denys J. The London Group, 1913-1939 : the artists and their works. Aldershot, England ; Brookfield, Vt., USA : Scolar Press, c1995. vi, 256 p. ; 22 cm. ISBN 185928048X

Nash, Paul and John and Rupert Lee. The Sun Calendar 1920. London: Sun Engraving Co. Ltd., [1919?]. [26] p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 25 cm.