Arts Ephemera collected by Joanna Marie Drew (1929-2003)

Scope and Content

The ephemera - largely printed and graphic - includes art subjects from all ages, and artists ranging in stature and in their international reknown: Francis Bacon, David Bomberg, Braque, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Cezanne, Otto Dix, Robert Doisneau, Maggi Hambling, Katarzyna Kobro, El Lissitzky, Berthold Lubetkin and Tecton, Magritte, Andrea Mantegna, Matisse, Andre Breton Matta, Miro, Monet, Henry Moore, Picasso, Bridget Riley, and Richard Wentworth. It covers painting, sculpture, architecture, the avant garde, modern art, Islamic carpets, African art, German drawings, painters of Spanish still life, Japanese art, Indian art, textiles and dance, and Italian Renaissance architecture. The material includes: illustrative cards; a small amount of correspondence between Drew and others; exhibition catalogues, pamphlets, and other promotional material; invitations to gallery shows and exhibitions; an essay on the Scrovegni Chapel; and, newspaper cuttings and magazine articles.

The collector's envelopes originally containing the various items have been retained because they contain brief notes on the origins of the material, much of which was sent to Drew.

Administrative / Biographical History

Joanna Marie Drew was born in Nain Tal, Uttar Pradesh, India, on 28 September 1929. She was the daughter of a Brigadier, serving in India. Her mother was the painter, Sannie Drew. She was educated at Dartington Hall School in Devon, and then she went to Edinburgh University where she studied art history along with a course in art at Edinburgh College of Art.

In 1952, Drew went to London to join the art department of the Arts Council of Great Britain where she worked with Gabriel White - assistant art director in charge of exhibtions - and learned the art of exhibition creation. She was never a practising artist or art historian herself.

Drew organised - along with Roland Penrose - Tate Gallery exhibitions such as 'Picasso' (1960) and 'Miro' (1964). With David Sylvester she organised the Tate's Henry Moore exhibition in 1968. The opening of the Hayward Gallery within the South Bank arts complex provided her with a new focus on behalf of the Arts Council. At the Hayward, exhibitions such as 'Islamic Art' (1975), 'North American Indian Art' (1976) and 'Dada and Surrealism Reviewed' (1978) were staged.

In 1975, Drew succeeded Norbert Lynton as first Director of Exhibitions within the Arts Council, then in 1978 she succeeded Robin Campbell as Director of Art, in charge of exhibitions in London, awards to artists, purchasing works of art, subsidising buildings, and running the Serpentine as well as the Hayward. Into the 1980s however, these galleries had become independent clients of the Arts Council, and in 1986 she stepped down from the Council to become the Director, Hayward and Regional Exhibitions, at the South Bank. She retired in 1992.

Like her father before her, in 1985 she had been awarded the CBE. From France she had also received the honours of Chevalier (1979), Officier of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres (1988), and Officier of the Ordre Nationale du Merite (1990).

In late-2002 she was diagnosed as having inoperable cancer. Joanna Marie Drew died in London on 20 April 2003.

Access Information

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

We strongly encourage you to contact us before your visit as special access conditions and restrictions apply to some collections. Please see our information on requesting material

Acquisition Information

Material given to Special Collections 2007, Accession no: E2007.28.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Obituary, Joanna Drew The Independent, 25 April 2003 [online edition]. (2) Obituary, Joanna Drew. Full-text [online]. Studio International [Accessed 25 July 2007

Other Finding Aids

None prepared for this collection.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Graeme D. Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.

Related Material

The Tate Gallery Archive (Hyman Kreitman Research Centre ) at Millbank, London, holds: 1952-2002: Drew's professional papers including diaries, Arts Council and Henry Moore Foundation Committee.