Twenty five letters concerning the establishment and business of the Arts Bureau in Oxford for War Service

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 70 TGA 7050/120-144
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      30 pieces

Scope and Content

The correspondence is between Paul Nash and Kenneth Clark, Lord Esher, P. Morton Shand, Sir Muirhead Bone, the British Council, G.S. Gordon (Vice Chancellor of Magdalen College, Oxford), Humbert Wolfe and C.T. Church of the Ministry of Information, Leigh Aston of the Ministry of Labour, Gwyneth Hammond and T.A. Fennemore (Hon. Secretary of Central Institute of Art and Design). The letters concern the initial set-up and function of the bureau, its future and transfer to the responsibility of the Central Institute of Art and Design, requests for member dossiers, congratulations for its success and a request for background information from the British Embassy in Tokyo via the British Council.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Arts Bureau in Oxford for War Service was set up in 1939 by Paul Nash to collect dossiers of painters, writers, sculptors, musicians and architects, and offer their skills where necessary as part of their war service. The bureau compiled lists of categories such artists may work in, including propaganda, camouflage, records, intelligence, education, translation and design. The bureau sent out dossiers to Ministers and Heads of Departments to offer the services of the artists for civil or military employment. In 1940 responsibility for the bureau was transferred to the Central Institute of Art and Design based at the National Gallery.

Corporate Names