Papers of Peter Startup

Scope and Content

This collection includes correspondence received by Peter Startup from his time at art college onwards; papers relating to his teaching work; papers relating to a commission by the Arts Council for a sculpture on the South Bank which was never completed; personal effects; autobiographical writings; draft film scenarios; notes on artistic methods; catalogues and publications; a large collection of photographs documenting his body of work and other more personal photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Peter Startup was born 11 December 1921 at Fulham, London. He studied at the Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts 1935-9, and part-time at the Central School 1943-4; also at the Ruskin School of Drawing 1944-5 and the Slade School 1945-8. He first became interested in sculpture while at the Slade and won a British Council scholarship to study at the Abbaye de la Cambre, Brussels in 1948-9.

He held his first one-man exhibition of gouaches and drawings at Roland, Browse and Delbanco in 1952 but switched from painting to sculpture around this time and held first one-man exhibition of sculpture at the A.I.A. Gallery in 1962, shortly followed by an exhibition at the ICA in 1963. He also showed work in the group shows 'British Sculpture in the Sixties' (Tate Gallery, 1965), 'Forma Viva' in Yugoslavia (1966), and 'New Work 2' at the Hayward Gallery (1975-6).

He taught at Guildford School of Art 1949-59, Willesden School of Art 1954-8 and at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, 1960-2; at Ealing School of Art from 1960 and was head of Sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art at the time of his death.

Startup died in 1976 of a previously undiagnosed heart condition, survived by a wife and two children. Retrospective shows have included the Serpentine Gallery (1977); the Morley Gallery (1981); and Yorkshire Sculpture Park (1995).


The collection has been arranged into the following series:

TGA 988/1 Correspondence sent to Peter, Rosemary and Jasper Startup

TGA 988/2 Papers relating to the Arts Council's South Bank Commission

TGA 988/3 Papers relating to Startup's teaching career

TGA 988/4 Personal papers

TGA 988/5 Writings and notes

TGA 988/6 Lists of works for exhibitions, sales and loan

TGA 988/7 Photographs

TGA 988/8 Catalogues and exhibition ephemara

TGA 988/9 Publications and press-cuttings

Access Information

Open. Access to all registered users.

Related Material

TGA 20013 is a collection of Peter Startup's drawings.