Drawn from Life: People on Paper

7 July - 17 September 2017

The Arts Council Collection touring exhibition Drawn from Life: People on Paper will come to us this summer. The show brings together work by some of the biggest names in 20th and 21st century British art, including David Hockney, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and LS Lowry.

Part of a national tour to celebrate the Arts Council's 70th Anniversary, the exhibition includes some of the finest drawings of its collection. Works cover the last 100 years and although there are some surprising similarities through the decades, there is also a huge diversity in the approaches and techniques used.

Early twentieth century works include pieces by Gwen John and the intricate patterns of Harold Gilman, mid-twentieth-century artists include George Fullard and John Golding and the exhibition is brought up to date with the imaginary figures of Charles Avery and Mimei Thompson.

The majority of works in the exhibition are drawn from observation, though some are from memory or imagination. Some are unfinished studies while others are finished works in their own right. The exhibition also includes work created early on in artists' careers such as a self portrait by Richard Hamilton from 1938, Mrs Ash Asleep by Howard Hodgkin from 1952 and Peter Blake's Portrait of a Man from 1950.

Works from the Arts Council Collection will be complemented by a number of loans from the British Council Collection.

Arts Council Collection is managed by Southbank Centre, London, on behalf of Arts Council England.

Arts Council Collection logo

Barbara Hepworth


Barbara Hepworth, Reconstruction, 1947. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. (c) Bowness, Hepworth Estate


Upcoming exhibition...

The Benevolent Despot: Alderman Alfred Holt (1858 - 1943) and the foundation of Leamington Art Gallery

29 September 2017 - 7 January 2018

Alderman Alfred Holt (1858 – 1943) became a leading figure in Royal Leamington Spa after he settled in the town in the late nineteenth century. Strong minded and independently wealthy, he ‘played the part of a benevolent despot for half a century’.  He first became involved in the local sporting scene, helping found the Leamington Cricket Club, becoming president of the Leamington Golf Club, and riding with the local hunt.  After he was elected to the Town Council in 1906 he dominated local public life, becoming mayor seven times, an alderman and an honorary freeman of the borough. 

While a member of the council he promoted a number of improvements to Leamington Spa.  These included the installation of two fountains in the ornamental lake and construction of the New Bandstand in Jephson Gardens, building an Art Gallery extension to the Public Library on Avenue Road, and the foundation of the present art collection.  The story of his contributions as a ‘public-spirited resident’ are presented in this exhibition through a selection of the paintings he donated to the Art Gallery, supplemented by photographs and local history objects.