Uncovering the Art of War-Time Concealment

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), July 29, 2016 | Go to article overview

Uncovering the Art of War-Time Concealment


Byline: JULIE CHAMBERLAIN

THE secret life of a group of artists during the Second World War is revealed in a new exhibition in Warwick-shire. Concealment and Deception: The Art of the Camofleurs of Leamington Spa 1939-1945 at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum tells how during the war many artists were brought to the town to work on developing camouflage for strategically important installations. The works in the exhibition are a mixture of their depictions of this work, and paintings and drawings they did on their down time, presumably to keep themselves busy while away from home. Some of the latter depict the local scenery, and others the area under attack.

Evelyn Dunbar's Convalescing Nurses Making Camouflage shows the women working on table and floor to put together khaki cloth.

Dorothy Annan's The Parade, Leamington Spa, 1944, shows the area just up from the Pump Room Gardens and is instantly recognisable, though the streets are full of walking people and cyclists rather than cars. Stephen Bone's Clarendon Street from 1940 shows the attractive street covered in snow, and Christopher Ironside (father of renowned agony aunt Virginia) did a watercolour of Lansdowne Circus, the attractive houses sporting taped-up windows to guard against blasts. Janey Ironside drew evacuees in Leamington, a sad looking boy and girl in outsize clothes. …

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