Fine and Graphic Art


CRW Nevinson, Banking at 4,000 Feet (1917)CRW Nevinson, Banking at 4,000 Feet (1917)

The RAF Museum's collection of Fine and Graphic Art is both significant for its holdings of work by important 20th century British artists, poster designers and illustrators, and for representing the operations, equipment, culture, and people of the Royal Air Force (and its predecessors the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service), as well as broader themes of flight.

Collection Highlights

Paul Nash, Halifax Attack (1940)
Paul Nash, Halifax Attack (1940)

The collection spans early representations of flight from the 19th and early 20th centuries, to First and Second World War, and Interwar, subjects, and a small but growing coverage of jet age, Cold War and contemporary works.

Key holdings (including works on long loan from the RAF Air Historical Branch):

Early Flight and First World War:

• Original prints and posters celebrating feats of aviation, including 19th century ballooning, and early 20th century air races, pageants and night flying events
• Paintings and watercolours by Sidney and Richard Carline, originally intended for the Official War Artists’ scheme of the First World War
• Paintings and lithographs by CRW Nevinson
• Emile Verpilleux’s paintings recalling his experience as a Captain in the Royal Flying Corps (1919)
• European lithographs reflecting on First World War aerial battles, including Maurice Busset’s ‘En Avion Vols et Combats’ (1919) and Karl Sterrer’s ‘Flieger im Hochgebirge’ (1919).

Richard Carline, Baghdad (1919)

Interwar and Second World War:

• Paintings and prints by Grosvenor School artists Sybil Andrews, Cyril Power and Rachel Reckitt
• Italian Futurist paintings by Enrico Castello (‘Chin’) and Guglielmo Sansoni (‘Tato’)
• The Air Ministry collection of 400 Official War Artists’ works, by Eric Kennington, Paul Nash, John Nash, Graham Sutherland, Eric Ravilious, Thomas Hennell, Anthony Gross, Leslie Cole, Evelyn Dunbar, and others
• Dame Laura Knight’s drawings for Official War Artist painting commissions (‘A Balloon Command, Coventry’ and ‘Take Off’)
• A substantial collection of works by women artists, including Ethel Gabain, Doris and Anna Zinkeisen, Olga Lehmann, Barbara Jones, Anne Newland, Eve Kirk, Elva Blacker, and others
• Flt Lt Ley Kenyon’s drawings made as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III, 1943-45, including in preparation for ‘The Great Escape’
• The Air Ministry’s collection of RAF commissioned works, including by William Rothenstein (‘Men of the RAF’), Cuthbert Orde (‘The Pilots of Fighter Command’) and Frank Wootton
• Posters by Fougasse, Abram Games, Tom Eckersley, Robin Day, Jonathan Foss, Roy Nockolds and Charles Mozley
• Cartoons and caricatures, including by Bill Hooper, Pat Rooney and Fred May.

Dame Laura Knight’s ‘Stirling Cockpit’ 1943
Dame Laura Knight, Stirling Cockpit (1943)

Post-war to Contemporary:

• John Armstrong’s semi-abstract paintings made in the aftermath of the Second World War
• Dame Elisabeth Frink’s Winged Man sculptures
• Michael Ayrton’s Icarus themed sculptures
• Screenprints and lithographs by Eduardo Paolozzi, including his ‘Bunk’ series (1971)
• RAF Museum commissioned works by Bryan Organ and Humphrey Ocean
• Fiona Banner’s suite of 26 drawings, ‘The Bastard Word Studies’ (2006-7).

Art Piece 'The Bastard Word Studies' on display in the Museum gallery
Fiona Banner, The Bastard Word Studies (2006-7)


Contact us

T: 020 8358 4869

Art Collection
RAF Museum London
Grahame Park Way
London, NW9 5LL

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