• FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Defying Convention: Women War Artists

'Peace Celebrations, Indian Troops Marching Down Whitehall' by Dora Meeson, 1919

Dr Nicole Hartwell explores the fascinating lives and artworks of women war artists in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Women artists have contributed to the history of wartime art in challenging and compelling ways. Depicting a range of scenes, from 19th-century battles to the home front, these women used their artwork to portray the demands of war.

Charting a period from the mid-19th century to the end of the Second World War, Dr Nicole Hartwell will examine a selection of paintings from the collections of the National Army Museum and other art galleries.

She will highlight the works of pioneers such as Elizabeth Thompson (later known as Lady Butler), as well as lesser-known artists including Dora Meeson and the recently re-discovered Laura Knight.

The talk will consider the womens’ inspirations and impact, and how their art cast a light on aspects of war beyond the front line, illuminating the experiences of the rank-and-file, auxiliaries, and colonial troops.

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About Dr Nicole Hartwell

Dr Nicole Hartwell is the inaugural National Army Museum Fellow based at Selwyn College, University of Cambridge. 

Her research focuses on the history of collecting and collections, military memorialisation, and representations of warfare and imperial scenes in British art.

She obtained her DPhil in Modern British and Imperial History from the University of Oxford and is currently writing her first book.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."