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The Great Fire of London, 1940

July 18 – August 10, 1941
Ground Floor

Installation view of The Great Fire of London, 1940, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gallery Archives

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: 22 British artists who served in the London Auxiliary Fire Service created these paintings and drawings of wartime London. 107 works were selected by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery, London; Sir Walter W. Russell, R.A., keeper of the Royal Academy; and J.B. Mason, former curator of the Tate Gallery, London. 6 of the paintings were acquired by the British government for the Tate Gallery. The exhibition was sponsored by the British government under the auspices of the British Library of Information, and by Mayor F.H. LaGuardia of New York, the United States director of civilian defense, who was present at the opening.

Three London firemen accompanied the exhibition. They had been through all the raids from September 1940 to May 1941, and their paintings were in the collection. One of these men was in attendance to answer questions about the exhibition. The show was first seen in London in March 1941; after Washington it continued to museums in Canada, then returned to the United States for further viewings.

Attendance: 100,000

Brochure: New York: Doubleday-Doran Company.