BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

18 September 2014
Accessibility help
Wars and Conflict Trailbbc.co.uk/history

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Art and Daily Life in World War Two

By Roger Tolson

The British government bodies responsible for commissioning art, including the Ministry of Information and the Imperial War Museum in World War One and the War Artists Advisory Committee in World War Two, realised the need to record the involvement of all its citizens in the war. What history can we learn from war paintings? They contain obvious statements about the routines and risks of daily life: resources were in short supply, civilians were killed, weaponry had to be designed and manufactured and fired. In amongst this are deeper clues about the forces at work and the way people adapted, lived and died. Choose a painting and explore the home front as seen through the eyes of the artists.

  • Visit the Home Front and glimpse civilian life during World War Two
  • Find out the artists represented the privations of life at war
  • Examine how weapons manufacture adapted to new technologies
Click on an image below to enter the gallery
'The Queue at the Fish Shop' by Evelyn Dunbar
'The Queue at the Fish Shop' by Evelyn Dunbar
15 inch Gun Turret on HMS Repulse by Barnett Freedman
15 inch Gun Turret on HMS Repulse by Barnett Freedman
An Aircraft Assembly Shop in Hendon by Anna Airey
An Aircraft Assembly Shop in Hendon by Anna Airey
'Taube' by CRW Nevinson
'Taube' by CRW Nevinson


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy