The First World War is usually believed to have had a catastrophic effect on British art, killing artists and movements, and creating a mood of belligerent philistinism around the nation. In this book, however, James Fox paints a very different picture of artistic life in wartime Britain. Drawing on a wide range of sources, he examines the cultural activities of largely forgotten individuals and institutions, as well as the press and the government, in order to shed new light on art's unusual role in a nation at war. He argues that the conflict's artistic consequences, though initially disruptive, were ultimately and enduringly productive. He reveals how the war effort helped forge a much closer relationship between the British public and their art - a relationship that informed the country's cultural agenda well into the 1920s.
James Fox is an art historian and Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Educated at Cambridge and Harvard, he received his PhD in History of Art from the University of Cambridge in 2009 with a dissertation entitled 'Business unusual: art in Britain during the First World War, 1914-1918'. His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Art Center at Yale University, and Churchill College, Cambridge. Fox has published widely on the cultural history of the First World War and modern British art and has presented papers on the subjects in Europe, the United States and Canada. Fox appears frequently in the media: he has written for The Times, The Telegraph and The Independent, and is a BAFTA- and Royal Television Society-nominated documentary filmmaker for the BBC. In 2014 he was selected as one of Apollo magazine's forty most influential young people in the art world.
Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication
Fine Arts / Art History
Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare