“RECORDING Scotland: World War II Through Artists’ Eyes” examines the impact of the war on artists who took part in the wartime artistic documentary project, Recording Scotland.
Their personal stories and the artworks – to be displayed at the University’s Gateway Galleries – provide a revealing insight into the relationship between art and war.
Several of the Recording Scotland artists featured in the new exhibition, such as James Miller, Alexander Macpherson and Alan Ian Ronald, were also official war artists.
The exhibition showcases artworks from the University’s Recording Scotland Collection, and sits alongside Recording Britain: Life and Landscape during World War II currently on show at the University’s museum, MUSA.
Works from both collections (works from Recording Britain are on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum) have never been publicly displayed together before.
Claire Robinson, Collections and Exhibitions Curator, said: “For many of the 47 artists who took part in the Recording Scotland project, the war had a major impact on their lives and careers.
“This exhibition explores how war art initiatives, such as Recording Scotland and the government’s British War Artists Schemes, provided artists with income and opportunities that may never have been available during peacetime.”
Launched during the Second World War in 1942, the Recording Scotland scheme was designed to provide employment for artists during the war and was also created in response to fears about the threats posed to the nation’s historic scenes, sites and buildings.
These threats ranged from enemy action, such as aerial bombing, to growing urbanisation, industry and motor transport.