British and Irish Art 1945–1951
From War to Festival
After the Second World War, according to received opinion, control of the art world passed from rich individuals to state-run bodies. This groundbreaking study demolishes that idea. Its detailed analysis of letters, committee minutes and newspaper reports demonstrates how an Oxbridge elite retained power in the new institutions. Illustrated with works by Francis Bacon, Jack Yeats, Lucian Freud, Graham Sutherland and others, it shows how artists fought to survive against powerful individuals who could make or break reputations.