Henry Lamb Studio & Sketches

This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view a collection of over 90 drawings by the Australian-born British painter Henry Lamb (1883-1960) in celebration of his draughtsmanship. A follower of Augustus John, Lamb was a founder member of the Camden Town Group in 1911 alongside Walter Sickert, Spencer Gore and Harold Gilman, and of The London Group two years later in 1913.

Drawing was integral to Lamb’s practice; he was rarely without his sketchbook and consequently drawing underpinned his work. This selection offers an insight into the people and places that infiltrated his life. He was invariably drawn to people, and the exhibition includes portraits from throughout his oeuvre, captured with sensitivity, humour and keen observation. Together with these portraits, the exhibition presents a group of wartime drawings Lamb made in both during the First and Second World Wars.

With the outbreak of the First World War Lamb had returned to his study of medicine and served as a doctor in the Royal Army Medical Corps in France, Salonika and Palestine where he was awarded the Military Cross. He was not an official war artist but was constantly sketching and drawing when time allowed. These sketches with memories from his time on the Macedonian Front and the Palestine campaign formed the basis of large-scale paintings made after the war.

Lamb was appointed an official war artist for the Second World War and after first wanting to document the war cabinet, decided on portraits of soldiers and studies of servicemen at work across the South of England. This included portraits of airmen stationed at the Old Sarum military base in Wiltshire.


Henry Lamb RA

[ 1883
- 1960 ]
Abandoning his medical studies to become an artist, in 1905 Lamb moved to London where he studied under Augustus John and William Orpen at their short-lived Chelsea Art School. A highly gifted draughtsman he soon moved to Paris, and painted in Brittany. On his return to London he made his name with an extraordinary full-life sized portrait of Lytton Strachey (now in the Tate).

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