Shelter Drawings 1940-42

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Shelter Drawings 1940-42

After sheltering from an air raid in Belsize Park underground station one evening in Autumn 1940, Moore was able to see first hand the people that slept there at night. He became fascinated by the sight of people camping out deep undergound. He didn't make any direct sketches of the shelterers, instead taking descriptive notes of what he was seeing on the back of an envelope. He returned to his studio and made some drawings from memory. Kenneth Clark, chairman of the War Artists Advisory Committee, saw some of these sketches and pointed out that Moore "had no excuse for refusing to be an official war artist". The drawings were exhibited in 1941, and came to be seen as a representation of the stoic resistance of the British people in the face of war.