Catalogue of British Art exhibitions and talks concerning Spain 1935-1939


Name of Exhibition


Artists Involved & Additional Information


—————————17th July 1936 - Spanish Civil War starts ————————————



————————7 August 1936 - Non-Intervention Agreement Signed—————————


September 1936

Exhibition of Felicia Browne’s works


46 Frith Street, London

30 drawings of Spanish subjects (+ more of others). Opened by Viscount Hastings. £260 raised for the Spanish Medical Aid Committee. Foreword to catalogue written by Duncan Grant.


Late November

Exhibition of Photos by Robert Capa and David Gascoyne as well as posters collected by Roland Penrose


Whitechapel Art Gallery

Photos from Robert Capa and David Gascoyne of the Spanish Civil War, as well as some posters collected by Roland Penrose, also associated with organising this exhibition was Fenner Brockway, Fred Warburg and Emma Goldman. In aid of supplies and not armaments. (David Gascoyne pp.48-50.)

December 1936

‘Artists Help Spain’




Edward Bawden, Vanessa Bell, Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill, Duncan Grant, Augustus John, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Moholy Nagy, Pissarro and Eric Ravillious raised funds for a field kitchen for the International Column Morris, pp.32-3 £500 raised according to Christine Lindley.

14 April - 5 May 1937

Unity of Artists for Peace, for Democracy, for Cultural Progress




41, Grosvenor Square, London

Over 1000 works. Surrealist Broadsheet circulated, Charles Cundall, R.A, Dali, Eric Gill, Duncan Grant, Augustus John, R.A. Paul Klee, Sir John Lavery, R.A., Jean Miro, Moholy-Nagy, Henry Moore, Paul Nash.

23 April 1937 (8.00pm)


First British Artists’ Congress, ‘Art the State and the public’,


Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, W.C.1.

Speakers: W.G. Constable, Herbert Read, Howard Wadman


——————————26th April 1937- Guernica bombed————————————



———25 May 1937 – 25 Nov 1937 - Paris Expo (Picasso’s Guernica revealed)———



24th June 1937


Spain and Culture Rally


Under auspices of NJCSR


Royal Albert Hall

Duchess of Atholl – chairs, Picasso does not make it as painting Guernica but sends etching of mother and child.

June 1937

Whistler House Exhibition


Whistler House

The Chelsea Branch of the Spanish Medical Aid Committee hold an exhibition featuring Muirhead Bone, John Lavery, Moholy-Nagy, Ben Nicholson and Pissarro.

16 March 1938

Realism vs Surrealism Debate



Group Theatre Rooms

Realists: Graham Bell, William Coldstream and Peter Peri. Surrealists: Penrose, Trevelyan and Humphrey Jennings.

1st May 1938

May Day Parade



Chamberlain masks, played Spanish Republican songs from loud speaker.

July? – September? 1938

The Original Etchings of Francisco Goya, Los Caprichos, Los Desastres de la Guerra, La Tauromaquia and Los Proverbios.


Victoria and Albert Museum

41 original drawings and new prints of etchings. Orchestrated by Timoteo Pérez Rubio, angers the nationalists.

4 - 29 October 1938


Guernica shown

New Burlington Galleries

3000 attendees.

December 1938

Portraits for Spain



Epstein, Gill and John sat in the Square (Soho?) on Sundays and painted portraits of onlookers who then paid the artists’ fee to the Spanish medical aid fund. [Tony Rickaby, ‘Artists’ International’, p.160.]

December? 1938

‘From Greco to Goya’,

Tomas Harris’ Gallery, 6, Chesterfield Gardens London.

In aid of the British Red Cross Society’s Spanish Hospital Fund ‘has benefited by £512 5s, 2d. from the Exhibition of Spanish Paintings’ , 6 x Grecos, 3 x Velazquez, 3 x Zubarans and 6 x Goyas [According to British journal of nursing, Feb 1939]

10 December 1938 – 5 January 1939

Zuolaga Exhibition

New Burlington Galleries

Included the ‘Siege of the Alcazar’ as the centrepiece of 45 of Zuloaga’s works. Idea had come from Lady Ivy Chamberlain. Also included El Greco’s Opening of the Fifth Seal.

First weeks of January 1939

Guernica Shown at Whitechapel

Whitechapel Art Gallery

12,000 attendees. Pair of boots as the entrance fee [supposedly]

1 – 15 February 1939

Guernica Shown in Manchester

H. E. Nunn & Co.’s vacant Ford dealership on Victoria Street, Manchester

The mural was nailed to the wall. In order to make the painting available to working-class people, the exhibition stayed open until 8 p.m. The headline in the Manchester Evening News of 31 January 1939 – DEATH COMES FROM THE AIR – was meant to further entice the public to venture out to see the painting. £3,000 was cabled from Manchester to Europe to buy milk and food for civilian refugees and children. [Manchester Guardian]


———27 February 1939 – Britain and France unconditionally recognise the Franco government ———


9 Feb - 7 March 1939

‘Art for the People’ (Unity of Artists for Peace, for Democracy, for Cultural Progress)


[Also referred to in the press as the ‘Man on the Street Exhibition’]



Whitechapel Art Gallery

Opened by a random man in the street. 40,000 visitors, 300 works. Coverage of Style and subject was Catholic. Duncan grant, Ben Nicholson, Vanessa Bell, jaune Nash, William Coldstream, Julian Trevelyan, Frank Dobson, and Henry Moore.

End of March, 1939

Aid Spain

York Terrace (3 evenings)

£400 raised

15 May 1939

Picasso in some English Collections

London Gallery

A third of the works exhibited from the collection of Roland Penrose. See Elizabeth Cowling, Visiting Picasso, p.46.