Wyndham Lewis Exhibitions, National Portrait Gallery

Lead Research Organisation: Bath Spa University
Department Name: Sch of English and Creative Studies


The British painter and writer, Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), has always been well-known as the leader of the Vorticist movement, which pioneered abstract painting in England just before the First World War. But, especially since the publication of Paul Edwards's academic study, 'Wyndham Lewis: Painter and Writer', in 2000, other aspects and phases of his activity as a painter have been proposed as at least equally complex and rewarding. Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery are therefore holding co-ordinated exhibitions of two of these aspects during the summer of 2008: works of imagination on the theme of 'creation' at Tate Britain, and portraits (particularly of Lewis's friends and fellow-modernists, such as T. S. Eliot and James Joyce) at the National Portrait Gallery. The Knowledge Transfer Fellowship enables Professor Edwards to give much fuller help to the galleries by co-curating the exhibitions and writing essays that will help visitors understand the works exhibited in the light of the research he has carried out on them and the argument he developed in his study. The balance of Lewis's achievement and the nature of his contribution to modern British painting will become clearer and better understood as a result. The project should form a model of future collaboration. The fellow will also learn about the practical side of organising, selecting and hanging exhibitions, and will take this knowledge back to the 'Artswork Lab' at Bath Spa University, with a view to incorporating it into the curriculum.


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