Churchill

The Statesman as Artist

Over 50 years Winston Churchill produced more than 500 paintings of his family homes at Blenheim and Chartwell, evocative scenes on the French Riviera and Marrakesh, as well as still lifes—plus an extraordinarily revealing self-portrait, painted during a particularly troubled time in his life. During peace and periods of war, Churchill painted as his primary means of relaxation from the strain of public affairs.

In his lecture, which is based on his book, Churchill: The Statesman as Artist, British author and historian Sir David Cannadine will provide the most important account yet of Churchill’s life in art. He will cover every aspect of Churchill as an artist, and discuss what his art meant to him. Painting was not just a private hobby for Churchill, but from 1945 onwards, an essential element of his public fame. We will learn about Churchill’s writings and speeches on art, including his essay, Painting as a Pastime, and his addresses to the Royal Academy, and an important speech he delivered about art and freedom in 1937.

Sir David Cannadine will then discuss heretofore uncollected critical accounts of his work by some of Churchill’s contemporaries, such as Welsh painter Augustus John, Sir John Rothenstein, Professor Thomas Bodkin and the art critic Eric Newton. Sir David Cannadine will reveal Churchill the artist more fully than ever before, as we understand how painting helped banish his “black dog” and gave his life outside politics meaning and value.

Thank you to our co-sponsor: The International Churchill Society

Winston Churchill, Self-portrait, circa 1915 © Churchill Heritage, Courtesy of Curtis Brown, London

Winston Churchill, Self-portrait, circa 1915 © Churchill Heritage, Courtesy of Curtis Brown, London

Prof. Sir David Cannadine, Photo © Tom Miller

Prof. Sir David Cannadine, Photo © Tom Miller

Prof. Sir David Cannadine

Dodge Professor of History, Princeton University

Sir David Cannadine is a British author and historian specializing in the period 1800 to the present. He has held positions at Cambridge, Columbia and London Universities and is currently the Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University, a Visiting Professor of History at Oxford University, the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and  President of the British Academy, the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. He has been Chairman of the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery in London and Deputy Chairman of Historic Royal Palaces, and also sits on the board of The Royal Oak Foundation. He is the author of eighteen books, and the editor or co-editor of many more.

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Winston Churchill, Winter Sunshine at Chartwell, circa 1924 © Churchill Heritage, Courtesy of Curtis Brown, London

Date:

Monday, April 29 | 6:15 p.m.
Reception and book signing following lecture

Location:

The General Society Library
20 West 44th Street

Tickets:

$30 members; $40 non-members

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Winston Churchill, Winter Sunshine at Chartwell, circa 1924 © Churchill Heritage, Courtesy of Curtis Brown, London