Study of Glass-blowers

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM ART LD 2856 b
Department
Art and Popular Design
Production date
1943
Subject period
Materials
  • Support: paper
  • medium: pastel
Dimensions
  • Support: Height 208 mm, Width 301 mm
  • Mount: Height 407 mm, Width 559 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: drawing
Creator
Category
art

© IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 2856 b)

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Object description

image: a glass blower shown side-on, holding the metal tube to his mouth with both hands, the large glass bulb at the end glowing shades of yellow, orange and red. Behind him a three shadowy figures within the darkened factory.

Label

In 1943, Peake was commissioned to record work at a Birmingham glass factory making cathode ray oscillation tubes. Inspired by the dramatic qualities of the glassmaking process and the faces and balletic gestures of the glassblowers, he produced two oil paintings and fifteen drawings. Peake later developed his fascination with the process of glassblowing in his art and writing. A version of the cathode ray oscilloscope tube existed as early as 1897, but the invention did not come into its own until further technological advances were made in the 1930’s, when it became important in the development of television and radar. Chance Brothers was the only glass factory in Britain which had developed the technique of blowing this complex shape and by 1943 they were producing up to 7,000 tubes a week.

History note

War Artists Advisory Committee commission

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