Before any artists had been appointed by the Air Ministry, Rothenstein requested permission to make portraits of airmen at bases in Scotland. Throughout the file there are recurring problems over this fact - for example, that Rothenstein pre-empted Keith Henderson, the official artist, in working at Leuchars base, which meant there was nothing for Henderson to do; that Rothenstein was often referred to in print as an "official artist", although this was not the case.
Rothenstein submitted an number of these initial drawings and a number were acquired by the committee (IWM:ART LD 5, 7, 8, 10-2; LD 6, 9, 17) in January 1940 for 10 guineas each. Rothenstein regarded making the portraits as a "national service" and asked only for a contribution to his travelling expenses. There was a question over further works which were offered as a gift by Rothenstein but which the Committee declined; LD 17 was accepted grudgingly.
The file includes caption texts for IWM:ART LD 7.
Despite the committee's early doubts, several further batches of portraits were acquired, including
LD 286-291; a commissioned portrait of Sir Arthur Dixon (LD 1458); IWM:ART LD 1183; IWM:ART LD 1978, 1982; LD 1979-1981, 1983 (this group all purchased from Rothenstein's exhibition at the Leicester Galleries, of which there is an exhibition catalogue at (183); LD 2825-2828, 2830; IWM:ART LD 2829; LD 2862; LD 3190-3193, 3593-3595
Rothenstein also occasionally made suggestions of subjects or artists for war art work, including the subject Newfoundland lumber men (109) and recommending Albert Houthuesen as an official artists (172). He also wrote a letter to the Times regarding the question of employing regional artists (202 and nearby).
There is correspondence about a book of Rothenstein's drawings - 'Men of the RAF' (Oxford University Press, 1942).
Other matters covered by the file include requests for reproductions of works, including Peake's request for a set of reproductions, for RAF messes; general enquiries about his pictures; exhibitions; correspondence with Rothenstein's widow after his death in 1945; post-war enquiries, including from portrait subjects; and a letter from Rothenstein's son, John, Director of the Tate Gallery, regarding a memorial exhibition.