The first attempts to commission Epstein ended in failure, with a commission to produce a bronze 'head' of an RAF serviceman in June 1940 abandonded due to the demands on RAF personnel, an attempt to commission two Naval heads in August of the same year rendered impossible by a lack of time on Epsteins' part, and a commission of the American Ambassador, Winant, in 1942 frustrated due to his return to the US.
The Committee was able to purchase a copy of Epstein's bronze of the Russian Ambassador, IM Maisky in 1942 (Art.IWM ART LD 1783), and in May of the same year Epstein was again commissioned, this time to produce bronze heads of an airman, soldier and sailor. This met with more sucess with Epstein produceing bronzes of General Sir Alan Cunningham (Art.IWM ART LD 2211) and Air Marshal Sir Charles Portal (Art.IWM ART LD 2210). A sailor proved harder to find and a suitable subject, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham was not located until 1945. However, Cunningham's illness at the time made sittings difficult to arrange and little progress was made.
Epstein's other woks commissioned by the Committee were a bust of Ernest Bevin, commissioned in March 1945 and completed in the August (now in the Tate Gallery), one of Sir John Anderson, completed in July 1946 (Art.IWM ART LD 5831) and a bust of Churchill, completed in 1947 (Art.IWM LD 5851). The latter, despite being commissioned at the same time as the Anderson bust, in 1945, took much longer to produce, due mainly to difficulties in arranging sittings with Churchill. A bust of Field Marshall Sir Archibald Wavell (Art.IWM LD 5466) was also purchased by the Committee in September 1945.
This file contains correspondence about the commissions and copyrights issues as well as requests for the loan of the Bevin and Churchill busts for exhibition at the Leicester Galleries, Leicester Square in 1947.