A world-leading 20th century collection
The IWM collection features almost 20,000 works of art, documenting conflict since 1914 and representing a wide range of mediums, from photography to sculpture.
Included in the collection are works created by artists under the British government war art schemes of the First and Second World Wars, including works by the likes of Sir William Orpen and John Singer Sargent.
Throughout its history, IWM has also commissioned artwork. During the First World War, the Women’s Work Sub-Committee commissioned ten female artists to document women's roles during the conflict. IWM continues to commission new works from artists such as Steve McQueen and Paul Seawright, reflecting on conflicts including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Afghanistan.
Coming in 2023: The Blavatnik Art, Film and Photography Galleries at IWM London will explore how artists, photographers and filmmakers together bear witness to, document and tell the story of conflict, and demonstrate how artistic interpretation can uniquely shape our understanding of war.
Discover the collection
Explore the full collection of IWM"s digitised artworks
View the works of Sir William Orpen, who was an official war artist during the First World War and also produced commissions for IWM.
See how artists responded to the Blitz in 1940-1941
10 Paintings of Wartime London
London was transformed by the Second World War. Air raids tore up the very fabric of the city night after night, and by day its streets were filled with soldiers, both British and from overseas. Artists living and working in London captured this ever-changing landscape in beautiful paintings, 10 of which are featured here.
Explore the interactive Hall of Remembrance
This 3D experience allows you to explore the Hall of Remembrance, a memorial gallery designed by the British architect Charles Holden. It was intended as a memorial to the Britons who gave their lives during the war and would display a set of remarkable paintings commissioned by the British Government toward the end of the war. But the project ran out of time and money and the Imperial War Museum became the custodian of the paintings and sculpture that had been produced.
This War Artist Captured D-Day in Stunning Watercolours
Anthony Gross was among the first artists to be commissioned as a British official war artist in the Second World War. He was also one of the longest serving. In 1944, Gross returned to Britain in time to witness the build-up to the momentous D-Day landings.
Curator's Choice: Eric Ravilious
Become an IWM Member
Help tell the stories that deserve to be heard by supporting us as a member. Uncover a host of benefits including free standard admission to Churchill War Rooms, HMS Belfast and IWM Duxford.