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Gilbert Spencer (1892-1979):
Darling, what have you done with my battledress?, 1941
Signed and inscribed : Darling, what have you done with my battledress?
Pencil, pen, ink and watercolour on paper
21 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. (55 x 75 cm.)
Provenance: The Artist's collection until 1979; thence by descent.
Exhibited : Bristol exhibition 1950
From 1941 Spencer worked with the Royal College of Art at Ambleside in the Lake District. Too old to serve in the army Spencer was active in the Home Guard as a subsection leader. His witty observations of life in the Home Guard were captured in a series of fourteen large watercolours, which were intended for publication. The publication however had to be abandoned after the watercolours were intercepted by the Royal Mail, on their way to the printers, and ripped along one side (subsequently repaired by Spencer) as an act of censorship.
Distinguished as having been an Official War Artist in both WW1 and WW2 Spencer was commissioned by the Artists Advisory Committee on four occasions as an Official War Artist in 1940, 1942, 1943, 1944.