The scheme to decorate Morley College was funded by Lord Duveen and followed on from his commission for Rex Whistler to decorate the Refreshment Room of the Tate Gallery. Six painters, all former students at the RCA, were invited to submit designs.
Those chosen were Mahoney, Bawden and Ravilious. Mahoney’s contribution, The Pleasures of Life, was the central feature on the
wall at the back of the stage used for orchestral concerts, dramatic performances and folk dancing. In the foreground were seven Muses: (left to right) Dancing, Plastic Art, Music, Philosophy, Drama, Poetry and Prose. Country Dances, Outdoor Pastimes and Apple Picking were presented in the spaces above.
The scheme was completed in situ during an 18 month period and was worked on in oil paint mixed with wax, on canvas, fixed to the wall.
The building was destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War and none of the three artists’ work survived.