Glass-blowers 'Gathering' from the Furnace

Mervyn Peake1943

Imperial War Museums

Imperial War Museums

In 1943, Peake was commissioned to record work at a Birmingham glass factory making cathode ray oscillation tubes.Inspired by the dramatic qualities of the glassmaking process and the faces and balletic gestures of the glassblowers, he produced two oil paintings and fifteen drawings. He later developed his fascination with the process of glassblowing in his art and writing.A version of the cathode ray oscilloscope tube existed as early as 1897, but the invention did not come into its own until further technological advances were made in the 1930s, when it became important in the development of television and radar. Chance Brothers was the only glass factory in Britain which had developed the technique of blowing this complex shape and by 1943 they were producing up to 7,000 tubes a week.

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  • Title: Glass-blowers 'Gathering' from the Furnace
  • Creator: Peake, Mervyn
  • Date Created: 1943
  • Location: Smethwick, Staffordshire, England, UK
  • related people or organisations: Chance Brothers & Co. Ltd. Glassworks, Smethwick, Staffordshire, England, UK
  • provenance: War Artists Advisory Committee commission
  • period: Second World War
  • Subject: industry,  munitions/manufacture,  science/technology,  workers, British Home Front 1939-1945,  British War Work 1939-1945
  • Physical Dimensions: w685 x h508 mm (unframed)
  • Provenance: © IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 2851)
  • Type: drawing
  • External Link: Imperial War Museum website
  • Medium: Watercolour


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