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Twentieth-Century Watercolours and Drawings

The Queen Mother's collection was particularly strong in works by twentieth-century British artists. She collected most actively during her husband's reign, a period dominated by the Second World War (1939-45). Sir Kenneth Clark, chairman of the War Artists' Advisory Committee and a close friend of the Queen, did much to keep painters in work during the war. The Queen gave vital support to the arts during this time, purchasing and comissioning pictures from living artists, visiting galleries and lending paintings from her collection to exhibitions. Clark wrote to her in 1942:

'There has, in fact, been a really remarkable increase in the appreciation of art during the last three years & to this (I would venture to say) Your Majesty's interest & understanding has contributed very greatly..'

After the war the Queen continued to add to her collection, in particular acquiring works by artists she knew personally, including John Piper, Augustus John and Edward Seago.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.