XXIV (24) Art
The British Pavilion in 1948
© La Biennale di Venezia, Archivio Storico delle Arti Contemporanee
With the first post-war Venice Biennale in 1948, the British Council Fine Art Committee established procedures that are basically still in operation today.
One of the committee, John Rothenstein, the Director of the Tate Gallery, was appointed Commissioner of the British pavilion, and together with Council officers Francis Watson and Lilian Somerville, he presented a retrospective exhibition of the work of Henry Moore in the national pavilion. In this way the pattern of showing the work of either one accomplished artist in mid-career, or a small group, was established. Although Henry Moore was shown in conjunction with work by J.M.W Turner in 1948, the practice of exhibiting the work of artists from the past, initiated from Italy, was concluded after the 1950 Biennale.
Henry Moore won the International Sculpture Prize.
Fine Arts Committee of the British Council: Sir Eric Maclagan (Chairman), Leigh Aston, Clive Bell, Prof. T. S. R. Boase, Colonel Gerald Coke, Prof. W. G. Constable, Campbell Dodgson, Philip Hendy, Philip James, Sir Edward Marsh, Sir Owen Morshead, Herbert Read, John Rothenstein, Viscount Tredegar, the Duke of Wellington, Allan Walton, John Witt, Francis Watson (British Council), Lilian Somerville (British Council).
There was no Selection Committee.
Commissioner for the British Pavillion: John Rothenstein.