Charles Mahoney (1903-1968):
Street scene with children wearing gas masks, circa 1940
Framed (ref: 2462)
Brown wash and pencil
16 x 12 1/2 in. (40.5 x 32 cm)
Provenance: Artist’s estate
Exhibited: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 32; 'Terrain & Conflict: Repercussions', Young Gallery, Salisbury, November 10, 2018 - December 29, 2018
Literature: Paul Liss, Charles Mahoney, London 1999, p. 54. WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 32, page 69.
Gas masks were issued to all children as a precaution against attack by gas bombs, and gas-mask drill (‘remove mask from box, put mask on face, check mask fits correctly, breathe normally’) was a daily feature of school life in WW2.
The masks came in cardboard boxes with a strap for carrying them on the shoulder. Children were instructed to keep their masks with them at all times.
In 1940, the Royal College of Art was evacuated to Ambleside in the Lake District, with Mahoney and Percy Horton among the male staff.
In a flat section pitch pine frame with brown inner and outer mouldings.