New Great War art & ephemera collection at Mary Evans

July 2, 2013


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Mary Evans Picture Library, the UK’s leading historical image source is delighted to announce an exclusive representation partnership with David Cohen Fine Art, one of the country’s leading specialists in First World War art, illustration, commemorative ware and ephemera.

Founded in 1984, David Cohen Fine Art has dealt in a wide range of art and ephemera relating to the Great War for almost three decades, building up a superb record of paintings, drawings and sculpture as well as more unusual items such as trench art, puzzles and games and commemorative pottery. There are landscapes showing the devastation wrought by war, portrait miniatures, pencil sketches or silhouettes of serving soldiers and officers as well as scenes of army life and cartoons by both well-known and amateur artists. Among the numerous stand-out items is a world-class collection of Bairnsfatherware pottery, produced by Grimwade’s of Staffordshire in 1917 based on the hugely popular cartoons by Bruce Bairnsfather in The Bystander. There are lucky mascots and dolls, items and images from the famous Ruhleben POW camp near Berlin and some fascinating photographs giving us a glimpse of the interior of the Duchess of Westminster’s Red Cross hospital in the converted casino at Le Touquet. There is a particularly good set of images by the artist Fortunino Matania, whose breathtakingly detailed depictions of wartime life and battle scenes were published in The Sphere as well as hundreds more portraits, landscapes and scenes of daily life from the trenches to hospitals to the home front.

David Cohen Fine Art has staged five major art exhibitions of which two were held at the National Army Museum in London. Over the years, they have supplied items to museums and regiments as well as to private collectors. David was chairman of The Western Front Association from 1987 to 1990, and together with his wife Judith has been writing regular articles on Art of the Great War for the Western Front Association Journal – STAND TO – for the last seventeen years. He has also lectured on the subject for over twenty years.

‘Our continuing commitment to become the best and most in-depth resource for First World War imagery has been given a huge boost by the arrival of David and Judith’s fine collection,’ says Luci Gosling of Mary Evans Picture Library. ‘Their archive represents an important part of the history of the First World War and the eclectic mix of art and objects means we can offer a greater breadth than ever on the subject. As an added bonus, we are able to draw on the Cohens’ enviable knowledge and experience and we plan to add their future acquisitions to the online collection in time.’

Around 2,500 images from the collection are now available at

For further information please contact:
Luci Gosling
Mary Evans Picture Library
59 Tranquil Vale
London SE3 0BS