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Charlotte Stokes

Thesis: Leon Underwood and the Brook Green School of Art.

Supervisor: Michael Hatt.


PhD Research

Leon Underwood (1890 – 1975) ran the Brook Green School between 1921 and 1939, from his home at Girdlers Road in Hammersmith, London. My research explores his work and teaching between these dates. I will explore the significance of Underwood’s work as both artist and art educator, and establish the importance of work produced by Brook Green students.

The Brook Green School acted as a foundation course for art students, and, according to the prospectus, avoided ‘the harmful and repressive influences of orthodox art training’. Pupils included, among others, Eileen Agar, Mary Groom, Gertrude Hermes, Laurence Josephs, Blair Hughes-Stanton, Marion Mitchell, Henry Moore, Rodney Thomas, Phillip Turner and Margaret Wells. My research aims to establish the significance of the intellectual exchange that took place at the school and reintroduce Brook Green artists and their education into the history of 20th century British art.



‘The Brook Green School’ (pp 41-47), ‘The Cathedral’ (pp 106-107), ‘African Madonna’ (pp 108-109), and ‘Artist as Anthropologist’ (pp 111-119) in ed. S. Martin, Making Leon Underwood: Figure and Rhythm, Pallant House, 2015.


Conference Papers and Lectures

Lecture on Leon Underwood’s ‘The Family’ (c. 1935), Leeds Sculpture Collections Single Sculpture Lecture Series, at the Henry Moore Institute, on the 15th June 2016.
Lecture on Leon Underwood and The Brook Green School of Art, at the Pallant House Gallery, on the 4th June 2015.
Paper on Leon Underwood: ‘Adventures in Yucatan and Mexico’, presented at the 16th annual conference of the multidisciplinary society, The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945, on the 19th June 2014, at Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London.