Leeds University Library

Sir Herbert Read’s Artistic Alliances

Published 28 August 2014

Detail from Victor Pasmore, Green Abstract, c.1946-8, With permission © Victor Pasmore Estate.

A new look at a small fragment of Sir Herbert Read's archives held here at the University of Leeds. In this new display, we focus on correspondence between artistic friends and connections.

1 September - 20 October 2014

The Brotherton Library's Special Collections at the University of Leeds holds the 14,000-volume library of the poet, art historian, critic and anarchist Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968).

The collection contains many published titles by Read himself, with volumes of his poetry including Naked Warriors, as well as first and later editions of his critical works such as A Concise History of Modern Painting. The Library also holds Read's archive, including artworks, photographs, extensive correspondence with artists, and the original manuscript of his only novel, The Green Child.

With his strong associations and friendships with contemporary British and European artists, Read exchanged a great deal of correspondence with some of the major cultural figures of the mid-twentieth century. It was a time of great experimentation in British and European art, when many artists, writers and poets shared creative and political views. 

This exhibition features a selection of letters and greetings cards Read sent and received in the years after the Second World War, from Special Collections as well as from private collections. These highlight the close relationships Read forged with many famous artists, including Henry Moore, Dame Barbara Hepworth and Quentin Bell, and the affection his contemporaries had for him.


Associated events

Detail from Victor Pasmore, Green Abstract, c.1946-8, With permission © Victor Pasmore Estate.
IN FOCUS: The Herbert Read Collection
Saturday 18 October 2014 14:00 - 15:00
The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery