Study for BAC Underground Factory, Corsham

© the artist's estate. Image credit: Royal Air Force Museum

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As a versatile painter, illustrator and designer, Olga Lehmann was one of few wartime artists who received steady commissions outside of the Official War Artists’ scheme. At the Slade School of Fine Art she had excelled in mural painting, and in 1943 was invited to paint murals for the Bristol Aeroplane Company’s underground factory at Corsham, where aircraft engines were made. She created colourful, imaginative leisure scenes to ‘provide a measure of cheer for the workers’ on the factory’s walls. In this drawing Lehmann celebrated the ‘underground city’ itself, depicting its winding passages and electric vehicles. It is one of a number of drawings she made on the theme, besides an oil painting, in the RAF Museum collection. Lehmann described her experience of the BAC underground factory: 'We walked around part of the factory and could see, down at the sides, rows of workers and the enormous machines at which they worked.

Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon



Study for BAC Underground Factory, Corsham




graphite on paper

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Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon

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