NPG 3187 (1a)

 

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Letter from George Bernard Shaw to H.M. Hake, the director of the National Portrait Gallery, dated 15 July 1944, offering the portrait of T.E. Lawrence to the Gallery. Reproduced by kind permission of The Society of Authors, on behalf of the estate of G. Bernard Shaw.
  Letter

15th July 1944

Dear Sir,

My late wife left me in possession of several MSS and other literary material concerning Lawrence of Arabia, who was an intimate friend of ours. These I have given to the British Museum. Among them were some portraits of Lawrence in pencil by Augustus John, and one in crayon by another hand initialled something like J.V, though I should have guessed Orpen or perhaps Kennington. If they are eligible for the Gallery they are at your disposal.

I have a crayon drawing by Sargent of Harley Granville-Barker which I should like to place in a public collection; but though Sargent is dead G-B is still alive in his sixties. What is your rule on this point? It is dangerous to establish a public memorial of a living person who may still be hanged; but do you ever keep portraits in store, in case - !?

And do you admit photographs?

Faithfully,
G. Bernard Shaw

The Director
National Portrait Gallery
St Martin's Place
Charing Cross
London, W.C.2.