William Maxwell Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook(1879-1964), Statesman and newspaper proprietor
Sitter in 21 portraits
Born in Canada, Aitken formed the Canada Cement Company in 1909. In Britain he became a Conservative MP in 1910. He helped Lloyd George supersede Asquith in 1916, and became Minister of Information in 1918. He purchased the Daily Express in 1916, launched the Sunday Express in 1918, and acquired the Evening Standard in 1923. Aitken supported Edward VIII over the abdication and Neville Chamberlain over Munich. As a member of Churchill's Cabinet he was Minister of Aircraft Production in 1940, of Supply in 1941, and Lord Privy Seal (1943-5). In 1961 he and his newspapers opposed British entry into the Common Market.
by Walter Sickert, based on a photograph by Unknown photographer
by Howard Coster
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.