1 of 3 portraits of Agnes Allen
by Elliott & Fry
half-plate glass negative, 1940s
Artistback to top
- Elliott & Fry (active 1863-1962), Photographers. Artist associated with 10995 portraits.
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1940back to top
Current affairsFollowing the German invasion of the Netherlands, Belgium and France, Neville Chamberlain resigns and Churchill is appointed Prime Minister making the famous speech: 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.'
The Battle of Britain ends the Phoney War with Germany's attack on the nation from the air. Britain's cities, airbases and ports are bombed during the Blitz.
Art and scienceWith little access to sculpture materials, and a bombed out studio Henry Moore starts experimenting with drawings of war subjects. After taking shelter in a London Underground station during an air raid Moore was inspired to begin a series of Shelter Drawings. With a commission from the War Artists Advisory Committee, headed by Kenneth Clark, these became some of the most popular example of official war art.
InternationalBritain's attempt to defend France against German invasion by landing troops on the French coast ends in failure; France surrenders and Britain is left to face the Axis Powers alone. While the Dunkirk Landings were a failure, the heroic rescue of troops by a fleet of English civilian boats was a victory for morale, and the 'Dunkirk Spirit' came to stand as an emblem of British triumph in adversity.
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to recieve information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.
- Mad, Bad and Dangerous: The Cult of Lord Byron
- Athletes and Olympians
- Walter Benington: Pictorial portraits
- Lives and Letters
- Sir Edward Burne-Jones
- Before Windrush: Images of Black and Asian Figures
- Photographic holdings - print and negative collections
- Learn more
- Photographic holdings - Albums 163-228
- Margot Asquith: A Modern Woman
- Thomas Hardy
- Reaching for the stars: Astronomers in focus
- Rebel women
- Women Poets and Photography, 1860–1970
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints