David Bomberg’s Lost Legacy: A Master Painter and His Students

Discover the power of one of the most passionate, pugnacious and underappreciated painters in twentieth-century Britain. Neglected for much of his lifetime, David Bomberg (1890-1957) has only recently been rightfully celebrated with exhibitions at galleries across the country. This hour-long talk explores what it in his painting that touches a nerve today as much as it did for the talented group of artists who studied with him. From Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff to Dennis Creffield, Bomberg’s passion and craft revived the British tradition of expressive naturalism and created a visual language that remains very much alive today.


Tate’s entries for David Bomberg and a selection of students, including: Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, Dorothy Mead, Cliff Holden, Dennis Creffield, and Gustav Metzger

ArtUK’s list of works and galleries for David Bomberg and a selection of students, including: Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, Dorothy Mead, Cliff Holden, Dennis Creffield, Cliff Holden, Dinora Mendelson, Miles Richmond, and Leslie Marr

The Sarah Rose Collection: online gallery (Borough Road Gallery, London South Bank University), plus other archival and unpublished resources

Frank Auerbach: Marlborough Gallery

Leon Kossoff: Mitchell-Innes & Nash,  Annely Juda Fine Art, and Piano Nobile

David Bomberg, Leon Kossoff and Leslie Marr at Piano Nobile

David Bomberg, Dorothy Mead, Cliff Holden, Dennis Creffield at Waterhouse and Dodd

Roy Oxlade: Alison Jacques Gallery

Miles Richmond’s Personal Website and Gallery of Works

Cliff Holden’s Personal Website (including online Memoir)


Short articles by Kate:

  • Kate Aspinall, ‘Leader among Equals: The School of Bomberg and Art School Reform’, published online with Borough Road Gallery (April 2016)
  • Kate Aspinall, ‘Mark of the Times: Charcoal and the Borough Group’, published online with Borough Road Gallery (January 2016)
  • Kate Aspinall, ‘Style Cults & the School of Thick Paint’, contribution to ‘Art by the Many’, Conversation Piece coordinated by Thomas Crow and published online in British Art Studies, 7 (30 Nov 2017)

Richard Cork. David Bomberg. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987.

Frank Auerbach and David Bomberg, writings in X: A Quarterly Review, ed. David Wright and Patrick Swift, 1:1 (Nov 1959): 31-34 and 183-190.

David Bomberg: Spirit in the Mass, exh. cat. Kendal: Abbot Hall Art Gallery, 2006.

Trewhela, Paul. ‘The Borough Group in its Time and Now’ in Borough: David Bomberg and his Students at Borough Polytechnic, exh. cat. London: Waterhouse & Dodd, 2015.

Roy Oxlade. ‘Bomberg and the Borough: An Approach to Drawing’. MA diss. Royal College of Art, London, 1976 and ‘Bomberg’s Papers: The Spirit in the Mass’. PhD diss., Royal College of Art, 1980.

Cliff Holden. ‘David Bomberg: an artist as teacher’, Studio International 173:887 (March 1967): 136-142 7.

Daniel Katz Gallery. In Celebration of David Bomberg, 1890-1957, exh cat. London: Daniel Katz Gallery, 2007.

David Thistlewood. A Continuing Process: The New Creativity in British Art Education 1955-65, exh. cat. London: Institute of Contemporary Arts, 17 March – 19 April 1981.

Nigel Llewellyn. ed. The London Art Schools: Reforming the Art World, 1960 to Now. London: Tate Publishing, 2015.

Stuart Macdonald. A Century of Art and Design Education: From Arts and Crafts to Conceptual Art. Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2005.

Robert Hughes. Frank Auerbach. London: Thames & Hudson, 1990.

Catherine Lampert. Frank Auerbach: Speaking and Painting. London: Thames and Hudson, 2015.

Colin Wiggins. Leon Kossoff: Drawing from Painting. London: National Gallery Company, 2007.

Paul Moorhouse. Leon Kossoff. London: Tate Gallery Pub., 1996.

Arts Council. 6 Young Painters: Peter Blake, William Crozier, David Hockney, Dorothy Mead, Bridget Riley, Euan Uglow, exh. cat. London: Arts Council of Great Britain , 1964.

Richard Cork. ‘Creffield’s Cathedrals’ in French Cathedrals: Drawings by Dennis Creffield, exh. cat. London: Albermale Gallery, 1991

Dennis Creffield. ‘The Project’ in English Cathedrals, exh. cat. London: Southbank Centre, 1987.

Andrea Gates. Miles Richmond (1922-2008), exh cat. London: David Messum Fine Art, 2014.

Drian Galleries. Cliff Holden, exh cat. London: Drian Galleries, 1962.