Listen to artists speak about their lives and work, their friendships, networks and rivalries, in a selection of 98 audio extracts. The clips are from Artists’ Lives, an oral history project making life story recordings with artists, curators, art writers and others who work in the field of visual art.

The sound clips are set in context within Voices of art, a series of essays by writers immersed in the art world of the 20th and 21st centuries.


Section from Richard Morphet's Diary, 19 November 1962.

Art and advertising in the 1960s

Simon Martin writes about the connections between art and advertising in art made in the 1960s.

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John Rothenstein, Director of the Tate Gallery 1938-1964, surveying war damage to the Tate Gallery. Tate Archive Photographic Collection.

Norman Reid as Director of the Tate Gallery

Nicholas Serota assesses an important period in the Tate Gallery’s history, when Norman Reid was Director (1964-1980).

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<i>Riverfall</i> by Richard Smith (1969) and <i>Hyena Stomp</i> by Frank Stella (1962) in the exhibition <i>Artists' Lives: Speaking of the Kasmin Gallery</i>, Tate Britain, December 2016 - April 2018. Photograph Joe Humphrys. Courtesy Tate.

Presence and metaphor in the work of Richard Smith

Rachel Rose Smith examines the subject matter of Richard Smith’s paintings.

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Gillian Ayres, photographed by Roger Mayne.

Gallery One: Victor Musgrave's 'stable' of artists

Sarah Victoria Turner highlights the distinctive characteristics of Victor Musgrave’s Gallery One (1953-1963).

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Lynn Chadwick at home in Lypiatt Park, Gloucestershire, where his Artists' Lives recording took place.

Opening up to international influences: British art in the 20th century

Michael Bird looks at how 20th-century British artists were affected by contact with their counterparts abroad.

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Changing ideas about art curation and gallery design.

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Sir Eduardo Paolozzi with his sculpture of Newton at the British Library, photographed by Chris Lee.


Hear from a gallery owner and from artists how new materials used in the 1960s made it difficult for sculptors to find exhibiting spaces.

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Drawing from life. Royal Academy, Somerset house. Image taken from <i>The Microcosm of London</i>. Originally published/produced in R. Ackermann: London, 1808 - 1811.


How do you learn to draw? Discover a multitude of varied responses to the life drawing room at art school.

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Richard Smith. Courtesy Collection Smith family.

Pop Art

The impact of advertising and pop culture on British artists in the 1960s.

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