Explore the stories behind the intriguing and diverse art on LSE’s campus.
A portrait of the economic historian, R H Tawney, hangs on the 5th floor of Sardinia House. His association with the School lasted nearly 50 years from his arrival in 1913 to his death in 1962, writes LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly.
1950 marked the 70th birthday of Richard Henry Tawney (1880-1962), economic historian and social critic, whose connection with LSE […]
In the Main and Lower Atrium of the New Academic Building you can look up at Elenchus/Aporia created from red, steel and glass spheres linked by steel. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly investigates the meaning behind the art work.
Elenchus: 1. A logical refutation 1.1 The Socratic method of eliciting truth by question and answer, especially as used to refute an […]
LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly introduces Equus, a five foot bronze representation of a horse standing outside LSE Library on the John Watkins Plaza.
Created in 2003 Equus is one of eleven statues donated to the School by Canadian alumnus, Louise Odette, in 2004. Equus was designed by sculptor, Edwina Sandys (b1938) and was cast in bronze by MST Bronze […]
As you walk towards the Library turnstiles in the Lionel Robbins Building the bronze head of Lionel Robbins surveys the scene. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, writes about the portrait bust of Professor Lionel Robbins.
Lionel Robbins (1898-1984) first arrived at LSE in 1920 to study for the BSc (Econ). Initially he focused on the history of political ideas but also […]
At the foot of the stairwell in St Clement’s Building is an architect’s impression of the building painted by R C Cooper-White. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, writes about the background to the painting.
From 1898 one of LSE’s biggest neighbours was the St Clement’s Press located on the corner of Clare Market and Portugal Street. In 1955 the School acquired […]
At the south west corner of the Library, overlooking Portugal Street, a stream of blue lights up the building wall. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, writes about LSE’s first digital art work – Blue Rain.
Blue Rain by San Francisco installation artist, Michael Brown, turns the Library inside out by displaying in its flashing blue lights some of its daily business […]
The Graham Wallas Room on the fifth floor of the Old Building is named in honour of perhaps the least known of the quartet of LSE Founders – the political psychologist, Graham Wallas (1858-1932). LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, writes about the man and his portrait recently installed in the Graham Wallas Room.
In August 1894 Graham Wallas was a house […]
A small baby elephant stalks the John Watkins Plaza outside the Library. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly explains how he made his home at LSE.
Baby Tembo – Tembo being the Swahili word for elephant – was created by the Canadian sculptor Derrick Stephan Hudson. Hudson was born in the UK but moved to Canada in childhood. His first degree was in […]
Dr B R Ambedkar, LSE alumnus and author of the Indian Constitution, is depicted in two portraits around LSE’s campus. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly writes about their arrival at LSE.
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar obtained his D Phil from the School in 1923 with his thesis The Problem of the Rupee, supervised by Edwin Cannan, Professor of Political Economy.
In 1947 he […]
William Beveridge was Director of LSE 1919-1937. In 1926 he also became Vice Chancellor of the University of London. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly finds out how LSE commissioned artist William Nicholson to paint a portrait of Beveridge to mark the occasion.
On 25 June 1926 LSE Director, William Beveridge was elected to the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of London. In […]
On the 20 April 2006 Tony Blair unveiled the Fabian Window, newly installed in the Shaw Library on a long term loan by the Webb Memorial Trust. In 2017 thanks to the generosity of the Webb Memorial Trust, the window became part of the School’s art collections. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, writes about the window’s creation and its chequered […]
LSE’s coat of arms, motto “rerum cognoscere causas” and Beaver mascot were adopted in 1922 under Director William Beveridge and School Secretary Jessie Mair. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly shares the story of how they came about and who designed them. She names the winner of the School’s motto competition – and provides some of the unsuccessful entries.
Entering the Old Building from Houghton […]
The Ernest Cornwall Cup is a reminder of sporting prowess at LSE in the 1930s-1960s, writes LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly.
Sport was a significant aspect of LSE life between the two world wars. William Beveridge, LSE Director from 1919-1937, was a keen badminton and tennis player and oversaw the purchase of the School’s sports ground at New Malden, with the […]
Head to the junction of Kingsway and Sardinia Street. Look up! LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly introduces Square the Block by Richard Wilson.
If you walk down Kingsway from Holborn Station to the Aldwych you may be slightly taken aback when you glance at the corner of the New Academic Building facing Sardinia Street and Kingsway. While the top of the building […]
LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly takes a trip to the Shaw Library to find out more about some of the women who created or feature in LSE art works. The Shaw Library (once known as the Founders’ Room) opened in 1928 and today its art works represent significant figures in the history of the School.
Beatrice and Sidney Webb (1928) by William Nicholson
Not all of LSE’s art works are on public display. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly explores the School’s connection with railway art and this 19th century lithograph of a railway scene.
View of a Train of Carriages Drawn by a Locomotive Steam Engine on a Railway was published in around 1830. The lithograph was printed by R Martin of 124 High Holborn, […]
Harry Warren Wilson designed the St Clement’s building panel which has overlooked Portugal Street since the 1960’s. Sue Donnelly, LSE Archivist, uncovers the controversy surrounding its creation.
In 1959 the School began work on the refurbishment of the St Clement’s Press building overlooking Clare Market, now known as the St Clement’s building. As part of the work the School commissioned the artist Harry […]
Over the past 11 years the Penguin has become a much loved LSE character, happy to pose in a stream of graduation photographs whatever the London weather. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly shares the story behind the Penguin.
The Penguin, made of aluminium and just over a metre tall, was made by the Canadian sculptor, Yolanda Vandergaast. Vandergaast was born in […]
Stella Bowen’s portrait of Sir Arthur Bowley hangs in the Department of Statistics. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly tells the story behind the picture.
1935 marked the retirement of Sir Arthur Bowley, one of the School’s original teachers. On 28 November 1935 the Emergency Committee agreed to commission a portrait to mark his retirement, funded by public subscription.
The committee appointed to oversee […]
Featuring two of LSE’s founders, the Webb portrait hangs above the fireplace in the Shaw Library. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly tells the story of Sidney and Beatrice Webb at Passfield Corner by William Nicholson.
“In the present year Mr and Mrs Sidney Webb keep a joint seventieth birthday and it is proposed to celebrate this event by securing the painting of […]