Art on campus

Explore the stories behind the intriguing and diverse paintings, portraits and sculptures that make up the collection of art on LSE’s campus.

Hammering out a new world – the Fabian Window at LSE

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 […]

  • London School of Economics Coat of Arms. The beaver was adopted as the official mascot of the school in 1922, the same year the motto 'rerum cognoscere causas' was chosen – a line taken from Virgil’s Georgics meaning ‘to know the causes of things’.
    Permalink London School of Economics Coat of Arms. The beaver was adopted as the official mascot of the school in 1922, the same year the motto 'rerum cognoscere causas' was chosen – a line taken from Virgil’s Georgics meaning ‘to know the causes of things’. Credit: LSEGallery

    “Cheerful nonsense with brains behind it” – devising the LSE coat of arms

“Cheerful nonsense with brains behind it” – devising the LSE coat of arms

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 […]

Sporting prowess – The Ernest Cornwall Cup

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 […]

  • Permalink Square the Block by Richard WilsonGallery

    All is not as it seems – Square the Block by Richard Wilson

All is not as it seems – Square the Block by Richard Wilson

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 […]

Women in art – the Shaw Library

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
The […]

  • View of a Train of Carriages Drawn by a Locomotive Steam Engine on a Railway by Charles Vignoles
    Permalink View of a Train of Carriages Drawn by a Locomotive Steam Engine on a Railway by Charles VignolesGallery

    Novelty – View of a Train of Carriages Drawn by a Locomotive Steam Engine on a Railway

Novelty – View of a Train of Carriages Drawn by a Locomotive Steam Engine on a Railway

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 and the St Clement’s building panel

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 […]

January 9th, 2017|Art on campus, Places|1 Comment|

The LSE Penguin by Yolanda Vandergaast

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 […]

December 6th, 2016|Art on campus, Places|0 Comments|

Sir Arthur Bowley by Stella Bowen (1893-1947)

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 […]

The Webb portrait

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 […]