Our Collection

Plumbers (Ship Building on the Clyde Series) c1944

Drawing, Pencil and coloured chalk on paper, 658mm x 507mm
Plumbers working in a shipyard on the Clyde

During the Second World War, Spencer’s commission as an Official War Artist took him to Port Glasgow where he studied the men at work in Lithgow’s Shipyard. The resulting ‘Shipbuilding on the Clyde’ series celebrates their role in the war effort and forms one of the most memorable artistic records of the war. The vessels under construction were ‘Y’ Class Standard Ships for the merchant navy, which were built along increasingly prefabricated lines to replace losses incurred by the action of enemy submarines in the Atlantic. This is a study for a detail in the picture of the same title, 1944-5, where it appears to the left of the central section.