Graphical version

Tate Britain

VAUGHAN, Keith (1912-1977)


Reference code(s): GB-70-tga-200817

Held at: Tate Britain

Title: VAUGHAN, Keith (1912-1977)

Date(s): 1908-1977

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 23 boxes

Name of creator(s): Vaughan | (John) Keith | 1912-1977 | painter and book illustrator


Administrative/Biographical history:

Keith Vaughan 1912-1977, born on the 23rd August 1912 at Selsey Bill, Sussex, was an English painter and writer. After attending Christ's Hospital school, he worked at Lintas advertising agency until he abandoned his career in advertising in 1939 to pursue painting. When the Second World War broke out Vaughan joined the St John's Ambulance as a conscientious objector. In 1941, Vaughan was attached to the Pioneer Corps and was periodically moved from camp to camp around southern England, generally working on the land until he was transferred north in 1943 to Yorkshire. His drawings of army life attracted attention and he entered the circle of Peter Watson in London. During the war Vaughan formed friendships with the painters Graham Sutherland and John Minton, with whom, after demobilization in 1946, he shared a studio. Through these contacts he formed part of the Neo-Romantic circle of the immediate post-war period. During the 1950s, Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse were major influences, but most important was that of Nicolas De Stael, who enabled him to reconcile figurative and abstract elements. After 1945 Vaughan travelled in the Mediterranean, North Africa, Mexico and the USA, where he was resident artist at Iowa State University in 1959. He taught in London at Camberwell School of Art (1946-1948) and the Central School of Arts and Crafts (1948-1957) and was a visiting teacher at the Slade School of Fine Art (1959-1977). Vaughan is also known for his journals which he began writing in August 1939, selections from which were published in 1966 and more extensively in 1989 (Keith Vaughan Journals 1939-1977, Alan Ross, London, John Murry, 1989). Vaughan had considerable success, including the award of a CBE in 1965. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1975 and committed suicide on the 4th November 1977.


Scope and content/abstract:

Collection consists of journals, exhibition catalogues, photographs, press cuttings, writing on art and some correspondence by or collected by Keith Vaughan, 1908-1977.


Language/scripts of material:


System of arrangement:

Arranged into the following series:

1. Journals

2. Exhibition Catalogues

3. Photographs

4. Correspondence

5. Painting lists

6. Research Material and Notes

7. Material about Keith Vaughan

8. Press Cuttings

9. Keith Vaughan's personal documents

Conditions governing access:

Open. Access to all registered researchers

Conditions governing reproduction:

Usual copyright restrictions apply

Finding aids:

A paper list is avaliable

Detailed catalogue


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The majority of the papers were given to the Tate Gallery by the executors of Vaughan's estate. Other items were given by Gerard Hastings and Mark Cecil.


Related material:

Some original Vaughan work and photographs are held at Aberystwyth University.


Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Suzanne Keyte for AIM25 from the Tate Archive catalogue

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with the General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD (G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2011


Personal names

Corporate names