Post-War Public Art

Public art pieces commissioned in the years following the Second World War were designed to bring our public spaces back to life as England began to repair its shattered towns and cities. Sadly, this artistic heritage is in danger of being lost.

Historic England discovered that some fine works of public art have been destroyed, sold, lost or stolen and took action to increase the recognition and protection of this irreplaceable national collection of public art:

  • 41 post-war sculptures across England added to the National Heritage List for England
  • Historic England revealed a national collection of public sculptures, friezes and murals that have been destroyed, sold, lost or stolen
  • A public call-out asked for help to uncover missing pieces. The call-out resulted in the location of a Peter Laszlo Peri sculpture ‘The Sunbathers’ being discovered and its crowd-funded restoration and display at London Waterloo Station
  • Out There: Our Post War Public Art exhibitions at Somerset House London (3 Feb – 10 Apr 2016) and Newcastle Quayside explored loved, lost, damaged and destroyed public art created by pioneering artists between 1945 and 1985