Public Collection

On Loan

Finney, Hubert Arthur

(1905 – 1991)

View of wing from the inside of an aircraft, circa 1945

SKU: 10005

Signed. pencil and watercolour on paper.

Height: 21.3cm
Width: 41.5cm


The Artist’s Studio

Exhibited: The Lightbox, Woking, Out of the Shadows, 2021, cat 66

Between March 1977 and November 1978, Finney produced a 63-page memoir in which he examined his life from early childhood to his experiences serving with the Civil Defense during the Second World War. The extract below is taken from this manuscript: 

‘During the early part of the Battle of Britain, I would go down to an Anderson shelter in the garden of the house, in which I rented a room and the tenant above me a woman with two young children also shared the shelter through the long night while the German planes did what they liked in the sky above because except for barrage balloons and our little aircraft fire we had no defences in the beginning of the second year of the war. On the night of the great fire of London when I would see the red glow increasing over central London, It was my day off from duty, and when I was in my room at Hammersmith I could hear the German planes approaching at about 6:30 pm and I watched the fire gradually increasing around the city cen-tre and this went on until almost midnight.To pass the time away, being on my own I put a records on, the record of Casals playing Bach’s ‚ÄúCome Sweet Death‚Äù was my favourite one.’ 

Finney exhibited with the Civil Defence Group of artists throughout the war, and his soft, aerial views added a distinctive element to these shows. He returned to the subject of aircraft as a source of inspiration for his compositions throughout his career

Oil on canvas, (private collection)

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Finney, Hubert Arthur

1905 – 1991

Hubert Arthur Finney was a painter, draughtsman and teacher who trained initially at Bromley School of Art, where he attended evening classes from 1915, and then at Beckenham School of Art to where he won a trade scholarship in 1918. He studied painting with Amy Katherine Browning and etching with Eric Gill. Around 1927 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where he studied under William Rothenstein. Horton, Houthuesen, Ososki and Freedman were amongst his friends at the college. In 1929 after graduation he took up a travelling scholarship to Rome returning to teach part-time at Chelsea School of Art under Percy Jowett and later Harold Sandys Williamson. From 1927-1934 he exhibited at the NEAC. In 1935 his painting Mother and Child was acquired by Carlisle Art Gallery. During WW2 Finney worked for the light rescue service of the Civil Defense. After the war he taught part time under Anthony Betts at Reading University and was in charge of life drawing there when he retired in 1970. Although he was reclusive and reluctant to show his work he did exhibit at the RA Summer exhibition (in 1950 and 1954) and the Portrait Society and at The Paris Salon. A large solo exhibition took place at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Education in 1964.

We are grateful to Nicholas Finney and David Buckman for assistance.


Hubert Arthur Finney
Still life with onion and peppers, circa 1966
Hubert Arthur Finney
Light drawing away darkness. 1950’s
Hubert Arthur Finney
The Yacht Race on Lake Michigan, 1966
Hubert Arthur Finney
Life boats and deck at night, set of 8 lithographs, 1930’s
Hubert Arthur Finney
Houses and Woods
Hubert Arthur Finney
A British Red Cross Society Volunteer 1941
Hubert Arthur Finney
Self-portrait by Studio Window, circa 1948
Hubert Arthur Finney
Firework Display on Hampstead Heath, 1934
Hubert Arthur Finney
Portrait of a Woman, circa 1920
Hubert Arthur Finney
Langford; view through a window – (second year composition)
Hubert Arthur Finney
Madonna with Attendant Angel, circa 1950
Hubert Arthur Finney
Self Portrait, c.1960