Completed British 20th C, except portraits, North West England: Artists and Subjects 5 Information sought regarding Lamb’s ‘Late News’ (or ‘Night Life’?)

Topic: Execution date

Earlier this year a member of the public wrote to us with regard to the questionable provenance of the following piece.

"I believe this may be the picture exhibited by Lamb as part of the Arts Council’s Festival of Britain ‘pictures for '51’ exhibition – the composition matches the (black and white) reproduction in the catalogue, and the dimensions are correct, although the date in that case would be 1951 rather than 1953. The title given there is 'Night Life'. Five pictures (not this one) were bought by the Arts Council, and the remainder were sent on a selling tour of the country after the Festival closed."

Perhaps the piece has a dual title or belongs to a similar group of paintings? Are you able to reference this catalogue or do you know anything about this painting's provenance?

With any change we would need to see some firm evidence for us to change our records.

Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

Alice Read,

This discussion has concluded that the title is not 'Night Life'. The title will remain as 'Late News'.

Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.


Tim Williams,

This painting is titled 'Late News' and was exhibited as #208 in the Royal Academy in 1953. (see Royal Academy Exhibitiors 1905-1970, p.212) It was also reviewed as being in Gallery III of the RA exhibition in 'The Studio' 1953 vol. 146 p.41.

I've no idea what 'Night life' looks like, but this is certainly 'Late News'.

I have checked my copy of Royal Academy Illustrated for 1953 and this painting, 'Late News', is illustrated on page 47 of that publication. As the previous poster indicated, it is clearly #208 in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1953 although in RA Illustrated the size of the painting is given as 55 x 75 inches (rather than 55 x 79 inches) which may be a typographical error.

Amanda Draper,

As Tim and Grant's research backs up the existing provenance held by Rochdale, and no evidence has emerged to indicate the painting ever had an alternate name, it is recommended that the title is kept as 'Late News'. If Rochdale A&HS; agrees, we can consider this discussion closed.

Many thanks to Tim and Grant for their input.