Linda Kitson

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Linda Kitson (born 17 Feb 1945)[1][2] is a British artist. She is best known for her work as an official war artist during the Falklands Conflict.

Early life[edit]

Kitson studied at St Martins School of Art and the Royal College of Art, where she specialised in illustration. She then taught at Camberwell College of Arts, Chelsea College of Art and Design the City and Guilds Art School and the Royal College of Art.[1]

Falklands conflict[edit]

Kitson was commissioned by the Artistic Records Committee of the Imperial War Museum as the official war artist for the Falklands Task Force. She is the first female artist to have been officially commissioned to accompany troops in battle.[3][4]

In May 1982, Kitson sailed to the Falklands with 3,000 men on the Queen Elizabeth 2 and later the SS Canberra, arriving on 3 June 1982. She followed British forces across the island to Stanley, usually three or four days behind the action. Over a period of three months, under conditions of sleet, hail, snow, mud and sub-zero temperatures, and working at speed, she made over 400 drawings in conté crayon. She drew continuously, recording training and preparation; the transfer at South Georgia to SS Canberra, the landings at San Carlos Bay, the deployment of the forces to Goose Green, Fitzroy, Darwin, and Port Stanley. Following the ceasefire in June, she drew the aftermath of the fighting.[5] She captured the daily life of the troops and the conditions under which they had to operate, showing all aspects of the conflict except the fighting.[6][7][8]

After the re-taking of the Falklands, Kitson returned to Britain with the Welsh Guards and Royal Engineers.

Many of Kitson's drawings are now part of the Imperial War Museum’s art collection, and were exhibited to the general public in November 1982. They were featured again in the Museum's exhibition Women War Artists, in 2011-2012.[4]

Further reading[edit]

  • Linda Kitson, The Falklands War: A Visual Diary (1982)


  1. ^ a b "Women at war: The female British artists who were written out of history". The Independent. 8 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Birthdays", The Guardian, p. 35, 17 Feb 2014
  3. ^ Kitson, Linda; Beazley, Mitchell (1982). The Falklands War: A Visual Diary.
  4. ^ a b Imperial War Museum. "Press desk: Women War Artists". Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  5. ^ "War Art and Artists: Official War Artists: British: Linda Kitson: The Falklands, 1982". University of the West of England - Vortex.
  6. ^ "Linda Kitson, Official War Artist". Imperial War Museum.
  7. ^ "Women War Artists - Artist profile: Linda Kitson". Imperial War Museum. Archived from the original on 18 June 2011.
  8. ^ Imperial War Museum. "Falklands War 1982, Linda Kitson's artistic record". Retrieved 4 April 2013.

External links[edit]