Dorothy Morland: Making ICA History

Anne Massey

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This is the first, full-length biography of Dorothy Morland (1906-1999) who remains the only female Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. The book traces her busy private and public life throughout the 1930s up until the 1990s. It is based on unpublished letters and other archival sources, as well as interviews and personal recollections. It tells the story of one of the unacknowledged contributors to the success of the ICA and to the understanding of the international avant garde in post-war Britain. As an arts administrator and a woman, Dorothy Morland’s contribution has been largely overlooked and this book aims to highlight her significant contribution to the public understanding of modernism. She was part of a network which included the Surrealist Roland Penrose, art critic Herbert Read, architect Jane Drew and wealthy philanthropists, Peter Gregory and Peter Watson. She was also the protector and advocate for the Independent Group. Dorothy Morland always mixed business with pleasure and danced with Picasso in Antibes whilst there on ICA business and tirelessly organised the chaotic organisation that was the ICA in Dover Street from 1950 until 1968. After leaving the ICA she worked hard on assembly the organisation’s archives and securing their safekeeping at Tate.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherLiverpool University Press
Number of pages216
ISBN (Print)9781789621273, 9781789621280
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameValue: Art: Politics
PublisherLiverpool University Press


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