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Ms Rosamund Lily West

Research project: London County Council housing and public art, 1943-1965


In the 1943 County of London Plan, both its authors and the London County Council (LCC) set out the re-planning of London. It aimed to solve the defects of modern London through planning, paying close attention to existing neighbourhoods and communities. The LCC used artworks - and the decision process when considering works of art - as a communication tool for the post-war re-planning of London and its communities, as part of a wider communication strategy that included publications, exhibitions and films.

My research positions these artworks in the context of wartime and post-war planning for London, concentrating on the LCC's housing of communities, and how these communities reacted to their new environments. I am looking at the artworks in their physical and intellectual context, to reveal the LCC's wider intent for the post-war housing of Londoners. 


As a museum professional, I have worked in a variety of museums since 2007, mainly in collections based roles, and currently work as Research Curator at the Royal Society of Sculptors on the project 'Pioneering Women at the Heart of the Royal Society of Sculptors'.  I also continue to engage with community heritage and oral history. I am interested in public and community engagement with heritage and the built environment and have researched, written and led architectural tours for the V&A, London Festival of Architecture and the Architecture Foundation. 

I welcome further opportunities to utilise my research for public and community engagement. 

Areas of research interest

  • London County Council
  • Post-war planning and reconstruction
  • Post-war housing
  • History of London
  • Community history
  • Display and exhibition of art in post-war Britain


  • MA History of Art, University of York (2010)
  • BA (Hons) History of Art, University of York (2007)

Funding or awards received

  • KSA Faculty Funded PhD (2015–completion)
  • KSA Faculty Research, Event and Conference Fund (2016, 2017)

Conference papers

'The London County Council's post-war housing schemes containing sculptural depictions of citizens, 1943-65', Social History Society conference, UCL, April 2017

'Replanning communities through architecture and art: the post-war London County Council', Architecture, Citizenship, Space conference, Oxford Brookes, June 2017

'Reconstruction and memorial: London County Council housing estates and artwork', Bombsite/Building site: Post Destruction Urban Cultures symposium, London South Bank University, May 2018

'"I am convinced I shall achieve something valuable if I can brighten the lives of the people here", bombsites, housing and art on the South Lambeth estate', The City (Re)shaped conference, University of Leeds, September 2018

'"The plan might look well on paper but it would not be London", the County of London Plan's impact on the housing of communities', County of London Plan symposium, London Metropolitan Archives, October 2018

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