Sir Oswald Birley

John Reith, 1st Baron Reith of Stonehaven, 1889 - 1971. Director-General of the British Broadcasting Corporation

About this artwork

In 1922 Reith became the first general manager of the British Broadcasting Corporation and from 1927 he was its Director-General. He had real vision about the role of the BBC in the life of the nation and was largely responsible for establishing the public service ethos of broadcasting and his standards (often imposed dictatorially) are still just evident. This painting is a copy of one commissioned by the BBC. Reith selected the artist who has successfully conveyed his sitter's determined nature. A large scar, received during the First World War, is just visible on his left cheek.

  • title:
    John Reith, 1st Baron Reith of Stonehaven, 1889 - 1971. Director-General of the British Broadcasting Corporation
  • accession number:
    PG 2475
  • artist:
  • depicted:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    1933
  • measurements:
    127.50 x 102.30 cm (framed: 147.10 x 121.90 x 8.30 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1981
  • copyright:
    © Estate of Mark Birley
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Sir Oswald Birley

Sir Oswald Birley