'Joseph’s Dream' by Evelyn Dunbar (1906-60), a picture that drew strong bidding at Cheffins in May 2017 and was knocked down at £60,000. During the Second World War, Dunbar was the only woman who worked on the War Artists’ Advisory Committee on a full-time salaried basis.

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The Arts Society lectures features the many women who were officially commissioned during the war including artists Evelyn Dunbar, Laura Knight and Doris and Anna Zinkeisen.

Evans said: “The war did a favour to many women artists. It stretched them to do work that they may not have had access to or been commissioned for otherwise. These are works that are not your typical pretty watercolours.”

More loans plea

She is also hoping institutions will loan out more works to provincial museums and galleries. She added: “They have a role to play – they must have more exhibitions of the less-than blue chip names to show the female war artists.

“Museums have a large amount of art in storage which could be loaned around the country to promote these artists to new audiences.”