Portraitist Joy Finzi met composer, and her future husband, Gerald Finzi in 1933. Their house became a meeting place for young musicians, artists and writers. Many of these visitors sat for portraits by Joy, when engaged in conversation or listening to music.
Joy Finzi undertook some training in sculpture and pottery at the Central School of Art and Design; however her drawing and painting skills were self-taught. Seven of her portrait drawings form this Collection. They are three studies of the poet, writer and teacher Edmund Blunden (1896-1974), and one each of writer Helen Thomas (1877-1966), writer and poet Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978), poet Valentine Ackland (1906-1969), and artist, writer and poet David Jones (1895-1974). The drawings were presented to the University by the artist in 1974, with the literature collection of her husband.