In 1934, Harrods hosted an exhibition called Modern Art for the Table featuring some of British art’s greatest names including Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Laura Knight and Duncan Grant. Yet the display was not of their paintings but tea services, vases and wine glasses.
Towner celebrates the exhibition’s anniversary with a display of original objects from the Harrods exhibition, an examination of Ravilious at Wedgwood and a survey of artists working in British industry during the 20th century.
Designing the Everyday highlights include a rug that Frederick Etchells produced for the Omega Workshop in 1913, an Edward Bawden Shell poster from the Britain’s Landmarks series, silk scarves by Graham Sutherland and Ivon Hitchens produced for Zika Ascher studios, as well as contemporary designs for the home by Angie Lewin, Mark Hearld and the company St. Jude’s.
Curator Nathaniel Hepburn explains: “The ceramic tableware that Eric Ravilious produced for Wedgwood are some of the most collectable design icons of the 20th century, and the extensive collection at Towner allows us to position this work in an art historic context alongside equally remarkable stories of artists collaborating with industrial designers.” At the exhibition, there will be an opportunity to relax in chairs upholstered in artist-designed fabrics, peruse books and spend time in Towner’s shop where many of the products will be available. Designing the Everyday: from Bloomsbury and Ravilious to the present day, 17 May-31 August 2014, Towner, Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne BN21 4JJ, www.townereastbourne.org.uk
Sanderson early in this, her fourth, career, she rejected calls to produce her work commercially, arguing that no printing machine could replicate the rich, uneven quality of hand-printed wallpaper. Besides, as she liked to say, all her wallpapers were bespoke, designed and printed for individual clients, often with a theme of their choosing. She preferred her wallpapers to be used as a backdrop to paintings and other artworks, and this approach is followed at the Towner exhibition, where a selection of her best work in oils and watercolour will be shown against wallpapers hand-printed for the exhibition.
Other treats in store include a display of floor tiles, designed by Peggy and commissioned for the show from her former business partner Diana Hall. Look out too for rare photographs of her tile murals, few of which survive today. Peggy Angus: Designer, Teacher, Painter, 12 July21 September, Towner, Eastbourne Peggy Angus: Designer, Teacher, Painter, James Russell, Antique Collectors’ Club, ISBN-10: 1851497684, £25, www.townereastbourne.org.uk
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