Modernism on Sea

Art and Culture at the British Seaside

by Lara Feigel (Volume editor) Alexandra Harris (Volume editor)
©2009 Edited Collection XIV, 272 Pages
Series: Peter Lang Ltd., Volume 2


Modernism on Sea brings together writing by some of today’s most exciting seaside critics, curators, filmmakers and scholars, and takes the reader on a journey around the coast of Britain to explore the rich artistic and cultural heritage that can be found there, from St Ives to Scarborough. The authors consider avant-garde art, architecture, film, literature and music, from the early twentieth century to the present, setting the arrival of modernism against the background of seaside tradition.
From the cheeky postcards marvelled at by George Orwell to austere modernist buildings such as the De La Warr Pavilion; from the Camden Town Group’s sojourn in Brighton to John Piper’s ‘Nautical Style’; from Paul Nash’s surrealist benches on the promenade in Swanage to the influence of bunting and deckchairs on the Festival of Britain – Modernism on Sea is a sweeping tour de force which pays tribute to the role of the seaside in shaping British modernism.
The essays in this book were inspired by the ‘Modernism on Sea’ conference that was held at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea in July 2007.


XIV, 272
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2012 (March)
film literature music architecture
Oxford, 2009. XIV, 272 pp., 10 coloured and 32 b/w ill.

Biographical notes

Lara Feigel (Volume editor) Alexandra Harris (Volume editor)

The Editors: Lara Feigel is a Lecturer in Modern Literary Studies at King’s College London. She is currently working on a monograph emerging from her doctoral thesis at the University of Sussex on the influence of cinema on politically committed British literature, 1930-45. She is a co-editor (with John Sutherland and Natasha Spender) of the journals of Stephen Spender (forthcoming) and the editor of A Nosegay: A Literary Journey from the Fragrant to the Fetid (2006). Alexandra Harris is a Lecturer in English at the University of Liverpool. She studied history of art at the Courtauld Institute in London and holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford. Her recent book Romantic Moderns (2010) won the Guardian First Book Award.


Title: Modernism on Sea