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Modernism on Sea

Art and Culture at the British Seaside


Edited By Lara Feigel and Alexandra Harris

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.


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Part IISand and Stucco


Part II SAND AND STUCCO Nicola Moorby Nicola Moorby works in the Curatorial Department at Tate Britain where she specialises in British art of the nineteenth and early twenti- eth centuries. She has published a number of essays on J.M.W. Turner and Walter Richard Sickert and is co-author of the Tate’s online catalogue of works by the Camden Town Group. She is currently involved in research for the Tate’s new online catalogue of the Turner Bequest. London to Brighton The Indian Summer of the Camden Town Group in the years leading up to the First World War, modern artistic activity in Britain was largely a London-based affair. Ever the professional, commercial and academic heart of the visual arts, the capital at the beginning of the twentieth century had also become inextricably associated with the very essence of progressive British art. Alongside a cultural framework of art schools, galleries and other institutions, an interconnected network of social cliques and circles evolved which gave rise to an artistic vanguard actively promoting work of a modern character. The metropolitan make-up of these groups was often central to their exist- ence. Cross-fertilisation amidst the London intelligentsia flourished within sociable environments and was as much reliant on personal connections as commonality of purpose. Two such alliances, the Fitzroy Street Group, and its more famous offshoot, the Camden Town Group, wore their urban-centricity firmly on their sleeves. Their city identities were embedded within their titles, meeting places and even their subject matter, and in the third...

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