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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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Notes 245


Notes Introduction 1 T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land (1922), ll. 300–3. 2 Iain Sinclair, Dining on Stones (London: Penguin, 2004), p. 415. 3 John K. Walton, The British Seaside: Holidays and Resorts in the Twentieth Century (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), p. 7. 4 John Piper, ‘Abstraction on the Beach’, XXe Siècle 1 (1938), p. 41. 5 Elizabeth Bowen, Pictures and Conversations (New York: Knopf, 1975), p. 28. 6 Ibid. 7 Peter Maitland, contribution to ‘Leisure at the Seaside’, Architectural Review 80 (1936), pp. 7–28. 8 For the life-story of the Pavilion, see Alistair Fairley, De La Warr Pavilion: The Modernist Masterpiece (London: Merrell, 2006). 9 Ted Hughes, ‘The Beach’, Birthday Letters (London: Faber & Faber, 1998), p. 154. 10 Ibid. 11 The Journals of Sylvia Plath, ed. Karen V. Kukil (London: Faber & Faber, 2000), p. 286. 12 Stevie Smith, Over the Frontier (1938; London: Virago, 1980), pp. 44–5. 13 Sinclair, Dining on Stones, pp. 435, 212. 14 Graham Swift, Last Orders (London: Macmillan, 1996), p. 239. 15 John Piper, British Romantic Artists (London: Collins, 1942), p. 7. 16 W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn (1998; London: Vintage, 2002), p. 175. Kiss Me Quick: The Aesthetics of Excess in 1930s Literature and Film 1 Tom Harrisson, Humphrey Jennings and Charles Madge, ‘Anthropology at Home’, New Statesman and Nation, 30 January 1937, p. 155. 2 Stephen Jones, The British Labour Movement and Film, 1918–1939 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987), p. 8. 246 Notes to pages 17–27...

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