|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Monday, December 11, 2017
|The Shell Guides: Surrealism, Modernism, Tourism at the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture |
LONDON.- This exhibition explores the creative forces that created the Shell County Guides. It considers their widespread cultural influence on our shared understanding of Britain and British-ness.
From the 1930s to the 1980s, innovative writers, artists, designers and academics combined their efforts to produce that most ordinary of books, a guide. In the 1930s, the editor of the guides, John Betjeman, gathered together an odd mixture of young artists and authors like Paul and John Nash, Robert Byron and John Piper. These artists represented some of the best of British creative talent of the mid twentieth century.
The first of these, The Shell Guide to Cornwall, was published in 1934, followed in rapid succession by guides to Devon, Dorset, Derbyshire, Oban and The Western Isles. Publication of The Shell Guide ceased in the 1980s as Britain went abroad, but they remain the most Modern and comprehensive guide to Britain, a powerful but understated synthesis of good writing, good imagery and good design.
This exhibition draws on MoDAs JMRichards collection, which includes many of the Shell Guides plus, examples of other works by key contributors.
Shaping an understanding of Britains landscape
The Shell Guides were aimed at a new breed of car-driving metropolitan tourists. They were for those who sought guides that were neither too serious nor to shallow and who took pleasure in the ordinary and peculiar culture of small town Britain. In the three decades after the Second World War the Shell Guides provided a surreptitiously subversive synthesis of the British countryside.
They revelled in the unconventional, the surreal and the mystical which - through the seemingly public-library ordinariness of the guides - became ingrained in the British middle class imagination. The Shell Guide Britain is the Britain of ancient landscapes and barely-covered paganism that informed our post war view of ourselves from Stig of the Dump to The Wicker Man via Quatermass.
A creative force in twentieth century art and design
The guides were illustrated using the most modern and often surrealist photographs, small intimate sketches by the authors and reproductions of English romantic and popular prints.
This incongruous mix of old and new was combined with a graphic layout that blended the contemporary style of the Architectural Review with arcane nineteenth century typefaces. By the end of the 1930s the Shell Guides were among the most avant-garde publications in Europe - though devoted to a subject that was almost the cultural opposite.
Today as new generations re-discover Britain there are new guides in print and on the web. The best of them owe a clear debt to the Shell Guides understanding of non-metropolitan Britain.
May 13, 2008
One of America's Greatest Artists, Pop Art Pioneer, Robert Rauschenberg Died in Florida at 82
Picasso Museum in Malaga Presents Restored Books Made by the Artist
Battlefields of the Civil War: Photography by William Earle Williams at Houston's MFA
Cleveland Museum Says Discussions are Continuing Between the Museum and the Italians
Asa Ames Exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum in New York
Architectural Projects by Stephen Taylor and Ryue Nishizawa at The Canadian Centre for Architecture
Brit Art of the Sixties Set to Open at Mark Barrow Fine Art
Manfred Leve: Glances and Sights, Photography from Five Decades at Gallery Ficher Rohr
Halcyon Gallery to Hold First Gallery Exhibition of Bob Dylan Art
Chinese Imperial Jades in the Collections of The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Transforms Gallery into Hallucinatory Space
Spencer Tunick and Vienna's Kunsthalle Gather 1,840 People to Pose Nude at Stadium
Blake Fitch: Expectations of Adolescence at Light Work in Syracuse
The Shell Guides: Surrealism, Modernism, Tourism at the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture
Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape Presents Work by Artists Who are Taking a Critical Look at the Environment
Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Belgium Celebrate Architect Joze Plecnik
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- A petition decries 'suggestive' painting at New York's Met
2.- Leonardo Da Vinci sold for $450 million is headed to Louvre Abu Dhabi: Official
3.- Desperately seeking this Frida Kahlo painting. Last seen in Poland
4.- Lubaina Himid becomes oldest winner of United Kingdom's Turner Prize
5.- Two Gustav Klimt masterpieces on loan to the National Gallery of Canada
6.- Frick makes its most significant painting purchase in nearly 30 years
7.- Met Opera suspends Levine after sex abuse allegations
8.- Louvre launches appeal to acquire King François I's Book of Hours
9.- Smart-Guard, a new way to pack, ship and store fine art
10.- Save Venice Inc. restores Titian's Madonna di Ca' Pesaro
Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York
Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures
Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year
China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction
Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere
Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport
Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff
Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold
Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu dArt Contemporani de Barcelona Award
The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.