What is Quintessential British Design?

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What is quintessential British design? The Mini, the E-type Jag, the Dyson vacuum cleaner, the Brompton Bike?

The post-war Olympics of 1948 were called the Austerity Olympics. Sixty years later, and Britain is once again feeling the pinch. The V&A is hosting a look at British Design 1948 – 2012 between the two Games (until 12 August) which tracks the country’s change from a manufacturing powerhouse to a service economy.

It’s a trip down nostalgia lane which includes Sanderson prints and Mary Quant dresses, Sex Pistol posters and computer games. Art features prominently in the exhibition: Henry Moore’s sculpture of The Family in one of the first ‘new’ towns, stained glass by John Piper and a tapestry by Graham Sutherland for the rebuilding of bomb-damaged Coventry Cathedral. In the Sixties the emphasis is on how the radical innovation of art students such as David Hockney and Richard Hamilton inspired consumer culture, right up to Hirst’s Pharmacy installation from the Nineties which earned him a cool £11 million when it was sold off at Sotheby’s in 2003.

For exhibition details, click here.

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2 thoughts on “What is Quintessential British Design?

  1. Very inspiring – it’s great to be able to find all the details of London exhibitions in one place. Got all my next visits planned out now!

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