In the winter of 1939 an extraordinary art project was begun. Beneath the spectres of invasion and aerial bombing, the Scheme for Recording the Changing Face of Britain rapidly commissioned artists to paint ‘places and buildings of characteristic national interest’. The resulting collection of over 1500 paintings created a remarkable, yet highly selective, snapshot of a fast-changing country.
Now held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, Recording Britain features many beautiful watercolours by prolific artists such as John Piper and Kenneth Rowntree, along with a host of lesser-known contributors. By focusing on quiet corners and local scenes Recording Britain takes us off the beaten track of iconic British landmarks and postcard images.
In addition to works from the original collection, the exhibition will feature a host of contemporary works including paintings and photographs by Conrad Atkinson, Richard Long, David Nash and Laura Oldfield Ford. Shown alongside these will be works from the Herbert’s collections, depicting the landscape of Coventry and Warwickshire.
Exhibition organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
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