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Festival of Britain 1951

Festival of Britain 1951


By (author) Paul Rennie


  • Lavishly illustrated, the book is an indispensable guide to the 1951 Festival of Britain, its objects and their meanings in the twenty-first century
  • A new title in the exquisite new Design series
  • Publication coincides with the reopening of the newly renovated Royal Festival Hall in the Summer of 2007
Full Description
Inspired by the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Festival of Britain held May – September 1951 hoped to provide some respite from the ongoing effects of the Second World War by celebrating the nation’s past achievements in the arts, industry and science, as well as looking ahead to a future of progress and prosperity. The major events were held on the twenty-seven-acre bomb site around Waterloo Station, although events happened throughout the UK. The Festival was almost immediately unfashionable among commentators. It was viewed with suspicion by political conservatives and quickly dismantled and many called into question the Festival’s objectives. This political ambivalence towards the Festival is confounded by its popularity today among collectors, social historians and anybody interested in post-war British culture and society. This book is the first to present the story of the Festival of Britain, held in 1951, through its souvenirs. These objects were produced to commemorate The Tonic to the Nation. Retrospectively, they testify to its enormous popular appeal. Festival of Britain 1951, the newest addition to the popular Design series, places these souvenirs and objects into their historical context and explains the continuing appeal of these modest artifacts. Also avaliable:
Claud Lovat Fraser ISBN: 9781851496631 GPO ISBN: 9781851495962 Peter Blake ISBN: 9781851496181 FHK Henrion ISBN: 9781851496327 David Gentleman ISBN: 9781851495955 David Mellor ISBN: 9781851496037 E.McKnight Kauffer ISBN: 9781851495207 Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious ISBN: 9781851495009 El Lissitzky ISBN: 9781851496198 Harold Curwen & Oliver Simon: Curwen Press ISBN: 9781851495719 Jan Le Witt and George Him ISBN: 9781851495665 Paul Nash and John Nash ISBN: 9781851495191 Rodchenko ISBN: 9781851495917 Abram Games ISBN: 9781851496778
About the Author
Paul Rennie is Head of Context in the School of Graphic Design at Central St Martin's, London and is a member of the Festival of Britain Society and has a collection of Festival souvenirs, ephemera, posters and textiles.
ACC Art Books
4th Jun 2008
USA & Canada
5.59 in x 8.5 in
96 Pages
135 color, 155 b&w
Name of series
Design Series
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