This symposium will explore the presence of the past, national identity, taste and nostalgia in relation to the Recording Britain collection of water colours and drawings.
Victoria and Albert Museum
Friday 20 April, 10.30-17.30
£25, £20 concessions, £10 students.
To book call 020 7942 2211.
This symposium will explore the presence of the past, national identity, taste and nostalgia in relation to the Recording Britain collection of water colours and drawings produced at the start of World War II. Invited speakers to the symposium include historian Patrick Wright, cultural historian David Heathcote, and artists Ingrid Pollard, Abigail Reynolds, Simon Roberts and Paul Scott.
At the outbreak of World War II an ambitious scheme was set up to employ artists on the home front. The result was a collection of more than 1500 watercolours and drawings that make up a fascinating record of British lives and landscapes at a time of imminent change. Recording Britain was the brainchild of Sir Kenneth Clark, who saw it as an extension of the Official War Artist scheme. By choosing watercolour painting as the medium of record, Clark hoped that the scheme would also help to preserve this characteristic English art form. Recording Britain was intended to boost national morale by celebrating the country’s natural beauty and architectural heritage, but it was also a memorial to the war effort itself. These watercolours and drawings are a uniquely fascinating record of their time. They were widely exhibited during the war years, and in 1949 the Pilgrim Trust gave them to the V&A.