The Festival of Britain: A Land and Its People

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I.B.Tauris, Apr 24, 2012 - Design - 242 pages

The Festival of Britain in 1951 transformed the way people saw their war-ravaged nation. Giving Britons an intimate experience of contemporary design and modern building, it helped them accept a landscape under reconstruction, and brought hope of a better world to come. Drawing on previously unseen sketches and plans, photographs and interviews, The Festival of Britain: A Land and Its People travels beyond the Festival's spectacular centerpiece at London's South Bank, to show how the Festival made the whole country an exhibition ground with events to which hundreds of the country's greatest architects, artists, and designers contributed. It explores exhibitions in Poplar, Battersea and South Kensington in London; Belfast, Glasgow, and Wales; a touring show carried on four lorries and another aboard an ex-aircraft carrier. It reveals how all these exhibitions and also plays, poetry, art and films commissioned for the Festival had a single focus: to unite "the land and people of Britain."


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About the author (2012)

Harriet Atkinson is Research Fellow at the University of Brighton. She is co-editor, with Jeremy Aynsley, of The Banham Lectures (2009), and contributor to the Encyclopedia of World's Fairs and Expositions. She has written for various art and design journals as well as for The Guardian and The Independent.

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