The Twentieth Century Society

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Event Details

Murals in Britain 1920-1970: Revisions, revelations and risks
Various - see details
34. Gordon Cullen, Greenside School mural
One-day conference at Morley College, 60 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HT

Friday 8 March 2013

The conference reveals some of the hidden treasures of mural painting and decoration in Britain from the mid twentieth century, often neglected in terms of scholarship, awareness and conservation, and therefore frequently at risk of destruction. By a combination of recording and interpretation, and with the help of conservation pressure from official and independent bodies, the history of loss could be halted and the remaining works retained and valued as important contributions to the past and future of British art.

Organised by Alan Powers for The Twentieth Century Society, in association with the exhibition Mural and Decorative Painting 1920-1970 at the Fine Art Society, London

9.30 Registration

10.00 Opening address Nick Rampley, Vice-Principal of Morley College

Chair for morning: Dr Robert Upstone, Fine Art Society

Session 1: Murals and art history

10.15 Professor Clare Willsdon, University of Glasgow, author Mural Painting in Britain, 1840-1940 ‘Mural traditions: Britain and Abroad’

10.45 Dr Alan Powers, Twentieth Century Society ‘Why are murals so neglected by art history?’

11.15 Coffee

Session 2: Murals and two world wars

11.45 Dr Jonathan Black, Senior Research Fellow, Kingston University ‘Gentle Lessons for the Nation: Mural Painting in Britain and the Two World Wars.’

12.15 Dr Margaret Garlake, author New Art/New World: British Art in Postwar Society (1998) 'Medium, image, place in postwar murals'

12.45 Discussion of morning

13.00 Lunch

Chair for afternoon: Dr Emma Chambers, Tate Britain

Session 3: Bridging gaps in knowledge and interpretation

14.00 Dr Lynn Pearson, independent historian, author of Public Art since 1950 and A Field Guide to Postwar Murals. 'In search of modern murals'

14.30 Dr Jeremy Howard, University of St Andrews and The Decorated School Project

'Extra?: Murals in Schools'

14.50 Henrietta Billings, Conservation Advisor, Twentieth Century Society.

Tile panels by Dorothy Annan in Farringdon Street and other case studies

15.10 Tea

Session 4: Angels and agencies

15.30 Dr Roger Bowdler, Head of Designation, English Heritage.

‘Wall-to-wall protection: Designating the 20th century mural’

16.00 Andy Ellis, Public Catalogue Foundation.

16.30 Summaries and discussion.

17.00 Ends

Cost £30 including refreshments (students £20)

Booking on (The Twentieth Century Society, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ)

Website image courtesy Richard Maynard.

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