Tim Bouverie

Speaker: Frances Spalding

Topic: English Art Between the Two World Wars

Venue: Ondaatje Lecture Theatre, Radcliffe Centre

Time: 10:30-11:30, Sunday 9 October

Talk Summary:

In recent years there has been a surge of interest in English art of the interwar years. The works of artists such Stanley Spencer and Eric Ravilious have soared in value, while new critical attention has been paid to others, often women, who were previously overlooked, such as Winifred Knights and Evelyn Dunbar. With these new perspectives in mind, Frances Spalding takes a fresh look at this richly diverse period in English art. The early part of it was marked by the intensity of commemoration that followed the First World War; the later by a darkening of mood brought about by the foreshadowing of the Second. The 1920s saw the growing influence of modernism across British art and design. But as modernism reached a peak in the mid-1930s, there arose a desire to revive native traditions in modern terms, with a renewed concern with place, memory and history.

Frances Spalding is an art historian, critic, and one of the leading authorities on twentieth-century British art. Her books include acclaimed biographies of Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Gwen Raverat, and John and Myfanwy Piper. She is Emeritus Fellow of of Clare Hall, Cambridge and in 2005 she was made a CBE for Services to Literature. Her latest book is The Real and the Romantic: English Art Between Two World Wars (2022).