Recording Britain

6 Feb 2016 – 2 May 2016

Eastbourne, United Kingdom


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At the outbreak of the Second World War an ambitious scheme was set up to employ artists on the home front to record the changing landscape of Britain.


Sir Kenneth Clark commissioned artists to paint ‘places and buildings of characteristic national interest’, documenting rural and urban environments and precious buildings under threat, not only from bombs but from the effects of ‘progress’ and development. The result was a collection of more than 1500 watercolours of which 49 are on display in this exhibition.

Now held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, Recording Britain features many beautiful watercolours by prolific artists such as John Piper, Kenneth Rowntree and Barbara Jones along with a number of lesser-known contributors. By focusing on quiet corners and local scenes, Recording Britain takes us off the beaten track of iconic British landmarks and postcard images.

In addition to works from the original collection, the exhibition will feature a selection of contemporary works including paintings and photographs by Conrad Atkinson, Richard Long, David Nash and Laura Oldfield Ford.

Organised by

Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)

Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)

London, United Kingdom


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