Cowering unloved behind a red curtain for the last 20 years because it went ‘out of fashion’, the mural has been quietly waiting to be brought back into school life.There you have two familiar stories: the neglect of decorative art in public buildings and the eventual exoneration of mid-century themes and styles. [And there you have a fine dissertation title.]
|Something sharp behind the arras:|
Gordon Cullen's Greenside Mural.
I didn't know about this story until recently. The Greenside Mural Facebook page documents the gradual fundraising and restoration over the past few years. Other murals, like Edward Bawden's at Morley College, were lost to unkind decades before the artists' reappraisal came around. Ravilious has been gathering adoring book-buyers in the new millennium.
The forgotten 1966 hit "Nairn's London" is to be reissued, following another slow-growing campaign of small voices in the wilderness.
I will be at the art fair with some of my own work (I'm still putting a bundle together), hoping to get the commemorative letterpress poster and maybe copy of Gordon Cullen's Townscape. Here is a good guide to buying mid-century prints at Mid Century Magazine. My partner Adam will be at the Nairn event, having campaigned for that reissue - but we'll each wish we could be at the other one too.
Finally, the winning entries for this year's Serco Prize For Illustration show a love of old transport posters and architectural guides - particularly the pieces by Eliza Southwood and Gill Bradley.