Wot! No Art? - ACE081.5

1978. Wot! No Art? - ACE081.5.

TitleWot! No Art? - ACE081.5

Newsreel coverage of the first "London County Council Open Air Exhibition of Sculpture", held at Battersea Park in1951, and attended by the Duke of Wellington, Aneurin Bevan, Jennie Lee, and others. Works shown include Epstein’s Girl with the Gardenias (1943), a painting by F E McWilliam, and Henry Moore’s Three Standing Figures (1945). Commentary talks about the Russians closing off West Berlin. Newsreel announcing the advent of the National Health Service. Aneurin Bevan speaking about new housing. Blocks of flats. Commentary says that "The forties have left us with a series of uninspired tenements on dreary estates. People’s needs, both aesthetic and practical, were not provided for." Children talking about what they want in their playgrounds. The Somerford Estate, Hackney, which won a Festival of Britain award for its low-rise housing. Festival of Britain emblems on a variety of objects. William Townsend’s 1948 South Bank. Newsreel views of the site and Festival preparations. Clement Attlee laying foundation stone of Royal Festival Hall; commentary says that "In Britain, art is so often defined as prestigious entertainment for the cultivated. In 1948, the grant to the Arts Council was £428,000. Covent Garden Opera House got £98,000, which was about a quarter of the whole cake. Opera, then, is the grandest of the arts. The equivalent art for the people – variety shows, sometimes even useful for government propaganda." "Sheffield on its Mettle Exhibition": newsreel shows "a grand pageant of Production, staged in the City Hall…" New cars leaving factory. Commentary notes that Robin Darwin created six new schools of industrial design when he became Rector of the Royal College of Art. British Railway’s "Tavern Train" which prompted Questions in Parliament about a "deplorable" example being set by a publicly owned industry. Stafford Cripps announcing the devaluation of the pound sterling. Members of the Cabinet, including Herbert Morrison and Harold Wilson, entering No.10 Downing Street at the time the West learned of Russia’s atom bomb. Mass rally in Trafalgar Square; commentary quotes Cyril Connolly and John Betjeman. The Shell building, South Bank.

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