homespun miscellany  
As a reaction to the enforced austerity of wartime rations, fresh and invigorated ideas began to emerge within British art and design. The 1946 ‘Britain Can Make It’ exhibition produced an insight into those developments, public morale was lifted and a new contemporary style began to establish itself. The 1951 Festival of Britain was devised to provide a showcase for the new modern standards. Twenty-seven acres of bomb-damaged land in Lambeth was allocated. Commissioning Architect Hugh Casson wanted Britain’s youngest talents to work on the project – of the fifty architects involved in the site that was to become known as the South Bank, none were over 45 years of age. Robert Mathews, Leslie Martin and Peter Moro were chosen from the London County Council Architecture Department to design a concert hall. The resulting Royal Festival Hall took three years to design and build; its concrete and glass structure is the last remaining monument from the festival on London’s South Bank. Abram Games, who had designed numerous posters for the war campaign, was chosen to design the festival logo. Robin Day, who had exhibited furniture with Hille in 1949, was commissioned to design lounge, stall and orchestra seating for the hall, while Ernest Race created his Springbok and Antelope chairs for use on the terraces. Ten thousand objects were selected altogether. Artists including Victor Pasmore and Graham Sutherland designed murals for some of the various pavilions and James Gardner created the Festival Pleasure Gardens in Battersea Park. Many more artists of the time produced work for the ‘60 for 51’ painting exhibition.