The exhibition, Out There, will look at the story of the national collection of post-war public art created between 1945 and 1985. Curated by Sarah Gaventa, Out There presents original architectural models, maquettes, photographs and drawings following the history of site-specific sculptures and reliefs by artists including Ralph Brown, Geoffrey Clarke, Elisabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth, William Mitchell, Henry Moore and Paul Mount. The works of art were created and sited with care and good intentions for the post-war public and civic environment, but while many remain in situ others have been lost, damaged, moved or destroyed. The exhibition includes works rescued when earmarked for demolition: Trevor Tennant’s 1963 architectural relief designed for the entrance hall of Welwyn Garden City’s Queen Elizabeth II Hospital; and a fibre glass architectural relief by Paul Mount, created to clad a supermarket in Falmouth. Images of works that have disappeared will also be featured, in the hope that, if they have not destroyed, they may be rediscovered.
Organised by Historic England, formerly English Heritage, the exhibition will attempt to explain why post-war public art matters, how it might be looked after more effectively, and what can be done to help save it. Out There examines the aspirations, role, design, commissioning and legacy of sculptural art for public spaces and buildings. Works of art were designed by artists to create a utopian sense of shared experience, possibility, and hope for the future. Original documentation explores the influence of the Festival of Britain, the London County Council’s art patronage scheme, early Arts Council sculpture exhibitions, art commissioning in Harlow New Town and the patronage of developers. The exhibition also highlights the risks to post-war public art and debates its future by looking at its conservation and protection.
Historic England has been assessing post-war sculpture across England to build a better picture of the best examples of late 20th century sculptural art works. The exhibition will coincide with the announcement of a 41 new listings of post-war art, which might aid their protection.
Out There: Saving Old Flo with Bob and Roberta Smith
Wednesday 10 February 2016, 12.30-14.00. Screening Room, £10.00 / £8.00
As part of Out There: Our Post-War Public Art The Museum of London chairs a discussion with Bob and Roberta Smith about the ‘Save Old Flo’ campaign.
Out There: Garth Evans and Liliane Lijn in Conversation
Friday 12 February 2016, 18.30-20.30. Screening Room, £10.00 / £8.00
City Sculpture Project artists Garth Evans and Liliane Lijn, in conversation with Jon Wood from the Henry Moore Foundation discuss the ill-fated 1972 City Sculpture Project, an ambitious national public sculpture exhibition. Eight cities were loaned sculptures, created for specific urban streetscape locations by emerging artists. On display for six months, the local authorities were given an option to buy them afterwards.
Out There: Art for the People
Thursday 18 February 2016, 18.30-20.00. Screening Room, £10.00 / £8.00
In 1956 the changing financial climate made it possible for the London County Council (LCC) to set up the Patronage of the Arts Scheme, where a sum of £20,000 a year was set aside for commissioning or purchasing works of art. A total of 75 artworks were acquired over an eight year period and were placed in housing estates, homes for the elderly, schools, colleges, parks and highways. Historian Dawn Pereira talks about the commissions for this and other LCC schemes.
Out There: William Mitchell
Wednesday, 02 March 2016, 18.30-20.00. Screening Room, £10.00 / £8.00
William Mitchell was a prolific contributor to post-war public art. He talks about his career and work, including his time at London County Council in the 1960s as a consultant on decorative murals and finishes for the many public housing projects and restorations of the period.
Out There: Why List Public Art?
Tuesday 22 March 2016, 18.30-20.00. Screening Room, £10.00 / £8.00
Roger Bowdler, Historic England’s Director of Listing talks about the importance of listing significant works of public art from the post-war period, including the 41 sculptures newly listed for 2016 by eminent artists such as Jacob Epstein, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.
In the City – Saturday 6 February
Alexandra Epps, City of London Guide and Tate Guide, explores selected post-war public art dating from 1950 in a tour through the City of London. Discover a Grade II-listed mural, war memorials and sculpture from a range of artists including Elisabeth Frink and Gavin Turk. The event price includes the walk, a map commissioned for the event, as well as entrance to the Historic England Exhibition at Somerset House.
Venue: Meet at Barbican Centre, Silk Street entrance, London EC2. Time: 10.15 am for 10.30 am start. Cost: £20 for Twentieth Century Society members, £25 non members
What’s the Future of Public Art? – Monday 15 February
A professional panel surveys the landscape of public art today and discusses what the future might hold. Hosted by the Royal Academy.
Venue: The Geological Society. Time: 6.30 pm – 8 pm Cost: £12
On The South Bank – Saturday 20 February
Alexandra Epps, City of London Guide and Tate Guide, explores selected post-war public art dating from 1951along the South Bank. See sculpture commissioned for the Festival of Britain and works by Naum Gabo and William Pye. The event cost includes the walk, a map commissioned for the event, and entrance to the Historic England Exhibition at Somerset House.
Venue: 1 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1, outside Beckett House Time: 10.15 am for 10.30 am start Cost: £20 for Twentieth Century Society members, £25 non members
Harlow Sculpture Tour by Coach – Twentieth Century Society – Sunday 6 March
See works of art by sculptors including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink and Auguste Rodin, as well as lesser-known artists Venue:
Meet at Harlow Town Station Time: 11 am returning before 5.30 pm. Cost: £25 for Twentieth Century Society members, £30 non members
Harlow Sculpture Tour by Bike – Twentieth Century Society – Tuesday 19 April
See works of art by sculptors including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink and Auguste Rodin, as well as lesser-known artists.
Venue: Meet at Harlow Town Station Time: 11 am returning around 5.45 pm. Cost: £12 for Twentieth Century Society members, £15 non members
Public Art 1945-95. Introductions to Heritage Assets. Short guide to Public Art 1945-95 by Lynn Pearson (Author), Paul Stamper (Editor). 24pp Published by Historic England, 22 January 2016
3 February – 10 April 2016
Open daily 10.00 – 18.00 (last admission 17.15)
Late night Thursdays & Fridays until 21.00 (last admission 20.15)
East Wing Galleries, East Wing, Somerset House, London WC2R 1LA
Admission £6.50, concessions £5.00
All images © Historic England