NEWS: Art Deco by the Sea @ Laing Art Gallery | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Whitby Abbey, 1920s, detail, design for LNER railway poster, Fred Taylor

While the rest of the UK rediscovers the Great British seaside, here in the North East we’re already well aware of the charms of the coast. From epic beaches to polite promenades, we have some of the finest coastlines in the world.

It seems somewhat fitting then that Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery is to host the Sainsbury Collection’s latest touring exhibition, Art Deco By The Sea. Through posters, fashion, film and bumper cars, it explores how the modern idea of the British seaside resort was created through a combination of elegant design and aspirational art.

Art Deco was the ubiquitous style of the 1920s and 30s. Filled with all of the energy and hope of the post-war generation, it was both comfortingly familiar while also being new and glamorous. This can be seen especially in many of the railway posters that feature in the show, such as Tom Purvis’s marvellous sextych, East Coast Joys. It also shines through the collection of elegant eveningwear and designs for many of the era’s streamlined architectural coastal marvels.

Art Deco fundamentally changed the idea of the seaside and this exhibition promises to do likewise for our understanding of this brief period of history. Pack your best swimming costume and get ready to dive in.

Art Deco By The Sea is at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle from Saturday 17th October-Saturday 27th February 2021

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