The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Gerald Moira, A War Allegory, 1916
The Hall of Heroes, Royal Academy, 1916

The Shadow of 1914

I have long admired the mural above the stage at the Wigmore Hall, and have just discovered it is by Gerald Moira, who also worked at the Old Bailey. He painted the mural above, ‘A War Allegory’, for the ‘Hall of Heroes’ in the largely forgotten Arts and Crafts exhibition organised by Henry Wilson at the Royal Academy in 1916. I am looking forward to hearing more about this exhibition in Peter Cormack’s lecture on the Arts and Crafts at the conference ‘The Shadow of 1914 – British Architecture and Design, 1900–1925′, a joint C20 Society and Victorian Society event being held at the V & A this Saturday, 22 November.

1914 is, of course, the year when the C20 Society and the Victorian Society meet: we have responsibility for casework on buildings completed from 1914, the Vic Soc before that date. The first 25 years of the twentieth century were incredibly eclectic with architecture, crafts and interior design spanning every style from Gothic revival to modernism; nostalgic historicism alongside daring innovation. However, our tendency to divide the period it into pre- and post- the First World War means that it is rarely viewed as a continuum, something which this conference aims to address.

Places for the conference can still be booked through the V & A website, and the programme – organised by Alan Powers and Michael Hall – brings together an excellent panel of speakers:

Morning: chaired by Professor Hilary Grainger, Chair of the Victorian Society

10.30: ‘Shadow and Substance’: keynote talk by David Reynolds (Professor of International History, University of Cambridge)

11.00 ‘London: Building the Illogical city’ by Cathy Ross (Honorary Research Fellow, Museum of London)

11.30: ‘The Gothic Revival’ by Michael Hall (independent scholar)

12.10: ‘Progress or Regress? Classical Architectures 1900–1925′ by Alan Powers (independent scholar)

12.40: ‘The Arts and Crafts Movement’ by Peter Cormack (independent scholar)

13.10–14.30 Lunch

Afternoon: chaired by Catherine Croft, Director of the Twentieth Century Society

14.30: ‘Britishness and Memorialisation’ by Jenny Macleod (Lecturer in Twentieth-Century History, University of Hull)

15.00: ‘ War Memorials’ by Gavin Stamp (independent scholar)

15.30: ‘Homes Fit for Heroes’ by Mark Swenarton (James Stirling Professor of Architecture, University of Liverpool)

16.10–16.40 ‘Sentimental and Lively: Interior Design and Modernism in Austria and Britain, 1900–1925′ by Sabrina Rahman (Anniversary Research Fellow in Art and Design History, Northumbria University)

16.40–17.10 ‘Missing Modernism’ by Elain Harwood (English Heritage)

See you there?


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