The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings


What’s on in May & June: the best C20 architecture, art and design

As we head into summer, our latest round-up highlights three photography exhibitions in London, an alternative vision for Bath, and the 20th anniversary of the RIBA Stirling Prize.

Modern Forms – a Subjective Atlas of 20th century architecture, Nicolas Grospierre
AA Gallery, London from 30 April to 28 May
An extension of Nicolas Grospierre’s popular blog, these photographs capture both the mundane and the sublime aspects of modernist architecture from 1920 to 1989. It’s a journey that takes you from the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis to Oscar Niemeyer’s uncompleted International Fair Grounds in Tripoli, in an international survey of architectural forms. More.

Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers
Barbican Art Gallery, London from 16 Mar to 19 June
Our foibles, fashions and football are among the many aspects of British life since the 1930s captured by world-renowned photographers. Curated by Martin Parr, this collection of more than 250 photographs features work by Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Rineke Dijkstra. More.

Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century
V&A, London until 3 July
Photos by Paul Strand (1890-1976) of the community of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides feature in this V&A retrospective as well as in the Barbican exhibition. More than 200 prints, notebooks and sketches cover his travels in Morocco, Italy, Egypt and Ghana, as well as iconic images of New York. More.

20 years of the RIBA Stirling Prize
The Architecture Centre, Bristol, from 29 April to 21 August
On tour from RIBA, this show is a chance to see photos and models from projects that have won the Stirling Prize during its 20-year history to date. Find out more about the 2015 winner, Burntwood School (AHMM Architects). More.

Willem Sandberg from type to image
De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, from 30 April to 4 September
As director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum (1945-63), Willem Sandberg’ designed posters, catalogues, magazines (including Open Oog, above) and cards, championed new artists and curated an important collection of modern art. This free exhibition, showcasing his work up until the 1980s, is the first UK survey of this icon of graphic design. More.

Planning for Peace: Redesigning Bath during the First World War
Museum of Bath Architecture, Bath until 27 November
One hundred years ago, as Britain was at war, architect Robert Atkinson was drawing up ambitious plans to redevelop the city of Bath. A fascinating glimpse at an alternative post-WWI future for the Georgian city and World Heritage site. More.

Wallpaper, from 29 January to 4 September
Revolutionary Textiles 1910-1939, from 26 Mar 2016 to 29 Jan 2017
The Whitworth, University of Manchester
See highlights from the Whitworth’s collection of 1950s and 60s wallpapers, covering a range of styles from abstraction, to pop art and psychedelia. The textiles exhibition features work by Omega Workshops, Raoul Dufy and Marion Dorn.

Still showing

Recording Britain
Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, from 5 February to 26 June
An exhibition of nearly 50 watercolour paintings from the V&A of the changing landscape of Britain during WWII, featuring artists such as John Piper (whose murals in Birmingham are currently under threat), Kenneth Rowntree and Barbara Jones, as well as emerging artists of the time. More.

The Aylesbury Estate
Geffrye Museum, London from 5 April to 18 September
This free exhibition tells the story of this modernist highrise estate in Southwark, from its utopian beginning in the late 1960s to its current demolition and regeneration. More.

Last chance to see

John Piper: The Fabric of Modernism
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester from 12 March to 12 June
This exhibition is the first to explore Piper’s textile designs, examining key motifs in his work such as historic architecture, abstract and religious imagery. More.


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