The Twentieth Century Society

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House Proud exhibition: Installation featuring Calyx 1951 (photo ©John Lynch)

North West

House Proud exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery

Eric Ravilious, John Piper and Dame Laura Knight are among the leading C20 artists represented at Manchester Art Gallery’s new House Proud exhibition, which opened on 2 April.

In the 1930s, the Gallery took the lead in acquiring and displaying home furnishings that reflected the best in contemporary design – both mass-produced and limited edition pieces. House Proud uses C20 ceramics, metalwork, glass and furniture from that collection to explore the changing boundaries between art and design for the home.

Manufacturers believed that employing artists would enhance the design of their products, and this exhibition shows how those functional objects came to be seen in a new light. Industrial designers took their inspiration from a diverse range of artistic movements – from Romanticism and Abstraction to Pop Art.

As well as paintings and works on paper (some of which are rarely displayed), the exhibition also brings together works from the Arts Council collection and textiles and wallpaper from the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.

The House Proud exhibition is free and runs until April 2016.