British Art and the First World War, 1914-1924 - Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare (Hardback)
  • British Art and the First World War, 1914-1924 - Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare (Hardback)

British Art and the First World War, 1914-1924 - Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare (Hardback)

Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 30/07/2015
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The First World War is usually believed to have had a catastrophic effect on British art, killing artists and movements, and creating a mood of belligerent philistinism around the nation. In this book, however, James Fox paints a very different picture of artistic life in wartime Britain. Drawing on a wide range of sources, he examines the cultural activities of largely forgotten individuals and institutions, as well as the press and the government, in order to shed new light on art's unusual role in a nation at war. He argues that the conflict's artistic consequences, though initially disruptive, were ultimately and enduringly productive. He reveals how the war effort helped forge a much closer relationship between the British public and their art - a relationship that informed the country's cultural agenda well into the 1920s.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107105874
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 680 g
Dimensions: 253 x 181 x 17 mm

'James Fox has written an impeccably researched, original and stimulating account of British art and the First World War. This important study will change our understanding of the War's impact on the relationship between British art and British society and will open up significant new avenues of interpretation and research.' David Peters Corbett, editor of A Companion to British Art: 1600 to the Present
'Fox takes a new and original approach to the study of art in the First World War. This fascinating book is not about art in the narrow sense of the word, but about the art world and the conditions under which art was produced and consumed. British Art and the First World War, 1914-1924 is a must-read for historians of war and art alike.' Stefan Goebel, author of The Great War and Medieval Memory: War, Remembrance and Medievalism in Britain and Germany, 1914-1940
'In British Art and the First World War, 1914-1924, James Fox provides a first comprehensive analysis of the impact of global conflict on the British art world - the entire sphere of visual production and consumption. Based on significant archival research, this urbanely written study drastically reconfigures our understanding of a pivotal period in the history of British culture. Rather than recycling a tired narrative of a handful of heroic modernist artists beaten down by the realities of mechanized warfare, Fox places before us a panorama of the army of academicians and satirists, illustrators and art critics, collectors and curators, upon whose practices and productions the 'war to end all wars' exerted a decisive influence.' Tim Barringer, editor of Art and the British Empire
'Going far beyond the most familiar artists and paintings, this book reveals the pervasiveness of all forms of visual representation in the contemporary understandings of the conflict and the way in which images ultimately became fundamental to the functioning of wartime society. The author shows the War to have been a watershed in the social history of British art.' Adrian Gregory, author of The Last Great War: British Society and the First World War
'This outstanding book offers a refreshing re-examination of how the art world continued to function at a time of unprecedented carnage, and how it was ultimately transformed for the better. James Fox has considered a vast mass of evidence, analysed every twist and turn, and written a lucid and entertaining masterpiece.' Robin Simon, author of Hogarth, France and British Art
'This is a timely addition to our understanding of art and the Great War. So many writers fail to fully comprehend how the war fired imaginations and sharpened sensibilities. Grappling with uncomfortable truths, James Fox is rigorous in his thinking and penetrating in his conclusions. An essential antidote to the 'overworked grimness' of so much recent writing about 'the war to end all wars'.' Paul Gough, author of 'A Terrible Beauty': British Artists in the First World War
'Rigorous and persuasive, British Art and the First World War, 1914-1924 tackles a much contested period in art history, showing that it was anything but an era of decline. Rather, British art blossomed in new directions, as its artists became more central to public life, its products more popular and its impacts more lasting than we previously knew.' Chloe Ward, Twentieth Century British History
'Fox provides a detailed, elegant account of the art world at war and emphasizes that the conflict's reach was far more encompassing and engaging than the current proliferation of commemorative activities might indicate.' Ross Wilson, The Journal of Modern History

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