The Surprising Life of Constance Spry

Author: Sue Shephard

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 0330536109

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 2801

Fascinating ... to be eagerly devoured’ Clarissa Dickson-Wright Most people today, if they have heard of her, associate Constance Spry with the cookery book bearing her name. But Connie was much, much more than the author of a bestselling cookery book. She was deeply unconventional, extremely charming and very determined; Spry’s life took her from the back streets of Victorian Derby to running a hugely successful business as the florist of choice for the highest of high society, organizing the flowers for royal weddings and indeed for the Queen's coronation. She endured a violent first marriage, had a lesbian affair with a cross-dressing artist and was a pioneer for working women at a time when few women had careers. Sue Shephard tells her extraordinary story with insight, wit and flair. 'Riveting.’ Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall ‘Makes you fall utterly in love with its subject’ New York Times Magazine ‘Reveals with the greatest skill and sympathy an extraordinary person - complicated, driven, sometimes secretive but gifted and artistic to an nth degree. What a story.' Elizabeth Buchan


Author: Christin Geall

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 1616899328

Category: Crafts & Hobbies

Page: 223

View: 5499

Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style elevates floral design to fine art in this richly informative work on the principles of floral style. A charming and intelligent mentor, Christin Geall emboldens designers, gardeners, and entrepreneurs to think differently and deeply about their work with flowers as she draws upon the fine arts and historical sources, exploring Baroque music, the paintings of the Impressionists, or the work of floral innovators like Gertrude Jekyll and Constance Spry. Covering all aspects of floral design, including choosing plants to grow and arrange, selecting tools and vessels, balancing color and form, and even photographing and selling arrangements, Cultivated offers universal lessons for all levels of practitioners, budgets, and materials. Geall's stunning photographs of her own lush designs illustrate techniques for creating brilliant arrangements that spark the imagination.

This Dark Country

Author: Rebecca Birrell

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1526644584

Category: Art

Page: 384

View: 3146

'As seductive as it is scholarly ... Riveting' Financial Times 'A wonderfully rich, deeply researched page-turner ... Sumptuous, precise and bewitching' Jennifer Higgie 'Playful, provocative ... Her attentive, evocative prose renderings of paintings are pleasures in themselves' Times Literary Supplement ------------------------------ Lemons gleam in a bowl. Flowers fan out softly in a vase. A door swings open in a sparsely furnished room. What is contained in a still life – and what falls out of the frame? For women artists in the early twentieth century, including Ethel Sands, Nina Hamnett, Vanessa Bell and Gwen John, who lived in and around the Bloomsbury Group, this art form was a conduit for their lives, their rebellions, their quiet loves for men and women. Gluck, who challenged the framing of her gender and her art, painted flowers arranged by the woman she loved; Dora Carrington, a Slade School graduate, recorded eggs on a table at Tidmarsh Mill, where she built a richly fulfilling if delicate life with Lytton Strachey. But for every artist we remember, there is one we have forgotten; who leaves only elusive traces; whose art was replaced by being a mother or wife; whose remaining artworks lie dusty in archives or attics. In this boldly original blend of group biography and art criticism, Rebecca Birrell brings these shadowy figures into the light and conducts a dazzling investigation into the structures of intimacy that make – and dismantle – our worlds. 'Unusual and refreshing ... Brilliant' Leanne Shapton 'A brilliant book ... A truly radical aesthetics fit for the twenty-first century at last!' Thérèse Oulton '[A] wonderful book. I am impressed and fascinated. It is beautifully written' Celia Paul 'A magnificent debut by one of Britain's most electrifying new talents' Camilla Grudova 'A bold, unusual book, filled with archival research, exuberant ideas and a determination to counter misogyny' Diana Souhami, RA Magazine

Design Objects and the Museum

Author: Liz Farrelly,Joanna Weddell

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472577248

Category: Design

Page: 216

View: 3404

Design Objects and the Museum brings together leading design historians, curators, educators and archivists to consider the place of contemporary design objects within museums. Contributors draw on a wide range of 20th century and contemporary examples from international museums to consider how design objects have been curated and displayed within and beyond the museum. The book continues contemporary global debates on the ways in which museums of design engage and educate their public. Chapters are grouped into three thematic sections addressing The Canon and Design in the Museum; Positioning Design within and Beyond the Museum; and Interpretation and the Challenge of Design, with chapters exploring museological practice and issues, the roles people play in creating meaning, and the challenges contemporary design presents to interpretation and learning within the museum.

London Couture and the Making of a Fashion Centre

Author: Michelle Jones

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262046571

Category: History

Page: 319

View: 8523

How design collaboration, networks, and narratives contributed to the establishment of a recognized English couture industry in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1930s and 1940s, English fashion houses, spurred by economic and wartime crises, put London on the map as a major fashion city. In this book, Michelle Jones examines the creation of a London-based couture industry during these years, exploring how designer collaboration and the construction of specific networks and narratives supported and shaped the English fashion economy. Haute couture—the practice of creative made-to-measure womenswear—was widely regarded as inherently French. Jones shows how an English version emerged during a period of economic turbulence, when a group of designers banded together in a collective effort to shift power within the international fashion system. Jones considers the establishment of this form of English design practice, analyzing the commercial, social, and political factors that shaped the professional identity of the London couturiers. She focuses on collaborative activity that supported this form of elite, craft-based fashion production—from the prewar efforts of the Fashion Group of Great Britain to the wartime establishment of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers, modeled loosely after French fashion’s governing body, the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. It was these collective efforts by couturiers that established and sustained London’s place as an internationally recognized center for creative fashion.

Freak to Chic

Author: Dominic Janes

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1350172618

Category: Design

Page: 312

View: 932

In this unique intervention in the study of queer culture, Dominic Janes highlights that, under the gaze of social conservatism, 'gay' life was hiding in plain sight. Indeed, he argues that the worlds of glamour, fashion, art and countercultural style provided rich opportunities for the construction of queer spectacle in London. Inspired by the legacies of Oscar Wilde, interwar and later 20th-century men such as Cecil Beaton expressed transgressive desires in forms inspired by those labelled 'freaks' and, thereby, made major contributions to the histories of art, design, fashion, sexuality, and celebrity. Janes reinterprets the origins of gay and queer cultures by charting the interactions between marginalized freaks and chic fashionistas. He establishes a new framework for future analyses of other cities and media, and of the roles of women and diverse identities.

The Toughest Half

Author: Elizabeth Stewart

Publisher: Ryan Publishing

ISBN: 1876498730

Category: History

Page: 532

View: 8358

Lasting barely two centuries throughout the 1700s and 1800s, the Industrial Revolution in Britain propelled the country into the role of the world's premier industrial nation. Known as the 'midwife of the Industrial Revolution' coal was, literally, the driving force behind this power. Although referred to as 'the black diamond', coal is not a thing of beauty, yet like the true diamond, it is representative of power and wealth. Coal mining usually evokes images of tough men, glistening with the sweat of underground toil. We talk about man-power and manual labour; the industry has become synonymous with men. Rarely, if ever, do women come to mind, yet, until an Act of 1942 banned them from working down the mines, women worked alongside men, their toil equally as gruelling in conditions jut as appalling. Forbidden by Victorian prudery from working underground, they were replaced, at much greater expense to the mine owners, by ponies. The efforts of these women, every bit as responsible as men for creating Britain's once greatest industry, have rarely been acknowledged. During the 1926 general strike and lockout, Herbert Smith, President of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, reported that half the attendees at union meetings were women, "And these", he insisted, "are always the toughest half." This book tells of the history of coal and coal mining from mediaeval times to the demise of the industry in Britain in the 1990s, and describes women's role in this history and how it affected their lives. Through a combination of historical narrative, fiction and biography, the book gives a voice to these diminished 'others' - wives, mothers and daughters - whose persistence, courage, pride and sacrifice also contributed to the profits of wealthy mine owners. Their stories are told through the prism of historical events - the frightened little girl forced to work alone in subterranean darkness, the poverty-stricken young woman confronting an unwanted pregnancy, those enduring the loss of sons and partners to a deadly occupation and women who, through adversity, took the opportunity to publicly reveal their collective strength. Gentle and gruff, warm-hearted and implacable, these battlers against grime, beaters of carpets, painters, decorators and cooks, activists and staunch supporters of strikes and lockouts, underpinned the foundations of Britain's coal industry. Woven through this book is the true story of the author's mother, a miner's daughter. Her life too was hard and closely entwined with coal mining to which she made, over many years, a considerable contribution not only to the industry but to the mining communities in which she worked.


Author: Amy De La Haye,Martin Pel

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300230486

Category: Art

Page: 210

View: 5832

Hannah Gluckstein (who called herself Gluck; 1895–1976) was a distinctive, original voice in the early evolution of modern art in Britain. This handsome book presents a major reassessment of Gluck's life and work, examining, among other things, the artist's numerous personal relationships and contemporary notions of gender and social history. Gluck's paintings comprise a full range of artistic genres—still life, landscape, portraiture—as well as images of popular entertainers. Financially independent and somewhat freed from social convention, Gluck highlighted her sexual identity, cutting her hair short and dressing as a man, and the artist is known for a powerful series of self-portraits that played with conventions of masculinity and femininity. Richly illustrated, this volume is a timely and significant contribution to gender studies and to the understanding of a complex and important modern painter.