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This is Tomorrow: Twentieth-century Britain and its Artists

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From the American James McNeill Whistler's defence of his new kind of modern art against the British art establishment in the latter half of the 19th century to the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson's melting icebergs in London, he traverses the lives of the artists that have recorded, questioned and defined our times. An enjoyable book, one which will entertain and inform even those who consider themselves well versed in this country’s art history. These are the ebbs and flows that Michael Bird teases out in this panoramic account of Britain and its artists in across the twentieth century. This is the story of how the lives of British artists, from the late-nineteenth century to the present day, reflected and refracted the profound changes and historical events in the wider world. Mr Bird's evocative prose keeps us turning the pages, from his immersive introductions that take us back to key moments in history to his pithy descriptions' - Charlotte Mullins, Country Life 'An enjoyable book, one which will entertain and inform even those who consider themselves well versed in this country's art history.

The first part of this book brings together for the first time all of Churchill’s writings and speeches on art, not only ‘Painting as a Pastime’, but his addresses to the Royal Academy, his reviews of two of the Academy’s summer exhibitions, and an important speech he delivered about art and freedom in 1937. At the heart of this original book are the successive waves of displacement caused by global wars and persecution that conversely brought fresh ideas and new points of view to the British Isles; educational reforms opened new routes for young people from working-class backgrounds; movements of social change enabled the emergence of female artists and artists of colour; and the emergence of the mass media shaped modern modes of communication and culture. In his introduction to Churchill: The Statesman as Artist, David Cannadine provides the most important account yet of Churchill’s life in art, which was not just a private hobby, but also, from 1945 onwards, an essential element of his public fame.

This is a compelling and lively history that examines the lives of British artists from the late-19th century to today.

A compelling and lively history that examines the lives of British artists from the late nineteenth century to today. The book is lavishly illustrated with reproductions of many of Churchill’s paintings, some of them appearing for the first time. Bird examines how the rhythms of change and adaptation in art became embedded in the collective consciousness of the nation and vividly evokes the personalities who populate and drive this story, looking beyond individual careers and historical moments to weave together interconnecting currents of change that flowed through London, Glasgow, Leeds, Cornwall, the Caribbean, New York, Moscow and Berlin. A compelling and lively history that examines the lives of British artists from the late-19th century to today.S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot in 1988, covered the period from Eliot’s childhood in St Louis, Missouri, to the end of 1922, by which time he had settled in England, married and published The Waste Land. Bird has fantastic access to the stories, anecdotes, and personal recollections of those who were actually there. In war and peace, Churchill came to enjoy painting as his primary means of relaxation from the strain of public affairs. This is a story that unrolls the narrative of a whole century, and Michael conjures up in words all the pictures you’ll need.

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