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This is Tomorrow: Twentieth-century Britain and its Artists

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Complete with full cast lists, production details, and full-color images and artwork, The Ultimate Woody Allen Film Companion is the ultimate, indispensable reference to one of cinema’s most beloved and important figures. Among new letters to have come to light, a good many date from the years 1898-1922, which has necessitated a revised edition of Volume One, taking account of approximately two hundred newly discovered items of correspondence. His books include Artists’ Letters: Leonardo da Vinci to David Hockney, Studio Voices: Art and Life in 20th-century Britain and 100 Ideas that Changed Art. 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. Mr Bird gives voice to artists previously sidelined in such historical overviews: Sir Frank Bowling, Lubaina Himid, Mary Kelly, John Latham, Phyllida Barlow.

In war and peace, Churchill came to enjoy painting as his primary means of relaxation from the strain of public affairs. 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.

Bird has fantastic access to the stories, anecdotes, and personal recollections of those who were actually there. This is Tomorrow is the work of an undercover agent - one who has bravely realigned the familiar legacies of British twentieth-century art.

Bird illuminates how British artists have been remembered, reimagined, and reshaped by a century of dramatic events. His films – he has over 45 writing and directing credits to his name – range from slapstick to tragedy, farce to fantasy. 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. The children’s novel “Black Beauty” was written by Anna Sewell in her fifties and she sold it outright for GBP20. A compelling and lively history that examines the lives of British artists from the late-19th century to today.

Richard Glyn Jones has cast his net wide to gather these accounts of human oddity and eccentricity, and the standard of his writing is high, with Lytton Strachey, Derek Hudson, Christopher Sykes and Ronald Knox among the authors included.

The second part of the book provides previously uncollected critical accounts of his work by some of Churchill’s contemporaries: Augustus John’s hitherto unpublished introduction to the Royal Academy exhibition of Churchill’s paintings in 1959, and essays and reviews by Churchill’s acquaintances Sir John Rothenstein, Professor Thomas Bodkin and the art critic Eric Newton. Volume Two covers the early years of his editorship of The Criterion (the periodical that Eliot launched with Lady Rothermere’s backing in 1922), publication of The Hollow Menand the course of Eliot’s thinking about poetry and poetics after The Waste Land. 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. 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.

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. Generously illustrated, This is Tomorrow is an absorbing narrative of how history has changed―and continues to change―how artists see and are seen. In This is Tomorrow Michael Bird takes a fresh look at the 'long twentieth century', from the closing years of Queen Victoria's reign to the turn of the millennium, through the lens of the artists who lived and worked in this ever-changing Britain.

We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy (available on request). In This is Tomorrow Michael Bird takes a fresh look at the ‘long twentieth century’, from the closing years of Queen Victoria’s reign to the turn of the millennium, through the lens of the artists who lived and worked in this ever-changing Britain. Since 1988, Valerie Eliot has continued to gather materials from collections, libraries and private sources in Britain and America, towards the preparation of subsequent volumes of the Letters edition. This is Tomorrow is the work of an undercover agent – one who has bravely realigned the familiar legacies of British twentieth-century art.

Valuable, too, are letters from the earlier and less documented part of Eliot’s life, which have been supplemented by additional correspondence from family members in America. 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. In a brilliant narrative that vividly evokes the personalities who populate and drive this story―including Aubrey Beardsley, Damien Hirst, and Barbara Hepworth―author Michael Bird reevaluates how we look at the history of modern Britain. This is a compelling and lively history that examines the lives of British artists from the late-19th century to today. An enjoyable book, one which will entertain and inform even those who consider themselves well versed in this country’s art history.

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