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Tue, Nov 02


Online Webinar

British Realism VS Soviet Realism (2)

How did Realism co-opt into Communism as an aesthetic in the USSR whilst in the UK it was a very de-politicised style which played with biblical & even mythological themes instead? Join Freddie for some seldom seen works and insight into the context of the times in which they were made.

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British Realism VS Soviet Realism (2)
British Realism VS Soviet Realism (2)

Time & Location

Nov 02, 2021, 5:00 PM GMT

Online Webinar


About the Event

Realism has often been unfairly lumbered with a millstone wrapped around its conceptual neck; branded as dangerously ideological, aesthetically rigid, or worse, overly sentimental....

Yet, recent ambitious exhibitions in the UK such as Revolution, Russian Art 1917-1932  at the Royal Academy and Truth to Life: British Realist Painting in the 1920s and 1930s at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art quickly dispensed with these associations... Instead, they offered the British public an array of highly imaginative, tantalisingly evocative and, crucially, never-before-seen works from one of the most eclectic sub-sections in the canon of art history.

While “Decadent Art” that included Cubism and Futurism was banned by Stalin in the 1920s, “The Return to Order” in England after the chaos of the First World War created unexpected but uncanny parallels between two ideologically polar nations.

Both British and Soviet Realism were informed by photography, classicism and a close observation of society and its mores. However, the contrast in the underlying values of inter-war Britain and the Stalin’s USSR is resoundingly clear…

This two-part lecture series will delve into the archives of social, mystical and biblical realism across the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union between 1918-1945 to reveal how one of the most pervasive styles of modernism was both manipulated and revered as a means to an end.

Please find below a list of the major galleries and municipal museums in the UK with a few of the key artists discussed in Freddie's lectures within their permanent collections. Do note that this is not the extent of the British 20th C. Realism collections - but refers to the key artists mentioned in this lecture series:

  • The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh: Works by James Cowie, Sir Thomas Monnington, Edward Baird
  • The Scottish National Portrait Gallery: Works by Meredith Frampton
  • Pallant House Gallery, Chichester: Works by John Minton, Mark Gertler, Lucien Freud
  • The Imperial War Museum, London: Works by Colin Gill
  • Tate Britain, Millbank : works by Stanley Spencer, Winifred Knights, Clive Branson, Meredith Frampton, Dod Proctor, Mary Adshead, Margaret Baker,
  • The Brighton and Hove Museums and Art Galleries: works by Hilda Carline, Hannah Gluck, Harold Harvey, Glyn Philpot, Stanley Spencer
  • The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent: Works by Bernard Fleetwood-Walker
  • Ferens Art Gallery, Hull: Works by Meredith Frampton
  • Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston : works by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst
  • The Hepworth, Wakefield, West Yorkshire: works by Ralph Nicholas Chubb

Delivered by Freddie Heacock-Barber

NB This is a two part series. You can still catch up on the first talk as a recording here.

Please note that once you pay you will get an email confirming your payment. This email will also contain a link for the first online lecture. If you have not received any emails with a link, please check your spam or junk folder, or email us - well in advance - and we will manually send you the link.

The link for the second lecture in the second week, will be send to you in a separate email a day before the start of this talk.

Please make sure to log on 10 min before the start of the talks.


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    This ticket is for people who have paid offline in advance. Please note that you need to confirm your offline payment by sending us an email. You can pay for this one talk, or make multiple payments in one go and build a credit. Your sale will be matched with our records, please note that if you have no credit with Art Historical London your entry to the lecture will be blocked.

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