Art and Masculinity in Post-War Britain : Reconstructing Home book cover
1st Edition

Art and Masculinity in Post-War Britain
Reconstructing Home

ISBN 9781032085715
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

In this book, Gregory Salter traces how artists represented home and masculinities in the period of social and personal reconstruction after the Second World War in Britain. Salter considers home as an unstable entity at this historical moment, imbued with the optimism and hopes of post-war recovery while continuing to resonate with the memories and traumas of wartime. Artists examined in the book include John Bratby, Francis Bacon, Keith Vaughan, Francis Newton Souza and Victor Pasmore. Case studies featured range from the nuclear family and the body, to the nation. Combined, they present an argument that art enables an understanding of post-war reconstruction as a temporally unstable, long-term phenomenon which placed conceptions of home and masculinity at the heart of its aims. Art and Masculinity in Post-War Britain sheds new light on how the fluid concepts of society, nation, masculinity and home interacted and influenced each other at this critical period in history and will be of interest to anyone studying art history, anthropology, sociology, history and cultural and heritage studies.

Table of Contents

List of Figures Acknowledgements Series preface Introduction: ‘Shaken by the Spirit of Reconstruction’ 1. John Bratby: Masculinity and Violence in the Post-War Home 2. Francis Bacon: Queer Intimacy and Queer Spaces of Home 3. Keith Vaughan: Bodies and Memories of Home 4. Francis Newton Souza: Masculinity, Migration, and Home 5. Victor Pasmore: Abstraction and the Post-War Landscape of Home Conclusion: Gilbert & George and the Persistence of ReconstructionNotesBibliography Index

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Gregory Salter is Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Birmingham, UK.


Gregory Salter brings together a stimulatingly diverse range of artists and artifacts in his study of British culture just after the Second World War. His surprising and evocative readings of paintings and writings proffer the postwar experience as profoundly visual and full of colour, light and shade. - Alice Ferrebe, Liverpool John Moores University, UK