During the years following World War II debates about the British landscape fused with questions of national identity as the country reconstructed its sense of self. For better or for worse artists, statesmen, and ordinary citizens saw themselves reflected in the landscape, and in turn helped to shape the way that others envisioned the land. While landscape art is frequently imagined in terms of painting, this book examines the role of landscape in terms of a broader definition of visual culture to include the discussion not only of works of oil on canvas, but also prints, sculpture, photography, advertising, fashion journalism, artists' biographies, and the multi-media stage of the national exhibition. Making extensive use of archival materials (newspaper reviews, radio broadcasts, interviews with artists, letters and exhibition planning documents), Catherine Jolivette explores the intersection of landscape art with a variety of discourses including the role of women in contemporary society, the status of immigrant artists in Britain, developments in science and technology, and the promotion of British art and culture abroad.
Contents: Introduction; Nostalgia for the past, anxiety towards the future: landscape and national identity at the South Bank exhibition; The gendered landscape; The Britishness of British art; Growth and form: the new landscapes; The end of landscape art?; Notes; Bibliography; Index.