Black Eyes and Lemonade: Curating Popular Art

Simon Costin, Catherine Moriarty

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition


A radical exhibition of popular art opened at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in the spring of 1951. Its curator, the artist, designer, writer and campaigner, Barbara Jones, described the exhibits as, ' things that people make or are manufactured to their taste.' For Jones, the exhibition presented an opportunity to represent through objects, many of the ideas she also explored through her effusive writing style and audacious drawings. At the same time, she sought to provoke established ideas about museum and gallery culture, and the value attached to particular kinds of objects. Curating Popular Art is curated by Moriarty with the art director and founder of the Museum of British Folklore, Simon Costin. A collaboration between an academic and a designer, it looks afresh at Jones' innovative project, considering particularly her curatorial strategy and the connections she established across images, objects and text. Relating curatorial activity to writing and drawing projects, and understanding all these as mechanisms of arrangement, is a new approach to Jones’ work and offers a radical model of inter-textual curatorial analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2013
Eventexhibition - Whitechapel Art Gallery, 9 March - 15 September 2013
Duration: 9 Mar 2013 → …


  • popular art
  • curating
  • exhibition
  • drawing
  • taste
  • writing
  • design


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