‘The Exercise of a Peculiar Art-Skill’: Kenneth Clark’s Design Advocacy and the Council of Industrial Design

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Abstract

This article considers the involvement of the art historian Kenneth Clark in design policy and promotion during the 1930s and 1940s, and particularly his association with the Council of Industrial Design, at a time when the role of design was particularly prominent in Britain’s war effort and post-war planning. Clark’s activities have not to date received detailed attention from either art or design historians. Drawing heavily on unpublished material from Clark’s archive1and other collections, it considers Clark’s attitude and contribution to design, in the context of his own wider arts agenda, as well as the wider debates of the time about ‘good design’ and modernism. Clark’s somewhat abrupt withdrawal from the Council, and from a significant engagement with design, marks a shift in his thinking about the relationship between art and design and their place in society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-66
Number of pages25
JournalVisual culture in Britain
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Visual Culture in Britain on 13/02/2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14714787.2015.993552

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