The Lyons Lithographs: an ingenious design solution
Barnett Freedman, People, 1947
Lyons Tea Shops were once a familiar sight on British high streets. After the second world war, the café chain faced a problem as a lack of materials made redecorating premises difficult. Their solution: to commission leading artists to create an amazing series of lithographs to be used in the Tea Shops
Michael Ayrton, The Spectators, c 1949-51
Post-war British artists including Edward Bawden, David Gentleman, John Nash and LS Lowry were all commissioned by catering giant J Lyons & Co for the scheme. Their work was featured in some 200 Lyons Teashops nationwide.
Laurence Stephen (LS) Lowry, Industrial Scene, c 1946-7
David Gentleman, Cornish Pilchard Boat, c 1953-55
Edward Bawden, The Dolls at Home, 1947
Forty lithographs were commissioned in three series, from 1946 to 1955. A complete set, together with paintings and sketches, is on show at the Towner gallery's exhibition The Lyons Teashops Lithographs: Art in a Time of Austerity in Eastbourne.
Sam Rabin, Last Round, c 1953-55
Edwin La Dell, Hastings, 1947
"Presenting a very particular British idyll, the lithographs depict urban, industrial, rural and coastal landscapes, domestic interiors, street scenes and still-lifes," according to the gallery. "Pictures of leisure pursuits such as billiards, cricket, fishing, punting, boxing and piano-playing vie with scenes of a railway station, a hotel lobby and fishmonger's shop; and apple pickers in a Kent orchard contrast with yeoman warders at the Tower of London and afternoon tea in Henley."
John Piper, Elizabethan Dance (crop), 1953-55
The Lyons Teashops Lithographs: Art in a Time of Austerity 1946 - 1955, is on until September 22. See here for details
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The July issue of Creative Review is a type special, with features on the Hamilton Wood Type Museum, the new Whitney identity and the resurgence of type-only design. Plus the Logo Lounge Trend Report, how Ideas Foundation is encouraging diversity in advertising and more.
Loved them. Michael Ayrton's made me think of Peter Howson' work. Strange!
Lovely designs. I particularly like David Gentleman's Cornish boat - the composition and tonal balance is fab! Thanks for sharing.