The Fusion of Art,Design and Pleasure on the Côte d'Azur in the 1920s and 30s
High Church Cross Hall, Camberley
'One could get away with more on the summer Riviera, and whatever happened seemed to have something to do with art' F Scott Fitzgerald
Since the C19 English high society had 'wintered over' on the Côte d'Azur, but always left by April. In the early 1920's, however, an intoxicating mix of artists, writers, musicians and international visitors, inspired by a mythological seascape of luminous colours, created a new summer season. Sun tans and sportswear soon became 'de rigueur' in the chic new coastal resorts, villas and hotels. This liberating playground of ideas, across the visual design arts, was stimulated by impresarios Serge Diaghilev and Paul Poiret.
Traditional boundaries were torn down. Matisse, Picasso, Dufy, Cocteau and Chanel merged the worlds of fashion, theatre and interiors. Cole Porter, Scott Fitzgerald and the intriguing Gerald and Sara Murphy, introduced an American perspective and attracted an influential new set of discerning patrons and collectors.
In these lectures we will 'time travel' and at a leisurely pace recreate the romance of rail travel on the iconic “Train Bleu” or motoring in a dashing “Hispano Suiza”. We will meet personalities, call in on Matisse’s studio in Nice, marvel at Dufy’s magical murals at Antibes, check out the latest fashionable interior designs at the Palais de la Mediterranée, buy a pair of Perugia shoes, and take a spin up to Monte Carlo to play the tables. Attend an opening night for the latest Ballets Russes production featuring Cocteau’s designs.
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