Art for All: British Socially Committed Art from the 1930s to the Cold War

2018; Paperback; ISBN 978-0-9558228-8-9. Hardback: ISBN 978-1-5272310-6-1


Art for All reveals a forgotten or marginalised area of 20th century British art. Christine Lindey delves into the fascinating treasure trove of British socially-committed art from the 30s through to the Cold War, and of which most people will be unaware. She demonstrates that the work of these artists deserves to be rediscovered and enjoyed. In her lavishly-illustrated volume, she also examines the circumstances that turned these individuals into socially committed artists, often swimming against the current of their times; and she also examines the special circumstances of their artistic production, their achievements and the handicaps they had to cope with. At the present, with capitalism in a seemingly continuous state of crisis and a popular demand for social change, these artists and their work take on a new relevance.

Praise for Christine Lindey's book:

Christine Lindey is a doyenne of British art history and one of its most original, accessible and principled practitioners. In previous publications she has approached traditional art history in novel ways, as well as revealing the importance and fascination of previously neglected areas. Her thought and writing combine academic rigour with a rare lucidity. In Art for All she explores a rich vein of British art that in the 1940s and 1950s kept alive the idea of a socially committed and widely understandable art in the face of the increasing dominance of elitist forms of modernism and abstraction that had become tools of the West on the cultural front of the Cold War. As a historian of British art myself I found this book a revelation. An important contribution to the history of British art this book, in its focus on a socially and politically aware practice that seeks a genuinely wide audience, seems particularly timely in this historical moment of rampant individualism and raging inequality.
Simon Casimir Wilson OBE
Author of Holbein to Hockney: A History of British Art and former Tate curator, columnist for RA Magazine

Lindey's new book spreads into areas of mid-20th century British art that have hardly been explored so far, simply because of the dominance of Abstract Modernist over Realist Modern art, which left artists such as George Fullard, Josef Herman or Eva Frankfurther in undeserved obscurity. The great virtue of Lindey's book lies with the breadth of the presentation. In all, this makes for an essential contribution to the history of art and art life in an important period of British socio-cultural endeavour.
Dr Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius Associate Lecturer, Department of History of Art Birkbeck College, University of London

This study of British Socially Committed Art from the 1930s to the Cold War is to be warmly welcomed. Christine Lindey is such a thought-provoking author. She writes with so much clarity, exploring the dilemmas of socially committed artists, striving to balance their political aims with their aesthetic ambitions, whilst struggling to survive economically in challenging times.
Marjorie Mayo, Editor, Theory and Struggle

Christine Lindey has produced a book that valuably expands our knowledge about socially committed art in Britain during the 1950s and '60s.
Robert Radford, former Senior Lecturer in History of Art, University of Southampton.

The book is available online from bookshops: £25 plus p&p in paperback and £45 plus p&p in hardback.

1 copy, including P&P
1 copy, including P&P