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23 April 2016The fusion of art, design and pleasure on the Côte d'Azur in the 1920s and 30s
25 April 2015Looking and cooking, painting and eating: the pleasures of the table and the palette
10 May 2014Visions of Light and Colour: The Life and Work of Claude Monet
01 November 2013The Chinese Influence on the Country House in Late 17th century: Inspiration and Conservation

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The fusion of art, design and pleasure on the Côte d'Azur in the 1920s and 30s Mary Alexander Saturday 23 April 2016

Since the C19 English high society had regularly 'wintered over' on the Côte d'Azur, promenading by the sea and leaving 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, create a new summer season. Sun tans and sportswear soon became 'de rigueur' in the chic new coastal resorts, villas and hotels. In the words of Matisse writing in 1918 ... "It seems like a paradise which one does not have the right to analyse". In this experimental Riviera playground of ideas, a vibrant synergy pulsated across the visual design arts.

Traditional boundaries were torn down. Matisse, Picasso, Dufy, Cocteau, and Chanel merged the worlds of fashion, theatre and interiors. The impresarios Serge Diaghilev and Paul Poiret generate an exciting fusion in the creative arts. Cole Porter, Scott Fitzgerald, and the intriguing Gerald and Sara Murphy who become lifestyle icons, introduce an American perspective and attract an influential new set of discerning patrons and collectors.

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