Summer 2021

Seaside splendour

Art Deco by the Sea

9 February – 20 September 2020 Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

17 October 2020 – 27 February 2021, Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Catalogue: Art Deco by the Sea

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, £30

Eclectic, yet streamlined by design. It is perhaps unsurprising that Art Deco is associated with the seaside, with architecture and design of the period promising glamour, functionality and escapism. A juxtaposition of decorative styles, Art Deco has had a significant impact on the design of British resorts, evident at the height of their popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, and today. Originally known as ‘Style Moderne’, which described geometric design works at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925, the movement was later recognised as Art Deco in the 1960s, a time of shifting fortunes for Britain’s seaside towns.

Curated by Ghislaine Wood, ‘Art Deco by the Sea’ is an exploration of how the style defined the design and the cultural experience of the British seaside. …

The Odeons, Dreamland Cinema, Margate, designed by architects J. B. Iles, Julian Leathart and W. F. Granger, 1933-35. Photograph by George Arthur, from the Bruce Peter Collection.
Top. A tourism poster for New Brighton and Wallasey, Septimus E. Scott, 1923-47, courtesy National Railway Museum, Science Society Picture Library.

Justin Burns, Head of Art & Design, Leeds School of Arts at Leeds Beckett University, Yorkshire

Read the full version in Eye no. 101 vol. 26, 2021


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.