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2nd October, 2012

Dome: Ralph Tubbs and the Festival of Britain

Event Details

2nd October, 2012
Tuesday - Friday: 11am - 5pm Saturday: 10am - 4pm
End Date:
20th October, 2012
Chelsea Space, Chelsea College of Art and Design, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU

As part of the 2012 London Design Festival and Icon Design Trail Chelsea Space presents a unique opportunity to view material from the personal archive of Ralph Tubbs, architect of the iconic Dome of Discovery constructed for the Festival of Britain in 1951.

The Exhibition will focus on previously unseen drawings by Tubbs, photographs, ephemera and personal mementos. The exhibition will also include general memorabilia from this landmark event in the cultural life of 20th Century Britain.

The 1951 Festival of Britain was organised by the British government to promote the UK and help the British people recover a sense of optimism and pride after the trauma of the Second World War and the austerity that followed.

The Festival (100 years after the Great Exhibition of 1851) highlighted Britain’s contribution to science, Technology, Industrial Design, Arts and Architecture; the exhibition inside The Dome of Discovery was divided into sections about The Land, The Earth, Polar, Sea, Sky, Outer Space, The Physical World, and The Living World.

Sadly, the Festival and its architectural structures were seen as synonymous with Clement Attlee’s post-war Labour government and the incoming Conservatives under Winston Churchill had the Skylon and the Dome of Discovery demolished and sold for scrap in 1952.

An illustrated publication is available with texts by Jonathan Tubbs and Charles Knevitt.

Curatorial concept and design: Donald Smith.

For more information please visit Chelsea Space or Chelsea College of Art & Design.

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