Get a taster of charming new National Trust exhibition, Lyons Teashop Lithographs, at Mottisfont, Hampshire, with our image gallery of some of its most vibrant pieces
This May and June, the National Trust is to host a colourful exhibition of original lithographs from the 1940s and 50s at Mottisfront, a beautiful country house in Hampshire.
The artworks were commissioned by catering company, J Lyons & Co, from leading artists of the day, to brighten up their teashops all over the country in the difficult years following the end of the Second World War; Britain was in the grip of austerity and few people had any money to spend on such things. J Lyons & Co decided to change the visual landscape, displaying work by artists including L.S. Lowry, John Piper, David Gentleman, John Minton, William Scott and John Nash.
Louise Govier, curator of Mottisfont’s gallery, said: “I find it amazing that the owners of a chain of tea rooms commissioned such wonderful, vibrant art from all the major artists of the day. It’s as if your local big brand coffee shop had special works designed by David Hockney and Damien Hirst, instead of generic photographs of coffee beans or Italian streets. In the depths of post-war austerity, these colourful pictures must have been an absolute tonic – and they still lift the spirits now. It’s been a joy to work on this show, and to bring such important artists to our corner of Hampshire.”
The special collection will go on display at Mottisfont, a house created from a 13th-century priory and set in beautiful riverside gardens near Romsey in Hampshire. Throughout the exhibition, which runs from 2 May until 5 July, guests will have the chance to try vintage cakes inspired by some of the favourites served by Lyons.
Browse our image gallery of some of the vibrant lithographs below.
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