The Victoria and Albert Museum has an exciting new exhibition coming soon – British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age, celebrating the best of British post-war art and design from the 1948 ‘Austerity Games' to the summer of 2012. Over 300 British design objects highlight significant moments in the history of British design and how the country continues to nurture artistic talent and be a world leader in creativity and design.
And to celebrate this exhibition they have collaborated with Ernest Race, one of the most important figures in British post-war design, on the reissue of the Antelope Chair in its original Festival of Britain yellow – hoooo-raaaah!
The exhibition will include the furniture of Ernest Race (1913-1964) who played an enormous part in the development of contemporary British furniture design and revolutionized manufacturing processes using improvised or salvaged materials. His single most important contribution to modern furniture was his ability to balance the pre-war Modernist aesthetic with the optimism of a post-war Contemporary style, finding widespread fame at the Festival of Britain in 1951.
With a background in interior design, Race's intelligent use of materials such as steel and plywood and often whimsical forms has left a legacy of classic British furniture designs. These are now exhibited in many museums and galleries worldwide, including the V&A, and are avidly collected by an increasing number of modern furniture enthusiasts.
The Antelope chair was originally commissioned to furnish the outdoor terraces of the newly built Royal Festival Hall for the 1951 Festival of Britain. Race chose yellow, one of the official Festival colours for the moulded plywood seat which complimented the white slender bent steel frame and petite balled feet.