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Music Hall: Sickert and the Three Graces

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20130326101349-the-new-bedford_-walter-sickert-1915-16-the-mercer-art-gallery_-harrogate-borough-council_27_1000px_custom_290x212_06200455
The New Bedford, 1915/16 © The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate Borough Council
Music Hall: Sickert and the Three Graces

Cromwell Road
South Kensington
London SW7 2RL
United Kingdom
March 16th, 2013 - January 5th, 2014

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.vam.ac.uk
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
kensington
EMAIL:  
vanda@vam.ac.uk
PHONE:  
44 020 79422000
OPEN HOURS:  
10am-5:45pm daily; 10am-10pm Fridays
COST:  
Room 104: Theatre and Performance Galleries: Free admission

DESCRIPTION

At the turn of the 20th century, entertainment by and for the people was at its peak in Britain. Audiences jostled, boozed and sang along in over 500 music halls. Music halls were a result of Britain’s expanding commercial power, and for newly affluent workers they provided an escape from working life. For women performers, they offered the promise of an independent career. Popular song and comedy reflected the complexities of a changing industrialised society – a world that saw greater class mobility and the emancipation of women.

Walter Sickert’s painting The Gallery of the Old Bedford is an evocative depiction of a music hall. Sickert immersed himself in the world of the halls in his desire to capture modern life. For Sickert the music halls were a serious subject for art – a spectacle of light, colour, movement and sound, with female performers who were a never-ending source of artistic inspiration.

This display brings together Sickert’s paintings with objects and ephemera from the V&A’s collections to explore the culture of the music halls. At the heart of the story are the women performers.