14 August 2008

midcentury modern

My latest Virago Modern Classics read: A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie has been on my to-read list for ages, so I was quite keen to see how I got on with Kensington:

While the repetition of a certain vulgar phrase proved somewhat maddening, the novel was compulsively readable and the heroine highly entertaining. I particularly liked the snippets of 'advice' she dispensed so convincingly: at one point she very nearly persuaded me to adopt a cat (quite impossible in our small flat)!

The cover features the textile design 'Calyx' by Lucienne Day. 'Calyx' was launched at the Festival of Britain in 1951 and is now considered an icon of Midcentury Modern design, a style and period I love. And I think this print by artist Angie Lewin captures a similar spirit:

Alliums and Fennel by Angie Lewin

Angie Lewin's prints are inspired by her surroundings in Norfolk as well as her own interest in Midcentury Modern design. I'm big fan, and G and I are really looking forward to attending her forthcoming exhibition at St. Jude's Gallery in Aylsham.


  1. I've not got around to reading any Virago Modern Classics yet - the covers alone would make them worth having! I do like Angie Lewin's work - not seen any for ages, so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  2. Thank you! I have not come across Angie Lewin before but the graphic style is very appealing. The Allium picture reminded me of Jane's cushion covers at Snapdragons Garden.

  3. I've read two of the Virago re-issues, the Helene Hanff and E M Delafield. I might try Muriel Spark again. I never was keen on Miss Jean Brodie but I ought to give her another try. Beautiful clover.