“Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft presents the story of outstanding artist, designer and typographer Elizabeth Friedlander. The work of Friedlander (1903-1984) is instantly recognisable as mid-20th century design at its best, but few will know the name behind the art. Best known for her Penguin book covers and Bauer Type Foundry typeface ‘Elizabeth’, the exhibition touches on her escape to London from 1930s Nazi Germany, friendship with her sponsor – poet and printer Francis Meynell – and her work with a wartime British black propaganda unit. The show includes rarely-seen works from the artist’s compelling career including type design, wood engravings, decorative book papers, maps and commercial work.
A few weeks ago I read an article in the latest Art Fund Quarterly magazine about the beautiful calligraphy and design work of Elizabeth Friedlander. As I read I realised that the venue for the exhibition of her work was The Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft in East Sussex. I remembered that friend (and regular commenter here) Fran, had recommended me to stop at this museum on my journey to Laughton Place back in 2014. In the end the traffic hold-ups in London meant that time was pressing and I would have insufficient time to do a visit justice. Upon realising that Ditchling was not a million miles from Godalming, where I’m pug-sitting this week, I suggested meeting Fran there and seeing the exhibition in good company.
Yesterday one of my teeth broke whilst eating lunch with my friend Barbara in Bern. She made an appointment for me to visit a dentist in Lucerne this afternoon. It’s a lovely journey from Meiringen on a train with picture windows which winds its way up and over the Brünig Pass out of the Bernese Alps region and into Central Switzerland.
The Obligatory Book that Accompanies the Show
Before visiting Melancolia at Somerset House (see previous post) I popped in the Courtauld Gallery. Again, I had been alerted to this show in a review in the Financial Times (Weekend, 21/22 October 2017): “Uniformed but Different: Soutine: The Russian-French painter’s portraits make an exceptional show”. I’d never heard of Soutine before but it looked and read to be something I would enjoy. I’d recently re-read Arnold Bennett’s “The Grand Babylon Hotel” (first published in 19o2) and the Soutine portraits are from a slightly later era. Although his are French and not characters from The Savoy Hotel in London. Near enough. [Here‘s a review of a 1950 show of Soutine’s work in the US and brief biography of Chaim Soutine (1893-1943)].
On a recent visit to London I had time enough before catching my train home to visit Somerset House. I’d earmarked three exhibitions – none of them big blockbusters – all in the same venue.
Lund is a small, compact city so it was easy to walk round to all the principle sites. The map leaflet was very handy to ensure we didn’t miss anything. We included some window-shopping and book shop browsing and a bit of eating and tea drinking throughout the day. The route starts at Lund Cathedral where we joined a tour in English.
The final country of my Big Adventure this year was Sweden. I’ve visited Germany and Denmark several times before (although I’d never been to any of the places I visited on this occasion) but this was my first ever trip to Sweden.
Very early in the morning of 27th June Bärbel and I left the Alte Strandvogtei and drove back to the port at Rønne – the capital of Bornholm. Bärbel’s ferry left at 8.00 and mine at 10.30.