14th December 2016

Riviera Paradise: the fusion of art, design, and pleasure on the Côte D’Azur in the 1920’s and 30’s

Since the 19th century English high society had 'wintered over' on the Côte d'Azur, but in the early 1920's an intoxicating mix of artists, writers, musicians and international visitors, created a new summer season inspired by a mythological seascape of luminous colours. Sun tans and sportswear soon became 'de rigueur' in the chic new coastal resorts, villas and hotels. This liberating playground of ideas across the visual design arts was stimulated by impresarios such as Diaghilev and Poiret and traditional boundaries were torn down. Matisse, Picasso, Dufy, Cocteau, and Chanel merged the worlds of fashion, theatre and interiors while Cole Porter and Scott Fitzgerald introduced an American perspective which attracted an influential new set of discerning patrons and collectors.

Mary Alexander

Mary Alexander has an MA with distinction from University College London. She has 30 years experience as a lecturer in museums, tutoring for the Open University, visiting lecturer at Christie's Education in London, and museum curator at Platt Hall, the Gallery of Costume in Manchester. Now a freelance lecturer to various arts, heritage and antiquarian societies, she has also worked in London and New York for a design consultancy and written articles on design and visual awareness issues. Mary’s background combines an unusual blend of academic and visual communications skills and she is an enthusiastic member of her local DFAS.