William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain
12 March 2014
British architecture would not be where it is today without William Kent (1685-1748), who was a leading architect and designer of early Georgian Britain. At the V&A, from 22nd March – 13th July, an exhibition will illustrate his polymathic career as painter and designer of sculpture, costume, interior decoration, furniture, metalwork, architecture and landscape gardens. At this crucial time in history when Britain was establishing itself as a new nation, Kent played an important role in defining a new aesthetic that would become synonymous with British design.
Kent aimed to educate the British in the Italian tastes that he had been influenced by during his time studying in Rome, and it was this Baroque-inspired aesthetic that made him a hit with wealthy British aristocrats. It was this popularity that gave him the platform to extend his art from ceiling and wall paintings, to addressing the interior as a whole. The exhibition will showcase nearly 200 works from over three decades of his stylistic revolution, from drawings and paintings, to original furniture and ornate mirrors.
Don’t miss co-curator, Julius Bryant’s talk on Friday 21st March during which he will discuss some of the main themes and processes involved in the exhibition.