Pallant House- Robin and Lucienne Day

Robin and Lucienne Day, courtesy Robin Day

Pallant House, go there for the current unmissable exhibition Robin and Lucienne Day- Design and the Modern Interior.

A few years ago a friend described her day trip to Pallant House in Chichester with the words, ‘ it’ so you, you will love it.’ Walk along the streets lined with elegant vernacular buildings, duck down a side street, round a sharp bend and there in front of you Queen Anne, Pallant House, renovated with an impressive extension a few years ago.

Duck down a side street

Round a double bend and there is Pallant House

Just when we are all feeling pleased with ourselves for being savy about modern design here’s an exhibition highlighting modern designs that are more than 60 years old. With their challenging designs celebrated couple Robin and Lucienne Day rose to prominence in the 1951 Festival of Britain.

Lucienne Day, Olive Calyx (1951) Manufactured by Heal Fabrics, Screen-printed linen, Courtesy of the collection of Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown III

Luciennes’ innovative abstract fabric designs inspired by floral and leaf forms were fresh and confident in the optimistic post war years.

Robin Day, Sideboard, Design for Hille, 1949, Courtesy of Target Gallery, London

In response to post war shortages Robin Day designed furniture with clean lines, groundbreaking yet economical, made from modern materials steel and ply wood, a stark contrast to heavy furniture of pre war years.

Robin Day, Royal Festival Hall Armchair, 1951, Courtesy Target Gallery, London

I’ve been quizzed about my lust for ‘stacking plastic chairs,’ here’s my justification.

Robin Day, Polypropylene Chair, 1963, Manufactured by S. Hille & Co. Ltd.

Lunch in the beautiful courtyard garden was wonderful, wild garlic gnocchi perfect, so light, melting and soft.

Pallant House lunch

Needless to say there was lots I missed, I will to go back for more, the rest of the collection and Mervyn Peake, coming soon, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Spencer Finch: The Evening Star and ‘Passing Cloud after Constable'


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