Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

A major selling show Britain Between The Wars is a display of paintings, drawings, prints, furniture, textiles, jewellery and glass produced by some of our top artists and designers between 1918 and 1939. It runs until April 29 with a price range of about £100 to around £320,000.

Those years in Britain were a melee of conflicting emotions and aesthetics. The First World War changed everything. The old Victorian world had disappeared forever. Women had to some extent been liberated, getting the vote in 1918 and leaving domestic service to work in factories and offices. Abstraction challenged figurative art and new technologies enabled Modernist architects and designers to explore the use of new materials such as chrome, tubular steel and plate glass.

However, although change was characteristic of the period the exhibition demonstrates that those working in the traditional manner still flourished.

The hub of the show is a collection of five Paul Nash watercolours and three sculptures by Frank Dobson recently bequeathed to the Byam Shaw School and to be sold to fund student bursaries. Nash’s pupils, Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden are also represented.

Textiles reflected the changing aesthetics and the exhibition includes designs by Ben Nicholson and Voysey, while in furniture design Gordon Russell moved from his Cotswolds origins to renew the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The Scandinavian element entered with bentwood furniture and work by Ebenezer Gomme (later G-Plan), and Sir Ambrose Heal feature.

War memorials were an important feature in sculpture in the 1920s and you can see works by Eric Gill, Charles Sargeant Jagger and Leon Underwood.

And it can be seen in the show how the manufacture of silver and jewellery recognised the possibilities of new technology alongside the more traditional handwork.

Some of the works will be displayed as single iconic items of the period while others will be incorporated into room settings.

Finally, returning to the refurbishment of the galleries themselves, the entrance and first floor have been completed and the original 1881 fireplace, removed to the William Morris Museum in the late 1950s, has been returned to its original position in the entrance gallery.

A second phase of work will be carried out in the summer when among other improvements the whole of the main gallery will be refurbished and the downstairs gallery enlarged.