Extravagance

Do you remember I said recently that we weren’t buying anything because we needed carpets and curtains?  It turns out that there are exceptions to this.

Black Eyes and Lemonade Catalogue cover curated by Barbara Jones whitechapel art gallery

Which is not a poster but the catalogue for the Black Eyes and Lemonade exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1951, curated, of course, by Barbara Jones.

Now we paid the money for something which is, if I am honest, not that pictorial.  There are a couple of images of popular graphics from the exhibition.

Molassine advertisement from Black eyes and lemonade catalogue barbara jones

Along with one Barbara Jones drawing of a doll.

Black eyes and lemonade doll drawing by barbara jones 1951

But that’s your lot – the rest looks like this.

Black Eyes and lemonade barbara jones inside text

From all of which I can tell you a few things.  One is that at least a third of the exhibition belonged to Barbara Jones herself; I wish I could have seen her house.

The second is that, more than anything else I have ever seen,the whole miscellaneous variety of human life is present, from bread to postcards of ‘Dressing up the cat’, a milk float to a stuffed chub, a beer pump to crochet-work mittens.  The only way I could give you the full picture of its oddity would be to type the whole thing out.

But fear not.  Chapter 27 of my world domination plan still includes a complete restaging of the entire Black Eyes and Lemonade exhibition, and with this in my hands I can at last make a start on it.  Even if I do have to live without carpets in the meantime.

  • Who needs carpets, anyway? They only need contant hoovering!

    Congratulations – this looks like a beautiful bright copy. Be sure to send me a nice hand-drawn invitation to your re-staging of the exhibition in due course!

  • Oooh, lucky you. Gosh yes, I would have LOVED to have seen Barbara’s home. Interested in your plan for world domination but even more excited by your plans to restage the exhibition. Please count me in!
    (I have a squirrel’s tooth under glass – would that be of interest? )

  • I think that the squirrel’s tooth is exactly the right line of stuff. We’ll have a mix of things that were in the original exhibition, and items which evoke the same kind of spirit, in honour of Ms Jones. You are definitely counted in!

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