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Opulence Hurling Towards Catastrophe: The Art of the Edwardian Era

Laura Knight, Flying the Kite, 1910, oil on canvas, South African National Gallery, Cape Town

Laura Knight, Flying the Kite, 1910, oil on canvas, South African National Gallery, Cape Town

So Downton Abbey is a modern fantasy of pre-World War I Britain. A sanitized version of the dreamy alternative reality occupied by the British Aristocracy, before that dream was shattered by the reality and horrors of the Great War. In other words, Downton Abbey is a kind of pop art.

But Sebastian Smee tells us that in order to better understand the world before 1914, it’s best to look at the real visual art coming out of Britain at the time, much of which is now on exhibit at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut.


Sebastian Smee, Art Critic, Boston Globe


Edwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century at the Yale Center for British Art


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  • paul kollmar

    here, in the metro new york area///  the  news .spread like a SHOT-!-what a  time for the missing- link—————— leading up to those ROARING TWENTIES[‘[[—-from Juliet Nicolson’s THE PERFECT SUMMER—((–circa 1913))  to right here & NOW SPRING-SUMMER 2013!!!==all in anticipation of DOWNTON ABBEY  circa  1922-1925///whats’ up AHEAD indeed!=pk

  • paul kollmar

    oooops…..whats left out is ALLways  the  best=EDWARDIAN STYLE===!!!listen====This summer will be known  for the music of ERIC COATES–/(/little  performed in this “”eastern=establishment”” of the states—)&— not just the Brit’s-side of J.P.  SOUSA…..  but wreaking with patriotism///–**–In NEW YORK,  the ROYAL OAK FOUNDATION will be sponsoring a sequence of terrific lectures that will travel around the usa////—-oooooops, while i catch a nap//  just NOW in LONDON,..  a  connect*** its at  18 Stafford  terrace///an exact studio preserved**/of  Edward  Linley  Sambourne(1844-1910}punch cartoonist ‘extraudinaire’–see http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/museums////(( even the Yale centre’s staff doesn;t know this one!!—-pk

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