Osbert Lancaster: An Appreciation
Tuesday 10th May 6:30pm, RIBA Bookshop, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD
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Sir Osbert Lancaster (1908-1986) was a painter, a writer, a cartoonist, a theatre designer, an authority on architecture and design, and above all a great British humourist. His pocket cartoons depicting the aristocratic Maudie Littlehampton, her family and friends, which appeared in the Daily Express for forty years, recorded in his inimitably English way the life, news and opinions of the period. His books on architecture and design are as witty as they are authoritative: in them he depicts buildings and interiors with an unerring instinct for the minutiae of stylistic change and recreates with irrepressible humor the way of life of the original inhabitants.
To celebrate the publication of Osbert Lancaster’s Cartoons, Columns and Curlicues, the RIBA Bookshop and Pimpernel Press are delighted to present an evening discussion about him and his work.
Clare Hastings, Osbert Lancaster’s stepdaughter, will introduce the evening with a short talk on ‘Living with Osbert lancaster’.
James Knox will then talk about Osbert’s background, his wide education as an artist and illustrator and the key friendships and influences which led him to become the greatest architectural satirist of his age; And Peter York will speak about him as a satirist of social stereotypes though his drawings of interiors.
Clare Hastings worked for 30 years as a freelance stylist and costume designer, starting at Harper’s Queen magazine as assistant to Anna Wintour. In 2003 Clare changed tack to set up a gift company with her daughter. Ten years later ‘Clippy London’ was franchised, and they now work together on ‘The Indytute’ – which offers ‘brilliantly inspired lessons’ all over London. Clare’s mother was the journalist and writer Anne Scott-James, who was married to Osbert from 1967 until his death in 1986.
James Knox is the author of Cartoons & Coronets: The Genius of Osbert Lancaster and was curator of the 2008 Osbert Lancaster exhibition at the Wallace Collection. He is the biographer of Robert Byron – friend and fellow architectural campaigner of Osbert, and is himself an architectural campaigner. He ran the Art Newspaper for ten years and is now Director of the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation.
Peter York is a British management consultant, author and broadcaster best known for writing Harper’s & Queen’s The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook with Ann Barr. He has a weekly interior design column in The Sunday Times and has just completed writing and presenting a documentary on 21st Century Bohemians for the BBC.
Hugh Pearman is the editor of the RIBA Journal, and was Design and Architecture critic for The Sunday Times for 30 years. He regularly contributes to major newspapers and architecture magazines such as The Guardian, The New York Times, Royal Academy Magazine and Architectural Record. Hugh is the author of Contemporary World Architecture, Equilibrium: The Work of Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners, both published by Phaidon, and Airports: A Century of Architecture published by Lawrence King and Abrams. As well as writing, he frequently teaches and lectures, and in 2015 was visiting Professor in Architecture at the Royal College of Art.