Spaces of Black Modernism: London 1919–39 explores the experiences and interactions of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds in London’s art world between the wars.
In the inter-war period, cosmopolitan networks of artists, activists, writers and artists’ models in London helped shape the cultural and political identity of the city. The studios, art colleges and social clubs of Chelsea, Bloomsbury and Soho became places of trans-national exchange.
Spaces of Black Modernism draws together paintings, sculpture, photographs and archival material from Tate’s collection with others loaned from public and private collections. It follows the interactions between artists such as John Banting, Edward Burra, Jacob Epstein, Barbara Ker-Seymer, Ronald Moody, Glyn Philpot and Matthew Smith with others including the writers Claude McKay and Una Marson, the poet and political activist Nancy Cunard, the model ‘Sunita’ (Amina Peerbhoy) and the singer Elisabeth Welch.
The display is curated by Dr Gemma Romain and Dr Caroline Bressey of University College London with Emma Chambers (Curator of Modern British Art) and Inga Fraser (Assistant Curator, Modern British Art) at Tate Britain.
The display is a collaboration between Tate Britain and the Equiano Centre at University College London and builds on research from the Arts & Humanities Research Council-funded project, Drawing Over the Colour Line.