The mother of pop? Dorothy Morland and the Independent Group

Massey, Anne (2013) The mother of pop? Dorothy Morland and the Independent Group. Journal of Visual Culture, 12 (2). pp. 262-278. ISSN 1470-4129

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Abstract

The historiography of the Independent Group, dominated at present by art and architectural history, positions it within the trajectory of modernism. This Themed Issue demonstrates that there are other readings of the Group, which foreground both its multidisciplinary approach and contestation of cultural boundaries. The author is concerned here with the ways in which the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and its Director, Dorothy Morland (1906–1999), acted as a catalyst for the Group. As an arts administrator rather than a practitioner, Morland’s contribution is often overlooked in the histories of art and architecture. Using the disciplinary approach of visual culture, a more inclusive view is opened up. Claims for prescience are in themselves, problematic, but by positioning Morland as the ‘Mother of Pop’, the commonly accepted view of the Independent Group as the ‘Fathers of Pop’ is contested. Morland trained as a singer at the Royal College of Music, and this background gave her a non-specialist and inclusive approach towards the visual. She managed to facilitate certain kinds of interdisciplinary debate and made it possible for certain kinds of art, design and architectural practice to flourish within the context of the ICA. She also facilitated the exhibition and dissemination of this interdisciplinary practice, acting as a bridge between the ICA management and the Independent Group, as well as being key to the preservation of the ICA’s history and archives.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Fashion and Interiors
A. > School of Art and Design > Fashion and Interiors > Design and Urban Cultures cluster

A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > CREATE/Feminisms cluster
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Visual Culture and Curating cluster
Item ID: 12710
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2013 11:36
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2017 10:00
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/12710

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