Donald Albrecht

Keep Calm and Carry On:
World War II and
the British Home Front,

Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida

This catalog accompanied the exhibition Keep Calm and Carry On, which traced developments in architecture, engineering, urban planning, fashion, graphics, media, and product and automotive design between 1938 and 1951, a tumultuous 13-year period that spanned the run-up to World War II and its immediate aftermath. From 1939 to 1945, Britain’s creative class mobilized to win the war on the home front. Wartime initiatives spurred new levels of design innovation in a wide range of fields. Architects and engineers created air raid shelters to protect civilians from bombs and missiles and proposed new ideas in architecture and planning to rebuild the nation’s bombed-out cities. Designers in other media conceived fashions and furnishings that saved essential wartime materials while injecting style and beauty into the harsh realities of wartime life. Graphic designers created visually dynamic posters and filmmakers produced inspirational movies that shaped the nation’s behavior and attitudes. Arts promoters also rose to the challenges, forging new and lasting relationships between museums, artists, musicians, the British government, and the public. The end of the war in 1945 accelerated these progressive trends with a series of exhibitions presenting new and innovative ideas.

> See exhibition

Catalog design: Pure + Applied
Photographs: John Halpern

Donald Albrecht