The LCC and the Arts I: The Open-Air Sculpture Exhibitions

Municipal Dreams

If we remember 1945 at all – and it seems, sadly, an increasingly distant memory – we remember it for its principles of a free and national health service, a system of social security (not ‘welfare’ or ‘benefits’) in which a common duty to share burdens and support the less fortunate was almost universally accepted, and for the seemingly radical idea that the economy should be the people’s servant, not their master.

But beyond this – as if those values were not sufficiently remarkable by contemporary standards – there was a belief in a democratic and shared civic culture.  The arts were understood as an integral part of this.

Labour’s 1945 manifesto, ‘Let Us Face the Future’ (modestly described as ‘A Declaration of Labour Policy for the Consideration of the Nation’), urged that:

1945_labour_manifestoNational and local authorities should co-operate to enable people to enjoy their leisure to the full, to…

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