Tickets Now on Sale for British Blonde: Women, Desire and the Image in Post-War

  • 4 September 2023

We are delighted to announce Professor Lynda Nead will be delivering this year's Paul Mellon Lectures.

The series titled 'British Blonde: Women, Desire and the Image in Post-War Britain' will look at post-war Britain through changing styles of femininity that expressed many of the key concerns of the nation in the twenty-five years that followed the end of the Second World War. In the 1950s, American glamour was exported to a war-torn Britain, part of a larger passage of commodities that crossed the Atlantic in this period. In the process, however, something important happened, blonde became British, Marilyn Monroe became Diana Dors. The lectures will capture this process as it evolved through the 1950s and 1960s and was subjected to the changing definitions of class, social aspiration and desire that shaped the post-war nation.

Drawing on a wide range of visual media and forms including painting, film, photography, advertising and fashion the lectures offer a new history of the art and culture of post-war Britain.

The first lecture will take place on 18 October at the V&A Gorvy Lecture Theatre followed by a drinks reception. Following lectures will take place every Wednesday at 6.30pm for 5 weeks until 15 November 2023.

Book tickets.

The Paul Mellon lectures, which are named in honour of the philanthropist and collector of British art, Paul Mellon (1907-1999), were inaugurated in 1994 when Professor Francis Haskell delivered the first series at the National Gallery in London. The model for the series was the Andrew W. Mellon lectures, established in 1949 in honour of Paul Mellon’s father, the founder of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Co-organised by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Yale Center for British Art, the lectures are biennial, given by a distinguished historian of British art. This lecture series will take place at the V&A in London and at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven.

Poster for British Blonde event series - all information also in the body of the text of this webpage

Poster for British Blonde, designed by Luke Gould