The Lyons Teashops Lithographs: Art in a time of Austerity

Towner Art Gallery

13 July – 22 September 2013

£2.75 with National Art Pass (standard entry £5.50)

National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to over 240 venues across the UK as well as 50% off major exhibitions.

Find out more

The Lyons lithographs reveal a sweet story of how art was able to overcome austerity in the post-war era.

Barnett Freedman, People, 1947

Rather unsurprisingly, Lyons' teashops were looking a little shabby by the end of the Second World War.

Undeterred by the lack of decorating materials available in the austerity years that followed, J. Lyons & Co decided to commission three series of lithographs to brighten up the walls of the interiors.

Recruiting some of Britain's leading artists – including Edward Bawden, John Piper, David Gentleman, John Minton, William Scott and John Nash – the catering giant was able to bring works by some of the finest modern painters to the wide range of people who frequented their famous venues.

Towner is showing all three series of lithographs alongside some of the original paintings and working drawings. 

Venue information

Opening times

Tue – Sun, 10am – 5pm
Bank Holidays, 10am – 5pm

Please visit the Towner website for Christmas opening hours.

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)