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

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.

Towner Art Gallery

Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4JJ

01323 434670


Opening times

Tue – Sun, 10am – 5pm
Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am – 5pm
Late Night Opening, Thursdays from 22 June - 31 August, until 8pm
Please visit the Towner website for Christmas opening hours.

Free to all

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