Sir Waldron Smithers; Herbert Stanley Morrison, Baron Morrison of Lambeth

1 portrait

Sir Waldron Smithers; Herbert Stanley Morrison, Baron Morrison of Lambeth

by Ronald William Fordham Searle
pen and ink and blue crayon, 1951
9 3/4 in. x 10 3/8 in. (247 mm x 262 mm)
Purchased with funding from the Elizabeth Weisz Fund, 2010
Primary Collection
NPG 6894

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Famous for his zany delineations of British life, and a contributor to the creative programme of the Festival of Britain in 1951, Searle recorded the challenges Morrison faced during its development. Sir Waldron Smithers, the Tory MP for Orpington, seen here grudgingly acknowledging the event's success, grilled Morrison on its likely cost. Nicknamed 'Lord Festival', Morrison relished his supervisory task, seeing the spectacle as a symbolic re-affirmation of national identity and the chance to provide some restorative fun. He stamped his own character on the event, which similarly blended cockney sensibility with an agenda for social reform.

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