John Armstrong (1893-1973):
Design for Telecinema Mural, South Bank, 1951
Framed (ref: 5227)
Oil on board
40.5 x 76.2 cm (16 x 30 in.)
Provenance: The Artist’s Estate
Literature: Andrew Lambirth, John Armstrong, Philip Wilson Publishers, 2009, pp.198-99; British Murals and Decorative Painting 1920-1960, Sansom & Co, 2013, pp.276-289
At the end of the war, Armstrong moved down to Cornwall, to Lamorna, while retaining his working contacts in London. Various design projects helped to keep him solvent and then in 1951 came a commission for a mural for the Festival of Britain, that much-trumpeted ‘tonic to the nation’. Armstrong was asked to compose a mural for the foyer of the Telecinema, one of the buildings devoted to the moving image in
the Television piazza on the South Bank.
With his extensive experience as a designer for film, Armstrong was the obvious choice. The Telecinema became the first National Film Theatre but was later demolished when the lease on the site expired.
Armstrong’s mural disappeared, presumably destroyed. (Andrew
Lambirth, British Murals & Decorative Painting 1920-1960, Sansom & Co, p.283)