This collection was formed by the artist Enid Marx (1902-1998) and historian Margaret Lambert (1906-95), who together shared a love of English popular art. Writing several books on the subject, they defined their interest in ‘the art which ordinary people have, from time immemorial, introduced into their lives, sometimes making it themselves, at others imposing their tastes on the product of the craftsmen or of the machine.’ The Marx-Lambert collection features ceramics, glassware, corn dollies, canalware, and paper mache figures. Often these pieces directly inspired Marx’s own creations, which were similarly diverse. As the first female engraver to be designated as a Royal Designer for Industry, Marx is known today for her bold geometric textile designs for London Transport. But she was also a printmaker and painter, who produced linocuts and designs for book jackets, postage stamps, posters and cards.
The redisplay of this collection was supported by grants from DCMS/Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund and the Clothworker’s Foundation.