We thought it would be good to hand the next Blog post over to Crofton Gane himself. The following is his review of the success of the PE Gane Pavilion designed for him by Marcel Breuer for the 1936 Royal Agricultural Show held at Ashton Park in Bristol. It was published in the house newsletter, News of Gane in the November.
Materials and New Uses
WARMER AND MORE HUMAN TREND IN THE MODERN MOVEMENT
image © Stradling Collection
How do you measure success? Nobody can say that the Royal Agricultural Show at Bristol enjoyed good weather. Our dismal summer was at its worst. Nor can we claim that hundreds of people went straight from our Pavilion to College Green and ordered suites of furniture. And yet we have no hesitation in describing our exhibit as a great success, because it did what it set out to do. The Gane pavilion was one more step in our long-term policy of showing the West of England the very best of modern ‘design for living.’
In a sense, we are even more interested in those who ‘don’t like’ modern furniture than in those who do. They will come to Gane’s anyway. But the unconvinced are usually those who have been put off by ‘chromium-plate-jazz-modernistic’ stuff and we want to prove to them that good modern design is superbly lovable.
It was for this reason that we were glad to hear so many comments on the combination of rugged Cotswold stone an£ sleek modern furniture which was a feature of the pavilion. Outer walls of glass were offset by inner walls and ceilings faced with warm and friendly birch, needing no ‘decoration’ but its own subtle grain and the pattern produced by the slightly differing tones of the various panels.
Heirlooms of Tomorrow
As one country lass said ‘It does grow on you.’ That sums up our own attitude, and we have been turning timber into good furniture for 116 years. You do not get tired of good modern furniture – it’s graceful simplicity and its common sense make you more and more satisfied with it as time goes by.
A professor of Agriculture and a City Alderman both asked for the name of the architect, as they proposed to build in the near future. Thus gradually the modern movement goes forward, making converts by its own inherent logic and beauty; we are proud to be its pioneers in the West Country.
PRICES of furniture exhibited in the Gane pavilion. Handmade in oak-figured timber…
Photograph on this page
Chest 2ft.9in. wide. 6. 12. 6.
Mirror over. 2. 3. 0.
Wardrobe 3ft. wide. 9. 18. 6.
Bedside Cupboard. 3. 0. 0.
Bedstead 3ft. wide. 4. 15. 0.
Easy Chair. 2. 19. 6.
Crofton Gane, News of Gane, 2, November 1936.
For more on the Bauhaus in Bristol and the relationship between Marcel Breuer and Bristol furniture manufacturer Crofton Gane go to our Bauhaus in Bristol Resource pages.
Go to the Ken Stradling Collection website for more information about the Collection, for details of upcoming exhibitions and how to visit us in Bristol.