Liberty’s of London: ‘The Chosen Resort of the Artistic Shopper’
The Liberty store on London’s Marlborough Street was founded in 1875 and, though its doors are temporarily closed due to Covid-19, it remains one of Britain’s most distinctive and best loved retail destinations. The store is housed in a 1920’s Tudorbethan extravaganza of a building, an architectural gem in its own right. Oscar Wilde’s description of Liberty’s as “the chosen resort of the artistic shopper” characterizes its historical progress.
In this lecture, British historian Ian Cox will explore the history and development of this fascinating firm by looking at the context in which it originated and the biography of its founder Arthur Lasenby Liberty. Hallmark Liberty fabrics and fashions, a touch of Gilbert and Sullivan, decorative arts from the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau periods and examples from the contemporary era will all be used to shed light on the history of this unique emporium.