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Stephen Bayley on Taste: The Secret Meaning of Things

As Dulwich Picture Gallery launches its exhibition of work by Edward Bawden, who effortlessly pushed the boundaries between fine and commercial art while also exploring exciting new approaches to design, we consider the question of taste. Is there such thing as ‘the best’ taste? Is your taste worse than mine? Who says? And can we ever discern excellence, let alone reach full certainty?


Join Stephen Bayley, author, critic, broadcaster, and founding director of the influential Design Museum in London as he illuminates the nuances and niceties of our mercurial understanding of taste and examines how it has developed in relation to architecture, design, food and fashion.


“I don’t know anyone with more interesting observations about style, taste and contemporary design.”
Tom Wolfe on Stephen Bayley


In his new book Taste: The Secret Meaning of Things, Stephen Bayley tracks the shifts and diversions of opinion across culture and throughout time in order to discover what exactly determines taste. He finds that Taste is a paradox: both a myth and a reality. But a notable correlation – Bayley asserts – far from unanimous ideals on style and aesthetic, is instead tied up in manners and class. Whether it is the Victorians seizing upon the notion of ‘good taste’ as a way of codifying middle-class mores, or the fear in our modern age of what taste unveils about the judgement-maker, notions of class and manners persist.



Location: Dulwich Picture Gallery

The event will start promptly at 19.30 and finish by 20.30

Tickets are £10 or £8 for concessions

£30 including a signed copy of Taste: The Secret Meaning of Things (£29.95)

Please note that refunds are not available except when an event sells out

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