PREVIEW: Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain, Two Temple Place

On display from the 27th January 2018, Two Temple Place will mark the centenary since jazz first reached Britain with an exhibition devoted to the music genre.

Edward Burra, The Band, 1934. (c) Estate of the artist,courtesy of Lefevre Fine Art Ltd, London and British Council Collection. 

Bringing together painting, prints, cartoons, textiles and ceramics, moving film, instruments and  jazz sound, Rhythm & Reaction is the seventh annual winter exhibition at Two Temple Place.

The exhibition aims to explore the  influence of jazz on British art, design and wider society and is produced in association with The Arts Society, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

Highlighting how the the new jazz sound in post-War nightclubs and dancehalls provided exciting and dynamic material for British artists, the exhibition will visit groups such as Original Dixieland Jazz Band and the Southern Syncopated Orchestra and how they offered Britons their first chance to experience the music live.

Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain will also reveal how publications such as Melody Maker,Rhythm and Tune Times not only distributed jazz but provided a space for visual artists to experiment with its aesthetic in print.

Curator Catherine Tackley said: “This exhibition tells the story of the ever-popular jazz age in new ways, focussing on British depictions of jazz to understand what the music meant to artists, assessing the resultant image of jazz in the public sphere as well as considering how jazz was encountered in everyday, domestic environments. Above all, the exhibition links the music with the aesthetics of art produced in response to it, uniquely foregrounding the impact of jazz music on ‘jazz age’ art.” 

Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain will be on display at Two Temple Place from the 27th January until the 22nd April 2018. For more information visit:

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