The Emotional Utilitarian

An exhibition of the beautifully functional.

Join us for The Emotional Utilitarian exhibition, 13-15th October (B.T. Batsford Bookshop and Gallery, London)

What connects an extendable egg collector’s mirror and a hand painted model of an industrial stone-crushing plant?

One is a tool to be used by the most whimsical of hobbyists, a strangely functional intervention in a fanciful world. The other is an unnecessarily beautiful solution to the most industrial of processes.

These two objects represent the two poles of this exhibition. From tools made for pleasure to beautiful machines, the panoply of objects exhibited at Batsford Gallery are all made up of a duality. Things made to fulfil a purpose, notwithstanding a dash of romanticism. From spring-loaded footrest to boot-shaped chocolate mould, massage roller to pricking wheel, carpet beater to fruit picker.

The sixty objects on display were gathered from flea-markets and fairs by collector David Usborne, selected for their alluring functionality. In his words: ‘They were made to be used, not to be admired for their aesthetic qualities, and we are free to enjoy them in any way we choose.’

An exhibition of Emotional Utilitarians. For Emotional Utilitarians.

Items loaned from the David Usborne Collection at UAL, Archives and Special Collections Centre.