MERL Gifts

The Diversity of British Farming

In 1951, Michael O’Connell, the 'lost modernist’, created a series of seven 3.8m-high textile artworks for the countryside pavilion at the Festival of Britain.

The wall-hangings formed a display called the ‘Diversity of British Farming’, with each one representing the unique agriculture, architecture and traditions of a different region. These wall-hangings have been in The MERL’s collections ever since. Two have been conserved and displayed in a bespoke gallery since the Museum’s redevelopment in 2016. Kent with its oast houses and fruit trees, was displayed until 2021 when it was replaced by the distinctive Tudor architecture and dairy farms of Cheshire. Details from both counties now feature on this range of products.

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