1 Pages


The New Architecture exhibition marked the penultimate moment in the evolution of

rhetorical modernism. By the end of 1938, when the Finsbury Health Centre had been

opened, this phase in the development of the British movement can be said to have

been completed. As the discussion in Part 2 has shown, in a period of just over five

years, Fry, Coates and their co-conspirators had, through their command of the persua-

sive discourses of the exhibition, article, building, and, latterly, film, succeeded in

advancing the modernist cause in two arenas. First, they had continued to expand their

inroads into British architectural culture, something signalled by the growing critical

mass of the MARS Group which culminated in the exhibition of January 1938. Second,

and of more significance for the longer term advancement of the movement, they had

achieved a substantial presence within the progressive tradition through the liaisons

formed with organizations such as the Housing Centre and reformers like Dr Katial and

the Pritchards.