This archive display at The Whitechapel Gallery features rare woodcarvings, furniture, ceremonial dress designs and photographs of the English organisation The Kibbo Kift Kindred (1920-1932).
Formed by the artist, writer and pacifist John Hargrave after becoming disillusioned with the Boy Scout movement, the Kibbo Kift philosophy was based on a shared appreciation of nature and handicraft, as well as a commitment to world peace. Though small in number, notable members of the group included suffragettes, scientists and the novelist H.G.Wells.
A 1929 exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery was a way of spreading their ideas, and this display reveals their remarkable aesthetic drawn from ancient Egyptian, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Native American crafts, dress and language. Through revealing photographs and footage of the group on parades and camping trips, this display presents not only a forgotten moment in British social movements but a futuristic vision which continues to resonate today.
Image: Kibbo Kift Kindred members at camp, 1928, Courtesy of Judge Smith, Kibbo Kift Foundation, © Kibbo Kift Foundation