WCP6051

Letter (WCP6051.7001)

[1]1

DESIGN RESEARCH UNIT

37 PARK STREET LONDON W1

E/12

W. G. Wallace2 Esq[uire].,

61 East Avenue,

Bournemouth.

23rd March, 1951.

Dear Mr. Wallace,

Dome of Discovery3Festival of Britain4

Many thanks for your letter of 15th March. I must apologise for the delay in replying.

I do appreciate your kind offer to loan me original sketches of your father but, as you yourself indicate, they do not seem altogether suitable for display. At the moment I am trying to obtain a copy of the original joint article5 by Darwin6 and Wallace published in the proceedings of the Linnean Society7 in 1858 and hope the Society will be able to loan us one. I have written to them and hope they will be able to authorise this loan. Naturally any exhibit loaned for the festival is covered by insurance and in the case of exhibits of historical value, adequately protected from the public.

I see that you are puzzled as to the connection between our organisation and biology! Design Research Unit7 is an association of architects and designers and, at the moment, we are working on the display in the Dome of Discovery. As you may have gathered from news in the press, the Dome is an exhibition dealing with different aspects of science, Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Biology etc[etera]., and laying stress on the British contribution to the development of these sciences. Darwin, Huxley7 and Wallace appear, of course, in the section dealing with Biology.

Many thanks for your assistance.

Yours sincerely, | Esther Atkin8 [signature]

Esther Atkin

The letter is typewritten and signed in ink. The repository reference number [WP16/2/28] appears here. The letter is on the Headed paper of the Design Research Unit:
DESIGN RESEARCH UNIT MISHA BLACK OBE FSIA MINST RA
MILNER GRAY RDI FSIA
Board of Associated Designers
Herbert Read DSO MC D LITT Chairman
37 PARK STREET LONDON W1 Frederick Gibberd FRIBA AMTPI FSIA
Robert Gutman FSIA
Bronek Katz Dipl Ing Arch FSIA
MAYFAIR 9255 Peter Moro FRIBA FSIA
Brian Peake AA Dipl FRIBA MSIA
Sadie Speight MA ARIBA MSIA
Telegrams DRUNIT AUDLEY LONDON BUSINESS MANAGER Doroty Goslett
Wallace, William Greenell (1871-1951) Electrical engineer, second son and third child of ARW.
A temporary exhibition building for the Festival of Britain celebrations (see Endnote 4) which took place on London’s South Bank in 1951. The theme of the exhibition was "British initiative in exploration and discovery is as strong as it ever was" and was divided into eight sections: The Land, The Earth, Polar, Sea, Sky, Outer Space, The Physical World and The Living World.
A national exhibition held throughout the United Kingdom in the summer of 1951. It was organised by the government to give the British a feeling of recovery in the aftermath of war and to promote the British contribution to science, technology, industrial design, architecture and the arts.
Charles Darwin (see Endnote 6) was writing up his theory in 1858 when he received an essay from ARW who was in Borneo, describing ARW’s own theory of natural selection. Charles Lyell and Joseph Hooker agreed on a joint paper to be presented at the Linnean Society of London (see Endnote 7) on 1 July 1858. The papers entitled respectively as "On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection" incorporated Wallace's writing and extracts from Darwin's 1844 essay and his 1857 letter to Asa Gray. This attracted little notice, but spurred Darwin to write an abstract of his work which was published in 1859 as his book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.
Darwin, Charles Robert (1809-1882) English naturalist and geologist, jointly with ARW originator of the theory of evolution by natural selection and author of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.
The Design Research Unit was one of the first generation of British design consultancies combining expertise in architecture, graphics and industrial design. It was founded in 1943 and became well known for its work in relation to the Festival of Britain in 1951 (see Endnote 4).
Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825-1895) English biologist (comparative anatomist), philosopher and advocate of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection (see Endnote 6).

Please cite as “WCP6051,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 23 October 2021, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP6051