One of the (many) suspects for Jack the Ripper, and also a rather odd man who changed his name in his 60s, Sickert is probably best known for his sketches and paintings of 1890s and 1900s London. This is a snippet of the orchestra pit at “The London, Shoreditch”, long before the hipsters moved in.

Twilight with cats


I saw this Frank Bramley picture on Instagram and liked it, and a quick search shows that he had a bit of a sideline in paintings of women with cats at dusk. (They’re better than that might sound – good thing I’m not an auction brochure copywriter.) This is When the blue evening falls.

Passmore Edwards Sailors Palace


At a time when government seems to be relying more on old-fashioned philanthropy to keep services running, rather exert itself to help, I was intrigued to see this building in East London recently.


Passmore Edwards was a philanthropist of the 1890s and 1900s whose other endowments include the library that is now part of the Bush Theatre in West London. In the new century, he endowed this mock Tudor gatehouse to be a place of rest for international sailors staying in London on leave.


Poignantly the project, opened by the Kaiser and Edward VII, fell through when WW1 broke out. But the building remains, and more can be read about it here and here.