Collection

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If you go to the RA (and aren’t distracted by the chicken trucks), then go to the top floor by the Sackler Wing and see if Richard Deacon’s selection of RA diploma pieces is still there. Bracketed together by Deacon’s choices there’s a subtle and varied set of sculptures which I actually enjoyed more than the exhibition I’d been to see. From the classical to the avant garde, through marble to terracotta, metals, paint and rough to smooth there as something for every eye.

All photos October 2017.

An education

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The Portland Art Museum has a really good collection, from sculptures in the courtyard outside the entrance hall to prehistoric Chinese art,

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modern woodblocks, dancing gods, Versailles artists and portraits

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Impressionists and Roman Syrian art,

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American artists,

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and three generations of the Wyeth family.

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From top to bottom: street art, Chinese artefacts from 200 BCE, Jiang Bibo, Shiva from S India, Buddha from China, Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer x2, Gabriel Revel, Marianne Loyer, Alexandre Calame, Boucher, Gustavo Courbet and tomb carvings from Roman Syria, Julian Alder Weir x2, NC Wyeth, Eugene Speicher, Andrew Wyeth. Jamie Wyeth and Oswald Achenbach.

October 2017.

Remembrance

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Still finding London’s war memorials whenever I go. This one’s in Baker Street. If you want a literary record of the Second World War, then VS Pritchett’s London Perceived, written in 1962 but republished with a new foreword in 1985, reflected how the post war building boom saw London lose its “almost Venetian” low skyline. Funny to read as a Londoner who’s grown up with a much more diverse city and rather likes the skyline from Waterloo Bridge.

Feathered friends

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Quentin Blake’s delightful series of extremely human birds. This could be creepy, but it’s absolutely not, mainly because underneath the wicked humour is a fundamental kindness and interest in people. On display at the House of Illustration in London.

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The Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation (who also have an excellent app, allowing you to search for poems at the intersection of Humour, Commitment, and Work and Play, amongst other terms) has just revamped their website too.

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It’s a dream. Poets from the 8th century and earlier – good old Anon – to the present day can be searched by name or theme.

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I especially liked the pre-made collections. Summer had the Amy Lowell poem on the bath, whilst Movie Heroes & Villains had several crackers, including What I Learned From the Incredible Hulk, May Swenson’s very funny poem about watching Roger Moore as Bond whilst struggling with the popcorn, and tame Monsters in the Closet (“Dracula wants to drink my blood – I think that’s rather rude.”).

If you click through to a poet’s page, it includes a link to their other poems and I’ve already had a gorge on Ben Jonson, whose wit appeals to me more and more. But best of all is discovering so many new poets: Paisley Rokdal, Gwendolyn Brooks, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jesse Randall, Lucia Perillo and James Weldon Johnson. In fact, this website’s a model of what to be: made for easy browsing by the beginner, but segmented enough for the specialist researcher and not falling into the usual school textbook cliches for the anthologies.

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Pretties

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In fact, twice in one day because I  can’t resist: a scrapbook of Instagram pretties: Schiaparelli dresses from @the_corsetedbeauty;

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an Evelyn Dunbar sketch from @designfortoday;

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an elegant doodle from @garancedore;

 

marmalade jars and the delightful National Trust home of Standen from phil._.b;

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dogs on the beach from @thewomensroomblog

Wandering

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Durer / Rubens / Signac / Schiele / Lebasque / Lebasque / Cezanne / Vuillard / Nolde / Feininger / Monet / Monet / von Werefkin: Sunday in the Albertina, Vienna. June 2017.

Watercolours

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A few weeks ago, I went to a fantastic free exhibition at The British Museum taken from their prints and drawings collection. It covers 150 years from Cotman and Turner to Sutherland and Rothenstein and all styles from nature studies and travel art to war studies.

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The real delight was seeing artists I’d never discovered before. From top to bottom: Joseph Brett / John Singer Sargent / Hercules Brabazon Brabazon (best name ever?!) / CW Nevison / Edward Wandsworth / Michael Rothenstein / Anna Airy / Joseph Pennell / James McBey / Elizabeth Forbes