Charleston Festival (4)

Hard to beat Alan Bennett (age 80) reading his own description of first visiting the Leeds City Art Gallery and of his first Room of His Own at Exeter College, Oxford, failing to buy a pot by Lucie Rie whilst on National Service in Cambridge, not buying a chair by Isokon, but a roll of wallpaper instead, which he wasn’t able to hang.   He stayed on at Oxford as a postgraduate student of medieval history (he taught Bevis Hillier, who collected ceramics, and David Bindman, who collected Old Master drawings) and he retains just a touch of the intellectual dryness of an Oxford don.   His favourite museum is the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.   I wanted to ask how he had found it as a Trustee of the National Gallery.   He ended with his spoof memoir of Virginia Woolf as if read to the Memoir Club from Forty Years On.

Alan Bennett_1

Ⓒ Axel Hesslenberg

Alan Bennett_2

Ⓒ Axel Hesslenberg


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