Tom Monnington

The references in the annual dinner speech to Tom Monnington have pricked my interest in him.   He was President of the Royal Academy from 1966 to his death in 1976.   The revival of the Academy’s fortunes is normally attributed to Hugh Casson, but I suspect Monnington was important as well.   He had turned himself from being a painter of dry mural paintings as in the Allegory in the Tate (see his A Director Announcing Bank Rate in the Bank of England’s collection) and of racy realism in the war into an abstract artist after the war.   One thing which gives an indication of the style of his Presidency is that in 1972 he asked Bryan Kneale, then a new RA, to put together an exhibition of his generation of sculptors, including Tony Caro and Phillip King, and allowed him to paint the walls white and block out the doors.   I attach a picture of the selection committee for for Summer Exhibition in 1967 (note the pipe):

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3 thoughts on “Tom Monnington

  1. Edward Chaney says:

    Tho’ Monnington’s the one with the fag… Another unsung aspect of the Monnington and Knights phenomenon, is the creative contribution made by the British School at Rome, which used to promote good painting (both won scholarships there)…

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