Sainsbury Centre (3)

Mark Fisher has written a comment on my blog about the Sainsbury Centre to the effect that the displays reflect the beliefs of writers including Herbert Read and Ernst Gombrich (and most of all Roger Fry) that there is a universal language of the eye.   I’m sure it’s correct that Robert and Lisa Sainsbury who started collecting seriously in the 1930s are likely to have been influenced, if only at second hand, by the writings of Herbert Read, whose interests in ‘primitive’ art, modernist sculpture and ceramics (he had been an Assistant Keeper in the Ceramics Department at the V&A) mirrored their own.   The problem is that Read’s belief in a universal language of the eye has been discounted, if not discredited, by the next generation of art historians who have concentrated on the idea of specificity of context and on cultural content rather than aesthetics (sorry, this is a long answer to his comment).   I am posting some images of the display technique:-

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