Gavin Stamp (2)

Since historians are beginning to document the early stages of post-modernism, it is perhaps worth mentioning Gavin Stamp’s role in the radical reappraisal of modernism which took place in the early 1970s.   By the mid-1970s when I first met him, he was already a veteran of conservation campaigns with the Victorian Society, a convert to Ian Nairn (he bought his copy of Nairn’s London in the Elephant and Castle), and, as I learn from his obituary in the Daily Telegraph, a drinking companion of John Betjeman, dressed in three-piece, pin-striped suits with a fob watch and bell bottoms.   He was certainly one of the people who was instrumental in the reappraisal of Lutyens, involved in the Lutyens exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1981, which was surely a key moment in the shift of attitudes to architectural history, as designed by Piers Gough, and he had wanted to go on to organise a Vanbrugh exhibition at the RA.   I think of him as if he was drawn by Tenniel and have been trying to find out the whereabouts of the painting of him by either Glyn Boyd Harte or Lawrence Mynott which was exhibited at the RA at the time.

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3 thoughts on “Gavin Stamp (2)

  1. edward chaney says:

    He was a brave and brilliant man and single-handedly saved swathes of British heritage from both socialist and capitalist philistinism alike, not least through his consistent campaigning as Piloti in Private Eye…. He blamed poor Mrs Thatcher and latterly Brexit a bit too much for all our ills but one wdn’t have thought that wd disqualify him from honorable mention on the Today programme (in preference to the latest BBC soap star)…

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