Burlington Gardens

I have spent the last week moving back both physically and psychologically to Burlington Gardens, our new or old offices, depending on which way you look at it – actually, I have moved back into my old office, but carved in half, so that the half which is a meeting room can be used independently of the office.   I’m pleased to have my old desk back, which was once upon a time the Secretary’s desk but, when I arrived at the RA, had been long in store. It has a certain stately magnificence to it, with ample places to put one’s ink, now redundant.   I have also been sorting out the books which had accumulated while in Blackfriars – old catalogues and guides to foreign collections, as well as Walter Lamb’s copy of Dictionary of Foreign Phrases and Classical Quotations, published in 1913 (Lamb was my predecessor as Secretary from 1913 to 1951, a mere 38 years).   I like some of the juxtapositions which arise in the course of shelving:  Michael Sandle next to Rodin;  Henry Rushbury next to John Downman. Not least, I’m pleased to have located one of the twelve copies of a short story by Tony Lambton which was printed by Ian Mortimer on vellum, illustrated by Gerald Mynott, and bound by Romilly SS.

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