Churchill as an Artist (1)

I have just had a remarkably brief interview on the Today programme with David Cannadine who has just published a brilliant short account of Churchill’s involvement with the art world under the title Churchill: the Statesman as an Artist.   What is clear is how seriously he took what was essentially a hobby, taking lessons from Lavery, Sickert and William Nicholson.   Then, rather amazingly, he was asked to write comments on the annual Summer Exhibition for the Daily Mail in the 1930s when he was out of government.   In 1938, he gave a good and thoughtful speech at the Academy’s annual dinner about the role of the Academy as a mainstream art institution, representing tradition, but also needing to co-opt innovation. Cannadine is lecturing on the subject tonight and there are probably still tickets available.

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2 thoughts on “Churchill as an Artist (1)

  1. edward chaney says:

    Brief it may have bin but thank god you were there to add a bit of art-historical sophistication to the conversation… Churchill’s speech advocated holding ‘a middle course between tradition and innovation’, but he himself wasn’t art-historically sophisticated enough to see that his at least implicit support of the RA’s rejection of Wyndham Lewis’s portrait of T.S. Eliot was a rejection of precisely that (anti-avant-gardist) cultural-political aesthetic…
    And on the subject of promoting forthcoming events i do hope everyone is coming to Olivia Chaney’s best concert yet at 8pm on Saturday 29th of this month at Kings Place… xe

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