I had been told that a new bakery had opened under the railway arches off Vallance Road, so I went to investigate. The railway arches are themselves under threat after being sold off by Network Rail which is perhaps what allows small entrepreneurial businesses to flourish – at least for the time being. The sourdough bread (or Breid as it is apparently known in Scotland) is delicious:-
I have already written about this project on Twitter and have realised that – quite rightly – there is a great deal of interest in it, but hitherto not much awareness that the British Library has been documenting and recording the lives not just of artists, but of those in the art world over a very long period of time, such that it now provides an invaluable oral history.
They have just put together a series of studies of aspects of the art world, based on, and making use of, the original, often very lengthy, recordings, which I hope will raise awareness of the project, not least because much of the work is privately funded:-
I went early to a Trustee meeting at the Garden Museum in order to have lunch at its excellent café, which has just, rather amazingly, been awarded a prize as the ‘Restaurant of the Year in a Cultural Destination’. This is not just best in the UK, but best in the world, beating the in-house restaurants in the new National Gallery of Singapore and the Broad in LA: a pretty impressive achievement for the two chefs who came to Lambeth by way of Padella and St. John Bread and Wine. The food is not cheap, but delicious:-
I have just been to the leaving party of Linda Lloyd-Jones, who has been Head of Exhibitions and Loans at the V&A for a mere 30 years – an unsung and under-recognised heroine of the V&A’s long rejuvenation. She arrived in November 1988. I don’t remember her arrival, but do remember working closely with her from 1990 as chairman of the Exhibitions Committee. When she arrived, there were no big exhibitions. They had been axed to focus on the display of the permanent collection. There were only about 800,000 visitors a year (now nearer 4 million) and no accountant was employed. She has worked quietly, invisibly and tirelessly to put big popular exhibitions at the heart of the V&A’s public programme. I greatly admire her creative tenacity and the applause she rightly received.
We went in to see our Klimt/Schiele exhibition, which I haven’t really had a chance to study. Klimt, so elegantly stylised, the President of the Secession:-
Schiele, the son of a stationmaster, with an early talent for drawing locomotives, enrols at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste and hates it. A beautiful ability to draw in outline:-
And with watercolour and gouache heightening:-
I like the comment that Schiele made about the extent to which he was influenced by Klimt: ‘I went through Klimt until March. Today I think I am entirely different’. Indeed.