The Old Year

Since the New Year seems likely to be filled with political anxiety, gloom and despondency, I have spent the afternoon thinking of some of the good things about 2018:-

• Visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

• We spent our Easter holiday in Portugal which included a visit to the studio of Joana Vasconcelos, whose work was also featured prominently in the Octagon of the Summer Exhibition.

• I visited Brazil for the first time (I had never been to South America). I loved the liveliness, the sense of adventure of São Paulo, not to mention seeing the Glass House.

• The opening of the New RA, of course. The party was so crowded that I failed to see half the people.

• Ping-pong in the Lovelace Courtyard.

• I greatly admired – more than I expected – Ptolemy Dean’s ingenious addition to the triforium of Westminster Abbey (I didn’t expect to admire a modern addition to a great gothic building) and the beautiful way its collection has been displayed by Muma.

• Nick Grimshaw was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal.

• Hard to beat spending half an hour after closing time in the Sistine Chapel.

Not so good:-

• I never got to see Alison Wilding’s exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea.

• The deaths of three architectural historians, only a bit older than me – Gavin Stamp, Colin Amery and David Watkin – not to mention Olivier Bell, Gillian Ayres and Bob Venturi.

Happy New Year !


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