Masterpiece (1)

First, of course, the Blain|Southern stand, conveniently near the entrance, showing work by Anthony Caro:-

And a second stand of work by Bosco Sodi:-

Then, Factum Arte, with its photographs by Mariana Cook:-

Indian Veg (2013-14) by Howard Hodgkin at Ofer Waterman:-

And Alison Watt’s Iris at Ingleby:-

Just a first dip. I must come back later.


Jane de Falbe

I went to the funeral of my cousin-by-marriage, Jane de Falbe, who took me up as a child, inviting me to stay in their house in Hertfordshire, and remained a great, if occasionally, as even the funeral service acknowledged, slightly scatty friend into her old age. Born 6th. October 1927, educated at Downe House and Lady Margaret Hall, where she read Russian and French. I remember her saying that her parents were upset that she went to live in Chelsea, which they regarded as too raff-ish for someone like her. We sung a hymn by John Marriott, a poet and hymnologist, who must have been an ancestor of hers:-


Green Farm Produce

We followed the signs to Asparagus in the opposite direction to Snape and found ourselves driving down a narrow country lane, over a ford to Green Farm Produce for fresh asparagus, broad beans, tomatoes and strawberries, all in a small hut:-


The Long Shop Museum

We went to the Long Shop Museum in Leiston, a celebration of the engineering works established by Richard Garrett I in Leiston, making agricultural machinery – threshing machines, seed drills, ploughs, harrows and cooking stoves, many of which were exhibited at the Great Exhibition. Richard Garrett III learned how to make steam engines on an assembly line in the Long Shop in 1852. Amongst his neices were Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first person to qualify as a doctor, and Millicent Fawcett, both liberal social reformers.

This is the Long Shop itself:-

This is the Living Van designed for mobile workers:-

A 1901 fire engine:-

The Drawing Office in 1923:-

And the tools of the trade:-

Finally, the surviving tools of W.D. Titlow, a local hardware shop:-



We crossed the estuary to see an exhibition of sculpture in a disused cow barn in an isolated farm on the south side of the river.

This was the barn:-

The delectable surrounding garden:-

And so to Iken church, thatched and full of incense:-


Snape (2)

I am interested in this issue as to who the Concert Hall at Snape should be credited to. The answer probably is to Arup Associates, which was a multidisciplinary practice. Derek Sugden’s Guardian obituary certainly gives him the credit, describing how his family and the Arups attended the Aldeburgh Festival in its early days and how Stephen Reiss, the administrator of the Festival, asked Arup, then in Sydney, to survey the Maltings as a possible concert hall. And Arup, in turn, asked Sugden to undertake the work, which he did with skill and enthusiasm for £127,000 (that’s the cost of the project as a whole). No mention of Dowson. But then Dowson’s obituaries, as I thought, credits the work to him. A double act, perhaps.


Ipswich Museum

I had read on twitter that Ipswich Museum is one of the best preserved civic museums, still with one of the display cases which it brought from its original building which opened as a private natural history museum in 1846 in Museum Street to its new building by Horace Cheston which opened in 1881, with its fine terracotta façade and its Jungle Case with backdrop painted by E.R. Smyth, a local Ipswich artist:-

Inside is highly atmospheric, although potentially at risk from a forthcoming lottery development (I haven’t seen how the Pitt Rivers has maintained its original style of display). The displays were Darwinian, based on the ideas of the Rev. Professor J.S. Henslow, who was the Museum’s President and had been Darwin’s tutor at Christ’s:-

The Great Pied Hornbill:-

At the back are displays of human anatomy:-

Upstairs are the great ornithological collections of Fergus Ogilvie (1861-1918), a local landowner with an estate in Argyllshire and author of Field Observations on British Birds:-

A reconstruction of Bass Rock:-

A Dotterell:-

I have never seen anywhere so spectacularly redolent of the Victorian fascination, and sense of wonder, in all aspects of the natural world.

Upstairs is Ethnography.

The life of the trapper:-

The hood of a sealskin coat:-

Figures from African Masquerades:-

I’m sure the displays will be condemned as outdated, which they indubitably are, but they preserve a strong sense of respect for other cultures from the days when Edward Fitzgerald lived in Woodbridge and Edward Moor built a Hindu monument in his Ipswich garden.


Snape (1)

We celebrated Midsummer Night’s Eve standing on the balcony of the Maltings, looking out over the marshes of the River Alde towards Iken church and listening to Alisa Wallerstein play Bach Cello Suites in the amazing open space of the concert hall, which I have always thought of as a work (a masterwork) by Philip Dowson, but I see is credited in Pevsner – surely wrongly – to Derek Sugden, the brilliant acoustic engineer, who was a partner of Dowson’s in Arup Associates and worked with him on the project, creating the acoustic by having a high ceiling and hard seats, which are worth it for the quality of the sound:-


Blog Disorder

I apologise to those of my readers who have been plagued by the fact that a talk I gave about my grandfather Hubert a month or so ago always appeared first, as if I hadn’t posted anything since. This was a glitch in the system, owing to the fact that I must have pressed a button marked sticky and its stickiness meant that it always appeared on top. But I have now managed to rectify it, thanks to admirably clear instructions on Google, in order the resume normal service.


Soane Museum

The Soane Museum does not allow visitors to take photographs after 10 o’clock in the morning in order to encourage them to enjoy and appreciate the house without the annoyance or distraction of other people snapping or themselves failing to pay attention to the reality of the experience. So, the attached photograph is technically contraband because it was taken at 10.01 yesterday, inspired by the way Hélène Binet’s three commissioned photographs make one look at the character of Soane’s interiors with new eyes:-