Hugh Casson

I have been reading the diary which Hugh Casson kept and published in 1980 when he was President of the RA. Of course, I should have read it when I was at the RA – all the usual problems, not enough money, exhibitions over-budget, helpful people from the City, differences of opinion over enlargement of the membership; but what I hadn’t expected was the catholicity of his architectural taste – a great enthusiast for Lutyens’s Delhi, making a television programme about Castle Drogo, unexpectedly knowledgeable about Thomas Archer’s personal circumstances, writing a booklet about St. John, Smith Square, keen on the Frogmore mausoleum which he drew for a Christmas card, knew about the Farnborough mausoleum, was involved with the National Trust as well as an ex officio trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. I thought he was a modernist, but if he was, a modernist with wonderfully catholic architectural taste.


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