Plas Cadnant

We always try and go to Plas Cadnant – a beautiful and immaculately looked-after, large garden open to the public on the hills above Menai Bridge. It maintains strong elements of the picturesque – paths winding down the hill to the river in the valley below with more recent formal planting:-

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Cambridge

I did a quick giro round Cambridge revisiting old haunts. It was cold, but atmospheric, with tourists eating on King’s Parade.

The Fitzwilliam:-

Through the gates of Peterhouse (the colleges are all closed):-

The Gate of Honour at Caius:-

Trinity Lane:-

King’s Chapel from the backs:-

The Gibbs Building:-

The chapel at Pembroke:-

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Cambridge Literary Festival

My first outing from London (work) for nearly four months was a brief excursion to Cambridge to film a discussion about museums with Luke Syson, the Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum. I could not have enjoyed it more – partly the adventure of travelling, being in a museum again, and Luke had read the book very sympathetically, picking up exactly what I thought and felt even where I tried to disguise it. The event is broadcast on Sunday 25th. and I will be sitting on my laptop answering questions:-

https://cambridgeliteraryfestival.com/product/charles-saumarez-smith-spring-21/

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Rachel Whiteread

We just went on our first expedition to see Rachel Whiteread’s new exhibition at Gagosian – by accident, as it opened. It was a strange experience being back in a gallery. The work is so different – so much less austere, the world exploded, but that is perhaps appropriate for these times:-

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Philip Johnson

Just before Christmas, I read the statement made by Sarah Whiting, the Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, that in future no reference would be made to Philip Johnson’s design of his so-called thesis house on the corner of Ash Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, but in future it would be known only as 9, Ash Street. I hadn’t know that he had been a late vocation student under Gropius in the early days of the Second World War, having spent the 1930s, first as a fervent advocate for Modernism – the International Style – and then as an equally fervent supporter of Nazism – no secret, but not previously known to me. This combination of beliefs struck me as deeply unexpected, but interesting, and the accompanying article is an attempt to interpret the conjunction:-

https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/april-2021/the-modernist-who-wanted-to-be-fu%cc%88hrer/

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