Nicholas Goodison (1)

I was very sad to hear only yesterday of the death of Nicholas Goodison, who has in his many different roles been such a big figure in the arts, as well as the City: as an author of books on barometers and ormolu and, I think, one of the founders of the Furniture History Society; he was one of the small group of people who gave advice on the establishment of the Royal Academy Trust in the early 1980s, was a long-standing chairman of the National Art-Collection Fund, chairman of the Crafts Council and author of the Goodison Review, an admirably wide-ranging report on the functioning and financing of museums with the support of the private sector – and this only scratches the surface of the multiplicity of his public roles. I’m surprised that there isn’t more information about him online (where are the obituaries ?), not least because I have always understood that he more than anyone was responsible for Big Bang, drawing up the regulatory framework when he was chairman of the Stock Exchange which led to the deregulation of the City in 1986, which presumably has done more than anything to change the character and operation of the City and the takeover of old City institutions by the American banks. It’s hard to imagine that anyone in the future could be as prominent both in the City and, at the same time, in the running of the arts.

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