Tom Phillips RA (2)

There is a very nice obituary of Tom Phillips by Charles Darwent in this morning’s Guardian ( Two things strike me in reading about him. One is the quality of state education in the 1950s, which encouraged him to learn about art at his primary school, Bonneville Road Primary School in Clapham, and then learn several musical instruments including the violin and bassoon at his secondary school, Henry Thornton Grammar School, Clapham. The other is the extent to which he was an intellectual as much as an artist, attending Edgar Wind’s lectures on iconography when he was at Oxford and in some ways a conceptual artist in the 1960s. He describes himself as ‘painter, writer, composer’ in Who’s Who, spent time at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, was Slade Professor in 2006 and a judge of the Man Booker Prize in 2017. He was also very good at ping pong.


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