Duncan Robinson (2)

I went to the memorial service for Duncan Robinson at Great St. Mary’s.

What came across was how much he managed to do. While an Assistant Keeper, then Keeper at the Fitzwilliam, he taught a course on early Italian painting, wrote a book about Stanley Spencer, served on the Arts Council, wrote a catalogue about Morris and Company in Cambridge and was Director of Studies at his old college, Clare. At Yale, he obviously entertained a host of people while director of the Yale Center for British Art and, incidentally, saved me from death from cerebral meningitis. Then, coming back to the Fitzwilliam, he managed to do a double act as Master of Magdalene, something only M.R. James has done before him, whilst still teaching and doing a great deal of entertaining. He did it all with apparent ease, combining hospitality with administration.

Anyway, Cambridge gave him a good send-off, including an exhibition about his life and work in the new gallery in Magdalene, which he sadly never saw.


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