Names and labels

To south London and the Dulwich Picture Gallery to see an exhibition of woodcuts by abstract expressionist Helen Frankenthaler. It really is the ideal art gallery: essentially two parallel strips, one showing its admirable core collection of greats (Rembrandt, Murillo, Gainsborough, Poussin), the other for special exhibitions. Always something new to see, always something familiar,Read More

Time stands still

I have many favourite spots in the Lake District, but one stands out above the rest. I treasure Borrowdale, of course; the circuits to be made of Derwentwater, Loweswater and Buttermere; the gentle St John’s in the Vale; the secret lands to the north of Skiddaw (Back’o’Skiddaw); and beautiful Grisedale, which greets climbers descending fromRead More

View with a grain of sand

So long as that woman from the Rijksmuseum in painted quiet and concentration keeps pouring milk day after day from the pitcher to the bowl the World hasn’t earned the world’s end. ‘Vermeer’ Poetry is everywhere. It is in the view framed by my window. It is in the cup from which I have justRead More

Four exhibitions

It’s a mad world out there. For too long there has been no escape into galleries, those places where disorder should dissolve and the eye focus on things that make sense. Elusively at times, but sense nonetheless. Now, in Britain at least, and for the time being at least, Covid-19 restrictions are retreating, letting galleriesRead More

A World is Turning

Back in my time working as a cataloguer at what was then called the National Film Archive, then the National Film and Television Archive, and is now the BFI National Archive, we used to produce shotlists for some of the films in the collection. They weren’t, strictly speaking, shotlists, since we cataloguers seldom described theRead More