Recent articles

in Essays

David Lee: State Art and Its Commissars

David Lee The following essay was included in: What is Wrong with Us? Essays in Cultural PathologyEdited by Eric Coombes and Theodore DalrympleImprint Academic2016, 300pp., pb., £12.95 Arnold Goodman, Chairman of the Arts Council from 1965 to 1972, observed: ‘It is not the job of an unelected body to make cultural policy.’ Implicit here is an understanding that the Arts […]

in The Philistine

The Philistine – Sept 2021

Visiting Chichester for the first time in my life recently, I was much struck by the modern building at Chichester Cross, admittedly not nearly as bad as the unbelievably terrible Festival Theatre but nevertheless more than sufficient to spoil the townscape. Any jobbing builder of the 18th century would have done a much better job than any British architect of […]

in Moping Owl

Moping Owl: Forming a Collection

Well, a Museum of course needs things to show, and any self-respecting Storehouse, whether afloat or on dry land, likewise needs things to store: so you will be pleased to know that several significant acquisitions have already been – how shall I put it gently? – acquired: item: a large portrait by Kalinde Wiley, an American, from her Yellow Wallpaper […]

in Moping Owl

Moping Owl: Double Dutch

I don’t know what it is. Perhaps it’s just me getting on a bit: but I do get the feeling more and more that nowadays things are coming off the bat a shade too fast for comfort, and going through for four every time. Indeed there are moments when I’m not altogether sure what’s going on at all. I mean […]

in Comment

Laura Gascoigne – A Way with the Pixels

Laura Gascoigne In April Lionel Messi put a signed pair of his adidas football boots up for auction at Christie’s. Customised with the names of his wife and sons, they were the ‘game-worn’ boots in which the Barcelona striker scored his 644th goal for his club, beating Pele’s previous record of 643 for Santos. Perfumed with the player’s DNA, they […]

in Editorials

The Mound in Your Pocket

David Lee Sept/Oct 2021 I took a wrong turn on my bike recently near Russell Square and came upon Wallis Gilbert’s 1931 Daimler car hire garage in Herbrand Street. Set back almost hidden, and only yards from where I attended university, I had never suspected its existence. It now pleases me so much I regularly detour past it. Now used […]

in Editorials

Let’s Pretend

David Lee July/August 2021 The National Gallery has prostrated itself before what Orwell called  ‘the official mind’. It must have done because the less said about Rosalind Nashashibi, their current artist-in-residence, the better … but don’t worry I’ll bore you anyway. She is exhibiting her recent efforts among the 17th century Spanish pictures to which, it is claimed, her own […]

in Reviews

John Craxton: A Life of Gifts

in Essays

Michael Daley: Selling a Stripped `Down Shadow-Less Sistine Ceiling

in Moping Owl

Moping Owl: Playtime

Hope springs eternal, so the poet sings, or dum spiro spero, as that wise and prudent old bird, King Charles I, would put it, and he should know. But then again, true as truth may be, I have to say there are times, and these not the least of them, when it would seem to have shrunk to the merest […]

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