Showing posts from November, 2013

'Art Under Attack' - the Iconclasm Exhibition at the Tate

This was much better than I thought it was going to be!  There are a couple of images that make the journey to the Millbank and the renovated Tate Britain worthwhile. For example, 'A protestant allegory' by Girolamo_da_Treviso,  which shows the 4 evangelists stoning a prostrate Pope. He  is sheltering Hypocrisy and Avarice and it just about sums up the Reformation - I am astonished it is not used more in books on the period (by which I mean I have not seen it before!).  Girolamo_da_Treviso_cat01.jpg (JPEG Image, 1040 × 837 pixels).   The painting is monochrome but has gold paint used very delicately for halos and decoration on the clothes of the Pope. Strange, that the gold is used for both - on the Pope it would be part of the story of Avarice, but this interpretation is confounded by the fact that it is used for the halos.  So, just decoration.  There is also a huge candle on the flat mountain top in the distant, obviously symbolic but curious. Some of the medieval sc

Tate Britain Renovation

Saw the Tate Britain Renovations last night. They were very successful - not awesome or amazing, but they fit in and make Tate Britain more comfortable. They have revealed at their best vistas through the building - the main columns beautifully lit making the classical columns look almost Egyptian.  Had a very quick run through the chronological hang which was interesting.  It meant, for example, that there were far fewer pre-raphaelite star paintings on duty but then you could see the 'opposition' out in force. So, gives a much 'truer' picture of the art of the period. Meet Tate Britain | Tate
I have begun a family history project - recording my family's life in London. Here is the first page

Rainham Hall

My next project is about Rainham Hall, built by John Harle and now run by the National Trust.  The unusual aspect of this house is that the grand house is next door to Harle's coach house part of his trading activities based on Rainham Wharf. So, the most interesting thing, so far for me,  is the exploration of the trading on the smaller Rivers of London - which was also a factor in the study of Ilford. This is the best source for Rainham I have found. Rainham - Economic history and local government | A History of the County of Essex: Volume 7 (pp. 134-138)

Ilford High Road

I have been working on a project on Ilford High Road. Wikipedia says the name is in the  Domesday Book of 1086 as Ilefort and means ford over the Hyle ; an old name for the River Roding that means "trickling stream". Ilford is part of the new London Borough of Redbridge which was created in 1965 with the amalgamation of Ilford with Woodford and Wanstead.  Ilford was an important rural settlement to the East of London on the junction of the River Roding and the Roman road from London to Colchester.  Archaeologists have found Uphall Camp  one of the most important centre's in Prehistoric London nearby on the banks of the River Roding at Ilford Lane. Uphall camp is nearby and it is a very significant part of pre-historic London - projects/ELG/ssilford.asp .This site shows where it is aspx?hob_id=408130 The text shows it also has Roman and later settlement. uk/Iron%20Age/Ir

Reviving the High Street

The Liberal Democrats have launched a scheme to revive local high streets.  It was launched by Simon Hughes in Southwark. These are the proposals The Lib Dem proposals Simon Hughes MP & the Southwark Liberal Democrats will: 1. Revitalise high streets and markets giving community councils more control, creating a new 'I'm shopping locally' parking scheme and introducing a levy on large supermarkets. 2. Offer business loans through the council to help start-up companies in Southwark obtain the financial support they need to start trading. 3. Use new powers to reduce business rates to support struggling businesses and encourage regeneration where it is most needed 4. Create 1,000 new apprenticeships in the borough to help to revitalise the local economy and create lasting jobs. 5. Open a new 'Jobs & Enterprise Hub' offering information and support on jobs and training, as well as providing desk space for start-up businesses

Links to history of medicine, London and Southwark concerned with the Old

I have just updated the links page on the Old Operating Theatre Museum web site.  What was interesting (apart from how many of them were 'broken' - about 40%)  was that these were mostly academic sites - particularly university sites. Its as if the IT departments have no stability and keep changing things around, while Museums and visitor orientated sites seem to be stable - they have an interest in people finding them! Links to history of medicine, London and Southwark concerned with the Old

Boat swops

Here are some sites where you can exchange boats.

Shock! City of London elects the 2nd female Lord Mayor

 Lawyer Fiona Woolf has become the second woman to be Lord Mayor of london - the first since Lady Donaldson in the Thatcher era. New Lord Mayor's first banquet | London - ITV News

Jane Austen in London - some places

Jane Austen mostly stayed with her brother, Henry, who was a banker before becoming a bankrupt banker.  He lived in Sloane St, Hans Place, Upper Berkeley St, Henrietta St. His bank was in Henrietta Street, Albany, and Cleveland Court off St James St. Jane also stayed in the Bath Hotel, Arlington Street - near where the Ritz now is, which she found 'dirty' and in Cork Street off Burlington Gardens. She loved shopping, and shopped in New Bond St at Grafton House, Grafton St, and around the area between Leicester Square to Piccadily.  There are quite a few shops still in existence in this area that survive from her time - however, the ones that survive are mostly 'men's' shops - wine merchants, barbers, tailors. But there there is Fortnum and Mason's and Hatchard's but the former provided the Duke of Wellington with provisions for his campaigns so maybe the 'rule' applies. Royal Opera Arcade - finished just after Jane Austen's death She w

New Blog template

I am attempting to change the template for the blog - the problem being that none of the templates seem to list past pages, except with a yearly archive - not good enough!

Jane Austen's London Walk - the debrief

Local Shops in Jane Austen's part of the town - south of Henry Austen's, Mrs Jennings, and John Dashwood's Houses, but north of Willoughby's, the Middleton's, and Colonel Brandon's The Jane Austen walk was so enjoyable!  I now feel I know her work and life pretty well - well enough not to worry about not knowing enough.  The route was: Green Park, Ritz, Arlington Street, Dover Street, Albemarle St; Grafton Street, Upper Bond Street, Conduit Street, Burlington Gardens, Old Bond St; Sackville St, Piccadilly, the Albany, Piccadilly Arcade, Jermyn St, Pall Mall. I wanted to get to St James Sq and the Royal Opera Arcade  but next time! Very good audience, lots of them too - it has to be done again! I think next time I might start from Marble Arch, or Covent Garden. What I did not expect was that studying for this walk would gain me so much in terms of my knowledge of London.   I had not fully realised my knowledge of Mayfair was such  a hole in my