Wednesday, 25 April 2012

In Other News

In amongst all that nonsense, I was out on Monday visiting Highgate Cemetery with Ms Philligrew from the LGMG. I'd been to the eastern half before, but not the West, which is closed to all but visitors on guided tours because of the fragility of the monuments. It was an atrociously damp and disagreeable afternoon, and it would have been good to wander, but even so this was a visit to a strange and unique landscape, as Highgate is not laid out on flat ground in wide, generous avenues of tombs, but narrow, clambering paths and terraces with some features, including of course the Egyptian Avenue and Circle of Lebanon, which are absolutely unique in British cemetery architecture. Much has been cleared since the cemetery's utter dereliction in the 1970s, but the Friends of Highgate Cemetery are sensitive to the need to maintain the lovely gloomth which pervades the place as well as to make it accessible.

After that (and recovering with tea) I scooted to the West End to meet up with some of the other LGMG folk to visit an exhibition, 'Broken Stones' at the James Hyman Gallery in Savile Row. This was a tiny tiny display of photographs of ruinous landscapes by great photographers of the 19th century (Roger Fenton, Eugene Atget etc.). It was very small indeed, and I would have been severely disappointed had I not been forewarned by another LGMG member that there weren't any captions. No captions! Such a thing is virtually unthinkable to a former museum curator, so I'd printed off all the details from the gallery website so we had a catalogue. Still, it was one of those Meetups where the apres-meetup (spent at the Yumchaa tea rooms in Soho) was longer than the event itself. It's a useful insight into the way commercial galleries tend to puff themselves. 

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