On art.

I am a keen looker at art: not, I think, a connoisseur, nor an ignoramus. Definitely not a practitioner. I am keen on the British tradition in art, and perhaps especially the development of a civilised Modernism (as opposed to dogmatic Modernism).

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War and art on BBC R4’s BH

I had an outing on this Sunday morning show as a paper reviewer (and squibbist on Strictly Come Dancing) and said one thing which may have seemed distasteful. Can I try to put things right here, below the fold? Read more...


02 November 2014

Stanley North’s glass portrait of Vera Bax

Before he married his second wife HelenKennedy, and adopted her name, my grandfather Stanley married Vera Rawnsley, and they produced my father, Paul. She later married, first, Filson Young, and, second, Clifford Bax.

Here is Staney’s stained glass portrait of a young woman, by family tradition, his wife Vera.



20 October 2014

Unique 1945 Hamburg book: the 79th and “Hobart’s Funnies”

In around 2013 I was given a unique, beautiful book, The Story of 79th Armoured Division: October 1942 - June 1945, published  by the unit's officers and men in July 1945 in the ruins of Hamburg, which they had just helped liberate. Since then, I have researched a fair bit and here is what I think I know, or can reasonably guess at.... Update: December 2017 brought a new hypothesis that Broschek of Hamburg may have produced the book (see below). Read more...


17 October 2014

Stanley Kennedy North’s Norwich glass #1

Stanley Kennedy North did three beautiful large stained glass works for the  Colman mustard family of Norfolk to commemorate their donations to Norwich’s pre-NHS hospitals. The works are now in the care of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s Arts Project, managed by Emma Jarvis.

This is #1, The Wheel of Life,…


09 October 2014

Hobo’s 79th Armoured Division insignia

This is the famous insignia of the 79th Armoured Division. It seems very likely that, like the 79th itself, it was designed by General Percy Hobart (Sir Percy, as he became). If so, he was as creative with a pencil as with his military planning. He was certainly close friends with writers and artists, including Eric Kennington, one of the best war artists of WW1 and WW2.
The Bull's Head insignia of the 79th Armoured Division

The Bull's Head insignia of the 79th Armoured Division Read more...


28 August 2014

Stanley Kennedy North: Medieval homages, c1920s

skn illumination colour adj 2 Stanley North, or Stanley Kennedy North (and sometimes, as below in the carol work, Kennedy North) as he became on his marriage to Helen Kennedy (his second wife), was a strikingly modern illustrator but almost as much a passionate medievalist - as we see in various images in the rest of this page. The image below is a detail from SKN's triptych for the Royal Academy of Music, which best described at the RAM's online museum and best seen at the BBC/PCF site.
SKN's Royal Academy of Music tribute to Tobias Matthay, detail

SKN's Royal Academy of Music tribute to Tobias Matthay, detail Read more...


27 August 2014

Stanley Kennedy North folk dance book, 1921

Stanley North, by then calling himself Stanley Kennedy North, in recognition of his marriage to Helen Kennedy, illustrated and (presumably) produced this marvellous little book, Mr North’s Maggot (so called after a folk dance formulation). It is dedicated to Helen and has a foreword by Cecil Sharp, the great revivalist… Read more...


27 August 2014

Stanley North WW1 “Child’s ABC”, 1914

Sometime during the autumn of 1914 (I am presuming), my grandfather, Stanley North produced these marvellous images to illustrate Geoffrey Whitworth’s “Child’s ABC of the War”. It was in the spirit of much of the artistic and literary response to the declaration of war.

Here is a gallery of the…


25 August 2014
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