Perched above Two Temple Place is a gold weathervane replica of Columbus’s Santa Maria ship. Part of his 1492 expedition to discover America
“Experience a unique journey through the design stories of the world’s greatest ocean liners, including the Titanic, Normandie, the Queen Mary and the Canberra, and find out how these impressive vessels helped shape the modern world.”
Ten years ago I visited the 60th Anniversary of the Folio Society display at The British Library. Suddenly, ten years later, its 70th birthday is being celebrated at the V&A. I LOVE Folio books. I have quite a few which I’ve collected over the years, mostly secondhand, some without their slipcases. Whenever my local Book Group decide on a classic book to read I search out the Folio edition to read. They are just so pleasant to handle, comfortable to read, have clear, easy to read type printed on quality paper and a great deal of care and attention to detail has gone into the illustrations commissioned from professional artists. There’s a good selection at The Leeds Library. Long live The Folio Society!
The New Sackler Extension Courtyard and Cafe
On Friday last week I spent the afternoon at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. I managed to fit in two small and one blockbuster exhibitions. I was meeting my friend Julie to see the Ocean Liners: Speed and Style major exhibition. (Julie and I have booked a cruise next year – more details later.) But I arrived a couple of hours ahead of time because I wanted to see the photographic exhibition : Into the Woods. I discovered on arrival that Folio Books are 70 years old and there was an engaging small display on an upper floor which extended into the National Art Library Reading Room.
The London Mithraeum at 12 Walbrook was brought to our notice by one of the volunteer Friends of the City Churches at St Mary Abchurch. We had never heard of it but are glad now that we have. Strictly speaking, although entry is free, you do need to book in advance. Even though we hadn’t heard of it many others obviously had. There must have been a lull so the receptionist allowed us to come in, gave us the booklet and advised us of the procedure.
The present-day Charterhouse School is located just outside the town of Godalming in Surrey and I have driven past it many a time on my way to or from the A3 and our son’s house. The school was originally established for the education of bright boys from poor families in the city. Looking at the school down in Surrey today I think it’s only for the very wealthy. But the original Charterhouse still stands in a quiet square away from the hustle and bustle of the City of London.
The Postal Museum at Mount Pleasant, WC1, opened to the public on 28 July last year (2017) with Mail Rail opening on 4 September. My sister and I spent a few days in London just after new year and near the top of our ‘must-do’ list was a visit to the museum and a ride on the train. As you might guess the museum is devoted to the story of the 500 years of the British postal service since Henry VIII tasked Sir Brian Tuke with establishing a national postal network to serve his Court.
The Obligatory Book that Accompanies the Show
Before visiting Melancolia at Somerset House (see previous post) I popped in the Courtauld Gallery. Again, I had been alerted to this show in a review in the Financial Times (Weekend, 21/22 October 2017): “Uniformed but Different: Soutine: The Russian-French painter’s portraits make an exceptional show”. I’d never heard of Soutine before but it looked and read to be something I would enjoy. I’d recently re-read Arnold Bennett’s “The Grand Babylon Hotel” (first published in 19o2) and the Soutine portraits are from a slightly later era. Although his are French and not characters from The Savoy Hotel in London. Near enough. [Here‘s a review of a 1950 show of Soutine’s work in the US and brief biography of Chaim Soutine (1893-1943)].