Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hard work, Glasgow.

I lived there from 1954 until 1966, with a year out in Northampton, MA, 1960-61. I loved it, and was sad to leave. Now it sort of frightens me. The exhibition was in an airless dungeon and probably the most crowded I have ever experienced. I think, even so, my husband was glad to be there, which was the point of the exercise. He remarked, rightly, that people were looking at the pictures, and talking to each other about them. Unlike a lot of people at Royal Academy expos in London, where they talk about what a stressful trip they had, coming up from Cheltenham.

And we had a pleasant lunch with Alexander beforehand.

We wondered to each other, as we queued to get in, whether our picture would be there. It was: George H*nry’s "Sundown, or River Landscape by Moonlight", from the H*nterian. It was one of my husband’s 'finds' in his early Glasgow-auction-room days. One of his moral beliefs, a sound one, I am sure, is that people who work for an art gallery shouldn't collect on their own behalf things which are worthy of its walls. At least, not without coming clean to their superiors.

He didn’t exactly work for the H*nterian -- the art gallery attached to the University of Glasgow. He was a lecturer in the History of Art department. But there was a close relationship between the department and the gallery – closer, I am sure, than there is nowadays, with the H*nterian housed in a grand building of its own.

Whatever, he felt he ought to offer it to them. He didn’t even bring it home. His boss took it, and reimbursed him the full five pounds he had paid for it. I have always felt slightly sore about this story – not that we would have wanted money, although we lived on lentils in those days, but that it would have been nice to have the picture and that perhaps the head of department took an unfair advantage of my husband’s scrupulousness.

I doubt if this tale is even recorded in the H*nterian archives.


I made good progress with Matt’s sock on the train journeys, as hoped.

And finished the Amedro edging in the evening. I’ve now got the stitches picked up, counted and re-counted and adjusted – 509 of them. I’m ready to roll. We start with a row of roundels, before the panels are established. Helen wants the original Amedro patterns in the wings, you will remember. But that leaves a 71 stitch panel in the centre – the structure is vaguely Faroese – where I can improvise.

It would be nice to put in something from the “Love Darg” book. I had better start looking.

There is a backlog, now, of comments I want to comment on


  1. I doubt that you would have enjoyed keeping that picture if your husband hadn't done what he felt was the ethical thing to do. And now years later there is enjoyment in the telling of the story. All part of the provenance. By the way, was the painting there in the exhibition?

  2. I ordered a copy of the Love Darg book for our Guild Library but it has not, after several weeks, arrived. As it is fairly small I thought it would come airmail but apparently not. I am impatient to see it. Were you pleased with it?
    Do tell!