Autumn must be here. As I was strolling down Piccadilly this week the sound of steel drums wafted out from the courtyard of the Royal Academy. Closer inspection revealed the procession of the annual Varnishing Day procession. Every year the artists selected for the Summer Exhibition are invited to see their works hanging in the gallery for the first time and maybe add a final touch. Then all the artists process down Piccadilly to St James’s Church for a service. Various press views, Academician views, member views and the like will be taking place from today and the exhibition will finally open next Wednesday.
House of the Week
As the First World War broke out the Bloomsbury Group decamped down to Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex. It was here for the next fifty or so years that Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and their friends produced an astonishing output of work. The Bloomsbury Muse at the Philip Mould Gallery on Mayfair has many paintings of the house and its occupants. I especially liked the portraits of Opussyquinusque the house cat. What I really want to know is how did they come up with a name like that. The Bloomsbury Muse is free and really makes me want to visit Charleston again.
Designers of the Week
Twenty young designers have been tasked with designing an everyday object made from sustainable American hardwoods like cherry and maple. The result is some seriously covetable chairs and desks. Discovered: Designers of Tomorrow is in the main hall of the Design Museum and free to visit.
Portraits of the Week
I spent many happy hours in the Laing Gallery in Newcastle when I was a student and it remains one of my favourite galleries. Portrait of an Artist exhibition has just opened stacked full of Portraits of Artists, mainly self portraits of artists. 50 artists from the late 19th to early 20th century are represented. Now all I need is a train ticket to Newcastle.
Book of the Week
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman has a tough act to follow. The Thursday Murder Club was not only a cracking good read it is also a record breaker, the only book to become a platinum best seller (that’s one million copies sold) in the year of publication. Was it a flash in the pan? The Man Who Died Twice see’s the four senior citizen sleuths on the track of mafia diamonds. It is both funny and suspenseful (is that even a word?). All the neat ends get knitted in. The baddies come to a sticky end and we are perfectly set up for a third instalment. Perfect.
For more reading inspiration take a look at my Best Summer Books 2021
Contains affiliate links if you click a link and buy a book it will cost you the same but I will get a small payment. Thank you to Viking and NetGalley for an ARC of The Man Who Died Twice.
Where will you wander with Cultural Wednesday Wishes this week?