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20.8.03

Estorick Collection in London

Gallery in the Estorick Collection, LondonThe last time I visited London was in 1997, to read a paper at a conference of the International Musicological Society. (This was a paper on Breton notation of Gregorian chant, read before the members of the Cantus Planus Chant Study Group as part of a session on Chant and Paleography: Methoden und Probleme der Neumenkunde. The Proceedings of the conference were edited by David Greer.) Anyway, that means that it was before the opening of the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in 1998. The art editor of the International Herald Tribune, Souren Melikian, finally acquainted me with the place in a review (Off the Beaten Path, Roads to Italian Modernity, August 16) of their exhibit Painting Light: Italian Divisionism 1885-1910. The development that Melikian traces, from imitation of Seurat or Van Gogh into futurism, is thought-provoking. The way he describes the Estorick ("this artistic lark in a Georgian house tucked away in North London;" see the picture of one of their galleries to the right) reminds me of the Phillips, the Barnes, and the trend that Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes (see post on August 19) has identified of collections being shown more and more "outside of institution-driven buildings" by "collector-focused institutions." (This was a response to the planned opening of a new museum in the Washington area, in the home of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff at Fitzhugh Farm in Phoenix, Md. Tyler had linked to an article by Carol Vogel in the New York Times, which has more recently been published in the Herald Trib: A Horse Farm's Thoroughbred Art Collection, August 20.)

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