Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Architectural historians

They can’t all be like this, surely. Here is Nigel Farndale in the Spectator in a piece celebrating the magazine Country Life:
The Queen Mother was once drawing up a list of guests when someone suggested Country Life’s architectural historian, John Cornforth. ‘Oh no,’ she said, ‘Corners is far too grand for us.’ I don’t know about that, but Cornforth, who died in 2004, was certainly a convivial and flamboyant character who, it was rumoured, had a penchant for experimentation regarding the attire he wore in private. Chatelaines were said to lock their wardrobes when he came to stay, not least because he was ample–figured, and silk gowns tear easily.
I know a few architectural historians and writers, because for a few unhappy years I was editor of Architecture New Zealand, journal of the NZ Institute of Architects. Unhappy because while I was very interested in architecture and counted many architects as friends – two of them asked me to apply for the job – that was a problem for the publisher, who basically hated architects. I was regarded with deep suspicion because I had been to dinner at Patrick Clifford’s, Malcolm Walker came to my wedding, I’d shared an office with Nigel Cook, I knew Marshall Cook, Jane Aimer and other big names in the NZIA, Peter Shaw was a former colleague and so on. And now there is Paul Litterick.

But I don’t know that if any of these people came to stay I would have to lock up my wife’s wardrobe.

So here are Genesis with Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett in the 1970s performing “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)”:

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