Art & photography

Reid, Sir Norman (8 of 9). National Life Story Collection: Artists' Lives.

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  • Recording date

    2000-02-03, 2000-04-12, 2000-12-20, 2005-03-29, 2005-05-06

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home.

  • Interviewees

    Reid, Sir Norman, 1915-, (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 8. Sir Norman Reid [NR] continues discussion of Tate’s finances; competition with other galleries; Matisse’s Escargot would have gone to New York if Tate had hesitated. Impact of Tate American painting exhibitions; propaganda exercise by American dealers. Further details Rothko gift. Difficulty with Henry Moore [HM], who wanted to donate plaster collection permanently to Tate; impossible given space and money; HM offered plasters to Toronto; Lord Perth warned NR he would lose the Moores; NR thinks Tate has good HM representation HM; further problems with HM. Barbara Hepworth [BH]. Liz Frink. Tensions between Moore, Hepworth and Gabo. NR in Barbara Hepworth’s studio shortly before she died; warned Alan Bowness [AB] she was in danger of setting fire to herself; BH’s attitude to her reputation towards end of her life. NR disliked ‘Family of Man’; AB upset when NR thought late work wasn’t good. BH’s gift to NR of ‘Magic Stones’. BH lonely at end of her life; hoped Ben Nicholson [BN] might return; NR doesn’t think BN and BH could have stayed together. BH and triplets; ran small school. BN continued to visit Winifred Nicholson [WN] after he left her; said WN the woman who really counted; WN with him when he was ill. NR knew WN; details of visiting her in her converted Roman fort in Cumberland; description of BN painting of Cumberland, given to NR just before BN’s death. Professional rivalry between BN and BH. Further details WN. Degree to which WN succeeded in making BN a Christian Scientist. WN’s paintings and BN’s attitude to them; WN’s influence on his paintings; BN said he learnt about colour from WN and form from BH. Value of a limited palette. Note written by Adrian Stokes on his own painting, written in 1968 at the time of his last exhibition but never published.

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Reid, Sir Norman (8 of 9). National Life Story Collection: Artists' Lives.

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