Art & photography

Reid, Sir Norman (12 of 13). 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 12. Sir Norman Reid [NR] gives account of establishing Tate’s conservation department; first-class restorer Slavjinky [transcribed phonetically], Polish former soldier who trained others after own perfectionist leanings; Slavjinky’s love of Turner and work restoring late Turner paintings; description of Slavjinky’s methods; Slavinsky’s character. [Break in recording.] Lee Miller [LM] as trustee at Tate; NR and his family’s relationship to her; LM’s beauty, her early career. NR’s memories of Roland Penrose [RP]; his early life, his collection of paintings and friendship with Picasso; RP negotiates Tate’s purchase of Picasso’s ‘Three Dancers’; RP’s own “surrealist” paintings; his role in the early ICA. LM in Paris, lives with Man Ray as “student”; LM’s amorous career; Peggy Guggenheim [PG] brings RP and LM together. PG’s galleries and exhibitions in New York and London; moves entire operation to Venice during WWII; seeks support from Tate in getting tax remittance on transport of her collection; didn’t want to donate to Guggenheim Foundation because of bad blood; collection in bad condition, restored by Slavjinky; Tate-held items now in Guggenheim. NR recounts last time he saw PG; anecdote about PG in Venice taking NR and wife to meet former queen of Greece. PG’s house in Venice as gallery; PG’s fame in Italy; anecdote about PG accidentally dying her hair pink; PG compared to Margaret Gardiner; PG “difficult” but loyal. Anecdote about whisky deliveries of British Legation at Venice Biennale.

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Reid, Sir Norman (12 of 13). National Life Story Collection: Artists' Lives.

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