Gombrich, E. H. (Ernst Hans). (2 of 5). National Life Story Collection: Artists' Lives

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    Interviewee's home, London, United Kingdom

  • Interviewees

    Gombrich, E. H. (Ernst Hans), 1909- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker,female)

  • Abstract

    Part 2. Particularly after becoming Director of Warburg Institute, Ernst Gombrich (EG) could not afford long archival research periods; his output might have been different if this not so. Most of EG's published works began as lectures. Style of writing. Degree to which politics is 'out of bounds' in British academic life. Before the establishment of art history as a discipline within universities, the discipline lived and prospered in British Museum and in similar institutions. Contribution of Burlington Magazine. Academic side of art history cultivated on Continent and, to lesser extent, in America more than in Britain at this time. Expansion of art history departments. Possibility that history of art has 'peaked' in terms of writing about great masters of western art. EG has said 'scholars are the guardians of memory'. EG's attitude to oral history such as NLSC Artists' Lives project. Effect of technology such as Internet on research. Value of biographical documentation. EG's Ernest Jones Lecture. Link between art and life more tenuous than is generally thought, equally true of music. Interest in psychology relates more to general areas eg scientific theory of perception rather than as a tool in the personal analysis of artists. Article EG is writing for Richard Gregory's journal. Art history has sometimes little to offer fine art students and vice versa. Reaction of Slade fine art students to EG's lectures. Differences between discussions with Slade student and art history students. Taught course with Richard Wollheim on Philosophy and Aesthetics, details. RW admired Adrian Stokes, also a Kleinian like RW. Adrian Stokes and EG were both members of the Image Group, details. Anton Ehrenzweig. AS'saccount of how he tried and was prevented from giving away his inheritance to save the Russian ballet. AS's paintings and writings. EG met Melanie Klein only fleetingly at the reception following EG's Ernest Jones lecture.

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