Ackroyd, Norman 23 of 24).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2009-05-25, 2009-06-15, 2009-08-10, 2009-09-14, 2009-12-14, 2010-01-11, 2010-02-08, 2011-05-09, 2011-05-16, 2011-05-06

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's studio, London

  • Interviewees

    Ackroyd, Norman, 1938- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 23: [2:54:12] NA reads poem, Saturday, from collection St Kilda’s Parliament by Douglas Dunn, NA sent poem to DH in relation to DH paintings in current RA show; NA made etching relating to the poem. NA’s recent reading reciting place names alongside poets and singer at Bodleian, Oxford. [5:49] 2011 Burns Night at Ian Ritchie’s home; guests included David Mach, Andrew McNeillie (architect), Susie Sainsbury, Patrick Stewart; in past John Hoyland would be at Burns Night dinners, changing guests over the years; NA’s reading. Degree to which NA has Scottish blood. [8:00] Paul Theakston against sale of Theakston’s to Scottish & Newcastle, started Black Sheep Brewery, details. [9:05] 1966 NA bought first house, raising deposit; collector, Michael Spens, who bought three paintings not yet made; Godfrey Pilkington, Piccadilly Gallery; part-time teaching. Description first house, Clapham. NA moved out of first house c 1974/5 to another part of Clapham, bought run down house and couldn’t get mortgage, needed place to put newly-acquired press; Lloyds bank manager; refurbishing house. Bank manager re NA acquiring Merlyn Evan’s press. NA’s attitude to money; presses as means of production. [17:30] Showing with Piccadilly Gallery; Godfrey Pilkington, Christabel [Briggs]; mentions Michael Spens. Robert Erskine, St George’s Gallery sold NA prints; JT; the Graven Image, exhibition of prints; DH making first etchings, Kings & Queens, winning prize. Impact Editions Alecto revival of interest in prints; mentions Michael Spens, Paul Cornwall-Jones, Joe Studholme. Tate and print purchases; NA’s work. British Council collection of NA’s work; his work in National Gallery, Washington, USA. [23:50] Further details second house NA owned, Clapham Manor Street; student tenants at first; PHS came to live in house as tenant; birth of PA, 1981. Sale of Clapham Manor Street house, state of Bermondsey when NA moved to present accommodation, description four storey warehouse. [27:35] Income from teaching. Teaching in Manchester; Norman Adams; imposed new rules led to mass resignation of staff. Terry Millington, student at Manchester; 1986 trip doing etchings for Bordeaux wine labels, group included Tom Phillips, Patrick Procktor, Millington, NA; labels NA did. [34:39] NA beginning to teach etching at Central School of Art, November 1965; NA taught at Central for twenty eight years; mentions Shane [Weare], who went to teach etching in America; Maurice Kestleman; mentions Gertrude Hermes, Cecil Colins, William Turnbull, Barry Flanaghan, Adrian Berg also on staff. History and description of Central School of Arts and Crafts at time NA began teaching there. Maurice Kestelman as head of department. Mentions smoking in the Central studios; students from other disciplines used etching studio; routine of the day, anecdote re Michael Patrick, head of college. [44:07] Equipment in Central etching studio; NA purchased press from for Central St Petersburg Press used for printing DH’s Grimms’ Fairy Tales; refers to RCA 1851 Great Exhibition press; aquatint box which NA built c 1966/7 for Central. Technical assistants at Central; Central School Diploma, special course. Charlie Newington, student who became technical assistant, became main etcher for Patrick Procktor. Nick Tite, Central student, became technical assistant, worked with Tom Phillips on Dante’s Inferno, now works at RA. Frank Tinsley, technical assistant who later ran etching at Camberwell. Noel Myles, technical assistant. Belief that people shouldn’t work as technical assistants for too many years. [51:00] Peter Knell (sp?), Leonard Marchant [coughs] taught with NA at Central. [52:39] Changes in Fine Art Dept at Central following Kestleman leaving; Hubert Dalwood [Nibs Dalwood]; Robert Clatworthy; imposition of post as Head of Printmaking; David Gluck. Changing values in art education; NA leaving Central 1993. [57:40] Patrick Reyntiens; mentions Cecil Collins. Shortlist for new head of fine art at Central, comments from BHS and Adrian Berg. Reyntiens. Gertrude Hermes; BHS; Hermes’ home and press; refers to PHS book on BHS. PHS daughter of BHS and his third wife, Anne. [1:07:00] William Turbull at Central; Adrian Berg; Kim Lim. Adrian Berg. Barry Flanaghan; mentions Brian Wall, [Henry] Abercrombie, bronze caster; staying with Abercrombie in Scotland, golf; Flanaghan. Accepting students to do etching at Central without formal application. Brian Wall, head of Sculpture at Central; his eightieth birthday celebrations; teaching by example. Typical working day at Central. Cecil Collins at Central. [1:21:40] AG, a mentor to NA, met when NA a RCA student. [1:25:25] Derek Boshier; NA most recently saw him at DH RA exhibition opening. Mentions Colin Self. Brief comments, Sue Blane, Central theatre student. NA’s CBE; AG. JH a student of NA at Central. [1:30:00] Bill Crozier taught painting at Central, made etchings with NA. Teaching at Winchester School of Art when Crozier was there; etching room; Gillian Ayres, Patrick Heron. [1:36:13] BHS at Central; NA’s etchings of valleys in Scotland. Michael Spens bought Studio International, NA would write for magazine, did piece on BHS. BHS’s home [in Manningtree], now home of PHS. NA’s relationship with BHS and Anne. [1:41:38] Development of NA’s relationship with PHS; PA, SA; finance. PHS’ background and professional life. First meeting PHS. PHS’ sister and her family. NA and PHS now. [coughs] BHS died 1981, Anne in mid-1900s, PHS now lives in their former house. NA personal life. [1:56:35] NA and America; swapping jobs for six months with David Freed, 1969; importance of American sales for NA. History of etching in America; Wayne Theibaud. Opinion of Richard Smith’s work; seeing Smith at DH’s RA private view. Brief comments on Bernard Cohen. [2:07:18] Further details NA and America; NA Professor of Etching, Bloomington, Indiana. Sales to American museums. Cleveland Print Club. American artists NA admires. Andy Warhol print on NA’s wall. [2:16:22] Ian Warrell, Tate Britain; mention of Stephen Coppel, British Museum. [2:17:20] Exhibitions of Jasper Johns, lithographs. Maurice Payne. 1973/4 NA considering going to live in America; working in studio of painter, Lowell Nesbitt. Degree to which NA feels British. NA last in America for holiday in Cape Cod. [2:25:00} NA and essays for stamps, 1997. [coughs] NA’s work for Tetrapak, Stockley Park entrance hall, building by Stuart Lipton; image of lake at Fonthill, refers to William Beckford; NA’s mural now in another building. NA’s work for British Airways, Birmingham, image of drovers’ road in Yorkshire. [2:35:00] NA’s work for Lazard & Co, Stratton Street, London; [coughs] work installed March 2003, NA’s sixty-fifth birthday; Phillip King, Paul Huxley. [2:38:50] Feeling about work continuing to be seen after NA’s lifetime. [2:39:40] Further work NA was commissioned to do via Art for Offices; Great Portland Estates. NA’s work for Freshfield, [calls out to assistant]. [2:42:18] [NA eating as he speaks] Collector [Patricia Emison] of NA’s work at Durham, New Hampshire, NA went to lecture and demonstrate, exhibition of NA’s etchings spanning thirty five years. Visit to Yale Center for British Art with Jason Bacon. Patricia Emison. [2:45:48] Hugh Peppiatt, senior partner, Freshfields, commissioned two stainless steel panels from NA for new building [blows nose]; NA’s work now in Freshfields’ subsequent building. Drawing at Wardour Castle; William Beckford; refers to Turner; Wyatt, architect, Fonthill Abbey. [2:50:35] NA teaching at RCA; Alistair Grant, Alf Dunn, Chris Orr.

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