Brown, Neave (9 of 19). National  Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2013-12-07, 2013-12-14, 2014-02-08, 2014-03-08, 2014-03-15, 2014-03-29, 2014-04-26, 2014-07-27, 2014-08-10, 2014-08-17, 2014-12-06

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Brown, Neave (1929-) (speaker,  male)

  • Interviewers

    Franklin, Geraint (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 9: Brief discussion of name of lunch venue for LIE: possibly The Doctors’ restaurant [19 New Cavendish Street; see track 7]. [00:01:49] Description of GP, member of Pilkington family [of glass manufacturers]. GP’s Piccadilly Gallery originally on south side of Piccadilly, subsequently moved to [16a] Cork Street. Mentions contact with GP through LB. NB designed Piccadilly Gallery on Cork Street. Remarks on GP as client. GP moved Gallery to [16] Cork Street, also designed by NB. Account of NB’s alterations to GP’s Victorian house, the Old Vicarage at Buckland [Oxfordshire]. Refers to publication of project for GP in architectural journal [possibly Architectural Review, January 1979, pp. 41-44]. Mentions relationship between NB’s private work and employment at Camden Council. Description of Piccadilly Gallery at [16] Cork Street. [00:08:07] Remarks on chronology of gallery and exhibition spaces designed by NB. General remarks on design of galleries; mentions Beardsmore Gallery in Kentish Town. Importance of even light conditions and flexible artificial lighting. NB’s use of roughly textured plaster to introduce shadow to gallery space [00:13:44] Description of LB; DG a collector of his work. Mentions themes of LB’s art. [00:15:32] NB unable to collect art during this period through lack of money. Mentions family background and aunt’s [MCW] recommendation of psychoanalytical treatment. Comments on beneficial effects of treatment. Mentions meeting with Anna Freud, daughter of Sigmund Freud and friend of MCW. [00:21:35] Remarks on SW; his circle of contacts. Mentions PH’s difficult relationship with SW and NB’s opinions on design of British Library. Remarks on PH’s relationship with NB, and significance of PH’s work. [00:26:32] Comments on SL’s career as photographer and importance of family contacts. Mentions SL’s photography of people associated with Royal Court Theatre and NB’s architect friends. Spontaneous, un-posed character of SL’s photography. Mentions SL’s friendship with Michael Wickham [MW]; MW’s activities as gardener, artist and photographer; and group based around MW’s home at Coleshill [in Berkshire]. [00:32:35] General remarks on insiders and outsiders in English society, and unimportance of circles of affiliated people in NB’s life. [Interruption at 00:35:06] Mentions SL’s work for House & Garden magazine with Joyce Lowry and Ilse Gray. Lack of importance of gender to NB’s group. Remarks on SL’s attitude to her subjects. [00:38:00] NB unable to recall specifics of their meeting. Mentions difficulties in marriage of SL’s parents [JH and AL] and their different cultural backgrounds. Importance of SL’s family to NB. Summary of NB’s family background; remarks on connections between NB’s personal history and approach as an architect. [00:44:28] Mentions AL’s collection of art and different backgrounds of JH and AL. [00:46:00] Description of JH’s appearance; approach to stage design; JH’s involvement with directors and actors of Royal Court Theatre. [00:49:12] Brief remarks on differences between the design of stage sets and buildings. Mentions social critiques of plays staged at Royal Court Theatre. [00:52:28] Description of GD. Remarks on JH’s strong focus as a stage designer. [00:55:09] Mentions NB’s friendship with David Gentleman and Corin Hughes-Stanton [CHS]; CHS chairman of Camden's housing committee. Mentions NB’s visit to CHS and his then partner Janet [Richardson] on the Isle of Jura [00:59:46] Mentions RD’s separation from David Gentleman and subsequent marriage to NB. [01:00:35] Refers briefly to David Gentleman’s work as stamp designer and illustrator. Mentions Fenella Gentleman, daughter of David Gentleman and RD and subsequently NB’s step daughter.

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