I was born in North London in 1948 to an American father and Scottish mother and went to Highgate School, winning an Exhibition to Emmanuel College Cambridge where I read History for two years and History of Art for another two years. Michael Jaffe was in charge of History of Art at Cambridge when I was there but many of the lecturing staff were from the Courtauld Institute including Anthony Blunt and Alan Bowness. During a gap year between Highgate and Cambridge, 1966-7, I studied at the British Institute in Florence which developed my interest in art history.
After Cambridge I began lecturing in a number of London art colleges, eventually becoming a full-time lecturer at Croydon College of Art where I rose to become Senior Lecturer and Head of the Post-Graduate Conservation Department. I greatly enjoyed my years lecturing, but felt that I needed different challenges so left to run Highgate Gallery with my wife. We specialised in late 19th century painting, particularly Scottish watercolours of the late 19th century. We also sold paintings by contemporary members of the New English Art Club and gave Peter Kuhfeld his first one-man exhibitions. We also dealt in Moorcroft pottery and other aspects of the Arts and Crafts Movement including Liberty and Company jewellery. It was during this period that I began writing books and articles of art criticism, and I also continued lecturing to adult audiences.
Throughout this period I continued to paint in oils, exhibiting at a number of London galleries including the New Grafton and the Russell Gallery. I also exhibited regularly at the Mall Galleries with the Royal Society of British Artists to which I was elected in 1995 becoming Keeper in 2011. In 2005 we left London and moved to an old house in Sherborne which has an art gallery attached where we can stage a couple of exhibitions each year showing our work and that of friends. Miranda is a successful print maker and also a member of the RBA and has a print workshop and studio in our Sherborne House.
I have written seven books in total and many articles for ‘The Artist’ and other magazines and I am member of The Critics Circle and The International Association of Art Critics. In ‘retirement’ I thought I would do a few lectures and was encouraged to become a NADFAS lecturer. Needless to say ‘a few lectures’ has become a full programme of lecturing both for NADFAS and for adult education centres such as Dillington House and Farncombe Estate. I really enjoy lecturing about my period of art history, Art and Design 1850 – 1914, a marvellous period which covers Pre-Raphaelitism, the Arts and Crafts Movement, Impressionism, Post Impressionism, Symbolism and the wonderful early years of the 20th century. I hope my audiences enjoy listening to me as much as I enjoy sharing my life-long passion for art history with them.
I am an accredited NADFAS lecture. NADFAS stands for the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies and is made up of local NADFAS groups throughout the UK and also in mainland Europe, Australia and New Zealand.In addition to monthly lectures there are also Study Days and visits.
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