home is where the art is (sorry!)
Around 1949, when my husband was about 9 or 10, his grandmother gave him a catalogue,( a largish book), of an art exhibition called ‘The Londoner’s England’, which had reproductions of all the works in the exhibition. It was a rather strange birthday present to give a child of that age, but it was one of the few things he kept from his childhood. In 1979 we moved to a house which was in very poor condition and needed a lot of work. When I cleared out the cellar, which was full of junk left by the previous owners, I found a couple of grimy pictures stuck in a corner. I could see that one was a good quality watercolour and had a good frame, so I cleaned it up and saw that the frame had a brass label attached. It said ‘The Chancery House, Harlow’, by Michael Rothenstein, an artist of repute whose work I was familiar with. On the back of the picture I saw to my amazement that the label attached said ‘The Londoner’s England’. I raced upstairs and found my husband’s book, looked through it, and there was the reproduction of this watercolour. Of all the millions of houses in London, (and this one was in a very poor suburb of London, not somewhere you might expect to find quality artworks hanging about), my husband had moved into the one that contained one of the original pictures in his catalogue, 30 or so years after having been given this strange present.
Date submitted:Tue, 14 Feb 2012 19:46:36 +0000Coincidence ID:5991