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    The Times, 9/11/2013 Simon Tait Behind the historical recreations of Hampton Court’s Tudor experience, in a series of small studios usually peopled by student embroiderers and needlewomen of the Royal School of Needlework sitting around trestles, an art mystery unfolds. Twelve exquisite pictures, line drawings in subdued colours simply mounted and framed, speak of the intercessionary qualities of [...]

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  • 11/17/13--03:16: John Physick
  • The Times, 14/11/2013Lifelong servant of the Victoria and Albert Museum who was seen as the institution’s heart and soul John Physick, CBE, DrRCA, FSA; museum curator and scholar, was born on December 31, 1923, and died on October 14, 2013, aged 89 In his foreword to the 1982 The Victoria and Albert Museum: the history of its building, the [...]

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  • 04/02/14--10:22: Michael Compton
  • Published 02/08/2013 Michael Graeme Compton, CBE, contemporary art curator and administrator, was born on September 29, 1927. He died on July 12, 2013, aged 85. Pioneering director at the Tate who tried to involve the public in contemporary art – sometimes with alarming results Michael Compton’s philosophy was that a contemporary art gallery was like a party where [...]

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    The TImes, 19/5/2014 By Simon Tait It reads like a Dan Brown novel. In the year 716 a Saxon abbot, near the end of his life, decides to take one of the most beautiful books ever made from Jarrow in Northumberland to Rome as a gift for Pope Gregory II. Half way, at Langres in France, he [...]

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    Simon Tait The Times, 30-8-2014 A sprawling white block nestling in a fold of the Sussex Downs, at first sight “The Keep” lives up to its name: a fortress. But this keep is very much an open stronghold, one that is welcoming upwards of 16,000 visitors a year to see and use the extraordinary archives it houses. This [...]

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    The Times, 27-9-2014 Simon Tait The entrance to a hole in the ground in a Wiltshire woodland is hardly visible, even after the undergrowth has been cleared away from the rusted metal grill, but it is the gateway to a Britain where Nazi Germany has invaded, where ordinary civilians have become underground guerrillas, nocturnal saboteurs and spies, [...]

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    The Times, 4/4/2015 The restored Eltham Palace gives visitors a new narrative of its glamorous heyday, writes Simon Tait “Stephen & Virginia Courtauld request the pleasure of your company at Eltham Palace for the weekend of April 9th 1938” says your card. A tail-coated butler escorts you to your room, gives you a brief history of [...]

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  • 04/07/15--01:10: Albert Irvin
  • The Times. 6/4/2015 Influential abstract expressionist painter whose London bus commute inspired his large, colourful canvases The British abstract colourist painter Albert Irvin, one of our most influential abstract expressionist painters whose progressiveness did not falter throughout his long life, has died carom heart failure aged 92. Although he painted all his life, recognition came relatively late, not [...]

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  • 04/24/15--08:04: Moira Gemmill
  • Designer who played a key role in the transformation of the V&A and was working on a new project at Buckingham Palace Moira Gemmill, the design director who was hand-picked by the Queen to mastermind a transformation of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, has been killed in a road traffic accident. She was 55. A visionary with [...]

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    Simon Tait The Times, 23 Jan 2016 Second Lieutenant Lionel Morris was still a schoolboy when he went to war. He was seconded from the Royal Artillery to the Royal Flying Corps 3rd Brigade, No 11 Squadron and on September 17th, 1916, he flew his Farman Experimental 2b two-seater biplane on a bombing raid on the railway [...]

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  • 03/08/16--06:48: Philip Taverner
  • The Times, 4 March 2016 Marketing director who pioneered ‘blockbuster exhibitions’ with the 1972 Tutankhamun show in London Philip Taverner, who has died from cancer aged 86, was the young marketing director at Times Newspapers in 1970 when he was summoned to the office of the company’s chairman, Denis Hamilton, to meet the Egyptian ambassador. He was [...]

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  • 03/28/16--05:45: Sir Peter Moores
  • Philanthropist and heir to the Littlewoods fortune who created Comp[ton Verney art gallery Peter Moores, who has died following a stroke aged 83, was a multi-millionaire philanthropist who made funding the arts a life-time occupation, giving away most of his fortune. Born in the well-to-do Liverpool suburb of Formby into a business empire created by his [...]

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    The Times, 24-9-2016 Simon Tait Although its origins lie deep in the Middle Ages, British Freemasonry as an organised network of egalitarian gentlemen’s clubs, or lodges, takes its foundation from a meeting at the Goose and Gridiron pub near Sir Paul’s Cathedral on June 24th, 1717, when the members of four lodges got together to create a [...]

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    The Times, 7 January 2017 A former medieval monastery in London where Thomas More studied for four years is opening to the public for the first time. Simon Tait writes Clerkenwell was the bustling heart of medieval London. Outside the jurisdiction of the city fathers, it was a place of entertainment known for its brothels, taverns and [...]

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  • 03/21/17--03:24: Tony Haygarth
  • [The Times, 17-3-2017, Simon Tait] Versatile Liverpudlian television actor and theatre performer who was also a poet and scholar of Elizabethan drama The actor Tony Haygarth caused tabloid joy in 1988 when the Queen visited Peter Hall’s famous The Tempest or The Enchanted Island at the National Theatre in which Haygarth appeared as Caliban. He was presented [...]

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  • 05/03/17--09:32: Rebecca Swift
  • By Simon Tait, The Times, 29-4-2017 Part of a literary family who became a bridge between writers and publishers, and was known as ‘The Author’s Goidmother’ Doris Lessing was an early hero of Rebecca Swift’s. When she was 15 she was told by her mother to hide a copy of Susan Howatch’s Penmarric before a visit by [...]

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    The Times, 13-6-2017 By Simon Tait The Bulford Kiwi, carved into Salisbury Plain by New Zealand soldiers as a First World War memorial to their fallen fellows, has been scheduled a monument to mark the centenary of the New Zealanders’ key success, the Battle of Messines, tomorrow (June 14). But the creation of the 130m tall bird [...]