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Rakewell

A cultural tour of Jon Snow’s bookshelves

17 April 2020

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Since the lockdown began, Rakewell has nosed around more private houses than he had managed in a lifetime of snooping. Through the open windows of Zoom, Houseparty, FaceTime, you name it, he has spent hours perusing the home furnishings, wallpaper and cactus collections of friends and colleagues as they babble on at their webcams – spotting everything from cuckoo clocks to kitchen utensils in people’s home offices and living rooms.

Rakewell has particularly relished browsing the bookshelves of one of his old favourites, Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow – broadcasting these days in front of an entire regiment of exhibition catalogues and other cultural tomes. Snow is well known as a supporter of the arts, having served as a trustee of the National Gallery and the Tate from 1998–2008 and, until December last year, as chair of the members’ council of the latter. And then of course there are those notoriously jazzy ties and socks that he gets from Victoria Richards.

So, a quick Snow patrol of these shelves: there’s the catalogue of the ‘Byzantium’ exhibition, at the Royal Academy in 2008, and the ‘Kuniyoshi’ catalogue from the show at the same place the following year, and possibly a book or two published by the Tate. And above those, The Endless City, edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic, plus the paperback of Alex Ross’s The Rest is Noise.

Rakewell has been straining his eyes to identify further spines to give him ideas for lockdown reading. Can you help?

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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