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Rakewell

The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

31 January 2017

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

In last week’s ES magazine, fashion designer Jasper Conran reminisced about meeting Andy Warhol when studying in New York in the late 1970s. Alas, the young Conran wasn’t terribly impressed. ‘He wasn’t a laugh a minute is all I can say. To my young eyes he was a bit dull. But we now know he wasn’t really dull. He was just dull to be with.’ The Rake senses the artist himself might not have agreed. ‘It’s not what you are that counts,’ he wrote in his 1980 memoir POPism. It’s what they think you are’.

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On a visit to Margate’s Turner Contemporary last weekend, Sunday Times critic Waldemar Januszczak got very hot under the collar when he was refused permission to take photographs of exhibition labels. Januszczak, who regular readers will know to be no fan of photography regulations, composed a series of tweets lambasting the gallery after he was ejected for snapping a caption. Rakewell is all for photography in galleries, but not entirely convinced by Waldemar’s political analogies…

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Last week, the Telegraph ran a piece in which Melanie Andrews, daughter of the late painter Michael, reminisced about her bohemian upbringing among the heroes of the Soho demi-monde. ‘[Lucian Freud] used to come round for supper a lot’, Andrews remembered. ‘I would often save the best bit of food till last – I’d eat my vegetables and leave a choice piece of steak on the side of my plate – and suddenly Lucian’s fork would loom and my meat would disappear into his mouth. He’d say, I thought you didn’t want it. That was Lucian.’

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How to engage with audiences through social media? This, for better or for worse, is the question plaguing communications teams throughout the museum world. Last week, however, some anonymous visionary at the Tate had what can only be described as a Eureka moment:

The Tate’s challenge provoked scores of responses from institutions:

Is there an exhibition in this?

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

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