Pierre-Auguste Renoir, ex collection Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, image courtesy Freeman’s

We do from time to time welcome student groups from the local university, and one student in one such group asked upon visiting whether any of the items in our inventory were, in her words, ‘museum pieces.’ My reply was ‘All of them or none of them.’ Momentarily glib, I’ll admit, it did serve to beg discussion, with museum culture, as my gentle readers will know, being one of my favorite topics. …


One of the trade publications I peruse- online, of course- this morning touted the launch of a new website providing support for those of us who post their items for sale on a variety of selling platforms. What this new support service offers is the ability to post one place- their own site- which posts can then be simultaneously posted on whatever other sales platforms where the dealer happens to maintain a virtual storefront. This ability, the support site claims, removes from the dealer their biggest contemporary hassle, keeping their inventory listings consistent across numerous websites.

So that you know…


My early morning ritual begins with a long walk on the treadmill at the gym, the bank of which are well supplied with large screen TV’s. As a consequence, I was able to watch a segment on Fox News entitled ‘Indoctrination or Education?’, the point of which, in simple terms, was to dispute the necessity for any consideration of critical race theory in public education in the US. This being Fox, ‘dispute’ understates the tenor of the discussion with ‘decry’ more appropriate.

My gentle readers won’t be surprised to find that I am an infrequent viewer of Fox News, which…


The Royal Vauxhall Tavern- a safe space in south London

This morning I watched a Zoom presentation hosted by the University College London New York alumni club, and featuring a presentation by UCL Professor Ben Campkin. The focus was largely on the loss of ‘safe’ spaces for the LGBT community through intensive urban redevelopment and gentrification. What this meant for Professor Campkin was, largely, a loss of gay pubs in greater London. …


Most of what my gentle followers will read in this blog post will seem familiar from past years but repeated as it’s worth repeating, and in no small part worthwhile for me to remember. No, not ‘remember’, but continue to remain mindful of.

For Keith McCullar and me, Pride month has a particularly special significance, as 41 years ago, it was in San Francisco yet limited to a parade on Sunday, June 29, 1980, designated Gay Freedom Day. …


A term like conservatism now connotes what has become, amongst so-called conservatives and liberals, the mutually destructive circular firing squad that is now the political environment in Washington DC.

However, the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, puts me in mind of the kind of effective conservatism to which he was adjunct. This will be defined in the context of the following few paragraphs.

We’ve perhaps overdosed on repeated watchings of ‘The Crown’ on Netflix and think we know all there is to know about the royal family, and consider them sticks in the mud wearing clothing styles…


For those handful of my gentle readers, you’ve noticed I’ve lately cited Russel Belk and Susan Pearce and their books of several decades ago about the nature of collecting. Dr Pearce’s On Collecting is particularly cogent and amply repays a number of rereads. In the course of doing this just now I’ve found something about which I take exception, that a person’s collecting, if what’s gathered truly is a collection and not just an accumulation, must in the fulness of time come ‘naturally’ (her word) to an end.

Really? Perhaps I am more acquisitive than the normal run of collector…


The British Museum- the mother ship of modern museum culture

What do the names Warhol, Pollock, Still, Wyeth, and Rockwell have in common? Besides instantly recognizable as firmly established within the canon of American art, their works have also recently graced the New York salerooms, offloaded not by Wall Street types who have to fund a costly divorce, or rogue investors who got caught on the wrong side of GameStop, but by accredited art museums who felt some significant financial pinch.

As my gentle readers will doubtless remember, I have argued that keeping the doors open is of paramount concern to cultural institutions. With doors closed and in the case…


Perhaps post Brexit any discussion about the cultural links between Britain and France is fraught with, shall we say, dissension. Still, there’s no denying those links go back centuries, and just at the moment, following on from the rather muted celebrations of the bicentenary of the accession of Francophile George IV in 1820, a spate of publications and exhibitions are overt reminders of what’s been hiding in plain sight.

I’ve just finished reading a masterful account of the so-called Anglo-Gallic interior that found its apogee in the early years of the 19th century in the recently published The Tastemakers: British…


For all the profoundly overarching features of 2020 common to all of us, for every single one of us, we have to travel our own road day to day. With this in mind, this past week I’ve been given to consider significant events in my own life in the year past. …

Chappell & McCullar

The finest English antiques and Continental European antiques, Mid-Century Modern, and Contemporary furniture

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store