Thursday, March 13, 2008

plumbers followed by portraits

The shower, broken and only able to with operate with a screwdriver equals Andrea waiting for plumber, part two. He arrives, he putters, he promises to get back to my flatmates, and I head to the National Portrait Gallery.

Highlights include Vanity Fair's exhibition, where Aldous Huxley stares me down and Virginia Woolfe wonders wide-eyed, Gloria Swanson readies to pounce through black lace, George Bernard Shaw gruffly hides his chin in his beard. Published from 1913-1936, it lay dormant until 1983 when it was revived and started printing pictures of pregnant Demi Moore and the annual Hollywood Issue. Gorgeous glossiness.

As I searched for these images, I found a dissenter:

Bryan Adams has an entire hallway of photography: must say I prefer his snapshots to his soundbites. The rest of the gallery holds portraits from Elizabeth I to Paul McCartney, Hockney, Brontes, British greats, pictures and prints.

A quick pop into the National Gallery for some Sunflowers and the Execution of Lady Jane Grey, the sixteen-year-old queen for ten days. Then a lentil burger with tomato salsa and a wander through Covent Garden on the rainy way home.

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