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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Michael's Hammershoi talk at RAA, London, 4 July by geordiegirl on 8 July 2008 8:15pm
Well, a good time was had by the full house, I think. MP looked as good & cheerful & ebullient as ever: new hairstyle (possibly designed to cover emerging crown-pattern-baldness.I didn't like this as it reminded me too much of an ex-MP I despise, but I appreciate that's my problem.

The talk was excellent. Readily admitting he's not a Hammershoi expert, he talked mainly about the making of the H. documentary, which he began the day bafter returning from US from the first night of Spamalot, He discovered that he and H. are both Taureans: 'their lucky flowers are daffodils and daisies, basically, Taureans are Wet.'

The documentary covered several themes:H H. a) as modernist b) the way he used light c) his image - the Danish art establishment never properly appreciated him d) his rfelationships with his wife, family, etc. e) his collectors. Slightly gruesome story for e) : one of his main collectors was a Danish dentist. Apparently, during the worldwide success of A Fish Called Wanda, one viewer died laughing (literally) and it was, a Danish dentist.

While making the documentary, MP and the crew were invited to a Friends of Vermeer evening (there are similarities between V. and H.) - they were a jolly crew, cultured,liked to talk but more concerned with drinking excellent Dutch beer. MP also met the great-nephew of one of H's collectors: the collector himself wrote (I thinlk!) Bad Stomachs and how to get them Right' (MP really likes quirky word-play: he also said he'd seen a hairdressers'salon in Copenhagen called Kafka)

Didn the documentary gather new material? A little - about his depressive wife; he was very cost-conscious, he was brought up on Shakespeare and Dickens, he was very accomplished early in life; he liked London (lots of fog); he painted the British Museum (from within: unusual); he was a fan of Whistler.

MP concluded by saying H. was really one of the unsung greats. he once wanted to buy a Hammershoi painting, but the starting offer-price was £170,000 'and I'd have to sell one of my children or do SatNav voices like Cleese'. Terry Jones has accused MP of making art documentaries as "a calculated deliberate attempt to rig the art market" - No-one's heard of these painters, MP buys them up cheap, makes the programmes & watches prices rocket!.

Lovely evening, lovely talk. AND I had the great pleasure of meeting (for the first time) Sue, and (for the second time) Katia, and having a drink with them afterwards. And I'm sure they will correct any errors in this attempt at a transcription!

Re: Michael's Hammershoi talk at RAA, London, 4 July by suzulu on 9 July 2008 12:59pm
Thanks, Linda! That's a very good account. I'm glad you took notes as I have forgotten some of it. I think I will print your post.
Re: Michael's Hammershoi talk at RAA, London, 4 July by kisch on 9 July 2008 5:43pm
Dear Linda, thank you so very much for the report ! Enjoyed every word of it.
I just thought - I know what question *would* ask him a question about H. !.. too late now, though:-)
Re: Michael's Hammershoi talk at RAA, London, 4 July by geordiegirl on 9 July 2008 6:41pm
I'm flattered, Sue! (I have takren lots of Minutes of Meetings in my time, some of which were unbelievably boring, so perhaps I can still take notes while listening to the shape of the thing, if you see what i mean).

Kisch, thanks for your comments too!
Re: Michael's Hammershoi talk at RAA, London, 4 July by Katia on 13 July 2008 6:36pm
Dear Linda and Sue - it was so lovely to see you, warm regards to Stewart!

They appeared to have had only one return - ha! - no doubt it was doomed to be mine :-) Actually so many great things happened to me in such a short two-week time, I just could not have been left out of Michael's event!

That was really a lovely evening and lovely talk and everything else was just lovely (including Mr.P's greeting to me which sounded exactly "lovely to see you" :-)))) And of course a most lovely exhibition - extremely interesting, unusual, and it is so great to see how V.Hammershoi is being rediscovered now, actually thanks to Michael - so thank you Mr.Palin!!

Well that's just to say hello and thanks, as I am just back home from freezing, rainy, frowny Yorkshire - I wonder how the poor sheep in the Pennines are surviving!

Blimey, it's just exclamation marks all along!

Hugs to all,

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