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You never quite know what you’ve got

Serendipity is a wonderful thing and today I wish to bring Rust readers the joys of a true story. I have lived in my current abode in the quiet suburbs of south-west London for over twenty years. During this period I have been in the habit of going across the road to my local newsagents shop to [...]

January 23, 2017 // 0 Comments

Picasso’s ceramics

Like many of genius Picasso had a restless spirit. That spirit might explain why he went through so many periods – blue, pink, cubist and experimented in so many different media. In 1947 when his artistic and political fame (he was a director of the Prado during the Spanish Civil War and [...]

January 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

Spotting fakes

When Bob Tickler emailed me to say he was in negotiation to buy a lithograph by Marc Chagall, I advised him to be careful as the market is awash with fakes. With modern techniques you can produce a replica which even the most discerning of art expert would have difficulty in recognising as a [...]

December 31, 2016 // 0 Comments

Hell and Good Company/ Richard Rhodes; Land and Freedom

One of the things I  enjoy most about the Rust is the access to the knowledge of my colleagues and friends there. I have enjoyed researching into the Spanish Civil War. I asked our historian on warfare Henry Elkins for a more anecdotal historical account than the heavyweight Hugh Thomas, Paul [...]

November 4, 2016 // 0 Comments

Fake or Fortune

Fake or Fortune is back for a series on a peak time of 8pm on a Sunday. For an arts programme this is unusual programming and speaks volumes for its popularity and quality. A viewer is requested to submit a painting whose provenance and genuineness are in question and the presenters Fiona Bruce, [...]

July 19, 2016 // 0 Comments

Day Two

Yesterday I joined the group as a lecturer alongside Martin Gayford. I had one eye on time in view of Tottenham v Fioretina. Signor Roberto as I call Bob Tickler told me to watch out for a silver  haired bouffant type who fancied himself as an Michelangelo expert. “Stef, he warned [...]

February 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

The Modern Garden exhibition/Royal Academy

Whatever the subject matter or the content there is something unsatisfactory about a blockbuster exhibition. Firstly the crowds inhibit any true appreciation of a picture when as many as ten gather around it. Secondly there is the blatant commercialism that ensures you finish up in the museum shop. [...]

February 9, 2016 // 0 Comments

‘Ave yer got a light, boy?’

In the 21st Century the movie and theatre industries – indeed the arts generally – have to deal with all sorts of issues that never troubled the likes of Will Shakespeare. Think of the legislation, rules and received ‘good practice’ on animal cruelty and welfare (‘No [...]

February 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

A typical media issue

We all have aspects of the media, or particular media traits, that annoy us or cause us to flirt with contempt towards the medium … and indeed those involved in the stories it runs. One of my pet hates are pieces featuring some obscure university research team that has apparently spent years of [...]

February 4, 2016 // 0 Comments

A la Colthard/Cote restaurant and London Philharmonic

You are unlikely to read a review of Cote in the columns of the serious foodies. Like Ken Howard, Terence Rattigan and Daphne du Maurier – all extolled in this organ – Cote suffers for its popularity. Yet if offers seriously good food at a reasonable price and this is why it is packed. [...]

January 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

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