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Angus Trumble

Angus Trumble

Angus Trumble is Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. Previously he was a Curator of European Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia. His latest publication is The Finger: A Handbook (2010). (Photograph by Mary Ellen Carroll)

Diary | ‘My beautiful pork-pie hat’ by Angus Trumble

September 2005, no. 274 01 September 2005
In the park outside my hotel in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, there is a splendid statue in bronze of President James Garfield, modelled in 1885 by one Charles H. Niehaus and cast in Rome. The pose is oratorical and forms a convenient hub for several witty panhandlers. Somebody has lodged a Panasonic logo high up inside the twentieth president’s lapel. The Cincinnati Club is down the block, a huge ... (read more)

‘My slinky beaver hat’ by Angus Trumble

March 2006, no. 279 01 March 2006
Some weeks ago, I visited my friend Leideke Galema, a Dutch nun who lives in comfortable retirement on the outskirts of Arnhem in the eastern Netherlands. I knew Miss Galema years ago when, living in the belfry of the church of S. Agnese in Agone on the Piazza Navona in Rome, she and her co-religious Miss Koet hired me as a general dogsbody, telephone-answerer, plant-waterer and errand-runner. It ... (read more)

Diary by Angus Trumble

August 2004, no. 263 01 August 2004
During the summer, Fire Island Pines, a scrubby Atlantic-facing dunescape off the southern shore of Long Island, is entirely colonised by gay men from Manhattan. Little dogs, swelling pectorals, postcards of Prince William and other clichés abound. The only way to get there is by ferry. There are no roads, just paths, jetties and boardwalks. This alone makes it worth the trip. Yet Fire Island has ... (read more)

Angus Trumble reviews 'Creation: Artists, gods & origins' by Peter Conrad

September 2008, no. 304 01 September 2008
This book is a celebration of art that doubles as a critique of religion,’ writes Peter Conrad in the introduction to this enormous book. Neither aim is especially unusual, but their ambitious fusion here creates a questing mesh of narratives, huge in scope, in which architecture, music, literature, drama, motion pictures, poetry and philosophy in many schools and eras are gathered under the spr ... (read more)

'Letter from New Haven' by Angus Trumble

June 2008, no. 302 01 June 2008
I was going to say that this is the first time I have ever forgotten to meet somebody for dinner, but I have in fact done it before, as our forbearing editor will attest. Is this the beginning of Alzheimer’s? It was written in my diary, in red capitals. I certainly remembered on Monday. However, I drifted through yesterday in that blissful cloud of unknowing that one imagines people who tak ... (read more)

Angus Trumble reviews 'Out of Australia: Prints and Drawings from Sidney Nolan to Rover Thomas' by Stephen Coppel

July–August 2012, no. 343 10 July 2012
The British Museum’s connection with Australia goes right back to 29 April 1770, when Captain Cook landed at the place he called Botany Bay because of the large number of plant specimens gathered there by Joseph Banks, one of the Museum’s most influential early trustees. As a polyglot public institution dedicated by Act of Parliament (1753) to allowing any citizen to study and understand the w ... (read more)

Angus Trumble reviews 'Man with a Blue Scarf: On sitting for a portrait' by Martin Gayford

November 2010, no. 326 16 November 2011
‘I kept thinking: if his face looks like this, what must his balls look like?’ David Hockney’s assessment of the craggy countenance of W.H. Auden is clipped and convenient, but I suspect Auden would have been far more interesting on the subject of sitting for Hockney. Given the concentration and quality of the encounters between English portrait painters or sculptors and their subjects, it i ... (read more)

Angus Trumble reviews 'The Hare With Amber Eyes: A hidden inheritance' by Edmund de Waal

June 2011, no. 332 24 May 2011
The Hare With Amber Eyes tells the migration story of ‘a very large collection of very small objects’, specifically 264 netsuke (pronounced like ‘jet ski’, from the Japanese characters for ne and tsuke, meaning ‘root’ and ‘attach’). Netsuke are small pieces of ivory, wood, metal, ceramic, or some other material, carved or otherwise decorated, and perforated for use as a toggle that ... (read more)