Thomas Woodham Smith
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Entries by Thomas Woodham Smith

Life In The Arts Lane - Week 103- The changes wrought by age and time

(0) Comments | Posted 27 March 2015 | (08:39)

I have started to notice and be upset by changes I see around me. I wonder whether this is like a new form of puberty, a phase we all go through when we hit a certain age. For all my life, up to now, I have celebrated and been eager...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 101- Underground/Overground

(0) Comments | Posted 25 February 2015 | (16:48)

The joy of London is that everything is here. There is an endless parade of buildings of every possible period and style available as a delicious smorgasbord. I have two bicycles - one for speeding and one for cruising. Depending on my mood and tardiness I will take in the...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 98 - Nose back to the grindstone.

(0) Comments | Posted 15 January 2015 | (10:48)

The holiday period of Christmas and New Year seemed to last for a very long time this time round. A lot of drinking accompanied a lot of eating - a flock of roast birds and a shopping trolley of steamed fruit-based puddings. Crackers popping, silly hats worn in rakish fashion...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 97 - Memorial in Amsterdam

(0) Comments | Posted 16 December 2014 | (15:35)

Another early start! 6 am and I am gathering my sons and chasing down to Folkestone. The traffic is light but I still manage to miss my slot at the Eurotunnel by 10 minutes. I had cunningly bought a discount return - £70 return for an overnight stay. Clearly aimed...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 96 - The Smell of Art

(0) Comments | Posted 3 December 2014 | (11:17)

There are times when you can get a strong whiff of how something or someone is doing. Everything has its own particular aroma and I was particularly struck by the pong of the Ming. One of the best museum membership cards in London is the one for the British Museum....

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 95 - Normal for Norfolk

(0) Comments | Posted 20 November 2014 | (17:52)

I love shopping. In fact I would have to admit that I have made a career of it. So, when my friend, fireball antiquarian book dealer Daniel Crouch, asked me to accompany him as shotgun on a trip to my favourite shopping county Norfolk, it would have been churlish to...

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Life In the Arts Lane - Week 94 - Post Olympia Reflections

(0) Comments | Posted 13 November 2014 | (20:14)

Sunday 5pm rolled round and the Olympia fair morphed from the serene elegance of a West London antique show into a frantic scramble of destruction. Everyone wants to get out at once, and we wrestle for access to the stores. Plastic boxes and bubble-wrap replace the aged visitors and family...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 93 - Death Stalks the Hall

(0) Comments | Posted 5 November 2014 | (08:29)

I took my little black dog out for a walk. She always sits sweetly and patiently at the lights. She trots along obediently and ever so slightly swaggering she crosses the road and scampers off into the churchyard. She runs and leaps with puppyish enthusiasm despite being a mature 2...

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Life in the Arts Lane - Week 92 - Quo Vadis?

(0) Comments | Posted 27 October 2014 | (16:29)

It is a strange moment. I do not know where to go or what to see. There is so much going on that it seems easier to stay in bed and pull the covers up over my head and sing nursery rhymes. Frieze is in town and it has two...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 91 - LAPADA, Battersea and Rome

(0) Comments | Posted 11 October 2014 | (12:49)

In Berkeley Square you normally admire the trees, the tired bedraggled grass, and the stoic office workers stalwartly enjoying fresh air, whilst cars and trucks go round and round, circling like lions around Christians in the Colosseum. But at this time of year the pattern is disrupted by the landing...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 90 - The Paris Biennale to Beziers

(0) Comments | Posted 1 October 2014 | (15:07)

Paris wakes up the art world's Autumn season every two years. 2014 is one of those years. On the 9th of September there is a huge and fancy dinner for the VIPs, yours truly not invited once again. And on the 10th at 6.30 the normal preview crowd gather to...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 89 - Four Exhibitions and a Dog

(0) Comments | Posted 23 September 2014 | (08:02)

I have a bad habit. This is that I end up seeing exhibitions as they are on the brink of closing. For some reason I cannot go either at the start or the middle of the run; there has to be an element of drama - I need to be...

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Life in the Arts Lane - Week 87 - Bruton and Chard, Art and Black Pudding

(0) Comments | Posted 27 August 2014 | (10:45)

Bruton in Somerset seems always to have been an 'arty' town. There are lots of young folk about because the town has a number of schools. There is the legendary Sexey's which is a Church of England co-ed state boarding school and the starting point of many lewd - and...

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Life In The Arts Lane - Week 85- The Dangerous Roads of London and the West Country

(0) Comments | Posted 5 August 2014 | (10:52)

As the Tour de France surges forward and the occasional pile-up is reported in the English news, so the domestic daily version of this annual gladiatorial struggle invades my experience. I have had to attend various morning meetings and therefore I have been compelled to travel with the commuters. Every...

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Life In the Arts Lane - Week 84 - Season Finale

(0) Comments | Posted 16 July 2014 | (12:37)

The dust is rising as the last few struts are removed and packed up for onward travel,The Dutch are licking their wounds following another World Cup penalty shoot-out failure, and a disconsolate mood hangs over the dry bare ground revealed by the vanished Masterpiece 'Evolution' tent like a miasma. Elsewhere...

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Life in the Arts Lane - Week 83 - Masterpiece to Milan

(0) Comments | Posted 16 July 2014 | (12:07)

The temptation to live for a week in a world where Ruinart Champagne flows like water (or Coca Cola) whilst eating every meal in Le Caprice was one that I failed to resist. This was my last Masterpiece fair and I thought that as my involvement, other than as a...

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Life in the Arts Lane - Week 82 - Build to Bang

(0) Comments | Posted 8 July 2014 | (12:44)

Arriving on site in high viz with my steel-toe-capped boots, there is a frenetic energy crackling in the atmosphere. The exhibitors' own contractors arrive on Wednesday to join the already numerous Stabilo staff, they have two days to prepare before the gates are opened on Saturday morning for the exhibitors...

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Life in the Arts Lane - Week 81 - 36 Hours in Basel

(0) Comments | Posted 27 June 2014 | (16:20)

For the last 5 years I have been to Basel to help vet the Design Fair. I join with Simon Andrews from Christie's and a small group of exhibitors and we slowly and methodically look at and assess every piece at the fair. It requires an early morning flight on...

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Life in the Arts Lane - Week 80 - Progress and Protest

(1) Comments | Posted 19 June 2014 | (09:36)

As the Masterpiece tents rise from the glistening flat floors laid out across the grounds at the Royal Hospital, the sun is shining. My visits to the site to observe the progress and watch the installation of the Philip King exhibition in Ranelagh Gardens are bathed in sunshine and the...

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Life in the Arts Lane - Week 79 - Founder's Day and Full Possession

(0) Comments | Posted 13 June 2014 | (11:09)

It's all Masterpiece now. My life is on hold until the last contractor packs up his tools and vacates the site. Masterpiece is just beginning to enter the birthing chamber.

However, the week began at Home House, where I was invited to be part of a panel discussion about...

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