In recent years, the distinguished artist and art historian John Golding has been wont to celebrate his birthday at a lunch in these parts, for which purpose his good neighbour Sophie Bowness has driven him down from London. Today's line-up, gathered for the occasion, was an eclectic mix of former pupils, colleagues and friends: we all enjoyed a drive there through the Autumn sunshine, the trees being now fully on the turn; but alas upon arrival we were told that it was a case of Hamlet without the Prince. John is unwell. A toast was proposed to an absent friend.
In her empty passenger seat, Sophie brought with her a copy of the elegant and comprehensive book she has edited, "Barbara Hepworth: The Plasters", published by Lund Humphries in April to coincide with the opening of the new Hepworth Wakefield museum of which she is a trustee. I was surprised to read in it that, in spite of one of her last major works being Theme and Variations, a three-part bronze relief for the façade of the Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society Head Office, Hepworth never visited Cheltenham either to see its proposed location or after installation.