Contemporary British Crafts
Amanda Game (Philip Wilson, £17.99)
CRAFT IS rarely taken seriously by museums: it’s the poor relation to fine art. Not so for Sir Nicholas and Lady Goodison, assiduous collectors of contemporary applied arts for themselves and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. A former chairman of the Stock Exchange, TSB, Courtauld, National Art Collections and Crafts Council, Sir Nicholas has the wherewithal and knowledge to have commissioned or purchased for the museum more than 120 objects (right, Horizon bottles by Phil Atrill).
Much of their collection is now on show there, having been diplayed with the assistance of Amanda Game, author of this meticulously researched and splendidly illustrated review of the collection. Each entry contains information on the object, its materials and who made it (far right, Janice Tchalenko), providing an introduction to some of the best contemporary makers in Britain. There is also an interview with Sir Nicholas about building the collection.
It is a very personal amassing. Sir Nicholas is a furniture historian, yet the furniture he has selected is in a traditional Parnham vein. His eye for glass, ceramic, silver and jewellery is more adventurous. He claims to acquire only objects ‘that sing’ and add colour; surprisingly, many are understated. The book offers an intriguing view of how a collection is built and is an interesting snapshot of late20thand early-21st-century craft, albeit from a particular viewpoint. Corinne Julius