Sir James Gow Mann - Papers - Letters - C.F. Bell [1]

Object Title

Sir James Gow Mann - Papers - Letters - C.F. Bell [1]

Sir James Gow Mann - Papers - Letters - C.F. Bell [1]

Date

1927-38

Reference

MANN 18/5 1

Level

Item

Scope and Content

1927/1: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 'Friday', postmarked 10 Apr 1927, inviting Mann to lunch,
1928/2: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 2nd April 1928, thanking for a copy of the new edition of the Wallace Coll. pictures, commenting on some of the illustrations and on the situation at the Ashmolean: 'We are still headless here. It was discovered after [?] Hogarth's death that both his appointment and mine had been made on a temporary footing and died with us. So new statutes reconstituting the posts had to be passed...',
1929/3: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 23rd June 1929, giving news of the developments in the Ashmolean and commenting on the export of works of art to the USA,
1929/4: Postcard from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 8 Nov. 1929, thanking for 'your kind remembrance of our necessities',
1930/5: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 10 Nov. 1930, inviting himself to lunch when he comes to look at some pictures offered to the Ashmolean by the N.A.C.F.,
1931/6: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 5 July 1931, thanking for kind letter: 'Actually I have left the Museum officially. I am now degraded to the rank of a dole-receiving honorary 'locum-tenens' as, not unnaturally Kenneth Clark was not prepared to throw up a very interesting piece of work on which he was engaged for the Royal Library at Windsor, and take up office here at ten days notice - which is what he was given.... Of course I knew you would never come back, however much I hoped that you might have succeeded me... You say that the place will never be the same without me, but really it has never been the same since you left. Mirth has been less constant and the sources of it less refined.',
1931/7: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 7 Sept 1931, from Rome, describing changes in the city and complaining of 'modernity',
1931/7a: Postcard of a mosaic of a corpse on ? a gridiron, with a Greek motto, which the caption translates as 'Conoscetevi stesso', with C.F. Bell's signature and date,
1931/8: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 8 Nov. 1931, with Oxford address of 26 Beaumont Street, but Kensington postmark, thanking for a copy of the catalogue of the sculpture at the Wallace Collection: 'Except as part of the decoration of a palace it is difficult to raise much enthusiasm over French XVII century bronzes...',
1932/9: Letter from C. F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 6 June, 1932: 'I was not able to do anything for the University, but I can offer myself mild and modest congratulations on what I saved it from!... I do most sincerely hope that you will have happiness, contentment and good fortune in your new setting... It is a tremendous coup for the new foundation to have secured a first-class scholar and gentleman for its staff...',
1932/9a: Copy of letter from JGM to 'My dear Bell', dated 7-vi-32, thanking him for his good wishes: 'I know that there are many people who will be pleased if the Courtauld Institute should prove a failure, but that would give me all the more opportunity for uninterrupted study, which is the main reason why I have decided to leave Hertford House... I have taken on, among other obligations, the editing of de Cosson's 'Dictionary of Armourers', which he spent his life in compiling & left unfinished at his death. This will required more time & freedom of movement than I can achieve under present conditions...',
1933/10: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 1 Jan. 1933, thanking for good wishes, mentioning the death of 'Mrs Cooke' and commenting: 'Poor old Dillon had ceased to be anything but a shadow - all the same when one has become a skeleton... in the cupboard as I have, one is sorry when the other shadows disappear...',
1933/11: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 31 May, 1933: 'No there was no marble of this bust but I should have thought that the style showed that. In fact the principal interest of the N.P.G. bust is that it is one of the very few bronzes of any size made in England between the time of Charles II and the revival under French influence of bronze sculpture in the middle of the XIX century... Admiral Sir (Something) Acland Bart.... has, unless he has sold it... the Millais Portrait of Ruskin. He used to live down in Torquay or Paignton, I think',
1933/12: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 1 July, 1933, thanking for gift of 'your paper' [probably 'Instances of antiquarian feeling in medieval and renaissance art' to judge by comments],
1934/13: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 10 April, 1934, asking for help in identifying the coat of arms on a tomb,
1934/14: Postcard from C.F. Bell, postmarked 23 May, 1934, saying that he had managed to identify the tomb as that of Sir John Shurley, now in Lewes Church, Sussex,
1934/15: Letter from C. F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 15 July 1934, relating a story about one of Queen Mary's acquisitions and planning to compile 'a new edition of the XVIII century classic 'A new Companion to the Bog-house'[,
1934/15a: Copy of letter from JGM to 'My dear Bell', 16th July, 1934, thanking for the anecdote and putting his name down for a copy of the 'new Companion',
1934/16: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 24 Dec. 1934, thanking for postcard sent from Russia and for his attempt to identify a 'figure' [of Cupid in the Imperial collection, according to next letter],
1935/17: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 30 Sept. 1935, thanking for good wishes after a fall down 'the stairs to Avernus'. 'I was getting on so steadily with the account of Thomas Banks' life and works; it is disappointing to have had to give up two or three pieces of digging at the Record Office and elsewhere which I pieces of digging at the Record Office and elsewhere which I had promised myself to carry out before the Winter comes to circumcise my activities',
1935/18: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 3 Oct 1935, offering 'very many thanks for joining to promptly in the 'Hue and Cry after Cupid'...',
1936/19: Copy of letter from JGM to 'My dear Bell', dated '36 only, discussing future plans for the Wallace Collection: 'I have for years wanted to do something for the Garden & am putting in a scheme for next years estimates. I hope that in spite of piling up armaments the Chancellor of the Exchequer will let us do something... ',
1937/20: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 12 Mar. 1937, saying that he had been asked to review a new life of William Beckford for 'Country Life' and had returned it hastily: 'Of course the plain truth is that I knew too much about the genesis of this book. I couldn't have reviewed it even anonymously without giving my identity away. I regard the publication as unnecessary and scandalous...',
1937/21: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 2nd Aug. 1937, thanking for good wishes after another fall: 'It is very interesting to hear that you have inspired the Bishop of Mantua to have some of that armour cleaned... I have been hoping... to send you the proof of the preface to my Banks Book, which you kindly consented to look at...,
1937/22: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 20 Sept. 1937, complaining of his increasing deafness and going on to discuss the 'institute' unnamed, but probably the Courtauld as it was apparently involved in teaching the history of the Fine Arts and a campaign against a newly appointed head,
1937/23: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 11 Nov. 1937 apologising for not replying to his enquiry 'about the Kemp-Welch' pictures. I only know that they were all bought years ago and through George Donaldson, mostly, so I suppose they are likely to be genuine.... I am glad you were amused by my letter. I have had a perfect 'fan-mail' of approbation... ',
? 1937/24: Stencilled letter, addressed to 'Dear Dr. Parker', no date or other address, commenting on 'the very polite allusions to my name in your article in the Times... Your expressions are most kind... but I feel that you have perhaps done me kindness at the expense of Sir Kenneth Clark...' and going on to discuss differences in their approaches to the arrangement of the Fine Art in the Ashmolean[end] 'My generation lived in the belief that in an University where history forms one of the principal Faculties a chronological and historical arrangement of the public art-collections would prove the most useful and generally comprehensible, and, amongst many minor principles which I need not bore you by retailing, that sculpture in the round should be exhibited so as to be seen from all points of view, that the backs of maiolica dishes are often as important to students as the fronts and (as most of the pieces have been broken and mended) should be visible without taking them out of the cases etc. etc.... We honestly believed in those days that there was a closer affinity between Longhi and Hogarth, Wilson and Canaletto, Reynolds and Baltoni... than between let us say Uccello and Tiepolo. Now the Tide has set the other was and... Nationality is supposed to be of more importance that Contemporaneousness...',
1938/25: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 24 March 1938, asking for help in identifying the influences on an amateur watercolour painter who was also an officer of Artillery, connecting him with Paul Sandby,
1938/26: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 26 March 1938, thanking for information received,
1938/27a: Copy letter from JGM to 'My dear Bell', dated 19th April, 1938,; I have been reading your book with the greatest interest & yesterday I paid a visit to the Vyne to have a look at the monument of Challenor Chute...' and discussing its attribution to Banks,
1938/27: Letter from C.F. Bell to 'My dear Mann', dated 20 April, 1938, thanking for his comments and discussing the lack of records relating to the monument at the Vyne[end]

Access Conditions

Open access

Associations

Contents

  MANN 18/5 1 - Sir James Gow Mann - Papers - Letters - C.F. Bell [1]