Tuesday, 15 January 2013

John House's Library

Photo: Courtauld
John House, the eminent scholar of nineteenth century French art, died early last year.  When I was getting my lunch in Spitalfields Market today, I found a stall selling off part of his library for a pound or two a book!  The stallholder said that he'd just bought a couple of boxes from a library of about 4.000 volumes.  I got his father's school Latin prize (Walter Pater's Appreciations, with an Essay on Style), a 1940s pamphlet on Manet's Olympia, a handful of exhibition catalogues and some old art history and theory books like Hans Jauss's rather formidable-sounding Towards an Aesthetic of Literary Reception.  I love to unearth old books like these, bringing to life historic debates and giving a misty glipse of old exhibitions. 

1 comment:

  1. Michael, I now have a serious case of book envy! But I suppose the stall has been entirely picked clean by now... To be honest, that's probably a good thing - already too many books and not enough shelves :-)