James Bolivar Manson

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James Bolivar Manson (26 June 18793 July 1945) was an artist and director of the Tate gallery, London.

Sourced[edit]

Tate gallery in 2004
  • In a country where feeling for art is not one of the national characteristics, it is particularly difficult to arrive at a common understanding of the term "art". There are many obstacles in the way, and some of them are imposed by the mere existence of such a body as the Royal Academy, for lacking any intuition in this matter of art, the majority of people turn to that institution for guidance, and naturally assume that any work receiving its blessing must be a work of art in the strict meaning of the word, and consequently the artistic quality of a painting is, in the popular estimation, measured in ratio to its degree of photographic realism.
    • Manson, J.B. The Tate Gallery, p.8, Thomas Nelson and Sons.
  • Tell the Trustees I think it is a very good Sickert — but the question is whether he is important enough for the Tate. I think not; but as an old friend of the artist perhaps I am a prejudiced judge.
    • Quoted in Frances Spalding, The Tate: A History (1998), pp. 62–70. Tate Gallery Publishing, London. ISBN 1854372319.
  • Over my dead body.
    • Response to Sir Robert Sainsbury, who wanted him to exhibit Henry Moore's Mother and Child sculpture. Quoted in Frances Spalding, The Tate: A History (1998), pp. 62–70. Tate Gallery Publishing, London. ISBN 1854372319.
  • My doctor has warned me that my nerves will not stand any further strain... I have begun to have blackouts, in which my actions become automatic. Sometimes these periods last several hours.... I had one of these blackouts at an official luncheon in Paris recently, and startled guests by suddenly crowing like a cock....
    • At age 58, announcing his retirement as Tate director. Quoted in Frances Spalding, The Tate: A History (1998), pp. 62–70. Tate Gallery Publishing, London. ISBN 1854372319.
  • The roses are dying, and so am I.
    • Shortly before his death, quoted in Frances Spalding, The Tate: A History (1998), pp. 62–70. Tate Gallery Publishing, London. ISBN 1854372319.

About James Bolivar Manson[edit]

  • A flushed face, white hair and a twinkle in his eye; and this twinkling got him out of scrapes that would have sunk a worthier man without trace.
  • Hopelessly insular.
    • Art critic Douglas Cooper on Manson's Tate, quoted in Frances Spalding, The Tate: A History (1998), pp. 62–70. Tate Gallery Publishing, London. ISBN 1854372319.
  • Manson arrived at the déjeuner given by the minister of Beaux Arts fantastically drunk—punctuated the ceremony with cat-calls and cock-a-doodle-doos, and finally staggered to his feet, hurled obscene insults at the company in general and the minister in particular, and precipitated himself on the ambassadress, Lady Phipps, some say with amorous intent others with lethal intent... the guests fled ices uneaten, coffee undrunk... I hope an example will be made, and that they will seize the opportunity for turning the sot out of the Tate, not because he is a sot, but because he has done nothing but harm to modern painting.
    • Clive Bell, quoted in Frances Spalding, The Tate: A History (1998), pp. 62–70. Tate Gallery Publishing, London. ISBN 1854372319.

External links[edit]

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