October 30, 2004

Tate Gallery research

I spent two days this week at the Tate Britain archive researching Vincent Massey, who was Canadian High Commissioner in London from 1935–45. I was tracing his relationship with Sir Kenneth Clark, the English art historian, who left his papers to the state and they're housed in the archive at Tate Britain. I finally got a photocopy of the Massey Report, named for V. Massey because he chaired the committee that examined the relationship between the Tate, the National Gallery, the V&A, and the British Museum. I also read correspondence between Clark and Massey, and what I found agrees with Finlay's assertion in "The Force of Culture" that Massey and Clark were friends. Their correspondence was infrequent after Massey left London, but continued until his death in 1967. In fact, he sent Clark a note late in 1967 stating that he would be in London for Cmas and hoped to see Clark. The sad fact was that Massey died in London only a few weeks later on that trip.

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