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The Diaries of Randolph Schwabe

15 May 2020

Burgh House is mentioned in The Diaries of Randolph Schwabe: British Art 1930-48: Artist Circles 1930-48, Bristol: Sansom & Co. edited by Gill Clarke in 2016 in June & September 1930.

1930 An Overview
1930 marked a turning point in Randolph Schwabe's career as while teaching part-time at the Royal College of Art, Westminster and Camberwell he applied for, and was successful in obtaining, the post of Principal of the Slade School of Art. The diary commences when Schwabe is 44 and he and his wife Gwendolyn, known as 'Birdie' and their daughter Alice, aged 15, are living in Hampstead at 20 Church Row, having previously lived in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. He records the politics of staff appointments before taking up the post as successor to Henry Tonks and over the next 19 years until his untimely death in September 1948 he reveals much about the artistic and literary circles that he was a respected member of and where his friendship and critical advice was sought. 

Tuesday 10 June 1930
Reviewed David Strang's book [The Printing of Etchings and Engravings] and [R.H.] Wilenski's Miniature History [of European Art]. Went in to [Walter] Grimmond* after lunch. They have been to Woodbridge and Southwold in the holiday, and saw... the [Hubert & Charlotte] Wellingtons who are staying with them. Mrs. W. in a rush hat from Woolworth's, and W. in a large straw and a blue shirt. Relapse into Bohemianism in the security of the country. Discussed no. 9 Well Walk. E.V. Knox [1881-1971, poet & satirist, editor of Punch 1932-49] is interested: says that Mr. Benson, who has bought Burgh House and the adjoining old barracks (Wetherall House) and who is very rich may buy no. 9 as well and so preserve it. He is going to construct a flight of steps and an approach for cars from Well Walk to Burgh House... 

Saturday 27 September
...[Alan] Durst* [lived in England's Lane] telephoned, and he and Clare [his wife] came in about 6 o'clock, and dined with us at Jack Straw's [former Public House in Hampstead]. They are back in town from Selbourne. He managed to finish all the work he had set out to do for his show at the Leicester Galleries...Mrs. Durst says she remembers her sister living in the top flat at Burgh House, New End, when the house was let out in flats; and she paid 10/- a week. 

Walter Grimmond* lived at 28 Well Walk, Hampstead. His drawing A Hampstead Garden which he exhibited at the New English Art Club in 1929 shows Schwabe and his daughter Alice seated in the garden at the back of their home in 20 Church Row. 
We will be exhibiting A Hampstead Garden at Burgh House in the Schwabe exhibition.

Hubert Wellington* (1879-1967) was Principal of Edinburgh College of Art (1932-42). In 1947 Schwabe invited him to stand in as lecturer in art history (after Borenius) at the Slade. He and his first wife –Charlotte– who died in 1943 were longstanding friends of the Schwabes. 

Alan Durst* (1883-1970) was curator of the G.F. Watts Museum, Compton near Guildford from 1919-20, he left to take up sculpture full-time, & later taught wood carving at the Royal College of Art (1925- 40 & 1945-8). He carved the memorial that contains Schwabe's ashes in Hampstead churchyard (right). We will also be exhibiting work by Alan Durst in the Schwabe exhibition