By The Art Newspaper. News, Issue 191, May 2008
Published online: 01 May 2008
o Nicolas Coldstream died on 21 March, aged 80. Born in India, Coldstream attended Eton and, after National Service in the Buffs and the Highland Light Infantry, read Classics at King’s College, Cambridge, taking his degree in 1951. He taught briefly at Shrewsbury School and then became a temporary assistant keeper at the British Museum’s department of Greek and Roman antiquities. At the British School in Athens from 1957 until 1960, he researched Geometric pottery, after which he joined the staff of Bedford College, London, becoming Professor of Aegean Archaeology in 1975. In 1983 he was appointed Yates Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology at University College, London, where he remained until his retirement in 1992. His works include his magnum opus, Greek Geometric Pottery (1968) and several other works on Early Iron Age Greece, Crete and Cyprus.
o Angus Fairhurst died at his own hand on 29 March, aged 41. Born in Kent, Fairhurst studied art at Goldsmiths College along with Damien Hirst, Gary Hume and Sarah Lucas, taking his degree in 1989. The previous year, his work—which eventually embraced collage, sculpture, painting, installation and performance, and constantly referred to popular culture and the processes of creation and destruction—along with that of 14 other Goldsmiths students, were shown in “Freeze”, an exhibition organised by Hirst in an empty London Port Authority building, which, having caught the attention of Charles Saatchi, launched Fairhurst’s and several other artists’ (including Tracey Emin’s) careers, and resulted in the group being dubbed the “Young British Artists” or YBAs. He subsequently exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including the 2004 show “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” at Tate Britain, with Hirst and Lucas.
o Martin Pawley died on 9 March, aged 70. Born in Borehamwood, Pawley trained as an architect at Oxford Polytechnic and studied at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, after which he joined The Architects’ Journal as a news editor in 1967. Thereafter he held various editorial and academic positions, but his principal contribution to the art world was his 11-year-long weekly contributions to the journal and his articles as the architecture critic of The Guardian from 1984 to 1991.
o Michael Podro died on 28 March, aged 77. Podro attended Berkhamsted School in Hertfordshire, after which he went to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he read English under F.R. Leavis who was to inform Podro’s later thinking about art history. In 1955 he enrolled as a part-time student at the Slade School of Art where he was influenced by Ernst Gombrich and Richard Wollheim. From 1961 to 1967 he was the head of the newly formed art history department of Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, and, from 1967 to 1969, he was lecturer in the philosophy of art at the Warburg Institute where Gombrich was then director. It was Gombrich who encouraged and facilitated his move to Essex University in 1969 where he became professor of art history and theory until 1973, and then professor emeritus until 1997. At Essex he did much to encourage his students to relate works of art to their intellectual and historical milieux. Three of his books, The Manifold in Perception: Theories of Art from Kant to Hildebrand (1972), The Critical Historians of Art (1982) and Depiction (1998) continue to be widely read and consulted.
o Dith Pran died on 30 March, aged 65. Born in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Dith became proficient in English and French at school and, when the Vietnamese war spread to Cambodia, he moved to Phnom Penh. From 1972 to 1975, he worked as a photojournalist with Sydney Schanberg, the foreign correspondent of The New York Times who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his coverage. After the country fell to the Khmer Rouge in 1975, Dith spent the next four and a half years in forced labour until he managed to escape on foot to Thailand whence, in 1979, he travelled to the US where he became a photographer with The New York Times. Dith was made famous by Roland Joffé’s 1984 triple-Oscar-winning film, “The Killing Fields”, based on Schanberg’s 1980 book, The Death and Life of Dith Pran.
o Peter Tomory died on 25 March, aged 86. He was born in Hong Kong and, after wartime service in the Royal Navy, took a degree in Fine Arts at Edinburgh University. He then worked at York City Art Gallery, Leicester Museums and the Arts Council before accepting the post of director of the City Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand. There he had the extraordinary good fortune to discover a cache of watercolours and drawings by Fuseli which the gallery acquired, putting it and Tomory to the forefront of Fuseli studies and resulted in his monograph, The Life and Art of Henry Fuseli (1972). In the late 1960s he left New Zealand for the US where he taught art history at Columbia University and was briefly chief curator at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. He went to Australia as professor of art history at La Trobe University in Melbourne, a post he held from 1972 until his retirement in 1987 when he returned to the UK.
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