Monday, 28 September 2009

Compton Verney

Last week I accompanied three friends on a visit to Compton Verney , which is a country mansion quite recently rescued from decay to be converted into an art gallery.

I found the contents much more interesting than those of the conventional art gallery, because there was less that was beautiful but dull, and more that was strange and so capable of stimulating thought.

Quite a lot of space was devoted to ‘folk art’, including shop and inn signs, and strange wind powered Victorian toys. There were also paintings showing disproportioned animals, with the parts most interesting to the farming community inflated to preposterous proportions. Especially delightful was a painting of a street scene in which the pub was called ‘The King’s harms’.

However the principal attraction of Compton Verney is the tea room, where we were served full afternoon tea on three tiered stands, with six sandwiches, a scone and three cakes each. They provide little plastic containers so people can take home any cakes they can’t manage on the spot.

The following picture shows what they provided. The stand in the foreground was for two people; only a third of the sandwiches are visible, but one can see most of the cakes. Click on this picture for a larger one.

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