Friday, August 24, 2012

The Archives and the Internet

It's only this week that I've really understood how powerful the internet can be in facilitating contact with people and relatives with whom one might never be in touch. Unless I had written this archive, none of the following happy contacts would have been made:

This is a painting that I finally picked up yesterday of my ancestor Edward Lawford. Rather a fine picture, except that it has a huge gash on his neck! I was offered it at an auction earlier this year and intended to buy it, but went to New York at short notice and missed it. I then tried and failed to buy it from the person who bought it. Later I had an e-mail from a removals firm offering to sell it to me for a relatively small sum as it had been damaged in transit from the auction house and the buyer had claimed on their insurance and no longer wanted it. Of course I bought it and now have it on my wall. A friend ( Nick Duke's niece Kiki Price who restores old paintings) has repaired it for me. So this version of dear old 'Wicked Uncle Edward' is going to join another painting of him on my walls.

Sydney Lawford and Peter McKelvy at Tempo
This is our cousin Sydney Lawford, Peter Lawford's daughter and niece of JFK (her mother was his sister). She's also sister of Christopher Lawford who you may remember we almost met as he was staying at Quay Grand for Christmas 2008.

She came though London to meet me last week with her husband Peter McKelvey. Very nice indeed and very interested in the Lawford connection as she hadn't previously met any apart from Peter's father. I gave them dinner at Tempo and Kei met them too. Connection mentioned here

Lunch at Tempo with Robin Muir and Charles Tilbury
Then this week I had another lunch at Tempo with Robin Muir and my cousin Charles Tilbury to discuss Horst. Robin, who has worked for Conde Nast for many years,  has been asked to write a piece on Horst in the UK for the forthcoming V&A exhibition of his work in 2014. I had previously met Susanna Brown who is curating the exhibition, as she had contacted me following her discovery of the piece I wrote about Valentine and Horst on this archive. They may well include this photo of the family taken at Danegate in about 1948, in the article.
Annette, Fuff, Herry (in wheelbarrow) and Piers at Danegate in about 1948. Palladian print by Horst.

Mosaic portrait of Sir Alfred Herbert in the Herbert Museum
Finally, again this week, I heard from the World Monuments Fund (working on the restoration of Coventry Cathedral's old glass and in touch with me through this archive and the Journal) that Wikipedia wanted to talk to me about using some of the material on Sir Alfred Herbert from my archive on him.