Ben Read, 'My Life in Art'

Posted on Friday 17th August 2012

Retiring after 9 years as Chairman of the LAF, Ben Read was presented with an inscribed pottery dish made by Katherine Winfrey at the AGM on August 9th, as a very small token of thanks for all he has achieved. He then gave a wonderfully wide ranging lecture on My Life and Art, giving us an account of his enthusiasms from an early age when he was taken to see the Eisenheim Altarpiece by his mother and father the celebrated poet and writer Sir Herbert Read. Both his parents encouraged him to follow his instincts to become an art historian. After school and university Ben continued his studies working at the Witt Library at the Courauld Institute of Art where his 'curiosity' led him to investigate the long-neglected subject of Victorian Sculpture which eventually resulted in the definitive study. His interests always been catholic, embracing architecture, Old Master paintings (his favourite painting in the entire world is Titian's late Nymph and Shepherd in Vienna) and he has always followed the work of contemporary artists with great interest. Thus Ben is the ideal teacher and, after being appointed to Leeds University, his aim has always been to share his passion and understanding with his students.The lecture was witty and erudite and it was a privilege to hear a highly personal view of his lifelong devotion to art.