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20 August 2016

Two-thirds of the Persephone Books office is chained to its desk in Lambs Conduit Street doing the important things like making sure the vase of sunflowers is fresh and glorious (they are sent via France to the People’s Supermarket)


and occasionally going out in to the garden to pick the (second flowering of) roses; while one third is on holiday, hence the lateness of this Letter, on the seafront in Sussex, where the weather has been glorious. But there have been several cultural highlights. First of all, a visit to the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill


which is fascinating in itself and also has a very good exhibition of Willem Sandberg. He was heroic as a person (this from Wikipedia) and heroic in the unconventional and intelligent way he ran the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. He also designed hundreds of posters, catalogues and  pieces of graphic material for the museum.


The exhibition showcases his design work from the 1930s to the 1980s, ‘telling the story of his unique graphic language through experimental typography, torn paper shapes, use of simple materials and the re-use of images in different contexts.’

The De La Warr was built for the people of Bexhill and has free admission; it was therefore buzzing with visitors enjoying the exhibitions, the excellent tearoom and the long, soaring balconies which are like the deck of a ship. By contrast, admission to the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings is expensive, so there is a horrible contrast between the values displayed inside the building and those exemplified by the fisherman’s huts outside it. Particularly in post-Brexit Britain one is all too conscious of the disjunct.


There is an amazing shop in Hastings, Hendy’s, and we wondered round it rather awestruck at its beauty.


A G Hendy & Co Home Store in HastingsThe photographs are taken from Emma Duggan’s site here.

And finally (for this first week of the holiday at least) there was Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s house at Rodmell. We once had a bedside table like this in the shop, but it has gone the way of all flesh; if anyone has one they do not need any longer, we would be pleased to have it. In return we could give them a very similar electric fire (although it might not be Health and Safety enough for actual everyday use).

vw's bedroom

Nicola Beauman

59 Lamb’s Conduit Street

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