The Tate Britain An Ideal Husband 11 July

The Tate Britain

An Ideal Husband by Noel Coward

Today’s class met at the dormitory. After that I struck out on my own for the Tate Britain. It is part of the Tate system of Museums. You can read more about it at their website

The Tate Britain.


The Tate Britain is one of four museums with the Tate name. I frequently reference the Tate Modern as is located next to the Globe Theater on the South Bank of the Thames. The Tate Britain houses work primarily British artists 1500 through the present day. It has an extensive collection of works by JMW Turner (world’s largest collection) and Henry Moore, on e the greatest sculptors from Britain.

My trip down to Millbank on the north side of the Thames starts at the Warren Street station and the Victoria Line to Pimlico. It was a walk around the corner to the museum which sits facing the Thames River. I spent a wonderful afternoon and found many surprises in the collection. It was not very busy compared to the National Gallery or the British Museum. I was able to take my time and just enjoy everything the museum had to offer. In the early afternoon I stopped to enjoy lunch in the restaurant (Rex Whistler Restaurant). The food was superb and the atmosphere provided a great opportunity for reflection and meditation. I spent the rest of the afternoon quietly walking the galleries and enjoying all this great museum had to offer. Vivienne Westwood did a small promotional video for the museum and I think it really sums up a lot about the importance of museums in general.

I returned to the dormitory and rested for a bit, changed and then met Christina to head down to the theatre for this evening’s production: Oscar Wilde’s, An Ideal Husband. It was quick walk (c. 15 min) down to the theatre district. The production was ok. It felt like a production from another time. The actor’s seemed to be doing two different plays. One group was playing a comedy of manners and the other (mostly younger actors) were performing a melodrama or farce. There was some strange casting choices. For instance, Mrs. Cheveley was way too old and she played the role as though she was the villain of a melodrama. Lord Goring looked way too young and then next to her he seemed even younger since they were supposedly engaged at some point in the past. Most of this problem seemed to stem from the directing. The design was fine but I felt the execution of the costumes were in many cases a bit shabby for a West End production. The theater was charming and the audience seemed to enjoy the production. While I wasn’t a big fan of this production, it did hold my interest. The one thing I did enjoy was watching Edward Fox (played the Earl of Caversham). I believe the first time I ever saw him was in a TV mini-series Edward and Mrs. Simpson. He played Edward. Since then, he would pop up on occasion: Ghandi, The Dresser. It was fun watching him. Can’t say the same for his son that played Lord Goring.

Henry Moore, The King and Queen. cast 1957

a panorama of one of the Henry Moore galleries

John Singer Sargent, Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth. 1889. I love Sargent and he is American but, he spent most of his life in Britain.

This painting was in a costume history text. I was surprised to see it here. William Powell Frith, The Derby Day. 1856-58.

I just loved this painting. It was so charming. Maybe Alecia and Marc will let me dress Colson up like this someday. Maybe he’ll let me. Joshua Reynolds, Master Crewe as Henry VIII. c. 1775.

Another favorite painter. Thomas Gainsborough, Lady Bate-Dudley. c. 1787.

The information on the card said it is thought this is the earliest known full length portrait of Elizabeth I as queen. attributed to Steven van der Meulan or Steven van der Herwijck, Portrait of Elizabeth I. c. 1563.

The Vaudeville Theatre. An Ideal Husband.

An Ideal Husband. Image found on the web. NEVER PHOTOGRAPH LIVE THEATER PERFORMANCES. Sir Robert Chiltern and Mrs. Cheveley.

An Ideal Husband. Image found on the web. NEVER PHOTOGRAPH LIVE THEATER PERFORMANCES. Freddie and Edward Fox as Lord Goring and the Earl of Caversham.

An Ideal Husband. Image found on the web. NEVER PHOTOGRAPH LIVE THEATER PERFORMANCES. Lord Goring and Mrs. Cheveley.