Just before he corrected my pronunciation of 'Velazquez', David Linley gave Spear's an exclusive: as chairman of Christie's, he will be introducing a next generation art education course at the auction house, which Spear's will be supporting
Just before he corrected my pronunciation of 'Velazquez', David Linley gave Spear's an exclusive: as chairman of Christie's, he will be introducing a next generation art education course at the auction house, which Spear's will be supporting.
Linley said: 'I didn't inherit anything worth getting excited about, but this generation don't know what they have. They inherit furniture and say, “I want to get rid of it – it was my father's.”' They don't appreciate, he agreed, the effort, time, money and knowledge which go into assembling a collection of art or furniture.
Next generation courses in finance for the children of the wealthy, teaching them about economics and wealth management, are common at private banks, but no-one until now has instituted one for art. As Ivan Lindsay has written in Spear's, education about art is diminishing at every level.
Spear's was speaking to David Linley at the relaunch of his Pimlico Road shop, which has had extra floor space added by converting back offices, and has been generally refreshed. The brand's colour has also changed, from navy blue to something close to aquamarine. He is off to China later this month to launch the Linley Bentley, another new direction for the brand.
As we talked outside the shop and Linley said a genial hello to the passersby, embodying the village spirit of Pimlico, he pointed at different antiques shops along Pimlico Road and said which had been there the longest, which were new, which didn't quite fit in.
Linley didn't quite fit in when he first moved to Pimlico in 1996. He chose the area, he said, because his father, Tony Snowdon's studio was at 20 Pimlico Road. 'The welcome was deafening,' he joked. 'There was a lot of snobbery back then about buying your own furniture and we were one step up from a craft fair. I got a tremendous amount of gyp when I moved in.' Now Linley is an anchor tenant and longer-serving than many, although the snobbery has not entirely dissipated.
Isn't Pimlico a little too oligarchish these days, what with Daylesford Organic charging many pounds for a glass of orange juice? Not at all, Linley said: 'I encouraged them to move here – you need something to make it a destination.'
by Josh Spero
Update (2/11/11): Spear's has spoken to Christie's who say they have no intention of launching a next generation art education programme.