Sunday, February 13, 2011

Alan Bennett on Denton Welch

This is a 'thank you!' to Joan who in a comment on my Nabokov post gave me a link to Alan Bennett's 2004 review in the Manchester Guardian of a biography of Denton Welch, by one James Metheun-Campbell.  I'm crazy about both Bennett and Welch, and in Bennett's review I loved: "The nearest [Welch] had come to active service was in the battle against beige, so it was fitting that in June 1945 he should have had a picture in the Victory number of Vogue, 'a rendering of a room in his cottage in Kent, where color plays an important part.'  He says: 'Do not think that brilliant colour is difficult to live with.  It is always stimulating and refreshing; and change to a neutral-toned, colourless room would be exhausting, lowering, and depressing.'"

Seymour Avigdor
In the 70's and 80's I hung with a crowd that included a guy named Seymour Avigdor; I think he was a fabric designer; he lived in a fabulous loft in Manhattan. He had an amazing talent at decorating -- and though this has nothing to do with Welch, and nothing to do with Bennett, I like to add a picture or two with each of my posts so, below, I'll put up a picture I took of my friend Channing Wilroy at Seymour's; the background indicates Seymour's boldness and astuteness with color and design. I like to think that if Denton Welch could have walked into Seymour's loft he would have marveled and approved.  And, on the left, a photo I took of Seymour and his dog Endust in Seymour's galley kitchen.
Channing Wilroy


  1. Oh Mr simply MUST get yourself a copy of this:

    How wondrous it is to hear Bennett's voice..his reading of Louis Macniece's "Prayer Before Birth" is worth its weight in gold..crumbs why on earth would I be on the verge of tears thinking of Bennett's voice!!!!!!! Am so glad you enjoyed the I'm enjoying your blog..

    Here, a little on Seymour: Donghia began to diversify in 1968, when the young designer Seymour Avigdor came to him with fabric designs. Recognizing at once that they would be successful, Donghia established a separate company called & Vice Versa to manufacture fabrics and wallcoverings from Avigdor’s designs for the trade. Later in his life he commented, “Everything I’ve done has only been driven by one force, and that force was the desire to become better and to become bigger.”

    Read more:

    As for decorating..I've never really related to all that matching style ..much prefer the Seymour way...Seymour was John Galliano before John Galliano was John Galliano...

    Valentine's greetings to you...'n always the glass raised to the alphabet..alphabetS..

  2. this, as close as I'll ever get to a copy of the June 1945 Vogue mentioned by Bennett...oh my to have a copy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I've a bit of a thing for old mags..they tell us so much of a time