Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Barons Court 3: The Miscellany

I wouldn't want you to think that the streets around the 'Curtain's Up' pub were just populated with boot-scrapers and coal-holes. There were a few other items that caught my eye that I feel I should add to give a more rounded feel to the area.

Vereker Road Looks like someone took the instruction to 'Press' a little too literally
Perham Road The end of Perham Road curves behind some of the terraced houses into a short dead-end that I suspect used to have some service yard like a milk depot, stables or a coal yard. As it curved there was probably less incentive to build the standard houses and some small plots seem to have been purchased for more individual and esoteric buildings. The stained glass fan light below came from above the front door of one of these and to my uneducated eye has a look of the Arts & Crafts movement about it. There were a series of these, at least three or four, and I wish I'd taken a photo of each now. I've a feeling they were named after individuals, even though this one does seem at first glance to fall into the 'Dunroamin' school of house names.
Barons Court Road A nicely painted pillar that for some reason stopped short of repainting the number. I'm sure there must have been a reason for leaving it but I'm struggling to think what it could be...
Barons Court Road What an attractive basement light this one is - the squares are almost opaque but the banding between isn't the common metal or concrete, but what seems to be white tile-work, giving it a very strong and vibrant presence.
Perham Road Fancy coming home to this every evening... To my mind a very attractive and elegant mosaic and one of a series along the road.
Perham Road Unless my memory is playing tricks I believe this is the mosaic outside The Studio featured below
Perham Road Tucked away in in the corner is this interesting little building dated 1899. A quick google for 'The Studio' + Perham Road came up with (apart from loads of studio flats to rent) a link to the manuscript library at the University of Glasgow and the following entry
Letter from Alfred Lys Baldry to James McNeill Whistler. 1, Perham Crescent, Perham Road, West Kensington, W., March 21st 98. 'Dear Mr. Whistler' Asks permission to reproduce some of Whistler's recent work, 'pictures or drawings.', in the spring number of the Studio. Will send Gray to photograph what Whistler chooses. 'Very truly yours A. L. Baldry'. [As the spring number of the Studio contains no photographs of W's work, one assumes that W did not comply with the request]
Although this was dated 1898 I think it a safe bet to assume Whistler was working in The Studio before giving it a bit of a face-lift the following year and might also explain some of the more artistic flourishes (and names?) of the houses nearby. No plaques or markers that I could see though to give a clue as to it's illustrious former inhabitant

One last thought from the Wikipedia entry on James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Whistler founded an art school in 1898, but his poor health and infrequent appearances led to its closure in 1901. He died in London on July 17, 1903
Could The Studio have been the site of this ill-fated art school?

Even if it wasn't the last three entries are all the result of a quick stroll down four streets and as a way of killing twenty minutes I think that Barons Court has done us proud.

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