London: Heinemann, 1991, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.
Contains: Black & white plates;
From the cover: Sir John Pope-Hennessy ranks with Bernard Berenson and Kenneth Clark as one of the three geniuses of the twentieth century who changed the way we think about art. Learning to Look gives readers a vivid and moving account of a self-taught man who became one of the greatest art historians of our time.
This beautifully written memoir chronicles the experiences of an Englishman who has had an exceptional life and an unparalleled career, in which he held prestigious positions as Director of the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, among many others. An Oxford graduate in history, Pope-Hennessy is self-taught in the field of art history and became one of the leading art historians of this century simply by learning to look analytically at paintings and sculpture. His passion and insight are inspiring: Works of art have always seemed to me to have a supernatural power, and I believe that visual images constitute a universal language through which the experience of the past is transmitted to the present, and by whose means all lives can be immeasurably enriched.
Learning to Look reads like a Whos Who of the twentieth century, as Sir John writes about his friends and associates: Bernard Berenson, Kenneth Clark, Cecil Beaton, Anthony Blunt, Harold Acton, to name a few. Sir John also offers candid and affecting portraits of members of his family: in particular of his gifted brother James, the writer, with whom he enjoyed a close but complicated relationship.
Filled with anecdotes and art, Learning to Look gives a critical, firsthand account of the great English and American museums and the roles they perform, while providing a delightful and fascinating account of the life and apprenticeship of a singular figure in the world of art.
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper which is tanned on the verso. Leans slightly. Gently bruised at the head, tail and corners of the binding. Text complete, clean and tight.
Quarter-bound Black on Grey boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [X] 336 pages. Index. 9½” x 6¼”.