Hink Tank

Nicholas Penny

  • The Gymnasium of the Mind: The Journals of Roger Hinks 1933-1963 edited by John Goldsmith
    Michael Russell, 287 pp, £10.95, May 1984, ISBN 0 85955 096 6

Roger Hinks portrays himself as picking his way fastidiously through a sadly Philistine and foolish world, musing upon his aesthetic disappointments and, less often, consolations. Even during what his friend K (the late Lord Clark) describes in the foreword as ‘the abominable intrigue which forced him to leave his beloved British Museum’, he scrupulously avoids self-pity. But self-satisfaction and self-righteousness were certainly not purged by keeping the journal. His intelligence and sensitivity often distanced him from the art of the past which was the ostensible object of his desire, but in recompense elevated him comfortably above all but a handful of his fellow men. It is hard to suppose that he was suited to working in a public museum, however wrongly he was uprooted from it.

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