Tag Archives: Man Ray

Unnecessary words

29 Mar

I have been out to the National Portrait Gallery this afternoon – not a particularly bright idea on a holiday weekend, since London is full of people wandering aimlessly about and stopping dead in the middle of the pavement – but the sun was shining and it seemed a good time to go to see the Man Ray exhibition; and I had the added pleasure of getting there on the Thomas Heatherwick-designed 38 bus.

The exhibition was worth seeing, if quite expensive, but the real treat was a free exhibition of George Catlin’s portraits of American Indians. I’m particularly interested in (what is now called) Native American art and culture and bought the catalogue (oh dear, another book!).

The NPG seems rather unorganised and not very well signed. I eventually managed to find the basement café, really to sit down for ten minutes between looking at the two shows. You could die of old age waiting to buy a cup of coffee there – one tiny service counter, and one person serving.

Then I spotted the sign that read, “Sugar sachet [sic] can be found on the tables”, instead of, “Sugar is on the tables”, and then, back on the entry level, another that read, “The cloakroom is located in the basement”, instead of “The cloakroom is in the basement”. Why oh why do people use unnecessary words, particularly on signage? They don’t make the sign easier to read or understand and the sign either takes up more space or has to be written in smaller type.

Today’s picture

In 2008, I had a driving holiday round much of the area that features in Catlin’s paintings. This is Yellowstone National Park.