New art centre

How has this complete original been sidelined?

A party of disorderly couples has gatecrashed the Picture Gallery at Bath’s Holburne Museum, climbing on to the antique furniture, hanging off the track lighting and sprawling on the floor, putting the noses of the resident Gainsboroughs, Constables and Zoffanys out of joint. Lawks-a-mercy! What has come over the Holburne? A passel of Mrs & Mrs Popes, that’s what: 36 years’ worth, to be precise. Nicholas Pope carved his first married couple from sliver-thin Forest of Dean stone in 1978 in homage to Van Eyck’s ‘Arnolfini Portrait’. At the time, this young minimalist contemporary of Antony Gormley, Richard Deacon and Tony Cragg was on the up and up: in 1980,