Brighton in the sunshine! Glare on the dome of the Dome, and a huge snaking purple shadow of a tree fanning across the paths and grass of the Pavilion Gardens. There’s the hypnotic pattern of the mbira played by the Zimbabwean busker, his back to the Pavilion fence. I’ve been watching the BHWAC flash-mob’s reading of a Maya Angelou poem outside the Library to mark International Women’s Day, and now I’m heading for a favourite place.

I love the main hall of Brighton Museum, the 20th-Century gallery. Through the ogee-shaped entrance, to your right there’s the display of chairs, curves in plywood, metal, cardboard – extraordinary radical designs, then a huge A-rack of classic designs – leather, steel, bright orange. On the left there’s the ‘baseball-glove’ chair in brown leather, and, of course, Salvador Dali’s ‘Mae West’s Lips’ sofa in red velvet. Henri Navarre’s translucent bust of Beethoven from 1930, its gold plinth atop a Lalique glass and metal table, is bright against a dark lacquered screen. Further down, two naked men eye each other in David Paynter’s L’Après-Midi. It’s the sexiest image in the gallery – with the possible exception of Dali’s sofa.

The ‘Oriental’ style building, beautiful art, craft and design objects everywhere, the Mods&Rockers display, ancient Egypt, the Dirty Weekend – and coffee and cake. Excellent.

Advertisements