Sir Thomas Monnington:
A Director announcing the bank rate to the Chief Official of the Bank of England (‘No Change’), circa 1934
Framed (ref: 611)
Tempera on photographic print (by W.H. Grove & Son, London), 7 x 9 in. (20 x 23.5 cm.)
In 1932 the Directors of the Bank of England commissioned a decorative scheme to celebrate the bank’s rebuilding by Herbert Baker. Monnington produce three of the murals.The scheme, which was widely criticised, was a disappointment to Monnington: ‘They certainly look shocking and I forgive any criticism,’ he confided to his brother (6 May 1932). The Times surmised that ‘the problem was to combine a document with a decoration’ (30 April 1932).The rather uninspiring title,‘No Change’, was also unlikely to spur Monnington on to achieve something of the timelessness of his Allegory, 1924 (Tate). It is not known why Monnington added the delicate shades of colour; they do not correspond to the mural.
We are grateful to John Keyworth for assistance.