NIGEL TEMPLE 1926 – 2003
“adding, subtracting, re-arranging, cutting, overlapping, and qualities of surface, translucence, direction, colour and shape – all lead to revelations of things previously unknown”
“A passion for architecture, gardening, bookbinding, typography and collecting nourished Temple’s diverse and imaginative output”
The Independent 2003
” Temple strove after perfection in the many related fields in which he became an authority”
Contemporary Art Society 2004
“An undaunted, meticulous and distinctive collector with a phenomenal memory”
Historic England 2017
“Nigel Temple’s scholarly work is of immeasurable importance”
Farnham Trust 2017
The theme that unites all talents – collage construction, collecting, photography, painting, writing, research and academic work – is the identification and assimilation of many diverse fragments, searched for or encountered by chance, and their reconstruction to give a fresh new meaning and significance.
As an artist see Nigel Temple artist http://nigeltemple.co.uk/artist-overview/ . Temple first developed a deep understanding of the materials and processes involved in European book making from the 14th century onwards. This in turn fed into his collage making.
“Fragments of old books are the most stimulating material. They may have originated as trees from exotic places, to be processed and written on in the Near East, then used in 17th century France before being re-used again to reinforce a book hinge – and finally rejected thirty years ago”
As collector, his private collection of thousands of early postcards, many now public and viewable online, is probably the world’s most comprehensive set of data on 1890 – 1910 British public parks and gardens and their associated architecture, features, planting and designs. See Nigel Temple Postcards at http://nigeltemple.co.uk/collector-overview/ . Nigel Temple created as a legacy this unique pictorial record of Britain’s public open spaces of previous centuries, which includes sculptures, tea gardens, bandstands, garden police and staff, costumes, fashion, amenities, vehicles, pastimes and daily scenes of times past.
As author and garden, landscape and architectural historian, his life long research, publications and related private collections are now available for everyone to see. These have considerably raised public awareness and appreciation – and so our motive to protect – the beautiful landscaped parks, public parks and historic buildings of Britain that surround us all yet we could so easily take for granted.
The purpose of this site is to inspire and inform. Our mission is to:
- Acknowledge Temple’s extraordinary work, significant achievements and celebrate a unique combination of talents
- Draw together, for the first time, all available information on this life time of remarkable work. Nigel Temple was a modest man, did not seek publicity and died before online publicity and information became mainstream. So only by gathering and compiling information now in this way are we able to reveal, for the first time, an estimate of the sum total of his achievements.
This project is inevitably ongoing and will progress quickly. We are continuously updating and adding to the content of this site as information becomes available.
Any information you may have is of value to us, we would love to hear from you. If you wish, we will add it here.