Hornsey Sit-in poster

In her book Hornsey 1968: The Art School Revolution Lisa Ticker notes that Henry Moore donated £500 towards the costs of the Hornsey Commission, set up to review the causes of the Hornsey sit-in, and to propose resolutions for conflicts which had occurred.  This was in itself a generous act, but Moore had already donated £500 to the Sit-in itself while the college was occupied, and long before the Commission, according to someone involved with Sit-in finance at the time. Moore clearly supported questioning opposition to the establishment – not surprising from a man who turned down a knighthood and regarded the Royal Academy as somehow belonging to the enemy.

As so often is the case, The Hornsey Commission, intended to mediate and reconcile, was perceived by the College authorities and Haringey Council as broadly hostile, so its proposals were rejected, and its radical members then eliminated where possible: the student member Martin Walker was dismissed from the College, and the long-serving part-time staff member Eirian Short’s contract was not renewed.  The original Hornsey book (The Hornsey Affair, Penguin 1969) quotes the Saint-Just epigram: “Those who make a revolution by halves are only digging their own graves,” which certainly seems to apply in this case.

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