Letter: How to take an interest in art

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Sir: Sandra Barwick ('The Tate Gallery: it's such fun]', 26 February) says that children and adults alike were 'smiling, some of them laughing aloud' at Picasso's sculptures. She describes how the children were fascinated, and would have clambered all over them if they could. I don't want to re-open an old debate, but would just like to point out that this was exactly how people behaved around Rachel Whiteread's House, before it was bulldozed. When I went, on a Saturday, there were at least a hundred people, many families, intrigued by it. They pointed out the inside-out fireplaces and cupboards, children ran up to the 'front door' and tried to peer through the reversed letterbox. There were expressions of amazement and satisfaction when some part of the house was worked out: 'Ah, so that's a cupboard door]'

I'm always told that the purpose of art is to make people see the world afresh, or simply to get them to look properly at something. Whatever was thought or said about House, it was intriguing to look at, and it attracted at least the same type of interest as Picasso does at the Tate.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW18