Leland Quick was a ‘mid-career’ artist, which meant he could pretty much knock off any old rubbish and someone would buy it. Leland was dean of a prestigious art school and had galleries on three continents.
Priscilla Quick, (née Henderson) had been a promising artist herself—perhaps more talented than her husband. He’d been her art history tutor when she was a bubbly undergrad with big plans. Marriage wasn’t one of them. But within a year they were married and she was supporting his career by doing his laundry and cleaning up after him.
Priscilla left art behind to bring up their family. When the children were old enough she started contributing reviews in the local art press. Her break came when the Arts Editor at the Standard offered her a regular column. Though Leland scoffed her writing flourished.
Something about the way Leland had been talking up one of his masters students rang a distant bell for Priscilla. ‘Yes, yes. I’ll review her show,’ she said. But first she made some discrete enquiries.
Leland was furious when he read the review.
‘I’ve seen it before, remember,’ she said. ‘I was your art-student darling once.’
‘You know what disappoints me. That review was spot on. Her stuff’s unoriginal. It’s mediocre. I thought at least…but apparently not.’