What Are YOU Like, Ian Dejardin, Director of DPG?

The second in our series of getting to know the people behind the job titles.

Ian and Philippe DeLutherbourg do not have the same sense of humour

Ian and Philippe DeLutherbourg do not have the same sense of humour

The current exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery, ‘What Are You Like?’ asks celebrities to illustrate some of their likes and a pet aversion – the results are hanging at the end of the Gallery (and some images or them are on the side bar).
Dulwich OnView asked some of the Gallery staff to reveal themselves in text.

Ian Dejardin, Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery

1. Animal – Dogs, dogs, dogs – much nicer than people
2. BookMiss Marjoribanks, by Margaret Oliphant (but my inner child says: Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome, and 7 years of my life were spent in the Lake District to prove it.)
3. Clothes – A cunning mixture of the occasional expensive Margaret Howell piece + cheap Japanese (Muji + Uniqlo, both completely wonderful at the moment) Ian talked about Margaret Howell in his last article in DOV too.
4. Comfort – Food
5. Food – Mashed potato (see no. 4)
6. Pastime – Tennis, skating, piano playing, reading7. Place – ‘Le Truc Vert’ – a campsite on the Bay of Arcachon, west of Bordeaux
8. Possession – my digital piano
9. Music – For playing myself on no. 8: John Ireland, Brahms, Grieg; on ipod: Judy Garland, Doris Day, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Teddy Thompson, Rufus Wainwright (odd, I know).
10. Shoes – comfortable, by Camper
11. Weather – sunny, but not too hot.
12. Pet aversion – People who use the word ‘I’ in the accusative, eg: “so-and-so is coming in to have a meeting with Reginald and I”; or “the letter was delivered to Eric and I yesterday”. This is apparently UNIVERSAL; even the BBC does it (but then what grammatical horror isn’t the BBC capable of these days?). PEOPLE, PLEASE stop it – you are all driving me mad; it literally makes me feel ill to hear this. What you mean is Reginald and ME, Eric and ME. You wouldn’t say ‘so-and-so is coming in to have a meeting with I’ , now would you? So why should the presence of Reginald make any difference??? I spend my life mentally correcting this, dozens of times a day.
Well, you did ask….

What is it about dogs??

Dog in the exhibition

Sara Fanelli's favourite animal

another dog in the exhibition

Rodney Fitch's pet aversion, Dogs and their shit

Kate Knowles, head of communications, revealed herself last week. Have a look

Its the Curator, Xavier Salomon’s turn on Friday.

More from Ian about What Are You Like?

What are you Like? Competition!

Tell us what you are like and win a signed giclée print by one of the contributors to the What Are You Like? exhibition by entering our online competition.  Closing date 9 December 2008
See what others have done on the Flickr online gallery

About this article


About Ingrid

Co-Editor and ex-Chair of the Friends Committee. I’m a teacher. I’ve worked in the education department of Dulwich Picture Gallery for 14 years, guiding, lecturing and teaching anyone from 7 years old to degree level. I have run a number of education projects (in a remand home, a prison, a local primary school) and am now the e-learning project developer. I commission articles rather than write them and am mainly in charge of the Gallery related articles.
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  1. kate knowles 25 Nov 2008

    Isn’t it funny – you can work with someone for 8 years and you think you know him pretty well, but you don’t at all. You didn’t know he loved dogs; you didn’t know he loved Grieg and Judy Garland. You DID know he loved Margaret Howell (thanks to his talk during the What Are You Like exhibition), you didn’t know he had a digital piano.

    I did know he loved skating. I wanted to cut and paste his face on to the famous skating picture from Edinburgh, Reverend Robert Walker (1755 – 1808) Skating on Duddingston Loch by Sir Henry Raeburn, and use it as our Christmas card, but this brilliant idea was rejected! I think the National Galleries of Scotland might have kicked up a fuss. Anyway, next time I say to him ‘can you have a meeting with my colleagues and I?’ I can always give him mashed potato to distract him…..

  2. Any chance of a discount for DOV readers/Friends of DPG at Margaret Howell??? She seem to be a DOV regular.

  3. brian ashley 2 Nov 2009

    “you are all driving me mad; it literally makes me feel ill to hear this. What you mean is Reginald and ME, Eric and ME”

    My pet aversion is people using the word “literally” totally unnecessarily: What is wrong with just saying, “it makes me ill”? “Literally” adds nothing to the sense.


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