Penny Martin photographed by Thomas Lohr
Penny Martin photographed by Thomas Lohr

In the latest of our 'quick 5' interview series, we talk coffee tables and last suppers with Penny Martin, Editor in Chief of innovative women's magazine The Gentlewoman. 

1. Can you describe your fantasy coffee table, from the design of the table to the books on it?

I’m afraid a table stacked with things to read looks dangerously like homework to an editor. That said, there’s a little rosewood Art Nouveau tea trolley in the bathrooms of the Hauser & Wirth gallery on Savile Row that I’d dearly love. I’d keep just one book on its glass shelves at a time – probably a Chambers dictionary.

2. The decision process at The Gentlewoman is notoriously rigorous. What’s been the most deliberated over decision so far?

The current colour portrait of Björk generated a lot of debate. All our previous cover stars had been in black-and-white with a colour frame.

The Gentlewoman Issue 11
The Gentlewoman Issue 11

3. Who is the most fascinating person you’ve ever met?

I recently met Terence Stamp, who was midway through telling me how he was saved from his mid-’70s career dip by a call to his ashram from his agent to tell him he’d won the part in Superman when we were summoned to sit at different tables for lunch. That was a conversation I could have continued.

4. How does curating a magazine compare to curating an exhibition?

At their best, what both forms provide the editor or curator with is an opportunity to get very intimately involved with the content – especially if you are producing just two issues per year, as we are at The Gentlewoman. I think you can really see that extra time spent getting to know the interviewee’s voice or artist’s hand in the final magazine or show.

The Gentlewoman Issue 11
The Gentlewoman Issue 11

 

5. What would you eat for your last supper?

Boiled eggs and soldiers. Without a doubt.

Read our first quick 5 interview with Yayoi Kusama here.