Angus Trumble on the Finger in Art

(Click to watch video.)

(Click to watch video.)

What’s in a finger? More than you think. The thumb hitches rides and expresses approval or lack of it, the index finger identifies and accuses in turn, the middle finger is potently aggressive, the ring finger an indicator of availability if not always fidelity, and a little finger is something to either be wrapped around or to wrap others around.

The finger plays its part in the history of art, too. In a conversation with David Hansen, Angus Trumble, Senior Curator of Paintings for the Yale Centre for British Art, returns to his home town to expand on the origins of his most recent book The Finger: A Handbook. With the humble finger to guide him, Trumble has been able to “graze widely in the fields of history”.