New Book | Natter’s Museum Britannicum

Posted in books by Editor on August 20, 2018

From Archaeopress Archaeology:

John Boardman, Julia Kagan, and Claudia Wagner, with contributions by Catherine Phillips, Natter’s Museum Britannicum: British Gem Collections and Collectors of the Mid-Eighteenth Century (Oxford: Archaeopress Archaeology, 2018), 316 pages, ISBN: 978-1784917272, £55 / $110.

The German gem-engraver, medallist, and amateur scholar Lorenz Natter (1705–1763), was so impressed by the size and quality of the collections of ancient and later engraved gems which he found in Britain that he proposed the publication of an extraordinarily ambitious catalogue—Museum Britannicum—which would present engravings and descriptions of the most important pieces. He made considerable progress to this end, producing several hundred drawings, but in time he decided to abandon the near completed project in the light of the apparent lack of interest shown in Britain. Only one of the intended plates in its final form ever appeared, in a catalogue which he published separately for Lord Bessborough’s collection.

On Natter’s death the single copy of his magnum opus vanished mysteriously, presumed lost forever. All hope of recovering Natter’s unpublished papers seemed vain, and their very existence had come to be doubted. Yet they were to be found more than two hundred years after his death, in spring 1975, when the classical scholar and renowned expert in gems, Oleg Neverov, chanced upon them at the bottom of a pile of papers in the archives of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Neverov and his colleague Julia Kagan carried out the initial research on the Hermitage manuscripts and produced the first published account of this archival treasure.

The present volume builds upon their earlier work to produce the first comprehensive publication of Museum Britannicum, offering full discussion in English and presenting Natter’s drawings and comments alongside modern information on the gems that can be identified and located through fresh research. This book is the result of a ten-year collaboration between scholars on the Beazley Archive gems research programme at Oxford’s Classical Art Research Centre and the State Hermitage Museum. It fulfills Natter’s vision for the Museum Britannicum—albeit two and a half centuries late—to the benefit of art historians, cultural historians, curators, and gem-lovers of today.

Sir John Boardman, FBA, is Emeritus Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art in the University of Oxford. His many books include Greek Gems and Finger Rings (2001), The Greeks Overseas (1999), Greek Art (2016), The History of Greek Vases (2006), and The World of Ancient Art (2006).

Julia Kagan is the Curator of post-Classical engraved gems in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. She has contributed to the history of glyptics in Great Britain with major publications, such as Gem Engraving in Britain from Antiquity to the Present (2010) and curated important exhibitions, such as the gem collection of the Duc D’Orleans in Paris (2001).

Claudia Wagner is Director of the gems databases at the Beazley Archive in the University of Oxford and Senior Research Lecturer at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She is joint author, with John Boardman, of seven books devoted to the study and publication of ancient gems, including The Guy Ladrière Collection of Gems and Rings (2015) and The Beverley Collection of Gems at Alnwick Castle (2016), both written with Diana Scarisbrick.



Part One
1  An Anglo-Russian Project
2  Lorenz Natter: Early Career
3  Natter in Britain
4  Natter in Russia
5  The Museum Britannicum Rediscovered
6  Afterword

Part Two
7  The Museum Britannicum: The Catalogue and Drawings
8  The Collectors and Their Gems
9  Lorenz Natter’s Own Collection
10  Natter’s Index of the Museum Britannicum
11  Natter’s Treatise and Miscellaneous Drawings

Index of Gem Subjects
Index of Inscriptions
General Index

New Book | The Server: A Media History

Posted in books by Editor on August 19, 2018

The original German edition Der Diener: Mediengeschichte einer Figur zwischen König und Klient appeared in 2011; the English translation was published in June by Yale UP:

Markus Krajewski, The Server: A Media History from the Present to the Baroque, translated by Ilinca Iurascu (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018), 456 pages, ISBN: 978-0300180817, $50.

Though classic servants like the butler or the governess have largely vanished, the Internet is filled with servers: web, ftp, mail, and others perform their daily drudgery, going about their business noiselessly and unnoticed. Why then are current-day digital drudges called servers? Markus Krajewski explores this question by going from the present back to the Baroque to study historical aspects of service through various perspectives, be it the servants’ relationship to architecture or their function in literary or scientific contexts. At the intersection of media studies, cultural history, and literature, this work recounts the gradual transition of agency from human to nonhuman actors to show how the concept of the digital server stems from the classic role of the servant.

Markus Krajewski is professor of media history at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He is the author of numerous articles and several books, including Paper Machines: About Cards and Catalogs, 1548–1929 and World Projects: Global Information Before World War I, which was awarded the 2007 Prize of the German Society for the History of Medicine, Science and Technology. He also works as a software developer and maintainer of his bibliography software Synapsen: A Hypertextual Card Index (www.synapsen.ch). Ilinca Iurascu is assistant professor of German at the University of British Columbia, specializing in nineteenth-century cultural studies and media theory.


Ilinca Iurascu, Introduction to the English Edition: Jeeves Transatlantic

Introduction: Listen, James

Part One: Objects Assistants, Analog
1  Masters / Servants: Everyone is a Subaltern
2  The Servant as Information Center
3  In Waiting

Part Two: The Interregnum of the Subject
4  Holding the Reins: On Demons and Other Ministering Spirits of Science
5  Channel Service
6  At the Stove

Part Three: Diener, Digital
7  Agents: The Lord of (the) Things

Epilogue: Idle Time


Exhibition | The Furniture of Isaac Vose

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 19, 2018

Now on view at the Massachusetts Historical Society:

Entrepreneurship and Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose and Thomas Seymour, 1815–1825
Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, 11 May — 14 September 2018

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying volume. Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his local Boston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial business empire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen.

Robert Mussey and Clark Pearce, Rather Elegant Than Showy: The Classical Furniture of Isaac Vose (Boston: David R Godine, 2018), 312 pages, ISBN: 978-1567926194, $50.


Dennis M. Fiori

Robert D. Mussey, Jr.
• Introduction: Isaac Vose Forgotten, Rediscovered
• Early Career and Partnerships, 1788–1819
• Boston’s Classical Style Matures: The Salisbury Group
• The Global Elite: Vose & Son and the World of Imports
• Demanding the Finest
• A Hero Returns, an Era Ends

Clark Pearce
• By These Signs You Will Know Them: Connoisseurship and Construction of Vose Furniture

Appendix 1: Labeled, Signed, and Documented Furniture by Isaac Vose
Appendix 2: Vose’s Partners, Journeymen, Subcontractors, and Apprentices


New Book | The Minard System

Posted in books by Editor on August 17, 2018

From Princeton Architectural Press:

Sandra Rendgen, The Minard System: The Graphical Works of Charles-Joseph Minard (Princeton Architectural Press, 2018), 176 pages, ISBN: 978-1616896331, $60.

If you have any interest in information graphics, maps, or history, you know of the seminal flow map of Napoleon’s 1812 march into Russia by Charles-Joseph Minard (1781–1870), made famous by Edward Tufte, and considered to be one of the most magnificent data graphics ever produced. The Minard System explores the nineteenth-century civil engineer’s career and the story behind this masterpiece of multivariate data, as well as sixty of Minard’s other statistical graphics reflecting social and economic changes of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and around the world. These stunning drawings are from the collection of the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris and have never before been published in their entirety.

Sandra Rendgen is an author and editor with a focus on information graphics, interactive media, and the history of information visualization. Based in Berlin, she studied art history and cultural theory and is the co-author of Information Graphics and Understanding the World: The Atlas of Infographics.

Exhibition | Laurent Amiot: Canadian Master Silversmith

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 16, 2018

Now on view at the National Gallery of Canada:

Laurent Amiot: Canadian Master Silversmith
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 11 May — 23 September 2018

Curated by René Villeneuve

Laurent Amiot: Canadian Master Silversmith brings together an exceptional selection of silver pieces from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, as well as from various public and private collections around the world. Considered one of the most influential Canadian silversmiths of the 18th and 19th centuries, Laurent Amiot (1764–1839) completely redefined his craft, turning it into an art form. Visitors to the National Gallery of Canada can explore the brilliance and delicacy of his work through the presentation of nearly a hundred key works, most exhibited for the first time. In addition to religious vessels, accessories, and commemorative and domestic objects, the exhibition features a unique set of preparatory drawings by the artist, as well as several portraits of patrons and paintings providing further context for Amiot’s life and work.

More information is available here»

René Villeneuve, Laurent Amiot: Canadian Master Silversmith (Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, In partnership with the National Gallery of Canada, 2018), 240 pages, ISBN: 978-1773270418, $50. Also available in French.

Laurent Amiot was born in Quebec City in 1764, and after a first apprenticeship stayed in Paris for five years, just before the French Revolution, to perfect his artistic training. He returned to his hometown in the spring of 1787, acquainted with the latest European stylistic trends, mastering the art of composition and possessing a solid technique. He opened a workshop in the Old City the following year, inaugurating a fruitful practice that spans five decades. This illustrated catalog, containing some 80 works on display, is published on the occasion of the presentation of the first retrospective devoted to the artist. Three chapters highlight the fundamental role of Amiot’s contribution to the development of art in Canada. The first two scrutinize his training, his practice, the operation of the workshop, the role of the collaborators and relationships with patrons. The third analyzes the work, trying to advance knowledge of the society in which it blossomed.

New Gravestone for William Blake

Posted in on site by Editor on August 14, 2018

As reported by AFP (via Art Daily, 13 August 2018). . .

Lida Cardozo Kindersley, Gravestone of William Blake, Bunhill Fields, London, unveiled on 12 August 2018 (Photograph by Lida Cardozo Kindersley).

The lost resting place of British poet and artist William Blake was finally marked Sunday [12 August 2018] with a gravestone, almost 200 years after he died.

Despite his influence today, Blake died in obscurity in 1827 and was buried in an unmarked common grave in Bunhill Fields, a London cemetery. Only a plain memorial stone recorded that he was buried nearby, much to the dismay of two devotees who visited, and who decided to find his exact resting place. Luis and Carol Garrido had as their guide the original coordinates of his burial, which were based on a grid of graves but became confused when parts of the cemetery were converted into gardens. After two years of research and some painstaking work with a tape measure, they found it, and the Blake Society—of which they were members—began fundraising for a new memorial to mark the spot. . .

The full article is available here»


Postdoctoral Position: Shakespeare in the Royal Collections

Posted in opportunities by Editor on August 14, 2018

Postdoctoral Research Associate: ‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collections’
Applications are due by 14 September 2018

Applications are invited for a three year, full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on the AHRC funded project, ‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collections’. This is led by Principal Investigator Professor Gordon McMullan (Department of English, King’s College London) and Co-Investigator Dr. Kate Retford (Department of History of Art, Birkbeck College, University of London).

‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collections’ seeks to establish a new understanding of the relationship of Shakespeare and the royal family 1700–1900 by way of the first thorough investigation of the Shakespeare-related holdings in the Royal Collections, from manuscripts through paintings and prints to performance records. It explores the mutually sustaining and legitimating nature of the development of both Shakespeare and the royal family as hegemonic cultural phenomena, asking the twin questions: what has Shakespeare done for the royals, and what have the royals done for Shakespeare?

The PDRA (one of two, with the other working on literary/performance matters) will work on visual culture, with a focus on eighteenth-century material. He/she will assist the PI and CI in delivering the research outputs of the project and contribute to those outputs: the creation of a website containing digital images of all the Shakespeare-related holdings, a set of annotations and contextual data; an innovative set of 3D visualisations; two symposia and a conference; a TV documentary; and an exhibition at Shakespeare’s Globe (2021). He/she will write a monograph based on Shakespeare-related art and material culture objects in the holdings. These range from paintings, sculptures and prints through to a doll of Portia and boxes made from the ‘Mulberry Tree planted by Shakespeare’. Two likely themes for the monograph are: an exploration of the fashioning of royal identities through visual and material identification with key characters and events from Shakespeare; the significance of the Shakespeare holdings for an understanding of the Royal Collections as a whole by providing a key opportunity to juxtapose items inherited, gifted, purchased and commissioned. The PDRA will be fully engaged in developing and shaping the book project according to his/her interests and findings.

Candidates should have a PhD in History of Art or cognate field, which will have been completed before the start of the role. If their PhD is not in History of Art, they should be able to show particular evidence of full awareness of the methodologies and theories of the discipline. The PDRA will have expertise in eighteenth-century material to complement the specialism of the other PDRA (already appointed) in Victorian and early-twentieth-century performance. Engagement with interdisciplinary approaches and a willingness to work across visual and literary culture are vital. Collections-based experience, such as cataloguing or provenance work, whether professional or gained through academic research, is highly desirable. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate ability to work well in a team, to manage their time and research efficiently and either have or be willing to acquire the appropriate digital competence.

Additional information is available here»

New Book | Francesco Solimena (1657–1747)

Posted in books by Editor on August 13, 2018

From ArtBooks.com:

Nicola Spinosa, Francesco Solimena (1657–1747) e le Arti a Napoli (Rome: Ugo Bozzi, 2018), 2 volumes, 1100 pages, ISBN: 978-8870030600, 320€ / $425.

Vol. 1 – dedicato al catalogo ragionato dei dipinti di Solimena (Nicola Spinosa); indici dei nomi e dei luoghi realtivi al volume I. Vol. 2 – dedicato al catalogo ragionato dei disegni di Solimena (Cristiana Romalli); con saggi sull’architettura (Leonardo Di Mauro), sulla scultura e le arti decorative (Gian Giotto Borrelli), su Solimena illustratore (Lorella Starita) e sulla musica al tempo di Solimena (Dinko Farbis); regesto su Solimena pittore a cura di Tiziana La Marca; Bibliografia generale (volumi I e II; indici dei nomi e dei luoghi relativi al volume II).


New Book | Human Redemption: The Cycle in the Chiesa Nuova

Posted in books by Editor on August 12, 2018

Published by Gangemi, and available from ArtBooks.com:

Giulia Silvia Ghia, ed., La Salvazione Umana: Il ciclo della Chiesa Nuova in cerca di un mecenate / Human Redemption: The Cycle in the Chiesa Nuova in Search of a Patron (Rome: Gangemi Editore, 2018), 160 pages, ISBN: 9788849236194, $65. Italian and English text.

The majestic cycle of fifteen canvases completing the decoration of Santa Maria in Vallicella was unveiled just prior to the 1700 Jubilee. This church is now owned by the Fondo Edifici di Culto, which safeguards, conserves, and promotes more than 820 religious structures across Italy. Lining the path toward St Peter’s Basilica, its paintings continue to present the world with the precious message of Human Redemption. This book retraces the history, importance, and exceptional beauty of this largely unknown cycle. More importantly it brings attention to the need for its restoration that, now as 320 years ago, requires the support of one or more patrons, inspired by a passion for this story.


• The Cycle of Human Redemption: A Comprehensive Overview
• The Chiesa Nuova before the 1675 Jubilee
• The Decoration of the Chiesa Nuova during the Last Quarter of the Seventeenth Century
• A Study of the Use of Materials, Methods of Realization, and Requirements for the Restoration of the Cycle of Human Redemption


Symposium | Resurrecting the Dead

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on August 11, 2018

Nicholas Hawksmoor, Howard Mausoleum at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire, 1729.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From The Mausolea and Monuments Trust:

Resurrecting the Dead: The Mausolea and Monuments Trust 2018 Symposium
The Gallery, London, 13 October 2018

The theme of the symposium is the maintenance and restoration of funerary architecture and sculpture. We will explore the field through a range of approaches, with papers from some of the country’s leading curatorial and architectural professionals, showcasing a variety of significant subjects from their differing perspectives. The registration fee is £25. Thanks to generous support from the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, we are able to offer eight free places to current university students (at any point in their education); to apply please send a short explanation of your current studies to fsands@soane.org.uk.


10.30  Coffee

11.00  Session One
• Bernadette Gillow (National Trust, Ightham Mote Portfolio), Darnley Mausoleum, Cobham: A Phoenix from the Ashes
• Paul Harrison (Harrison Design Development Ltd), Restoration at West Norwood Cemetery
• Amy Frost (Museum of Bath Architecture and Beckford’s Tower, Bath Preservation Trust), Landscape as Monument: The Suffragettes Wood in Bath

13.15  Lunch

14.15  Session Two
• Charles Wagner (Built Heritage Consultancy), Tom Drysdale (Historic Royal Palaces), and Gabriel Byng (Cambridge University), Just How Important Is That Pile of Stones? Or How Do You Convince Charitable Funders That It Is Worth Spending £¼Million on the Ruins of a Building of Absolutely No Practical Use?
• Christopher Ridgway (Castle Howard), The Castle Howard Mausoleum: Form, Function and Future

15.45  Tea