Enfilade

Online Workshop | Analysis of Reverse Paintings on Glass

Posted in conferences (to attend), online learning by Editor on February 25, 2021

From ArtHist.net:

Possibilities and Limits of (Non-destructive) Analysis of Reverse Paintings on Glass
Online, Vitrocentre Romont, Switzerland, 12 March 2021
Organized by Sophie Wolf and Francesco Caruso

Registration due by 7 March 2021

As part of the SNSF research project on the travel and recipe book of Ulrich Daniel Metzger (1671), reverse glass paintings by the artist and by his close friend and master Gerhard Janssen are being examined. The investigation has two aims: first, a technical and material characterisation of the artworks and secondly, a comparison of the results with the recipes and painting instructions noted in the book. The analysis of materials and techniques, however, is associated with difficulties that are based on the technical specificity of the works, namely so-called ‘églomisé’. The paintings are backed with leaf metals and sometimes also protected by an additional cover of paper, which cannot always be easily removed. There is therefore no direct access to the painting layers. In this workshop, we would like to discuss the limits and possibilities of (non-destructive) analysis of reverse glass paintings and stained glass. Short presentations will give insights into the analytical practice of various research groups active in the field and provide the opportunity to discuss specific issues of analytical techniques and procedures.

The workshop is open to the public, but registration is required as the number of places is limited. If you are interested in participating as a listener, please register via email by 7 March 2021: sophie.wolf@vitrocentre.ch. The video-conference will start at 9.00am. Please start joining the meeting at 8.45am. We regret that latecomers cannot be admitted until a suitable break.

P R O G R A M M E

9.00  Sophie WOLF (Vitrocentre Romont), Welcome and introduction

9.15  Uta BERGMANN (Vitrocentre Romont), Das Reise- und Rezeptbuch Ulrich Daniel Metzgers

9.30  Francesco CARUSO (SIK-ISEA, Zürich) and Sophie WOLF (Vitrocentre Romont), Non-destructive study of early 18th-century reverse glass paintings

10.00  Simon STEGER (Staatliche Akademie der Künste, Stuttgart), Non-invasive spectroscopic investigation of cultural artefacts: shedding light on modern reverse glass paintings (1905–1955)

10.30  Break

11.00  Patrick DIETEMANN (Doerner Institut, München), Challenges and limits of (non-destructive) modern binding medium analysis

11.30  Katharina SCHMIDT-OTT (Swiss National Museum, Collection Centre, Affoltern a. Albis), Comparability of two XRF analyzers on sanguine in stained glass paintings by H. J. Güder (1630–1691)

12.00  Panel Discussion
• Patrick DIETEMANN (Doerner Institut, München)
• Susanne GREIFF (Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz)
• Maite MAGUREGUI HERNANDO (Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao)
• Simon STEGER (Staatliche Akademie der Künste, Stuttgart)

Organisation
Sophie Wolf (Vitrocentre Romont), sophie.wolf@vitrocentre.ch
Francesco Caruso (Schweizerisches Institut für Kunstwissenschaft SIK-ISEA), francesco.caruso@sik-isea.ch

Exhibition | The Search for Ancient Ionia, 1764

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 24, 2021

William Pars, Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, 1764, pen and grey ink with watercolour and bodycolour and some gum arabic
(London: The British Museum)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From the Soane Museum:

The Romance of Ruins: The Search for Ancient Ionia, 1764
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, 3 March – 11 July 2021

Curated by Ian Jenkins

Produced in collaboration with the British Museum, this exhibition showcases a series of powerful and poetic watercolours made on an expedition to discover the ruins of ancient Ionia (modern Turkey) in 1764. The expedition, funded by the Society of Dilettanti, included artist William Pars, antiquary Richard Chandler, and architect Nicholas Revett.

The beauty and fame of the Ionian cities—part of the Greek world from the 8th century BC and ruined in antiquity—lived on in the writings of ancient commentators such as Herodotus and Strabo. This exhibition focuses on the published accounts of the expedition, produced in lavish volumes funded by the Society of Dilettanti, and the evocative images by the brilliant young artist William Pars, placing them in dialogue with the collections and architecture of Sir John Soane, who deeply admired ancient Greek architecture. Pars’ drawings record the classical ruins encountered in Turkey and Greece, and also the living landscape–its flora and fauna, and the customs, manners and dress of the people, bringing to life extracts from Chandler’s diary account. These images represent Enlightenment themes of travel and discovery and embody melancholy reflections on the passing of the great age of antiquity and the reduction of its monuments. They capture the spirit of Edward Gibbon’s reflection on the fall of civilizations and in so doing they portray the romance of ruins.

This exhibition has been made possible thanks to the generosity of David and Molly Lowell Borthwick. The accompanying catalogue has been kindly supported by the Society of Dilettanti Charitable Trust.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Ian Jenkins, ed., The Romance of Ruins: The Search for Ancient Ionia, 1764 (London: Sir John Soane’s Museum, 2021), 240 pages, ISBN: 978-1999693244, £40.

The Romance of Ruins: The Search for Ancient Ionia, 1764 focuses on a series of highly finished watercolours by the brilliant young artist William Pars. These were based on sketches and drawings made on the spot during the Society of Dilettanti’s 1764 expedition to Ionia. This remarkable set of pictorial documents has never been fully published in spite of their beauty and cultural significance. The book includes an introduction by the exhibition’s curator, Ian Jenkins, Senior Curator at the British Museum; a series of essays by eminent scholars including Alastair Blanshard, J. Lesley Fitt, Jason M. Kelly, Philip Mansel, and Kim Sloan; and a catalogue of works in the exhibition.

Online Conference | Building an Engaged Art History

Posted in conferences (to attend), online learning by Editor on February 23, 2021

From ArtHist.net:

Building an Engaged Art History
Online, Case Western Reserve University and Indiana University IUPUI, 22–23 April 2021

Registration due by 1 March 2021

A virtual convening about public scholarship, civic engagement, and community-based practices in the study and teaching of art history and visual culture.

How can art historians honor ways of seeing and knowing that have been historically marginalized in the art worlds and the academy? How can we work in ways that serve communities beyond our institutions? How can we learn from the methods of engagement that are well-established in other disciplines? How can we build structures within our institutions that support this kind of work? Where are we now, and where do we go from here? Experienced scholars in the public humanities will share their perspectives on the methods, ethics, and value of engaged approaches. Through a series of facilitated conversations, participants will reflect on their own engaged work and create a plan for making engaged art history more robust and more feasible in our institutions and our communities. The symposium is free of charge for all. Please send any questions to the symposium organizers, Erin Benay (eeb50@case.edu) and Laura Holzman (HolzmanL@iu.edu). Click here to register by March 1.

T H U R S D A Y ,  2 2  A P R I L  2 0 2 1

10.00  Opening Remarks
Building a More Inclusive and Equitable Art History with Erin Benay (Case Western Reserve University) and Laura Holzman (Indiana University IUPUI)

10.30  Public Humanities, Public Art History
Panel Discussion with Susan Smulyan (Brown University), Renée Ater (Brown University), and Larry Zimmerman (Indiana University IUPUI)
Art history arguably lags behind other fields in the humanities, such as public history (which has an established professional organization and scholarly journal of the same name) with established publicly engaged trajectories. What can we learn from these disciplines about our own?

11.30  Lunch break

12.30  Discussion Session One: Toward an Engaged Art History
With Laura Holzman (Indiana University IUPUI)
Drawing first from disciplinary training and practice, participants will identify key values, awareness, skills, and abilities that can shape our engaged work.

1.30  Coffee break

2.00  Discussion Session Two: What Can Art History Learn from the Community?
With Erin Benay (Case Western Reserve University)
Building a more engaged art history means moving beyond classrooms and museums; this session asks what art history (and art historians) can learn from our community partners and experts outside the academy.

F R I D A Y ,  2 3  A P R I L  2 0 2 1

10.00  Opening Remarks
Erin Benay (Case Western Reserve University) and Laura Holzman (Indiana University IUPUI)

10.30  Discussion Session One: Museums and Methods
With Key Jo Lee (Cleveland Museum of Art)
How can engaged practices and the philosophies behind them help make art museums more equitable institutions and how can museums’ methods of sharing knowledge shape engaged research and teaching?

11.30  Lunch break

12.30  Discussion Session Two: Teaching with Engaged Art History
With Jennifer Borland and Louise Siddons (Oklahoma State University)
What is the place of engaged art history in our classrooms and curricula? We will consider philosophies of teaching and learning as well as our experiences with activities such as applied projects service learning, and structuring degree programs.

1.30  Coffee break

2.00  Discussion Session Three: Engaged Art History in the Academy
With Carolyn Butler-Palmer (University of Victoria), Cynthia Persinger (California University of Pennsylvania), and Azar Rejaie (University of Houston-Downtown)
In breakout sessions dedicated to issues such as tenure and promotion and academic publishing, we discuss how to evaluate excellence in engaged art history and how to navigate systems of power that may not yet include its actions in policy or practice.

3.30  Concluding Discussion: Synthesizing the Priorities for Engaged Art History
With Mary Price (Indiana University IUPUI)
Participants will identify next steps for building an engaged art history and produce a Directory of Engaged Art History practitioners.

New Book | American Furniture, 1650–1840

Posted in books by Editor on February 22, 2021

Distributed by Yale University Press:

Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley, American Furniture, 1650–1840: Highlights from the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021), 336 pages, ISBN: 978-0876332962, $50.

American Furniture, 1650–1840: Highlights from the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the first publication dedicated to one of the finest collections of its type in the country. Best known for furniture by artisans from Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania, the museum’s collection includes significant examples from cities and regions farther afield. Interpretive texts for each work focus on design sources, showing how early American furniture participated in an international visual language. A vibrant local economy was bolstered by coastal trade bringing Caribbean mahogany and European imports that continued to influence local production. By the 1740s Philadelphia had developed a distinctive idiom and led the developing nation in style and aesthetics. This volume provides an important resource for scholars of American furniture, illuminates the cultural and mercantile life of the fledgling nation, and offers a lively introduction to the donors, curators, and personalities who have shaped the institution from its earliest days to the present.

Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley is the Montgomery-Garvan Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Online Lecture | Rebecca Tilles, Highlights from Hillwood

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on February 21, 2021

Abraham and David Roentgen, Roll-top desk, Germany (Neuwied), 1770–74; oak, cherry, and other woods, veneered with tulipwood, rosewood, maple, mother of pearl, gilt bronze (Washington, DC: Hillwood, Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973, 33.222).

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From The Furniture History Society:

Rebecca Tilles, Highlights from Hillwood: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Taste for 18th-Century European Furniture
The Furniture History Society Online Lecture, Sunday, 21 February 2021, 19.00 (GMT)

Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887–1973) was one of the most influential female collectors, philanthropists, and businesswomen of the twentieth century. Born in Springfield, Illinois to a middle-class family, she inherited the helm of the Postum Cereal Company, eventually becoming the director of General Foods, from her father at the age of 27, making her one of the wealthiest women in America. She designed and decorated a multitude of impressive residences, notably a sprawling 54-room triplex apartment on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan (1925), the Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach (1927), Adirondack Great Camp Topridge, New York (1923), and finally Hillwood, Washington, DC (1955).

This lecture will explore Post’s interest in collecting 18th-century European furniture, highlights from Hillwood’s collection (as well as a few that got away), and the dealers she bought from— spanning from the mid-1920s until the late 1960s, during which time Post acquired, renovated, and furnished Hillwood estate with the intention of bequeathing the house and collection to the public following her death. The lecture will also feature future research projects, new acquisitions, and upcoming exhibitions. This event is free for FHS members, £5 for non-members; to pay for this event online please follow this link.

Rebecca Tilles is Associate Curator of 18th-Century French & Western European Fine & Decorative Arts at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, DC. She is currently organizing an exhibition of outdoor garden sculpture by the artist Kristine Mays entitled Rich Soil (June 2021–January 2022), as well as an exhibition on the evolution of porcelain in Western Europe and Marjorie Merriweather Post’s interest in diplomatic gifts and international commissions between Western European and Russian factories (February–June 2022). Rebecca is also organizing a spotlight exhibition entitled “Marjorie Merriweather Post and the Diplomacy of Philanthropy,” in partnership with the State Department, at the National Museum of American Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. (2022). Rebecca completed her PhD in Art History from the University of Sussex where her dissertation was entitled “George and Florence Blumenthal: A Collecting Partnership in the Gilded Age, 1858–1941.” She recently published “The Artistic Patronage and Transatlantic Connections of Florence Blumenthal” in the most recent issue of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century and is currently working on a new publication on Marjorie Merriweather Post’s collection and residences with Hillwood’s curatorial team that will be published by Rizzoli in 2022.

 

Online Lecture | Sir Watkin’s Table

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on February 20, 2021

From a service of Sèvres porcelain ‘service a rubans bleu celeste’, ca. 1770, sold at Christie’s in 2018 (Sale 16185, Lot 1164). 

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Sunday via Zoom from The French Porcelain Society:

Oliver Fairclough, Sir Watkin’s Table
FPS Living Room Lecture, 21 February 2021, 18.00 (BST)

For its next Living Room Lecture, the French Porcelain Society is honoured to welcome Oliver Fairclough, a recent FPS Chairman and the former Keeper of Art at the National Museum in Cardiff. He will discuss the fashionable taste for fine dining of eighteenth-century Welsh politician Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn. We hope you can join us! For free links, please email FPSmailing@gmail.com.

Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn (1749–1789) was one of the richest men of his day, and he set himself up in style during the 1770s. Robert Adam built him an exquisite London house in St James’s Square, and he entertained lavishly there and at his country seat, Wynnstay in Denbighshire. As well as commissioning one of the largest architect-designed silver table services of the eighteenth century, he acquired porcelain services from Sèvres, Meissen and Tournai, as well as Nankeen and English porcelains—and huge quantities of Wedgwood creamware for mass hospitality. His table services, and the settings in which they were used, are exceptionally well-documented by designs, and in account books, bills and inventories.

Sir Watkin’s silver and ceramics were sold off after World War II, together with his superlative paintings and furniture from the St James’s Square house. Examples are now in both public and private collections around the world. The largest group can be seen at the National Museum in Cardiff, where Oliver Fairclough was formerly Keeper of Art.

Online Exhibition Tour | Exotic Switzerland?

Posted in exhibitions, online learning by Editor on February 19, 2021

Une Suisse exotique? Regarder l’ailleurs en Suisse au siècle des Lumières
Exotic Switzerland? Looking Outward in the Age of Enlightenment

Palais de Rumine, Lausanne, 24 September 2020 — 28 February 2021

Organized by Noémie Étienne

While the exhibition was forced to close early, the Palais de Rumine is offering a series of free live guided tours, the last of which takes place (in English) on Monday, 22 February 2021, at 12.30, with Chonja Lee. Zoom link: https://lnkd.in/d8ikYnq

The virtual visit, available any time, is spectacular! CH

 

Online Panel | Resonance of Stone

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on February 18, 2021

Masterpiece London launched its 2021 online programme, with podcasts, videos, and panel discussions focusing on a different material each month. This month’s session, which takes place this afternoon, addresses marble:

The Resonance of Stone
Online, Masterpiece London Panel Discussion, 18 February 2021, 5pm (GMT)

Whether they are aware of it or not, when scholars dismiss the use of precious marbles and stones to decorate a building as merely a desire to show off the status of the patron, they are expressing a moralising Marxist interpretation of art history. Fabio Barry, author of Painting in Stone: Architecture and the Poetics of Marble from Antiquity to the Enlightenment (Yale UP 2020), debunks this approach by revealing what marble actually meant, from ancient Mesopotamia to the 18th century. What he reveals is infinitely more interesting, not just for art or architectural historians, but for anyone interested in pre-Enlightenment science, cosmology, and religion. For example, after reading this book, how you see a famous building such as Hagia Sophia is transformed because you discover that what looks like merely a grey and white marble floor, at the time represented the waves of the sea: we, the faithful are walking on water, with God’s throne set above the waters.

In this panel, Barry will explain his main revelations. Thomas Greenaway—the only artist in the UK to practise pietra dura (hardstone) inlay, the technique used by the ancient Romans and revived in Florence in the 16th century—will talk about the remarkable commission that he executed, the coat of arms for the tomb in Leicester Cathedral of the rediscovered remains of King Richard III. Tessa Murdoch will talk about a different category of illusionism, the ‘paintings’ made in micro-mosaics, artistic descendants of both mosaics and pietra dura work, while David Sestieri will talk about how far interest is reviving in ‘making’—in the ‘materiality’ of works of art—after a century or so in which craftsmanship and precious materials have been subordinate to belief in the conceptual.

Register for this panel discussion on Zoom

Moderator: Anna Somers Cocks OBE — journalist, editor, publisher, and collector
• Fabio Barry — Assistant Professor, Stanford University and author of Painting in Stone
• Thomas Greenaway — pietra dura specialist and conservator
• Tessa Murdoch — Research Curator, Gilbert Collection, V&A
• Davide Sestieri — art consultant

Fabio Barry studied architecture at Cambridge and practised as an architect before receiving a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University. He was David E. Finley Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, and will be the Samuel H. Kress Fellow there in 2021–22. He has taught at the University of St. Andrews and currently at Stanford University. He is a specialist in Roman Baroque, but has published more widely, and was awarded the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize by the College Art Association for his article “Walking on Water: Cosmic Floors in Antiquity and the Middle Ages.” His book, Painting in Stone: Architecture and the Poetics of Marble from Antiquity to the Enlightenment (Yale University Press, 2020) was awarded the PROSE award for best book on Architecture by the Association of American Publishers.

Thomas Greenaway specialises in creating original works of art in pietra dura and is also a conservator working for museums, institutions, and private collectors.  Having trained as a fine furniture maker in Scotland, Thomas spent four years in Florence learning traditional 16th-century techniques from some eminent masters. He has had his own studio in South Northamptonshire selling unique hand-made works of art since 2010. Thomas sources a wide range of valuable semi-precious stones and rare marbles from across the globe and carefully selects the perfect natural texture and shading in the stone to create what amounts to be a ‘painting in stone’. Thomas produces bespoke tables, boxes, plaques, games tables, and personalised paperweights and can also undertake restoration work of stone inlaid artifacts. A few notable works have included Richard III’s coat of arms set into the tombstone in Leicester Cathedral, a floor plaque inscription (commemorating Pope Benedictus XVI visit to the UK in 2010) laid in the entrance floor of Westminster Cathedral, and a Tudor Rose for the central floor in the House of Lords.

Tessa Murdoch is Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Research Curator at the V&A. In 2019 as Getty Rothschild Fellow in residence at the Getty Research Institute and Waddesdon Manor, she completed her forthcoming book Europe Divided: Huguenot Refugee Art and Culture, which will be published in November 2021. As Deputy Keeper, Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass at the V&A she has worked with the Gilbert Collection since 2008. Her interest in pietre dure developed whilst filming a video for the new V&A Gilbert Galleries at Paci Workshop, in Florence, where Thomas Greenaway led the interpretation. Tessa is a specialist adviser and contributor to Apollo Magazine and the National Trust. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, and member of the their Contemporary Craft Committee. She publishes widely on the decorative arts, is an active member of the Furniture History and Silver Societies and Trustee of the Huguenot Museum, Rochester and the Idlewild Trust.

Davide Sestieri is a fifth-generation antiques dealer. After 15 years of experience with the family business, Davide started to collaborate with Finarte Casa D’Aste and Christie’s Rome, working for more than 16 years as an expert of furniture and works of arts. In 2006, Davide opened the consultancy firm Briganti Sestieri Art Consulting with his associate Guido Briganti, where he continues to work today.

Anna Somers Cocks OBE was born in Rome and educated at Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute, London University. She is the author of numerous articles on art, the politics of art, conservation, and the politics of Venice in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Art Newspaper, Il Giornale dell’Arte, La Repubblica, and The New York Review of Books.

New Book | Painting in Stone: Architecture and the Poetics of Marble

Posted in books by Editor on February 18, 2021

From Yale UP:

Fabio Barry, Painting in Stone: Architecture and the Poetics of Marble from Antiquity to the Enlightenment (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2020), 448 pages, ISBN: 978-0300248166, $65.

Spanning almost five millennia, Painting in Stone tells a new history of premodern architecture through the material of precious stone. Lavishly illustrated examples include the synthetic gems used to simulate Sumerian and Egyptian heavens; the marble temples and mansions of Greece and Rome; the painted palaces and polychrome marble chapels of early modern Italy; and the multimedia revival in 19th-century England. Poetry, the lens for understanding costly marbles as an artistic medium, summoned a spectrum of imaginative associations and responses, from princes and patriarchs to the populace. Three salient themes sustained this ‘lithic imagination’: marbles as images of their own elemental substance according to premodern concepts of matter and geology; the perceived indwelling of astral light in earthly stones; and the enduring belief that colored marbles exhibited a form of natural—or divine—painting, thanks to their vivacious veining, rainbow palette, and chance images.

Fabio Barry is assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University.

Online Series | Georgian Gardens and Landscapes

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on February 17, 2021

From The Georgian Group:

Georgian Gardens and Landscapes Series
Online, The Georgian Group, Tuesdays in March and April 2021, 6.30pm (GMT)

The Georgian Group presents seven talks this spring in connection with its series Georgian Gardens and Landscapes. Presentations take place on Tuesday evenings, starting at 6.30pm. Each talk is £3 for members and £5 for non-members. Joining details will be sent to attendees the day before. Talks will be recorded and made available to those who have purchased a ticket for a limited time period after the event takes place.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

2 March 2021
Fiona Davison — Hidden Horticulturists

This talk will tell the untold story of the men who shaped Britain’s gardens, with help from a recently unearthed book of handwritten notes by young gardeners in support of their applications to be received into the Horticultural Society’s training scheme at their Chiswick Garden in the 1820s. Some of these men went on to work on Britain’s finest country estates, while others ended up tending more modest gardens or found themselves in exotic locations around the glove. Nevertheless, these previously hidden figures played a central role in the history of British horticulture and helped to shape the way we garden today.

Fiona Davison is Head of Libraries and Exhibitions at the Royal Horticultural Society. Her book, The Hidden Horticulturists: The Untold Story of the Men who Shaped Britain’s Gardens, was published in 2019.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

9 March 2021
Emily Parker — Marble Hill: A Garden of Grottos and Groves

Henrietta Howard, mistress of George II and later Countess of Suffolk, created Marble Hill house in the 1720s as a retreat from court life and as a place to entertain her elite circle of influential cultural, intellectual and political friends. This was a time of significant change in garden designs and Howard’s friendship with Alexander Pope, Lord Bathurst, Lord Peterborough and Lord Ilay, meant that her garden at Marble Hill was influenced by some of the most fashionable garden enthusiasts of the time. This talk will explore how the garden was created and who might have been involved in its design.

Emily Parker is a Landscape Advisor at English Heritage. She specialises in garden history and designed landscape conservation. Emily’s primary research interests are garden design in the eighteenth century, including the role of Alexander Pope, ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton. Emily has also researched and written interpretation content for many English Heritage sites including Eltham Palace, Kirby Hall, Mount Grace Priory and Wrest Park. She has also produced Conservation Management Plans for English Heritage gardens including Belsay Hall, Marble Hill and Walmer Castle.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

16 March 2021
George Carter and Caroline Knight — William Kent: Garden Designer, Architect, Interior Designer

William Kent (1685-1748) was one of those all-round designers, like Bernini, who could turn his hand to anything—architecture, interior design, painting, garden design, even book illustration. The first half of the eighteenth century was a period when garden design in Britain was in a state of flux. Kent proved to have a crucial role in adapting an evolving naturalistic style to his own unique vision, and was praised by Horace Walpole in On Modern Gardening. According to Christopher Hussey, he provided exactly what the Early Georgians looked for in the new gardening: “elegant variation, evocation of an ideal past, and the visual embodiment of a philosophical idea.” This talk looks at some of Kent’s best work including Rousham, Esher, and Stowe and evaluates him in relation to his contemporaries, Charles Bridgeman, Stephen Switzer, and Robert Castell.

George Carter is a garden historian and designer who specialises in restoring and recreating historic gardens, particularly of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He has written several books on garden design and his work has appeared in numerous books and magazines. Caroline Knight is an architectural historian specialising in British Architecture of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. She is an independent lecturer at the V&A Museum and for the Arts Society and the author of London’s Country Houses.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

23 March 2021
Penelope Corfield — Vauxhall, Sex, and Entertainment: The Invention of the Urban Pleasure Garden

This lecture will analyse the social dynamics of London’s most popular and celebrated Pleasure Garden in Vauxhall, which flourished between 1732 and its final closure in 1859. It pioneered the commercialisation of mass entertainment and the eroticisation of the leisure industry. In other words, it blended timeless human interests in sex and good company with the allure of celebrity culture plus the provision of a great range of leisure services in an organised and inclusive style. No wonder that countless similar urban Gardens across Britain, in Paris and, eventually, in cities around the world, were named after Vauxhall.

Penelope J. Corfield is an expert on Georgian urban, social and cultural history; and is currently researching the dynamics of inter-personal greetings in the long eighteenth century. She is Professor Emeritus at Royal Holloway, London University; Research Fellow at Newcastle University; and President of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

30 March 2021
Bettina Harden — Welsh Gardens and the Grand Tour

While working on her book The Most Glorious Prospect: Garden Visiting in Wales 1639–1900 (2017), Bettina Harden found that the experience of the Grand Tour to Italy ran as a leitmotif through the development of landscaped parks and gardens across Wales. Carrying on from the book, she has examined the links between the Grand Tour and its effect on the Welsh patrons and owners who, on their return from the Continent, set about bringing something of what they had seen abroad to their home surroundings. The result is a lecture exploring the intricacies of the Grand Tour, its demands and discoveries, its shopping and scholarship, focused on Welshmen who had travelled to Rome in the eighteenth century: Sirs Watkin Williams-Wynne, father and son, 3rd and 4th Baronets of Wynnstay; Thomas Mansel, 2nd Lord Mansel, and Thomas and Christopher Mansel-Talbot of Margam; Thomas Bulkeley, 7th Viscount Bulkeley of Baron Hill; Colonel John Campbell of Stackpole Court. The lecture aims to link these men, their Grand Tour, their purchases and Italian dreams of landscape beauty together to demonstrate how ‘gardening and refined connoisseurship were the obsession of the age.’

Bettina Harden is a lecturer and writer on historic gardens. She was formerly Chairman of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust and was Founder Chairman of the Gateway Gardens Trust.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

6 April 2021
Rory Fraser — Follies: An Architectural Journey

Follies were an important feature of English landscape gardens in the long eighteenth century. They could take a multitude of forms, from lavish banqueting houses to temples to lost loves, while their designers read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the greatest figures in Georgian architecture and landscape design—Wren, Vanbrugh, Kent, ‘Capability’ Brown, and Repton. In this talk, Rory Fraser will take us on an illustrated journey across England as he unearths the stories behind these often-overlooked architectural gems. Fraser’s philosophy is that follies, though often marginalised, serve as focal points for architecture, landscape, and literature. As such, they create a series of portals through which to understand the periods in which they were built, providing an alternative lens through which to track and celebrate the English character, culture, and love of individualism.

Rory Fraser was brought up between Rutland and Inverness. He worked for English Heritage and learnt Art History in Venice and Florence, before studying English at Oxford University where he specialised in landscape poetry and architecture, and wrote comedy for the Oxford Review. On graduating, he worked for John Simpson Architects in Bloomsbury. He is currently at Cambridge University, where he is doing an MPhil in Architectural History under Frank Salmon. His book, Follies: An Architectural Journey, was published in November 2020.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

13 April 2021
Kim Wilkie — The English Landscape Revolution

The eighteenth-century English Landscape Movement pioneered a radical new approach to sculpting and farming the land which gives great inspiration for the issues we face today. Landscape architect Kim Wilkie will trace this development through looking at some of the projects he has worked on, including the great landscapes of Boughton (for which he won a Georgian Group award in 2011 for Restoration of a Georgian Garden or Landscape) and Heveningham, as well as some more humble manor houses.

Kim Wilkie is a renowned landscape architect. After decades of running his own practice, Kim now works as a strategic and conceptual landscape consultant. He collaborates with architects and landscape architects around the world.