Broadside Symposium in Oxford

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 31, 2009

Taking Sides: The Printed Broadside 1450-1830
Merton College (Mure Room), University of Oxford, Saturday, 14 November 2009

In association with Merton College, The Centre for the Study of the Book at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford is holding a symposium on the early-modern broadside in the age of its digital reproduction. Printed for display purposes (typically on one side of a single sheet), the broadside arguably addressed a wider audience than any other publication of the handpress period. Broadsides were advertisements, religious indulgences, political addresses, civic discourses, teaching aids, ballads and other forms of entertainment. This symposium will explore how the broadside demarcated or connected both public and private worlds and popular and learned cultures. What is recovered of the broadside and its world through digitization, and what remains to be reconstructed? What is its place in histories of collecting, literacy, popular culture and antiquarianism?

  • Falk Eisermann (Berlin State Library), “Medium of the Masses? Some Observations on Press Runs and Audiences of 15th-Century Broadsides”
  • Susanna Berger (University of Cambridge), “Pedagogical Broadsides and the Study of Aristotelian Logic”
  • Richard Sharpe (University of Oxford), “The Vending of Books: Sheldonian Sales-catalogues 1694 to 1720”
  • Angela McShane (Victoria and Albert Museum/Royal College of Art), “Cultural Economics in the Broadside Trade: ‘Commissioned’ and ‘Retail’ Broadsides”
  • Eric Nebeker (University of California, Santa Barbara), “Musical Broadsides and Their Audiences in the Seventeenth Century”
  • Sara Mori (Gabinetto Vieusseux, Florence), “Between Censorship and Permission: Tuscan Broadsides at the Beginning of the 19th Century”
  • E. Wyn James (Cardiff University), “Illustrating Welsh Broadsides”
  • John Bidwell (Morgan Library and Museum), “Broadside Editions of the Declaration of Independence”

Supported by Merton College, All Souls College, Bodleian Library Centre for the Study of the Book and The Bibliographical Society. Graduate student travel bursaries are available, generously funded by The Bibliographical Society. E-mail for information: giles.bergel@merton.ox.ac.uk / alexandra.franklin@bodley.ox.ac.uk

Dr. Giles Bergel
JPR Lyell Research Fellow in the History of the Book
Merton College, University of Oxford

Happy Birthday, Angelica Kauffman!

Posted in anniversaries, books, Member News, reviews by Editor on October 30, 2009

Angelica Kauffman turns 268 today. The following comes from Meredith Martin’s 2007 review of Angela Rosenthal’s book on the artist. From caa.reviews:

Angela Rosenthal, Angelica Kauffman: Art and Sensibility (New Haven: Yale University Press in association with Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2005) 352 pages, $65.

Reviewed by Meredith Martin, Assistant Professor, Wellesley College; posted 1 May 2007.


Cover Image: Angelica Kauffman, "Self-Portrait," detail, 1784 (Munich: Bayerische Staatgemäldesammlung Neue Pinakothek)

Rosenthal’s monograph restores Kauffman’s own work to center stage. Her project is not simply one of “historical recovery,” for as the author notes, “unlike some other female artists, [Kauffman] never fully lost her position within the art-historical canon” (2). Generally speaking, Kauffman’s story is not one of isolation or exclusion, but rather of strong support, widespread influence, and international renown. One need only glance at her voluminous, multilingual correspondence with the leading cultural figures of eighteenth-century Europe—Goethe, Johann Caspar Lavater, and Izabella Czartoryska among them—to get a sense of the professionally rewarding and breathlessly glamorous life that Kauffman led. Zoffany’s painting notwithstanding, Angelica Kauffman was nobody’s wallflower. . .

Member News

Angela Rosenthal is associate professor at Dartmouth. She specializes in early modern European visual culture (especially British art within a global perspective), with an emphasis on cultural history, gender studies, feminist and post-colonial theory, and the history of art criticism. She studied art history, psychology and social anthropology at Trier University, Germany and in the UK (The Courtauld Institute of Art, University College London, and Westfield College). Before joining the faculty at Dartmouth College in 1997, she was curator of contemporary art at the Stadtgalerie in Saarbrücken (1994-95), and Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Art History at Northwestern University (1995-97). Rosenthal’s most recent research project emerged from her past work on the visual formulation of subjectivity, as well as from her engagement with contemporary post-colonial art theory. In this new book project, entitled The White of Enlightenment: Racializing Bodies in 18th-Century British Visual Culture, Rosenthal seek to complement the growing field of research on concepts of “race” and “ethnicity” in the visual arts.

Meredith Martin joined the Wellesley faculty in 2008. She received a BA in Art History from Princeton University in 1997 and a PhD in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University in 2006. Her research interests include: eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French visual and material culture, architectural theory and landscape design; gender, space, and the domestic interior; early neo-classicism; art and colonialism; and the historiography of the Rococo. She is the co-author, with Scott Rothkopf, of Period Eye: Karen Kilimnik’s Fancy Pictures (Serpentine Gallery/Koenig Books, 2007). Her book, Dairy Queens: Pastoral Architecture and Political Theater from Catherine de’ Medici to Marie-Antoinette, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press, and she is also co-editing a volume with Denise Baxter entitled Architecture Space in Eighteenth-Century Europe: Constructing Identities and Interiors to be published by Ashgate next spring. Her current research addresses diplomatic and material exchanges between France and India in the late eighteenth century.

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Final Week of Free Access to ECCO & Burney Collection

Posted in resources by Editor on October 29, 2009

As noted here on August 27, the Burney Collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century newspapers is available on a free trial basis through Early Modern Online Bibliography until the end of October. Anna Battagelli usefully points out that Gale’s Eighteenth-Century Collection Online (ECCO) is similarly available (also until October 30). Along with simply making these extraordinary resources available for a limited time, EMOB hopes the increased access will present opportunities for a more widespread and rigorous discussion of these tools. Art historians are encouraged to chime in!

Call for Papers: Rosa in Britain (witches and magic!)

Posted in Calls for Papers, exhibitions by Editor on October 28, 2009

Conference: Salvator Rosa in Britain
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 18 October 2010

Proposals Due by 30 December 2009


Salvator Rosa, "Soldiers Gambling," ca. 1658 (Dulwich Picture Gallery)

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art will be hosting a conference, Salvator Rosa in Britain, on October 18th, 2010, at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, to accompany the exhibition Salvator Rosa (1615-1673): Bandits, Wilderness and Magic, to be held there from 15 September – 28 November 2010.  Rosa has always had a double importance for art in Britain, as both painter and phenomenon, and the conference aims to explore his vast impact on both painters and writers. Possible themes might include

  • collectors and collecting
  • Rosa and concepts of the sublime, both in landscape and in magic, prophecy and enchantment
  • the afterlife of some outstanding works once or still in Britain, such as the Democritus, Belisarius, Atilius Regulus, or Empedocles Leaping into Etna
  • Rosa and the concepts of Romantic genius and the freedom of the artist
  • the myths woven around Rosa’s biography
  • bandits and witches.

Please send a 250 to 500-word outline of your proposal for a twenty-five minute presentation, along with a CV and a list of publications to Helenlangdon@hotmail.com.

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Books and Manuscripts Sale at Sotheby’s

Posted in Art Market by Editor on October 28, 2009

As noted on NPR’s Morning Edition (Wednesday, 28 October 2009), autograph letters of Lord Byron to his friend Francis Hodgson are up for auction tomorrow at Sotheby’s in London. They probably don’t shed lots of light art historically, though — as noted on the Sotheby’s site — they are relevant for the later history of the Grand Tour. In fact, the sale generally is useful for materials related to travel and exploration. From NPR’s website:


Sotheby's London, 29 October 2009, Lot 19. Estimate: 150,000-180,000 GBP

The British poet Lord Byron is well-known for his flamboyance. He had love affairs with women, men and the occasional relative, and one mistress called him “mad, bad and dangerous to know” — all of which makes his friendship with Francis Hodgson a surprise. Byron and Hodgson, a clergyman whom the poet met at Cambridge, maintained a spirited, lifelong correspondence through letters. Now, a collection of their letters dating from 1808 to 1821 is up for auction at Sotheby’s. Gabriel Heaton, who works in the books and manuscripts department at Sotheby’s, describes the letters as “just beautiful.” “The way that you can get a sense of Byron’s thought process from his letters is just spine-tingling,” he tells Renee Montagne. “There’s always something interesting going on in Byron’s life, and he always expresses it so wonderfully.” The letters include Byron’s witty, sometimes crude, commentaries on various European cities, including Lisbon, Portugal, where, he writes, the only vices of the people are “lice and sodomy.” The letters also reveal a more fragile side of the poet, including the sadness he felt at the collapse of a romantic relationship with a maid named Susan Vaughn. . . .

For the full story, click here»

This Week at Auction

Posted in Art Market by Editor on October 27, 2009

A sample of images from the upcoming sale at Sotheby’s, London (with a nod here toward All Hallows’ Eve); from Sotheby’s website:

Sotheby’s, ‘Old Master & Early British Paintings’
London, Thursday, 29 October 2009


Lot 97: Spanish School, 19th Century. Six Vanitas Still Lifes — A set of six, all oil on zinc, octagonal (two illustrated out of six). Each: 23 by 24 cm cm.; 9 by 91/2 in. Estimate 5,000 – 7,000 GBP


Lot 137: James Northcote, R.A., Plymouth (1746 – 1831) London, Friar Lawrence at Capulet’s Tomb, Romeo and Juliet, Act V, Scene 3, oil on canvas, 274 by 334.5 cm., 108 by 131 3/4 in. Estimate 10,000 – 15,000 GBP. Provenance: Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery; Christie’s London, Boydell Gallery sale, 3rd day, 20th May 1805, lot 51, sold to G. Stainforth Esq for £210; Lord Northbrook, Stratton Park; Stratton Park sale, 27 November 1929, lot 492. Exhibited: Fondazione Magnani Rocca, Parma, Italy, Fuseli and Shakespeare. Painting and Theatre 1775-1825, 6 September 7 December 1997; Heim Gallery, The Painted Word, British History Painting 1750-1830, 1991, no. 66. Literature: S. Gwynn, Memories of an 18th Century Painter, 1898, p. 273, no. 254; W. M. Merchant, Shakespeare and the Artist, 1959, p. 238; W. H Friedman, Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery, New York (Garland). The image was engraved P. Simon and J. Heath for J. Boydell’s collection.

3Wright2WrightLot 135: Joseph Wright of Derby, A.R.A. (1734-1797), Portrait of John Mason of Morton Hall, Retford, later inscribed verso: Mr John Mason of Retford, oil on canvas, 75 by 62 cm., 291/2 by 241/2 in. Estimate: 8,000 – 12,000 GBP. Provenance: Commissioned by the sitter’s family; thence by descent. Literature: Benedict Nicolson, Joseph Wright of Derby, Painter of Light, 1968, Vol.I, p. 2 and pp.212-13, no.104.

Lot 136: Joseph Wright of Derby, A.R.A. (1734-1797), Portrait of Catherine, Mrs John Mason of Morton Hall, Retford, later inscribed verso: Catherine wife of Mr John Mason of Retford, oil on canvas, in a painted oval, 75 by 63 cm., 291/2 by 243/4 in. Estimate: 8,000 – 12,000 GBP. Provenance: Commissioned by the sitter’s family; thence by descent. Literature: Benedict Nicolson, Joseph Wright of Derby, Painter of Light, 1968, Vol.I, p. 2 and pp.212-13, no.105.

Catalogue Note: Wright of Derby and the Mason of Morton Hall

The Masons were a prominent Nottinghamshire family in the later 17th and early 18th Century. They settled at Eaton, south of Retford where they had estates and were involved in the local leather trade. They also had considerable political power being one of the eight families who controlled the voting of the rotten borough of East Retford which returned two MPs to Westminster. The family acquired additional estates including the Manor of Morton in 1746. They continued to prosper and it was typical that they should sit for their portraits to the most famous of all Midland artists, Joseph Wright of Derby. Having established himself in his native Derby as a portrait painter in the 1750s, in 1760 Wright had sufficient confidence in himself to embark on a protracted tour of his neighbouring Midland towns. Offering his service as portrait painted to local middle-class families, he was in Retford, Nottinghamshire and then Lincoln in March. By April he had returned to Retford whilst also visiting Newark, Boston, Thorne and Doncaster in that same year. During one of these frequent visits to Retford Wright painted the present three portraits of members of the Mason family of Morton Hall.

History of the Book Fellowships

Posted in fellowships by Editor on October 26, 2009

The Bibliographical Society of America 2010 Fellowship Program
Applications due by 1 December 2009

The Bibliographical Society of America  invites applications for its third annual Pantzer Senior Fellowship in Bibliography and the British Book Trades as well as its annual short-term fellowship program, all of which support bibliographical inquiry and research in the history of the book trades and in publishing history. Eligible topics may concentrate on books and documents in any field, but should focus on the physical object as historical evidence (although digital projects are welcome). Such topics may include establishing a text or studying the history of book production, publication, distribution, collecting, or reading. Enumerative listings do not fall within the scope of this program.

Senior fellows are provided a stipend of $6,000; short-term fellows receive a stipend of up to $2,000 per month (for up to two months) to support travel, living, and research expenses. The program is open to applicants of any nationality or affiliation. Individuals who have not held a BSA fellowship in the last five years will be given preference.

Applications, including references, are due by midnight 1 December 2009. Application forms (in static PDF and Word formats) and submission instructions are available for download at www.bibsocamer.org, or they may be requested from the BSA Executive Secretary, P.O. Box 1537, Lenox Hill Station, New York, NY 10021, e-mail bsa@bibsocamer.org. Applications will be accepted through the post or by e-mail attachment, with a PDF via e-mail prefered. Any questions about the submission procedure can be directed to David Gants, Chair of the Fellowship Committee, dgants@fsu.edu.

Mezzotint Collection May Go to the British Museum

Posted in the 18th century in the news by Editor on October 25, 2009

Martin Bailey reports in The Art Newspaper, 21 October 2009:

British Museum to Acquire Major Print Collection

LONDON — The British Museum in London hopes to make its largest acquisition of prints since 1902. It wants to buy 7,250 mezzotints from Christopher Lennox-Boyd, a specialist who has assembled a collection of 50,000 during a period of 40 years. The British Museum has examined them all, selecting mezzotints (produced with a tonal printing method) from the 17th to 19th centuries, which it lacks. The agreed price is £1,250,000, an average of £170 each. . . .

For the full article, click here»

A Warm Welcome to a New Journal

Posted in opinion pages, resources by Editor on October 24, 2009

From the Editor

Last week, the Art History Newsletter noted the premier of a new online journal, Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts. The posting concentrates on the editorial by Dan Edelstein addressing the question of theory’s role in the humanities today. For the issue of eighteenth-studies, the larger news is simply that such a journal now exists! With support from Stanford University and contributions for the first issue from the likes of Anthony Grafton, Paula Findlen, Peter Miller, and Margaret Jacob, the journal is positioned to garner considerable credibility and respect. It also seems to open up the possibility for thinking about the eighteenth century not in isolation but in relationship to the early modern period generally. Any number of changes occurred over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but in my own work, I have argued that we must be able to think of them together (at least from time to time) even if only to understand more fully the character of the changes that happened. That this new journal seems well placed to handle issues of both continuity and change is evident from Antoine Lilti’s contribution, “The Kingdom of Politesse: Salons and the Republic of Letters in Eighteenth-Century Paris,” in which he challenges Dena Goodman’s reliance upon the Republic of Letters as a way of understanding salon culture:

Using the notion of the Republic of Letters, however, to think about the salons is misguided because it leads us to misinterpret both the historical significance of the salons and the social history of the Enlightenment. It induces us to consider salons as literary or intellectual venues, whereas they were, above all, the social spaces of elite leisure. Moreover, it entails odd consequences: that eighteenth-century salons had nothing to do with their predecessors of the age of Louis XIII and Louis XIV or with their nineteenth-century successors; that they stood totally apart from the royal court; that women who received guests in their homes were moved by the desire to contribute to an intellectual endeavor. The aim of this paper is to show that it is much more effective to think about the salons as the main institution of cultural sociability for social elites, and then to understand why the philosophes spent so much time there. . . .

As a site for sociability, they [Parisian salons] were, above all, venues of entertainment for polite elites, and were deeply rooted in court society. The ideal which guided the writers who attended these salons—Morellet, Thomas, Marmontel, and many others—was not the Republic of Letters, but Parisian high society (le monde), where some men of letters, polite and successful, were welcomed because they conformed to aristocratic norms. In other words, they were dreaming about the kingdom of politesse rather than the Republic of Letters.

Whether one is convinced by the argument is, of course, a separate matter. Personally, though, I’m thrilled that there’s now a space so well-suited for such scholarly debates.

-Craig Hanson

Book Prize

Posted in opportunities by Editor on October 23, 2009

30th Annual Louis Gottschalk Prize
Nominations due by 15 November 2009

The Louis Gottschalk Prize is for an outstanding historical or critical study on the eighteenth century and carries an award of $1,000. Louis Gottschalk (1899-1975) second President of ASECS, President of the American Historical Association, and for many years Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, exemplified in his scholarship the humanistic ideals that this award is meant to encourage.

All scholarly books, including commentaries, critical studies, biographies, collections of essays by a single author and critical editions, written in any modern language are eligible. Books that are primarily translations and multiauthored collections of essays are not eligible.

  • To be eligible for this year’s competition, a book must have a copyright date between November 2007 and October 2008.
  • The author must be a member of ASECS at the time of submission.
  • Submission must be made by the publisher, and five copies must be received by 15 November 2009.

Send all submissions and inquires to: ASECS — Louis Gottschalk Prize, 2598 Reynolda Rd., Suite C, Winston-Salem, NC 27106; E-mail: asecs@wfu.edu

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