‘Curious Specimens’ and the Great Volcanic Cloud

Posted in conferences (summary), on site, site information by Editor on April 20, 2010

Rooftop of Strawberry Hill, April 2010. The new Gothic pinnacles have been recreated from oak. The chimney pots date from the 19th century; they, like the rest of the exterior, will be painted the same original white as the wooden ornaments; yes, it's going to be bright.

The Strawberry Hill Trust was formed in August of 2002 to restore Horace Walpole's Gothic Villa at Twickenham, just outside of London. With a budget of £8.2 million ($13million), the project is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year.

Good News: The Curious Specimens conference in London was even better than I had expected (and I expected a lot). The Walpole and Mrs. Delany exhibitions are both stunning as installed, respectively, at the V&A and Soane’s Museum. The conference panels were stimulating, and Saturday’s visit to Strawberry Hill was thrilling (hard to beat a rooftop tour). Many thanks to the organizers, especially Luisa Calè and Lisa Ford but also Michael Snodin, Amy Meyers, Margaret Powell, Alicia Weisberg-Roberts, and Brian Allen.

Bad News: Because I’m caught in the UK under a massive cloud of ash, with irregular access to email, Enfilade will be updated less frequently than normal during the next few days. ‘Caught’ hardly conveys my joy at having a few extra days in London; nor does talk of the ash cloud conjure the wonderful sunny weather that the city is currently experiencing, but it does perhaps suggest the utter strangeness of the situation (and to be fair, for untold numbers of people, the travel freeze is proving to be an horrendous ordeal). Please feel free to continue sending details for any announcements or news items you would like to see posted. I’ll add them as soon as I can. Thanks for your patience. -CH

4 Responses

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  1. Amber Ludwig said, on April 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I echo Craig’s sentiments. The conference was really a treat!

  2. Michael Yonan said, on April 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Stranded in Europe!!! Sounds delightful, actually.

  3. LEE said, on April 20, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I had heard that many trans continental travelers were being forced to stay in Europe due to the dangerous conditions that were related to some Icelandic volcano blowing it’s top and spewing ash high in the air. I heard that Europe was blanketed in ash and bad visibility. It was good to hear that there were some A-1 art exhibits . Seminars can drag, but it’s good to hear all the things you expected from the seminars and the conference panels were stimulating to the audience. I really like the roof top art at Strawberry Hill. The sun looks like it shines in the loft windows and makes that area blindingly bright.The new gothic oak pinnacles looked beautiful, but I think I prefer the vintage chimney pots. I had no idea that they were the originals dating back to the nineteenth century. I found that they were gorgeous objects de art. I wonder what other amazing stuff was stored at Strawberry Hill.

  4. enfilade18thc said, on April 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I really did have a most enjoyable time with the extra time in London — as Michael suggests, my experience of being stranded was delightful. I finally made it back home late Thursday evening. Thanks again for your patience!

    -Craig Hanson

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