Update on the Well-Being of the Wellcome Library

Posted in resources by Editor on May 26, 2010

I’m glad to note that I received the following message of assurance from Simon Chaplin, the Head of the Wellcome Library, in regard to my earlier question about the fate of the Library. I observed that it’s difficult for me to imagine the Library without the Centre — it seems that, in fact, the Library is starting to make plans for assuming some of the responsibilities previously handled by the Centre, such as support of visiting scholars. Many thanks, Simon, for the clarification, and my apologies for perpetuating any unreliable information. -C.H.

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I’m happy to say that the decision about the Centre hasn’t raised any questions about the library — our position is very secure. We’re about to embark on a big project to put more of our collections online – the Trust has earmarked four million pounds for this over the next two years, with up to another sixteen million pounds available once the project is up and running – and the numbers of physical users are also going up by 25% a year, so there is no danger that the move to digital will reduce our physical presence. I’ve been talking with colleagues in the Centre and the Trust about how we can support visiting researchers using the library if the Centre moves out of its present location, so we should be able to maintain this service regardless of the changes. I’d be grateful if you could offer Enfilade readers some reassurance on this – there have been several other reports about the Wellcome Library’s ‘closure’, and I’m keen that the rumour doesn’t put down roots. With best wishes – and hoping to see you in the library soon!

Dr Simon Chaplin
Head of the Wellcome Library
Wellcome Library
183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE

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Stubbs and the Politics of Nature

Posted in journal articles, Member News by Editor on May 26, 2010

Recently published in The Oxford Art Journal:

Douglas Fordham, “George Stubbs’s Zoon Politikon,” Oxford Art Journal 33 (March 2010): 1-23.

Abstract: Returning to Alex Potts’s assertion that Georgian animal paintings were conceived ‘as extensions of the social world’, this essay examines two unprecedented canvases that George Stubbs painted for the Second Marquess of Rockingham in the 1760s. I argue that the massive Lion Attacking a Stag and Lion Attacking a Horse are richly coded allegories, in the sense articulated by Walter Benjamin in The Origin of German Tragic Drama, which combine iconographic codes from heraldry, the aristocratic menagerie, thoroughbred breeding, oppositional satire, and Enlightenment science to produce a unique form of ‘heraldic naturalism’. Through a reconstruction of Rockingham’s politics as well as the room in his London townhouse where the paintings were displayed, this article attempts to recover the political implications of George Stubbs’s ‘natural order’ as well as its relation to Edmund Burke’s sublime aesthetic ideology. Ultimately, this article argues that the Rockingham lions
naturalize the claims of landed authority through an innovative response
to immediate domestic and imperial pressures.

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Now Taking Nominations

Posted in nominations by Editor on May 26, 2010

College Art Association Awards
Nominations due by July 31 / August 31

CAA encourages you to make a nomination for the twelve Awards for Distinction for 2011. The different perspectives and anecdotes from multiple personal letters of recommendation provide award juries with a clearer picture of the qualities and attributes of the nominees.

In your letter, state who you are; how you know (of) the nominee; how the nominee and/or his or her work or publication has affected your practice or studies and the pursuit of your career; and why you think this person (or, in a collaboration, these people) deserves to be recognized. We also urge you to contact five to ten colleagues, students, peers, collaborators, and/or coworkers of the nominee to write letters; no more than ten letters are considered. (Letters of support are important for reference, but the awards decisions are the responsibilities of the juries based on their expert assessment of the qualifications of the nominees.)

Nominations for book and exhibition awards (see additional information below) should be for authors of books published or works exhibited or staged between September 1, 2009, and August 31, 2010. Books published posthumously are not eligible. (more…)

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