Communion Silver Acquired for Birmingham

Posted in Art Market, the 18th century in the news by Editor on August 22, 2010

Press release from the Art Fund (10 August 2010) . . .

A rare collection of communion silver – with some pieces dating back over 500 years – has just been bought for Birmingham with the help of a £27,000 grant from the Art Fund.  The collection consists of a rare pre-Reformation silver parcel-gilt paten engraved with the Manus Dei (‘Hand of God’) c.1450; a silver communion cup (1634) and a pair of silver flagons and standing paten by London silversmith Anthony Nelme. The flagons are engraved with the inscription: ‘A Gift to Castle Bromwich Chapple in the Year 1723’. The silver will initially go on display at Aston Hall, until the end of October, and will then move to its permanent home at Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery.

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: “This historic Anglican Communion highlights the history of the local Church and also shows off the work of a leading silversmith. We’re really pleased that Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery will now be its permanent home, so people can admire it for years to come.”

The other funding partners who helped reach the full £54,000 asking price were the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund (£17,000), City of Birmingham Museums & Art Galleries Development Trust (£10,000) and Friends of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (£2,000).

Call for Papers: Graduate Conference on Imagining Europe

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 22, 2010

LUICD Graduate Conference 2011
Imagining Europe: Perspectives, Perceptions and Representations from Antiquity to the Present

Leiden University Institute for Cultural Disciplines, 27-28 January 2011

Proposals due by 1 November 2010

Confirmed key note speakers:
Professor Edith Hall, Royal Holloway, University of London
Professor Jonathan Israel, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University

‘Qui parle Europe a tort. Notion géographique’. Otto von Bismarck’s elliptic remark, scribbled in the margin of a letter from Alexander Gorchakov in 1876, would go on to become one of the most often-quoted statements about Europe. But was Bismarck right? Is Europe nothing but a geographical notion? Even the briefest glance at history shows that more often than not perceptions and definitions of Europe go beyond the mere geographical demarcation of a continent. In 1919, for instance, Paul Valéry imagined Europe as a living creature, with ‘a consciousness acquired through centuries of bearable calamities, by thousands of men of the first rank, from innumerable geographical, ethnic and historical coincidences’. Of course this is only one of a multitude of different representations. Europe has always signified different things to different people in different places – inside Europe as well as outside. Europe meant, for instance, something different to Voltaire, l’aubergiste d’Europe, at Ferney in the 1760s than to Athanasius Kircher in Rome a century earlier or to Barack Obama in Washington today. (more…)