Enfilade Turns Two!

Posted in graduate students, opportunities, site information by Editor on June 22, 2011

An 18th-century balloon takes off (Library of Congress); illustration from Jane E. Boyd, "Artificial Clouds and Inflammable Air: The Science and Spectacle of the First Balloon Flights, 1783," 'Chemical Heritage Magazine' (Summer 2009); click to access the article.

After two years and 123,595 hits, I continue to be amazed at how much more the site has become than I ever initially imagined. Thanks to all of you for your kind input, your generosity in sharing news, and above all for your support in reading. To mark the anniversary, I want to make two plugs: one a familiar refrain, the other an announcement regarding the launch of an internship program.

First, if you’re a regular reader, please consider making a financial contribution to the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art & Architecture. Enfilade is produced at absolutely zero costs to HECAA, but the organization needs financial resources to pursue its mission, an important part of which includes modest grants for graduate students. Anyone interested in the period is welcome to become a member; so if you’re reading, consider joining. For current members, now is a good time to send in your dues for 2011 if you’ve not yet done so (just $20/$5 for graduate students). Please also think about making an additional donation to help fund the Dora Wiebenson Prize or the Mary Vidal Memorial Fund. Checks should be sent directly to Denise Baxter (the transition to our new treasurer Jennifer Germann will occur soon, but for now Denise is still glad to cash your checks).

Second, I’m pleased to announce that Enfilade is now accepting applications for a new student internship program. The intern positions are intended to provide art historical experience for M.A. students in Art History, Architectural History, Museum Studies, or other related disciplines (exceptional upper-level undergraduates will also be considered). Duties will primarily consist of researching potential postings, gathering information about upcoming exhibitions, conferences, forthcoming books, &c. Depending upon an intern’s interests, expertise, and location, other projects are also possible. Starting dates are flexible. The internship runs for 8 weeks with the possibility of an extension. Students are expected to work a minimum of 5 hours per week. The position is unpaid, though it will include a one-year HECAA membership. Given the nature of the work, the internship can be completed from anywhere. Requirements:

  • Basic computer skills with online access
  • A minimum of five art history courses
  • Strong writing skills
  • Fluency in English, though additional languages are certainly advantageous

Application materials:

  • Cover letter explaining the applicant’s interests, skills, and plans for the near future
  • C.V.
  • Writing sample of 3-5 pages

Applications should be sent to CraigAshleyHanson@gmail.com

As with everything with Enfilade, the internship program is an experiment. We’ll see how it goes and adjust accordingly. By all means feel free to send your own ideas, thoughts, and concerns. And again, thanks for reading! -CH.

Forthcoming Title: Geoff Quilley, ‘Empire to Nation’

Posted in books by Editor on June 21, 2011

Geoff Quilley, Empire to Nation: Art, History and the Visualization of Maritime Britain, 1768-1829 (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2011), 304 pages, ISBN: 9780300175684, $80.

Empire to Nation offers a new consideration of the image of the sea in British visual culture during a critical period for both the rise of the visual arts in Britain and the expansion of the nation’s imperial power. It argues that maritime imagery was central to cultivating a sense of nationhood in relation to rapidly expanding geographical knowledge and burgeoning imperial ambition. At the same time, the growth of the maritime empire presented new opportunities for artistic enterprise.

Taking as its starting point the year 1768, which marks the foundation of the Royal Academy and the launch of Captain Cook’s first circumnavigation, it asserts that this was not just an interesting coincidence but symptomatic of the relationship between art and empire. This relationship was officially sanctioned in the establishment of the Naval Gallery at Greenwich Hospital and the installation there of J. M. W. Turner’s great Battle of Trafalgar in
1829, the year that closes this study. Between these two poles, the book
traces a changing historical discourse that informed visual representation
of maritime subjects.

Geoff Quilley is senior lecturer in art history at the University of Sussex. He
was formerly curator of fine art at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich,

ECCO Texts and Print-on-Demand Possibilities

Posted in books, resources, teaching resources by Editor on June 20, 2011

While working on an article related to William Cowper’s Myotomia Reformata, I recently discovered that I could purchase a paperback copy for less than $25 at Amazon or Alibris. I was surprised but guessed that these copies were the remainders from a recent printing of the 1724 text. In fact, however, they are the result of a print-on-demand initiative. Here’s the description from Alibris:

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As noted at EMOB, the covers of these new paperbacks do not come from the original books, and in this instance, the selection is hardly ideal. I'm not sure if the editor, Dr. Richard Mead, would be angry, appalled, or merely amused.

The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. In its determination to preserve the century of revolution, Gale initiated a revolution of its own: digitization of epic proportions to preserve these invaluable works in the largest archive of its kind. Now for the first time these high-quality digital copies of original 18th century manuscripts are available in print, making them highly accessible to libraries, undergraduate students, and independent scholars. Medical theory and practice of the 1700s developed rapidly, as is evidenced by the extensive collection, which includes descriptions of diseases, their conditions, and treatments. Books on science and technology, agriculture, military technology, natural philosophy, even cookbooks, are all contained here.++++The below data was compiled from various identification fields in the bibliographic record of this title. This data is provided as an additional tool in helping to insure edition identification: ++++British LibraryT132919Titlepage in red and black. Edited by Richard Mead, assisted by Joseph Tanner, James Jurin and Henry Pemberton. Large paper issue.London: printed for Robert Knaplock, and William and John Innys; and Jacob Tonson, 1724. [12],
lxxvii, [1],194p., plates: ill.; 2.

Condition: New
Publisher: Gale Ecco, Print Editions
Date published: 2010
ISBN-13: 9781140985778
ISBN: 1140985779

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An online search quickly turned up a fine discussion of the issue — not surprisingly — at Early Modern Online Bibliography. Eleanor Shevlin wrote a thoughtful posting on the subject last August, which has thus far occasioned 27 responses. The posting nicely lays out the potential advantages and drawbacks. Most objections relate to concerns over bibliographic completeness and uniformity. I’ve not yet looked to see what the art offerings might look like, but for anyone looking to incorporate primary sources into the classroom, this could be useful. I’ve included below a comment on the posting from Scott Dawson (24 August 2010) that clarifies some of these issues, but by all means have a look at the full discussion at EMOB. -CH. (more…)

The Prado Publishes New Acquisitions Catalogue *Only* Online — It’s Free

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 19, 2011

Is this the future or just an experiment along the way? From the Prado’s website:

José Manuel Matilla, ed., No solo Goya: Adquisiciones para el Gabinete de Dibujos y Estampas del Museo del Prado 1997-2010, exhibition catalogue (Madrid: Prado, 2011), 383 pages, ISBN: 9788484802204.

For the first time in the Museum’s history the catalogue has only been published in on-line format. An innovative new format has been designed that combines the benefits of the traditional printed book with the new possibilities offered by digital formats, such as links, attached archives, image enlargement, bibliographies and automatic searches.

The catalogue offers detailed descriptions and reproductions of the 111 works in the exhibition. The texts are written by curators at the Museum and by outside experts with whom the Museum is working on various projects that are currently in progress.

Evening of Linen at Fenton House

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 18, 2011

As noted at Treasure Hunt (with lovely photos), Selvedge Magazine, in association with the National Trust, is hosting an evening on linen. From the website invitation:

We Love Linen
Fenton House, Hampstead (London), 28 June 2011

Linen cupboard at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire ©NTPL, Nadia Mackenzie / Exterior of Fenton House ©NTPL, Matthew Antrobus

Join Selvedge at Fenton House in Hampstead on Tuesday 28 June. The charming 17th-century merchant’s house which has remained virtually unaltered over the last 300 years of continuous occupation, will provide a period backdrop to our evening dedicated to the beauty of linen. And if the weather is fine there will be a short time to explore the beautifully kept gardens, enjoy a glass of wine and strawberries and cream before the talks begin.

Our first speaker is Amanda Vickery, author of  Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England and our “The Lure of White Linen” article, issue 39, page 22. Amanda will speak about the role of household linens in Georgian England. She will be followed by Elizabeth Baer, who will be sharing her lifelong passion for linen, and the forming of her collection. There will be time after the talks to view some of Elizabeth’s
antique linens and a selection will be available to purchase.
Ticket includes entrance to the house, glass of wine, and
strawberries and cream. Tickets, £35, concessions* £30.

Tickets are available here»

Call for Papers: ‘Art Against the Wall’ at the Courtauld

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 17, 2011

Art Against the Wall
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 19 November 2011

Organized by Thomas Balfe and Jocelyn Anderson

Anon. Fireplace with sculpture of birds, Claydon House, Buckinghamshire, 19th century. Source: Conway Library, The Courtauld Institute of Art

Art against the Wall, the third symposium of The Courtauld’s Early Modern department, will provide an occasion for established and emerging scholars to present and discuss their research together. This one-day symposium will explore the relationship between walls and art in early modern visual culture. During the period 1550-1850 the interplay between work and wall became increasingly complex as art objects began to pull away from the walls which had previously defined them. The enduring association between artistic skill and craft production meant that many art works were often still regarded as elements in overarching decorative schemes; paintings installed in eighteenth-century English domestic interiors, for example, continue to be described as part of the ornamentation, even as the furniture, of a room. Conversely, walls now had the power to redefine art works, giving them a new meaning through a new context; thus, in late sixteenth-century debates on the status of the religious image, walls – which map the division between sacred and secular space – take on crucial importance. Yet the wall could also become art, as the numerous examples of trompe l’oeil wall illustration to be found in seventeenth-century architecture and garden design suggest. Taking as its point of departure Derrida’s insight that there can be no clear separation of ergon (work) from parergon (not-the-work, ‘wall’), the symposium will attempt to investigate the rich questions raised by the phenomenon of art against the wall. We welcome contributions relating to paintings, sculptures, decorative schemes, architecture and works on paper. Topics for discussion may include, but are not limited to: (more…)

2011 Berger Prize for British Art History

Posted in books, Member News by Editor on June 16, 2011

This year’s long list for the Berger Prize includes several HECAA members. Bravo! From The British Art Blog:

Berger Prize 2011 Long List
Books published 1 January-31 December 2010

The Short List of six will be announced in mid-June 2011, and the Award of the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History (worth £5000 to the winner) will be awarded by A.N. Wilson at a ceremony in London UK on the evening of 5 July 2011.

Assessors Timothy J. Standring, Gates Foundation Curator of Painting & Sculpture, Denver Art Museum; Robin Simon, Editor, The British Art Journal; Katharine Eustace, Editor, Sculpture Journal; Rosemary Hill, Fellow, All Souls’ College, Oxford; Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures; Angus Trumble, Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, Yale Center for British Art

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Of the 38 titles on the long list, here’s an assortment of those dealing with the eighteenth century:

• David Nolan and Carolyn Starren, On Public View – A Journey around the Sculptures in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, NOTE published online. Please visit www.rbkc.gov.uk/onpublicview; Chapters download as pdfs with a video introduction to watch on the site

• Celina Fox, The Arts of Industry In the Age of Enlightenment, [2009] 18 February 2010, YUP, ISBN: 9780300160420, £50, pp576, 200 bw, 60 col

• Cherry Ann Knott, George Vernon 1636-1702 ‘Who built this House’. Sudbury Hall Derbyshire, 1 June 2010 Tun House Publishing, ISBN: 9780956524003, £75 (signed limited edition of 500), pp782, illus bw & col

• Katharine Baetjer, British Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575-1875, 30 March 2010 Metropolitan Museum/YUP, ISBN: 9781588393487 (Met Mus), ISBN: 9780300155099 (YUP), £55, pp308, 215 bw, 140 col

• John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery. Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, 8 February 2010 National Portrait Gallery, ISBN: 9781855144101, £125, pp460, 358 bw, 305 col

• John McAleer, Representing Africa: Landscape, Exploration and Empire in Southern Africa, 1780-1870, 1 March 2010 Manchester University Press, ISBN: 9780719081040, £60pp, 241, 16 bw, 9 col

• Cassandra Albinson, Peter Funnell & Lucy Peltz, eds, Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance, Exh cat. 21 October 10 YUP, ISBN: 9780300167184, £40, pp280, 20 bw, 160 col

• Cecilia Powell & Stephen Hebron, Savage Grandeur & Noblest Thoughts: Discovering the Lake District 1750-1820, Exh cat. 2010 Wordsworth Trust, ISBN: 9781905256426, £19.95, many illus in colour

• Mireille Galinou, Cottages & Villas: The Birth of the Garden Suburb, 19 October 2010 YUP, ISBN: 9780300167269, £40, pp480, 55 bw, col 250

• Douglas Fordham, British Art and the Seven Years’ War: Allegiance and Autonomy, 2010 University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN: 9780812242430, £42.50, pp334, 87 bw

• Charlotte Yeldham, Maria Spilsbury (1776-1820), Artist and Evangelical, 1 February 2010 Ashgate, ISBN: 9780754669913, £65, pp230, 73 bw,

• Bernd W Krysmanski, Hogarth’s Hidden Parts, Georg Holms Verlag, Hildesheim, ISBN: 9783487144719, Euros 48, pp514, 304 bw

• Elisabeth Soulier Detis, Guess at the Rest: Cracking the Hogarth Code, 27 May 2010 James Clarke & Co Ltd, ISBN: 139780718892159, £35, 183 bw, pp233

• Jason Kelly, The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and Identity in the British Enlightenment, [2009] 28 January 2010 YUP, ISBN: 9780300152197, £40, pp366, 100 bw, 20 col

• Julian Mitchell, The Wye Tour and its Artists, Exh cat. 2010 Logaston Press, ISBN: 9781906663322, £12.95, pp168, illus bw & col

• Jennifer Scott, The Royal Portrait. Image and Impact, 2010 Royal Collection Enterprises, ISBN: 9781905686131, £19.95, pp200, 157 col

• Ilaria Bignamini and Clare Hornsby, Digging and Dealing in Eighteenth-century Rome, 25 February 2010 YUP, ISBN: 9780300160437, £45, 2 vols, pp630, 200 bw, 50 col

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Update (added 14 July 2011) — As announced on July 5, this year’s winner is

• Charlotte Gere and Judy Rudoe, Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World (London: British Museum Press), 552 pages, ISBN 978-0714128191, £50.

The short list of six titles included these eighteenth-century offerings:

• Celina Fox, The Arts of Industry In the Age of Enlightenment (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), ISBN: 9780300160420, £50.

• Cecilia Powell & Stephen Hebron, Savage Grandeur & Noblest Thoughts: Discovering the Lake District 1750-1820 (Wordsworth Trust, 2010), ISBN: 9781905256426, £19.95

• Ilaria Bignamini and Clare Hornsby, Digging and Dealing in Eighteenth-century Rome (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), ISBN: 9780300160437, £45.

Exhibition: James Cook et al

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 15, 2011

From the museum:

Cook, Melville, and Gauguin: Three Voyages to Paradise
Maritime Museum of San Diego, 27 May 2011 — 1 January 2012

Imagine what treasures one would have seen exploring the Pacific islands in centuries past? The Three Voyages to Paradise exhibit is inspired by those very visions as seen through the eyes of Captain James Cook, author Herman Melville, and painter Paul Gauguin.

Highlighting this extraordinary exhibit are original paintings created by the official expedition artists (William Hodges and John Webber), on James Cook’s second and third Voyages of Discovery. Scientific and navigation instruments from Cook’s time as well as personal effects and Cook memorabilia will also be displayed along with Charts and Pacific artifacts from the period. Paintings, engravings and whaling artifacts representative of Herman Melville’s episodic adventure in the South Seas will be interpreted using select examples of his writings.

Central to the exhibition will be a comprehensive collection of original oil and watercolor paintings, woodblock prints, engravings and sculpture by Paul Gauguin. This exhibit will comprise the largest display of three-dimensional Gauguin masterpieces currently seen anywhere in the world, including a newly discovered Gauguin wood carving on display for the first time in America.

Call for Papers: Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 14, 2011

Conference of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society: Media and Mediation
University of South Carolina, Columbia, 12-15 April 2012

Proposals due 1 December 2011

ECSSS will celebrate its 25th annual conference in Columbia, South Carolina, in April 2012. The conference will explore the varieties of media through which eighteenth-century Scots articulated or created both individual voices and communal understandings. Papers and sessions may focus on any aspects of cultural mediation or forms of oral and written media in the broadest sense, including manuscript culture journals, letters, notebooks, and marginalia), aural culture (sermons, songs, conversation, and academic lectures), and print culture (from stately folios and elegant octavos, to pamphlets, newspapers, broadsides, and chapbooks). Papers focused on the mediators rather than the media-authors, diarists, scholars, orators, readers and listeners, singers and composers, editors, critics, and members of the book trades-are equally welcome, as are Conference sessions will be held in the new Hollings Special Collections Library, home of the G. Ross Roy Collection of Robert Burns & Scottish Literature, and other Scottish collections. Plenary sessions will include the 2012 W. Ormiston Roy Memorial Lecture by Professor Nigel Leask, Regius Professor of English, University of Glasgow, speaking on the cultural functions of commonplace books. (more…)

This Week’s Romantic Objects Seminar in London: Blake and Varley

Posted in books, exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 13, 2011

Philippa Simpson and Sibylle Erle, Varley’s Visionary Heads and Blake’s The Ghost of a Flea
Institute of English Studies, University of London, 15 June 2011

William Blake, "The Ghost of a Flea," ca. 1819-20, tempera heightened with gold on mahogany support (London: Tate Britain)

Romantic Objects is a seminar series that runs over two terms (Spring and Summer) on Wednesdays 5:30-7:30, as part of the inter-university seminar in Romantic Studies at Senate House, co-organized by Birkbeck and the Open University at the Institute of English Studies. This series of seminars will rethink Romantic period material culture in the tension between Romantic attempts to recenter aesthetic experience as subjective just as a new culture of exhibitions, viewing, and collecting practices defines the centrality of objects. The aim is to provide a forum for graduate students, scholars, and curators working in the period 1750-1850 or on questions relating to objects, exhibitions, material culture.

This week’s seminar features Dr Philippa Simpson (Tate Britain) and Dr Sibylle Erle (Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln) on John Varley’s Visionary Heads and William Blake’s The Ghost of a Flea. Erle and Simpson curated the current display of Blake and Physiognomy at Tate Britain. Erle is the author of Blake, Lavater and Physiognomy (2010). Simpson, an expert in late eighteenth-century exhibition culture and the
reception of the old masters, co-curated the exhibition Turner and the
. The seminar takes place Wednesday, 15 June, 17:30-19:30, in
STB8 Stewart House, basement, 32 Russell Square. All are welcome!

Alexander Gilchrist, Life of Blake (1863), pp. 249-57, (via Googlebooks)

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Sibylle Erle, Blake, Lavater, and Physiognomy (Oxford: Legenda, 2010), 244 pages, ISBN: 9781906540692, $89.

ISBN: 9781906540692

William Blake never travelled to the continent, and yet his creation myth is far more European than has so far been acknowledged. His early illuminated books, of the 1790s, run alongside his professional work as a copy-engraver on Henry Hunter’s translation of Johann Caspar Lavater’s Essays on Physiognomy (1789-98) — work in which Blake helped to make a likeness of a book about likenesses. For Blake, as for Lavater, Henry Fuseli, Joshua Reynolds, and others of his age, the art of the portrait was to find the right balance between likeness and type. Blake, Lavater, and Physiognomy demonstrates how the problems occurring during the production of the Hunter translation resonate in Blake’s treatment of the Genesis story. Blake takes us back to the creation of the human body, and interrogates the idea that ‘God created man after his own likeness’. He introduces the ‘Net of Religion’, a device which presses the human form into material shape, giving it personality and identity. As Erle shows, Blake’s startlingly original take on the creation myth is informed by Lavater’s pursuit of physiognomy: the search for divine likeness, traced in the faces of their contemporary men.

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Blake and Physiognomy
Tate Britain, London, 8 November 2010 — 17 April 2011

Curated by Philippa Simpson and Sibylle Erle

[There is] not a man who does not judge of all things…by their physiognomy;

that is, of their internal worth by their external appearance.

–Johann Caspar Lavater

Johann Caspar Lavater’s Essays on Physiognomy, translated into English in 1789, catalysed a vogue for the theory that people’s characters could be read in their features. Although this would seem to serve as a model of detached observation and scientific classification, Lavater saw these judgements as stemming from an instinctive understanding of expression and appearance. At the heart of his work was a strongly-held Christian belief, according to which all forms were divinely created, and derived from the one perfect God. Lavater’s ideas were also informed by eighteenth-century codes of racial stereotyping that are deeply troubling to the modern reader.

Many British artists, including William Blake, experimented with physiognomic systems in their work. Blake’s involvement, though, was closer than most. He not only engraved illustrations for the 1789 translation of Lavater’s book but, over thirty years later collaborated with his friend, artist and astrologer John Varley, on a publication entitled Zodiacal Physiognomy. This book sought to attribute character according to time of birth, and Varley used prints after Blake’s works to illustrate different star signs. These enterprises suggest that Blake’s visual language, which often seems highly innovative – even idiosyncratic – may be read in the context of broader pseudo-scientific and artistic trends.

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