Enfilade

Exhibition: ‘Making History: Antiquaries in Britain’

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 22, 2011

Making History: Antiquaries in Britain
McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 4 September — 11 December 2011
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2 February — 27 May 2012

Making History celebrates the achievements of the Society of Antiquaries of London, the oldest independent learned society concerned with the study of the past. The exhibition, featuring one hundred works selected from the Society’s treasures (with a number of additions from the collections at the Center), focuses on the discovery, recording, preservation, and interpretation of Britain’s past through its material remains. It explores beliefs current before the Society was founded in 1707, and reveals how new discoveries, technologies, and interpretations have transformed our understanding of the history of Britain since the eighteenth century.

Making History is organized into nine sections. Highlights include antiquities such as a rare Late Bronze Age shield (ca. 1300–1100 BCE) discovered on a farm in Scotland in 1779; an early copy of the Magna Carta (ca. 1225); a medieval processional cross reportedly recovered from the battlefield of Bosworth (1485); the inventory (1550–51) of Henry VIII’s possessions at the time of his death; and a forty-foot-long illuminated “roll chronicle” on parchment detailing the genealogical descent of Henry II from Adam and Eve. Also on display will be an extraordinary collection of English royal portraits painted on panel, from Henry VI to Mary Tudor.

The exhibition is organized by the Society of Antiquaries of London in association with the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, and the Center. It will be on display at the McMullen Museum of Art from September 9, 2011, to January 2, 2012, where the organizing curator is Nancy Netzer, Director. The organizing curator at the Center is Elisabeth Fairman, Senior Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

More information is available at the exhibition website.