Enfilade

Reviewed: The English Virtuoso

Posted in books, Member News, reviews by Editor on February 3, 2012

On a personal note, I want to say how much I appreciate Janice Neri’s thoughtful review. Her reading of my book is, I think, careful and fair. More importantly, her questions and criticisms are spot-on. Thanks as well to Laura Auricchio for doing such a terrific job coordinating reviews as the field editor for the eighteenth century! -CH

Recently added to caa.reviews:

Craig Ashley Hanson, The English Virtuoso: Art, Medicine, and Antiquarianism in the Age of Empiricism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 344 pages, ISBN: 9780226315874, $50.

Reviewed by Janice Neri, Boise State University; posted 28 December 2011.

To the modern day reader, hospitals and scientific societies might seem to be unlikely settings for exhibiting and discussing contemporary art. In ‘The English Virtuoso: Art, Medicine, and Antiquarianism in the Age of Empiricism‘, Craig Ashley Hanson shows how it made perfect sense that such venues would foster art theory and practice in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England. The leading role in this book is played by the figure of the virtuoso, whose eclectic interests were united under the umbrella of curiosity. Encompassing activities as wide ranging as medicine (learned and unlearned), classical studies, and art collecting, patronage, practice, and theory, Hanson’s study of English virtuoso culture makes an important contribution to an understanding of the intellectual foundations of art scholarship and writing. In illuminating the complex world of the virtuoso, this insightful book also shows how early forms of interdisciplinarity actually worked. Drawing connections between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, ‘The English Virtuoso’ provides an opportunity to reflect on the ways that boundaries were often blurred between intersecting areas of knowledge. . . .

The full review is available here» (CAA membership required)

Reviewed: Architectural Space in Eighteenth-Century Europe

Posted in books, Member News, reviews by Editor on February 3, 2012

Recently added to caa.reviews:

Denise Amy Baxter and Meredith Martin, eds., Architectural Space in Eighteenth-Century Europe: Constructing Identities and Interiors (Burlington: Ashgate, 2010), 284 pages, ISBN: 9780754666509), $119.95.

Reviewed by Heather Hyde Minor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; posted 13 December 2011.

Eighteenth-century Europe was home to a dazzling array of architectural interiors, from priest-holes designed to hide ecclesiastics from Protestant authorities in England to the home theaters of courtesans in Paris. Diverse characters populated these domains. Bluestockings gathered in a Chinoiserie room while guests waited to be served refreshments before taking in Europe’s premier public collection of ancient sculpture.

‘Architectural Space in Eighteenth-Century Europe’ examines all of these environments and personages, exploring the role architecture and interiors played in fashioning identity in the eighteenth century. The ten essays that it gathers together seek to demonstrate that these spaces served to form a sense of self in creative ways. The book’s editors, Denise Amy Baxter and Meredith Martin, are to be commended for addressing this important question, one that spans a range of fields, and for gathering essays written by scholars from a range of disciplines. Contributing to the recent explosion of interest in eighteenth-century interiors, the volume builds on the work of Katie Scott, Mimi Hellman (both of whom are cited in the introduction), and others. . . .

The full review is available here» (CAA membership required)