New Book | Chinese Wallpaper in National Trust Houses

Posted in books by Editor on March 30, 2014

From The East India Company at Home, 1757–1857 Newsletter (March 2014); note that the booklet is available for free download as a PDF file.

Emile de Bruijn, Andrew Bush, and Helen Clifford, Chinese Wallpaper in National Trust Houses (Newcastle upon Tyne: National Trust, 2014), 50 pages.

coverOn the evening of 20 March Emile de Bruijn, Andrew Bush and Helen Clifford were delighted to celebrate the publication of Chinese Wallpaper in National Trust Houses, at the China Tang Suite at the Dorchester Hotel, London, providing the opportunity to thank the contributing team of collaborators including curators, conservators, entrepreneurs and scholars. Special thanks go to the hosts who made this venue possible. Copies of the National Trust’s catalogue of a group of historic Chinese wallpapers based on the latest research and conservation can be bought from Shop.nationaltrust.org.uk. The 50-page booklet is entitled Chinese Wallpapers in National Trust Houses and includes nearly 50 colour pictures, introductory essay, location map of sites including non-NT examples and a bibliography.

The booklet is also available as a PDF file.

More information about the The East India Company at Home Project is available here»


Renovation and Conservation at the YCBA and the Beinecke

Posted in books, museums, resources by Editor on March 30, 2014

For those of you thinking ahead in terms of fellowships at Yale, bear in mind these planned closures for 2014 and 2015. 2016, however, seems like a fine time to be in New Haven!

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From the Beinecke:

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library will undergo a major renovation beginning at the end of May 2015.  The renovation will replace the library’s mechanical systems and expand its research, teaching, storage, and exhibition capabilities. The library will reopen in September 2016.

A temporary reading room in the Sterling Memorial Library will provide researchers access to the library’s collections while work is under way. Beginning in April 2014, access to various collections will be limited as we prepare the library for closure. Please consult our closed collections schedule for information about when specific collections will be unavailable.

We invite you to learn more about the project, and follow our progress as we prepare the library for another 50 years as a world-class center of research and scholarship.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From the YCBA:

. . . Planning is well underway for the second phase of the project, which will take place in 2015. The focus of this next phase will be the renewal of the public galleries on the second, third, and fourth floors, as well as the refurbishment of the Lecture Hall. The project will also address improvements related to life safety and accessibility, and extensive building-wide mechanical and electrical upgrades will be made. Visitors will have limited access to the building and no special exhibitions will be mounted or visiting fellowships awarded. When the Center reopens in January 2016, its collections will be completely reinstalled in the elegant, sky-lit galleries of the fourth floor, and three focused exhibitions, featuring specific aspects of the Center’s collection, will be on view in the second- and third-floor galleries.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From Yale UP

Peter Inskip and Stephen Gee in association with Constance Clement, Louis I. Kahn and the Yale Center for British Art: A Conservation Plan (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 200 pages, ISBN 978-0300171648, $50.

9780300171648The standing of the Yale Center for British Art as one of the world’s great museums and study centers finds expression in its remarkable building, designed by Louis I. Kahn (1901–1974). In this important and innovative volume, two architects offer a plan to ensure the proper stewardship of the building in order to preserve its essence as a great architectural structure. Peter Inskip and Stephen Gee describe the design, construction, and subsequent renovation of the building; assess its cultural significance; analyze the materials that comprise it (steel, concrete, glass, white oak, and travertine); and shed light on its evolution over the four decades since it was built. Drawing on their extensive experience developing conservation plans for both historic sites and modern buildings, they propse a series of policies for the Center’s conservation into the future.

Peter Inskip and Stephen Gee are with the London-based firm Peter Inskip + Peter Jenkins Architects. Constance Clement is Deputy Director of the Yale Center for British Art.

At Auction | Stubbs’s Tygers at Play (Two Leopard Cubs)

Posted in Art Market by Editor on March 30, 2014

George Stubbs, Tygers at Play, 40 by 50 inches, c.1770–75 (est. £4–6 million)

Press release (27 March 2014) from Sotheby’s:

Tygers at Play, one of George Stubbs’s most celebrated works, is to lead Sotheby’s London Evening Sale of Old Master and British Paintings on 9 July 2014. Painted circa 1770–75, this masterful depiction of two leopard cubs ranks among Stubbs’s most popular subjects, reproduced in numerous prints. The painting itself, however, has rarely been seen in public, having been exhibited only four times since its original appearance at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Testament to the artist’s exceptional eye for capturing the animal form, this admirably preserved work boasts impeccable provenance, having been sold only once since it was commissioned from the English painter. It remained in the possession of a single family until 1962, when it was acquired by the present owners. Coming from a distinguished British aristocratic collection, Tygers at Play will be offered with an estimate of £4–6 million.

Talking about the sale of the painting, Julian Gascoigne, Specialist, British Paintings at Sotheby’s commented: “Major big cat compositions by Stubbs very rarely appear at auction. Having only passed through two careful owners since it was painted, this work is in perfect condition, down to the delicate whiskers of the leopards, which is exceptionally rare for a work of this date. Never has the art market been so global and the universal beauty of Stubbs’s animals appeals today to an ever-growing array of collectors across the world. We therefore very much look forward to exhibiting this extraordinary work in Hong Kong, Moscow, New York, and London in the three months leading up to the sale.”

Of Stubbs’s four paintings of leopards, Tygers at Play is by far the most ambitious and dramatic. This rare example of the artist’s understanding of animal anatomy is also illustrative of his preoccupation with wild and exotic animals from the late 1760s and 1770s, which resulted in some of Stubbs’s greatest paintings, including his famous Lion and Horse series (a theme which emanated from his encounter with classical antiquity in Rome in 1754), as well as his famous paintings of an Indian Rhinoceros (c.1790/91, Hunterian Museum, Royal college of Surgeons), a Zebra presented to Queen Charlotte in 1762 (Paul Mellon Collection, Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven), and his portrait of The Kongouro from New Holland, recently acquired by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

The seemingly incorrect title, Tygers at Play, which was used by Stubbs in the Royal Academy exhibition in 1776 and in the lettering for the engraving in 1780, seems curiously old fashioned given the artist’s studious and observant depiction of what are quite clearly leopards. A possible explanation would be that before circa 1750 the word tiger, or tyger was used as the generic term for all striped or spotted members of the cat family that were not lions.

Stubbs’s fascination with exotic animals was partly a symptom of the rise of menageries in mid-18th century London, stocked with wild beast brought back from Africa and India by men like Warren Hastings, and the contemporary fascination with exotic specimens from far off lands, which was fuelled by expeditionary voyages such as Captain Cook’s journey to the South Pacific in 1766 and his subsequent discovery of Australia in 1770.


Worldwide Exhibitions

Hong Kong Convention Centre: 3–7 April 2014
Moscow, New Manege Exhibition Hall: 25–27 April 2014
Sotheby’s New York:
31 May 4 June 2014
Sotheby’s London:
Early July 2014


%d bloggers like this: