Internet Archive Book Images Now Available via Flickr Commons

Posted in resources by Editor on August 31, 2014


Image from page 274 of Comte de Caylus, Recueil d’antiquités égyptiennes, étrusques, greques et romaines (Paris : Desaint & Saillant, 1752). More information is available here»

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

As noted here at Enfilade in December, the British Library made available over a million images from the pages of seventeenth-, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century books via Flickr Commons. The BBC now reports that Georgetown University Fellow in Residence Kalev Leetaru has uploaded 2.6 million pictures sourced from books digitized by the Internet Archive. Publication dates range from 1500 to 1922. All images are tagged and available for free download. A quick search for Caylus turned up the image shown above. Search options are limited, and it took me a few moments just to work out how to search only within the Internet Archive Book Images, as opposed to all of Flickr (proof only of my own clumsiness; once you start typing in the main search box in the upper right hand corner, you should see a photostream option appear just below). How useful this resource is will depend upon what sort of search you’re attempting, but the possibilities seem extraordinary. In addition to the news story excerpted below, the Flickr Blog provides further information. CH

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Leo Kelion, “Millions of Historic Images Posted to Flickr,” BBC News (29 August 2014).

An American academic is creating a searchable database of 12 million historic copyright-free images.

Kalev Leetaru has already uploaded 2.6 million pictures to Flickr, which are searchable thanks to tags that have been automatically added. The photos and drawings are sourced from more than 600 million library book pages scanned in by the Internet Archive organisation. The images have been difficult to access until now. Mr Leetaru said digitisation projects had so far focused on words and ignored pictures.

“For all these years all the libraries have been digitising their books, but they have been putting them up as PDFs or text searchable works,” he told the BBC. “They have been focusing on the books as a collection of words. This inverts that. . . .”

The full BBC story is available here»


◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

More about the Internet Archive, from the Wikipedia entry on the organization:

Internet_Archive_logo_and_wordmarkThe Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of “universal access to all knowledge.”[2][3] It provides permanent storage of and free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books. As of October 2012, its collection topped 10 petabytes.[4][5] In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating for a free and open Internet. . .


2. “Internet Archive Frequently Asked Questions.” Internet Archive. Retrieved April 13, 2013.

3. “Internet Archive: Universal Access to all Knowledge.” Internet Archive. Retrieved April 13, 2013.

4. “10,000,000,000,000,000 bytes archived!” Internet Archive Blogs. October 26, 2012. “On Thursday, 25 October, hundreds of Internet Archive supporters, volunteers, and staff celebrated addition of the 10,000,000,000,000,000th byte to the Archive’s massive collections.”

5. Brown, A. (2006). Archiving Websites: A Practical Guide for Information Management Professionals. London: Facet Publishing. p. 9.

New Book | Geometrical Objects

Posted in books by Editor on August 31, 2014

From Susan Klaiber’s blog (14 August 2014) . . .

What began as a small session at the Society of Architectural Historians 2005 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, and then developed into a very collegial two-day conference in Oxford in 2007, has now been published by Springer in both hardcover and e-book formats.

Anthony Gerbino, ed., Geometrical Objects: Architecture and the Mathematical Sciences, 1400–1800 Archimedes 38 (Cham: Springer, 2014), 318 pages, ISBN: 978-3319059976, $180.

9783319059976_p0_v2_s600This volume explores the mathematical character of architectural practice in diverse pre- and early modern contexts. It takes an explicitly interdisciplinary approach, which unites scholarship in early modern architecture with recent work in the history of science, in particular, on the role of practice in the scientific revolution. As a contribution to architectural history, the volume contextualizes design and construction in terms of contemporary mathematical knowledge, attendant forms of mathematical practice, and relevant social distinctions between the mathematical professions. As a contribution to the history of science, the volume presents a series of micro-historical studies that highlight issues of process, materiality, and knowledge production in specific, situated, practical contexts. Our approach sees the designer’s studio, the stone-yard, the drawing floor, and construction site not merely as places where the architectural object takes shape, but where mathematical knowledge itself is deployed, exchanged, and amplified among various participants in the building process.​

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊


Introduction by Anthony Gerbino

Part I: Foundations
Bernard Cache, ‘Proportion and Continuous Variation in Vitruvius’s De Architectura’

Part II: Mathematics and Material Culture in Italian Renaissance Architecture
Francesco Benelli, ‘The Palazzo Del Podestà in Bologna: Precision and Tolerance in a Building all’Antica
Ann C. Huppert, ‘Practical Mathematics in the Drawings of Baldassarre Peruzzi and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger’
David Friedman, ‘Geometric Survey and Urban Design: A Project for the Rome of Paul IV (1555–1559)’

Part III: The Baroque Institutional Context
Susan Klaiber, ‘Architecture and Mathematics in Early Modern Religious Orders’
Kirsti Andersen, ‘The Master of Painted Architecture: Andrea Pozzo, S. J. and His Treatise on Perspective’

Part IV: Narratives for the Birth of Structural Mechanics
Jacques Heyman, ‘Geometry, Mechanics, and Analysis in Architecture’
Pascal Dubourg Glatigny, ‘Epistemological Obstacles to the Analysis of Structures: Giovanni Bottari’s Aversion to a Mathematical Assessment of Saint-Peter’s Dome (1743)’
Filippo Camerota, ‘Scientific Concepts of Beauty in Architecture: Vitruvius Meets Descartes, Galileo, and Newton’

Part V: Architecture and Mathematical Practice in the Enlightenment
Jeanne Kisacky, ‘Breathing Room: Calculating an Architecture of Air’
David Yeomans, Jason M. Kelly, and Frank Salmon, ‘James “Athenian” Stuart and the Geometry of Setting Out’


Exhibition | Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 30, 2014

OF HEAVEN--12_Casali_lg

Andrea Casali, Triumph of Galatea, ca. 1740–65, oil on canvas,
28 x 34 inches, 71.5 x 87.2 cm (Glasgow Museums Collection)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Nearing the end of its run in Allentown and opening soon in Milwaukee:

Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 24 August — 17 November 2013
Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, 14 December 2013 — 9 March 2014
Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 8 June — 7 September 2014
Milwaukee Art Museum, 2 October 2014 — 4 January 2015
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 6 February — 3 May 2015

Curated by Peter Humfrey

Starting in October, the Milwaukee Art Museum welcomes some of the biggest names in European art in its fall exhibition Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums, organized by the American Federation of Arts and Glasgow Museums. Displayed in five chronological sections, Of Heaven and Earth will include paintings originating from the principal artistic centers of Italy—Rome, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Naples, and Venice—and will present the works of artists such as Giovanni Bellini, Sandro Botticelli, Domenichino, Francesco Guardi, Salvator Rosa, and Titian alongside those of lesser-known masters.

“With works by some of the most significant European masters like Giovanni Bellini, Sandro Botticelli, and Titian, Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums will examine the thematic and stylistic developments in Italian art—from the religious paintings of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance to the secular neoclassical and genre paintings of the nineteenth century,” said Daniel Keegan, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum. “The remarkable regional and historical breadth of the exhibition will also showcase the outstanding quality of Glasgow Museums’ collection.”

“This sumptuous exhibition presents the works of famous artists that even some art historians wait a lifetime to see,” said Tanya Paul, the Isabel and Alfred Bader Curator of European Art at the Milwaukee Art Museum. “Most of the paintings have never traveled to America before, and many have been conserved specifically for this presentation.”

Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums is organized by the American Federation of Arts and Glasgow Museums and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. The exhibition tour is generously supported by the JFM Foundation and the Donald and Maria Cox Charitable Fund. In-kind support is provided by Barbara and Richard S. Lane and Christie’s.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Peter Humfrey, Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums (Glasgow, 2013), 192 pages, ISBN: 978-1908638021, £16.

514sX-MivuL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_This catalogue looks at 41 of the key works from the Glasgow Museums’ collection of Italian Art, with insightful commentary on each piece. Also included are short introductions to the art history of the periods during which the works were made. Glasgow Museums owns one of the finest collections of Italian art in Northern Europe. Its richness derives from the great industrial and mercantile wealth that Glasgow enjoyed in the nineteenth century as the Second City of the British Empire and the fourth richest city in Europe, as well as from the generosity and civic pride of her citizens. The collection is remarkable for both the quality and interest of individual works and for its chronological range.

An internationally renowned specialist in Italian art history, Peter Humfrey teaches at the University of St. Andrews.

At Auction | Un Bureau Plat by André-Charles Boulle

Posted in Art Market by Editor on August 29, 2014


André-Charles Boulle, Bureau-plat aux têtes de satyre, ca. 1720.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Press release from Koller Auctions for its upcoming Furniture & Sculpture Sale:

Koller Auctions presents a bureau plat by the most important French cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle to be offered at the upcoming auction for furniture and decoration in Zurich on September 18, 2014 [Sale A170, Lot 1078]. It is the discovery of a previously unknown masterpiece and the world’s first auction of a Boulle desk since 2005. The estimate for this museum piece is set at CHF 1.5 to 2.5 million (€1.25 to 2.083 million). In the early 18th century, André-Charles Boulle, first cabinetmaker at the court of the Sun King Louis XIV, delivered one of his prestigious writing tables (bureau plat) to a French aristocratic family, where it remained and was passed down over the centuries within the family until it eventually reached private castle estate in western Switzerland. Here it was rediscovered by Koller and consigned to an auction. The excellent quality of the desk, the complete provenance, and the fact that this piece of furniture has been unknown to the art market and research to date makes this current discovery a sensation.

1078_4The large, four-legged bureaux plats by André-Charles Boulle can be divided into three categories: desks with rolled corner bronzes, desks with têtes de femme, and desks with têtes de satyre. The latter made by Boulle as early as 1690 in several variations, for which reason it is his largest category. Among them is the example offered at Koller Auctions on September 18. It was created around 1720 in the style of the Regency, measures 195 x 98 x 80 cm, and is made of ebony and red and brown tortoiseshell. It offers an extremely fine brass inlay in the form of flowers, cartouches, and leaves. The desktop is covered with black leather and rests on the typical, distinctive curved legs. The desks name derives from the lush bronze fittings, designed as satyrs, gargoyles, leaves, and decorative friezes.

1078_5All known desks aux têtes de satyre can be found in the most prestigious museums of the world. The one to be offered at Koller is almost identical to the bureau plat acquired in 1985 by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Four other specimens are in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, The Wallace Collection in London, The Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, and at The Frick Collection in New York. Boulle desks are very rarely found at auction. The last time a comparable bureau plat was offered for sale was on 14 December 2005 as part of the famous Wildenstein auction in London. At that time the piece achieved 2.9 million pounds [Christie’s Sale 7171, Lot 15].

The bureaux plats of André-Charles Boulle were already much desired among the most important exponents of his time. The list of original first owners therefore stretches from family members of King Louis XIV, to King Philip V of Spain, the Prince of Condé, Cardinal Prince de Rohan, the financier family Bernard to the ministers of Louis XV, such as his infamous Treasurer, Abbot Joseph Marie Terray. The early popularity of such desks is also
apparent in the numerous illustrations from the 18th century.

Click on the two smaller pictures for extraordinarily rich images.

André-Charles Boulle and His Work

André-Charles Boulle was born on November 10 1642 in Paris, where he later died, on Saturday, 1 March 1732. His long and successful career as a cabinetmaker makes him one of the most important figures in the history of art under King Louis XIV and the Regency era. This success is due, in addition to the perfect aesthetics of his furniture, in particular to an ambitious business plan, according to which Boulle as designer of exclusive furniture made from innovative materials had his designs implemented by the greatest craftsmen and artists in his workshop. Thereby Boulle controlled the production and guaranteed their uniformity. Already at the age of 29, on instruction of Louis XIV and by decree of Maria Theresa, he received one of the coveted logements under the gallery of the Louvre on May 20 1672, where he worked until old age.

Due to the high degree of organisation of work, which he introduced in his workshop after bottlenecks in production and conflicts with dealers, he could still coordinate 17 bureaux plats at the same time at the age of 78. He was able to counter the extremely time-consuming production of luxury furniture by relying on prefabrication. The furniture, especially the desks, were stored in a kind of raw state, only completed in their basic structure with partial Marquetry and not yet decorated with bronze fittings. This made it possible for Boulle’s studio to adjust and complete the furniture according to the customer requirements, despite the time pressure. Albeit his success, recurring financial difficulties, such as outstanding wage payments to his employees and tax problems, forced André-Charles Boulle to sign over his company to his four sons in 1715, without, however, giving away the reins.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Note (added 28 September 2014 ) — From the post-sale press release:

The sensational result of 3 million Swiss francs [3.15 million USD] obtained for the writing desk by the French cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle was the highlight of the furniture auction (Lot 1078). This is the highest price ever paid for a piece of furniture at an auction in Switzerland and one of the highest prices ever paid for a piece of furniture world-wide. A private collector from London outbid three telephone bidders and an interested party in the auction hall. . . .

New Book | Re-Interpreting Blackstone’s Commentaries

Posted in books by Editor on August 29, 2014

From Hart Publishing:

Wilfrid Prest, ed., Re-Interpreting Blackstone’s Commentaries: A Seminal Text in National and International Contexts (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2014), 221 pages, ISBN: 978-1849465380, £50 / $100.

9781849465380_p0_v1_s600This collection explores the remarkable impact and continuing influence of William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, from the work’s original publication in the 1760s down to the present. Contributions by cultural and literary scholars, and intellectual and legal historians trace the manner in which this truly seminal text has established its authority well beyond the author’s native shores or his own limited lifespan.

In the first section, ‘Words and Visions’, Kathryn Temple, Simon Stern, Cristina S. Martinez, and Michael Meehan discuss the Commentaries‘ aesthetic and literary qualities as factors contributing to the work’s unique status in Anglo-American legal culture. The second group of essays traces the nature and dimensions of Blackstone’s impact in various jurisdictions outside England, namely Quebec (Michel Morin), Louisiana, and the United States more generally (John W. Cairns and Stephen M. Sheppard), North Carolina (John V. Orth) and Australasia (Wilfrid Prest). Finally Horst Dippel, Paul Halliday, and Ruth Paley examine aspects of Blackstone’s influential constitutional and political ideas, while Jessie Allen concludes the volume with a personal account of ‘Reading Blackstone in the Twenty-First Century and the Twenty-First Century through Blackstone’. This volume is a sequel to the well-received collection Blackstone and his Commentaries: Biography, Law, History (Hart Publishing, 2009).

Wilfrid Prest is Professor Emeritus in Law and History at the University of Adelaide.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊


I. Words and Visions
1. Kathryn Temple, Blackstone’s ‘Stutter’: The (Anti)Performance of the Commentaries
2. Simon Stern, William Blackstone: Courtroom Dramatist?
3. Cristina S. Martinez, Blackstone as Draughtsman: Picturing the Law
4. Blackstone’s Commentaries: England’s Legal Georgic? Michael Meehan

II. Beyond England
5. John W. Cairns, Blackstone in the Bayous: Inscribing Slavery in the Louisiana Digest of 1808
6. Stephen M. Sheppard, Legal Jambalaya
7. Michel Morin, Blackstone and the Birth of Quebec’s Distinct Legal Culture, 1765–1867
8. John V. Orth, Blackstone’s Ghost: Law and Legal Education in North Carolina
9. Wilfrid Prest, Antipodean Blackstone

III. Law and Politics
10. Paul D. Halliday, Blackstone’s King
11. Ruth Paley, Modern Blackstone: The King’s Two Bodies, the Supreme Court and the President
12. Horst Dippel, Blackstone’s Commentaries and the Origins of Modern Constitutionalism
13. Jessie Allen, Reading Blackstone in the Twenty-First Century and the Twenty-First Century through Blackstone

New Book | Display of Art in the Roman Palace, 1550–1750

Posted in books by Editor on August 28, 2014

Just published by the Getty Research Institute (growing out of a 2010 conference) . . .

Gail Feigenbaum, ed., Display of Art in the Roman Palace, 1550–1750 (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2014), 384 pages, ISBN 978-1606062982, $75.

9781606062982_grandeThis book explores the principles of the display of art in the magnificent Roman palaces of the early modern period, focusing attention on how the parts function to convey multiple artistic, social, and political messages, all within a splendid environment that provided a model for aristocratic residences throughout Europe. Many of the objects exhibited in museums today once graced the interior of a Roman Baroque palazzo or a setting inspired by one. In fact, the very convention of a paintings gallery—the mainstay of museums—traces its ancestry to prototypes in the palaces of Rome.

Inside Roman palaces, the display of art was calibrated to an increasingly accentuated dynamism of social and official life, activated by the moving bodies and the attention of residents and visitors. Display unfolded in space in a purposeful narrative that reflected rank, honor, privilege, and intimacy.

With a contextual approach that encompasses the full range of media, from textiles to stucco, this study traces the influential emerging concept of a unified interior. It argues that art history—even the emergence of the modern category of fine art—was worked out as much in the rooms of palaces as in the printed pages of Vasari and other early writers on art.

Gail Feigenbaum is associate director of the Getty Research Institute. She has published widely on early modern art and is coeditor of Provenance: An Alternate History of Art (Getty Publications, 2012) and Sacred Possessions: Collecting Italian Religious Art, 1500–1900 (Getty Publications, 2011).

The table of contents is available at Amazon.com

Call for Papers | Lost Museums Colloquium

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 27, 2014

From The Jenks Society:

Lost Museums Colloquium
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 7–8 May 2015

Proposals due by 15 September 2014

In conjunction with the year-long exhibition project examining Brown University’s lost Jenks Museum, the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, and the John Carter Brown Library invite paper proposals for a colloquium on lost artifacts, collections and museums. (Other formats—conceptual, poetic, and artistic—are also invited.)

Museums, perhaps more than any other institutions, think in the very long term: collections are forever. But the history of museums is more complicated than that. Museums disappear for many reasons, from changing ideas about what’s worth saving to the devastation of war. Museum collections disappear: deaccessioned, traded away, repatriated, lost to changing interests and the ravages of time.

We are interested in this process of decline and decay, the taphonomy of institutions and collections, as a way of shedding light not only on the history of museums and libraries, but also on the ways in which material things reflect and shape the practices of science and the humanities, and also to help museums think about current and future practices of collections and collections use. We invite presentations from historians, curators, registrars, and collections managers, as well as from artists and activists, on topics including:

Histories of museums and types of museums: We welcome case studies of museums and categories of museums that are no more. What can we learn from museums that are no more? Cast museums, commercial museums, and dime museums have mostly disappeared. Cabinets of curiosity went out of and back into fashion. Why? What is their legacy?
Artifacts: How do specimens degrade? How have museums come to think of permanence and ephemerality? How do museums use, and ‘use up’ collections, either for research (e.g., destructive sampling), or for education and display; how have they thought about the balance of preservation and use? How can they collect the ephemeral?
Museum collection history: How long does art and artifact really remain in the museum? Might the analysis of museum databases cast new light on the long-term history and use of collections?
‘Lost and found’ in the museum: How are art and artifacts ‘rediscovered’ in museums? How do old collections regain their importance, both in artistic revivals and in new practices of ‘mining’ the museum as artists finding new uses for old objects?
Museum collections policy: How have ideas about deaccessioning changed? How should they change? How do new laws, policies, and ethics about the repatriation of collections shape ideas about collections?
Museums going out of business: When a museum needs to close for financial or other reasons, what’s the best way to do that? Are there good case studies and legal and financial models?
The future of museum collections: How might museums think about collecting the ephemeral, or collecting for ‘impermanent’ collections. What new strategies should museums consider for short-term collecting? How might digitization and scanning shape ideas about the permanence of collections?

Papers from the Colloquium may be published as a special issue of the Museum History Journal. If you’d like to present at the conference, please send an abstract of about 250 words and a brief CV to Steven Lubar, lubar@brown.edu. Deadline for submission of paper proposals is September 15, 2014.

Steven Lubar
Department of American Studies
John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage

Exhibition | The Spanish Gesture: Drawings from Murillo to Goya

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 26, 2014


Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Two Groups of Picadors Overrun Consecutively by a Single Bull, 1814–16. Red chalk and red-ink wash on laid paper
(Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kupferstichkabinett 38541; photo by Christoph Irrgang)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From the Meadows Museum:

The Spanish Gesture: Drawings from Murillo to Goya in the Hamburger Kunsthalle
Dibujos españoles en la Hamburger Kunsthalle: Cano, Murillo y Goya
Meadows Museum, Dallas, 25 May — 31 August 2014
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 30 October 2014 — 8 February 2015

Curated by Jens Hoffmann-Samland

The Kupferstichkabinett (collection of prints and drawings) at the Kunsthalle of Hamburg holds, alongside Florence, Paris and London, one of the most significant collections of Spanish drawings to be found outside of Spain. This is perhaps surprising at first, given that the Hanseatic city of Hamburg has historically not been a stronghold of Catholicism. Indeed, the reason for this lies in a single, rather chance purchase by the first director of the Kunsthalle, Alfred Lichtwark (1852–1914); the motivation for this acquisition was as spontaneous as it was personal.


Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Prince Balthasar Carlos as Hunter (after Velázquez), 1778–79. Red crayon over preliminary drawing in pencil. (Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kupferstichkabinett 38540; photo by Christoph Irrgang)

In 1891, the London art and antiques dealer Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) offered for sale a mixed lot of Spanish and Italian drawings to the Berlin Museum. There, however, the budget had already been depleted by the purchase of a different collection. Lichtwark viewed the drawings in Berlin and, since they “pleased him greatly,” he immediately and successfully went about securing the necessary £180, thus acquiring them for Hamburg.

A few years later, however, the quality of the extraordinary collection, which today comprises over 200 drawings, had already faded from memory. When August L. Mayer (1885–1944) inquired as to whether there were any Spanish drawings in the Hamburg collection that he could include in his planned publication of 150 drawings by Spanish masters to be published by The Hispanic Society of America in 1915, he was told that “it contains almost nothing of significance.” As a result, the drawings went unheeded for a considerable length of time. There followed—at intervals of about thirty-five to forty years—a small in-house exhibition in 1931, a slightly larger exhibition in 1966 with additional items from the Museo Nacional del Prado and the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid, and another smaller presentation in 2005 comprising forty-five works of art. To be certain, some important and, by now, famous works from the Hamburg collection have often traveled to different venues. The Spanish Gesture: Drawings from Murillo to Goya in the Kunsthalle, Hamburg is the first exhibition to present this exquisite collection on a larger scale, 123 years after it was first bought by the Kunsthalle of Hamburg.

A great part of the core of today’s Hamburg collection was assembled by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682) and was produced in and around the Academia de Murillo he established in Seville in 1660 with Francisco Herrera the Younger (1622-1685), Juan de Valdés Leal (1622–1690), Cornelis Schut (1629–1685) and others. Highlights from this period include Murillo’s Assumption of the Virgin (c. 1665); a pen-and-ink drawing, Nobleman in a Landscape (c. 1660), attributed to Herrera the Younger; Head of St. John the Baptist (1654–55) by Valdés Leal; and Alonso Cano’s (1601–1667) Sketch for the Altar of St. Catherine. The Hamburg Kupferstichkabinett holds the largest group of half-length holy figures, understood to represent the twelve apostles, by Francisco Herrera the Elder (c. 1590–1656), created around 1640–50, and this exhibition will display all twelve works together for the first time.

Representing the later end of the collection is a number of drawings by Francisco Goya (1746–1828). Together with his Tauromaquia prints and drawings from Goya’s “Album B,” the collection holds the majority of Goya’s drawings after Diego Velázquez (1599–1660) that he subsequently used (or intended to use) for his etchings. Among these are the two Greek literary figures Aesop and Moenippus. The collection also comprises full-length portraits of members of the royal family, dwarves and court jesters, Los Borrachos, Las Meninas, and one of Velázquez’s most important early works that leads us back to Seville, the Waterseller of Seville.

As part of the continued collaboration between the Meadows Museum and the Museo Nacional del Prado, the exhibition has been researched by Dr. Jens Hoffmann-Samland, an independent art historian. Approximately eighty drawings from the Kunsthalle of Hamburg will be on view in Dallas, and will be published in the accompanying catalogue, which is being collaboratively published by the Meadows Museum, the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Kunsthalle of Hamburg, and the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica (CEEH). The exhibition will travel to Madrid for display at the Museo Nacional del Prado October 2014–February 2015.

This exhibition has been organized by the Meadows Museum, SMU; the Museo Nacional del Prado; the Hamburger Kunsthalle; Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica; Center for Spain in America; and is funded by a generous gift from The Meadows Foundation. Promotional support provided by The Dallas Morning News.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica:

Jens Hoffmann-Samland, et al, The Spanish Gesture: Drawings from Murillo to Goya in the Hamburger Kunsthalle (Dallas: Meadows Museum, 2014), 294 pages, ISBN: 978-0692207864.

foto-hamburgEste catálogo publica por primera vez toda la colección de dibujos españoles de la Hamburger Kunsthalle. Algunas de sus obras eran ya conocidas por su singular importancia, habiéndose expuesto en varias ocasiones; faltaba un estudio completo del conjunto, su historia y los problemas atributivos que suscita. El fondo de este museo alemán contiene obras de los más destacados maestros españoles de los siglos XVI al XVIII, desde Juan de Juanes hasta Francisco de Goya pasando por los máximos representantes del Siglo de Oro, entre ellos Carducho, Francisco de Herrera el Viejo, Alonso Cano, Antonio del Castillo o Murillo.

La versión inglesa del libro acompaña la exposición de una selección de piezas en el Meadows Museum de Dallas (mayo–agosto 2014); la versión española corresponde a la segunda sede de esta muestra en el Museo Nacional del Prado (septiembre 2014–enero 2015).

Su autor principal, Jens Hoffmann-Samland, es historiador del arte independiente especializado en el arte español del Siglo de Oro.

Salacious Gossip Tours of Hampton Court Palace

Posted in exhibitions, museums by Editor on August 26, 2014

SalaciousGossipLargeAs the summer of the Georgians winds down, I thought I would mention this bit of programming. In connection with The Glorious Georges exhibition, Hampton Court Palace is featuring ‘Salacious Gossip Tours’ to highlight the “racy stories” they “dare not tell during the day!”

Historic Royal Palaces has done these in the past for The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned exhibition (2012), and I would speculate—though it is only speculation—that the racy bits are comparable to what many of us present in class to keep students’ attention. I mention it here, in part, because as I was thinking about what readers might want from a newsletter like this one several years ago, someone perceptively replied ‘gossip!’. Ever since then, I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to pull that off. As with other things, suggestions are most welcome. As for the tours, participants must be at least 18 years old, tickets are £25, and the tours begins at 7:15. My hunch is that it probably adds up to a fine way to avoid the crowds, and walking out of Hampton Court Palace at 9:00 or so isn’t a bad evening. A champagne reception at the beginning couldn’t hurt either. –CH

J & A Beare and Amati Release Books on 18th-Century Violins

Posted in Art Market, books by Editor on August 25, 2014

“With the closure of Sotheby’s and Christie’s music departments, Amati is leaping into the gap in the market with gusto and is changing the shape of the industry. Amati not only provides owners with a valuation service but allows dealers and makers around the world to upload their instruments, with full provenance and documentation for the valuable instruments.” More usefully for most of us, Amati’s online magazine includes reviews of concerts and recordings. CH

From Art Daily (24 August 2014). . .


Antonio Stradivari ‘La Pucelle’ Violin, 1709

The Monograph Collection is a collaboration between J & A Beare and Amati, who will be releasing a series of books each dedicated to a single masterwork of the classical school of violin making. The Monograph Collection books are sold as an annual subscription and are available to pre-order, with the first three books due out in September and the fourth in December. Each volume includes a detailed history as well as descriptive text on the technical and aesthetic features of each instrument, alongside professional photos and measurements. Written by strings specialist John Dilworth, it is hoped that the books will become treasured collector’s items.

Extract from I – Antonio Stradivari ‘La Pucelle’ Violin 1709: “The soundholes are wonderfully elegant and beautifully finished, as one would expect. They sit with great poise and balance on the front, the edges still looking sharp enough to cut paper. Comparing these virtually perfect soundholes with those on other celebrated instruments by Stradivari brings home the great variation observable in position, inclination, widths, and even symmetry in the work as a whole. These particular soundholes on ‘La Pucelle’ are cut with a quite generous width in the arm, a feature going back to the 1680s. Amongst these and later examples there are soundhole pairs that lean inwardly at the upper hole, and later there appear soundholes cut with a slender arm, set sometimes very upright and parallel. Then, in the Golden Period and beyond, there appear mixtures of all these traits in pairs of soundholes on the same instrument. The explanations for all this apparently random treatment lie in the techniques Stradivari used to draw out the soundholes and the obvious fact that there were more than one pair of hands at work in the atelier.”

Amati, the marketplace for stringed instruments, was set up to offer free evaluations and to provide transparency in the sale and purchase of violins, cellos, violas and bows—from a child’s violin to mid-range instruments for young professionals and antique violins of the highest calibre. By taking the market online, it empowers buyers and sellers to become better informed about an industry often shrouded in mystique. For those with a violin gathering dust in an attic, Amati is the first port of call for finding out the value of an instrument and sourcing comparisons, to enable those with little knowledge to access accurate information in the public domain. Amati will also be providing access to illustrated, hardbound monographs written by John Dilworth on some of the most famous Stradivarius violins and cellos in existence. With the closure of Sotheby’s and Christie’s music departments, Amati is leaping into the gap in the market with gusto and is changing the shape of the industry. Amati not only provides owners with a valuation service but allows dealers and makers around the world to upload their instruments, with full provenance and documentation for the valuable instruments.

Amati was co-founded by husband and wife team James and Sarah Buchanan in July 2013. Sarah is the company Director, while James offers specialist expertise in valuations. He has gained expert knowledge of the industry, having co-founded a specialist auction house in 2006, after running the Music Department at Christie’s Auctioneers in London.

%d bloggers like this: