Wedgwood Appeal: Donate to Save the Collection

Posted in museums, the 18th century in the news by Editor on September 5, 2014

From Save the Wedgwood Collection:

Josiah Wedgwood, The First Day's Vase, c.1769 (Wedgwood Museum Trust)

Josiah Wedgwood, The First Day’s Vase, c.1769 (Wedgwood Museum). Inscribed ‘artes Etruriae renascuntur’ (‘the arts of Etruria are reborn’).

The Wedgwood Collection, one of the most important industrial archives in the world and a unique record of over 250 years of British art, is under threat of being separated and sold off.

The Art Fund now has the opportunity to purchase it for the nation intact, provided the final £2.74m of a total £15.75m fundraising target can be raised by 30 November 2014. This is the only chance to keep the collection in one piece and on public display, preserving this unique record of British history and global commerce.

The collection is the major asset of the Wedgwood Museum Trust, which inherited £134m of pension debt as a result of the UK subsidary of Waterford Wedgwood Plc going into administration in 2009. The debt transferred from company to Trust because the two had been linked through a shared pension fund. Although the Pension Protection Fund (PPF)—the industry body set up by the government to compensate individual pensioners in the event of a company insolvency—will absorb the liability, it has a duty to claw back as much as it can from sale of assets.

In December 2011 the High Court ruled that the Wedgwood Collection was indeed an asset of the Wedgwood Museum Trust that should be sold in order to repay some of the debt owed, and in March 2012 the Attorney General upheld this ruling. Since then, the Art Fund and other partners have looked at all options to prevent the Collection from being broken up and sold on the open market. However, after exploring several avenues, all parties have now agreed that the only option is for the Art Fund to raise the necessary funds to purchase the Collection on behalf of the nation. In order to protect the Collection from ever being at risk again, if the money can be raised, the Art Fund plans to gift it to the Victoria & Albert Museum, the national museum of art and design. Without needing to move it, but with its ownership secure in perpetuity, the V&A intends to assign it on long-term loan to the Wedgwood Museum at Barlaston, which will lie at the heart of a major new visitor experience as part of Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton’s (WWRD) £34m redevelopment of the site—set for completion in spring 2015.

The Art Fund has launched an appeal to raise the full £15.75m needed for the purchase, in order to keep this irreplaceable Collection together and on display. Thanks to major support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and a number of private trusts and foundations, over £13m has already been raised. The campaign has until 30 November to find the remaining £2.74m necessary to purchase—and save—the Collection.

The future of the remarkable Wedgwood Collection has never looked brighter—provided the funds can be raised.

Donate to the appeal online or text WEDGWOOD to 70800 to give £10.

Mark Brown’s coverage for The Guardian (1 September 2014) is available here»

A. N. Wilson’s essay “Wedgwood: The Legacy Must Live On” appears in the Autumn 2014 issue of Art Quarterly and is also available at Save the Wedgwood Collection (4 September 2014).


Exhibition | Pehr Hilleström: The 18th Century Observed

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on September 5, 2014


Pehr Hilleström, Three Women Telling Fortune in Coffee, 1780s, 80 x 110cm
(Stockholms universitets konstsamling, J. A. Berg Collection #158)

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From The Sinebrychoff Art Museum:

Pehr Hilleström: The 18th Century Observed / Välähdyksiä 1700-luvun elämästä
The Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Helsinki, 4 September 2014 — 11 January 2015

Curated by Mikael Ahlund

The life of the bourgeoisie in Stockholm in the Age of Enlightenment will be on display in the Sinebrychoff Art Museum. The paintings of the Swedish artist Pehr Hilleström (1732−1816) give us a unique view directly of ordinary life in the 18th century, of how the bourgeoisie lived in Stockholm. Hilleström portrayed the whole strata of life in the Gustavian period: the life and ceremonies of the court, idle young ladies in elegant drawing rooms, servant girls carrying on with their domestic tasks, theatre, peasant culture, foundries and mines. Fifty paintings representing his most important topics will be on display. Pehr Hilleström’s work has never been exhibited this widely in Finland. The exhibition has been created in cooperation with the Nationalmuseum of Stockholm.

Exhibition publication: Mikael Ahlund, Pehr Hilleström – Välähdyksiä 1700-luvun elämästä | 1700-talet i blickpunkten (editors Kirsi Eskelinen, Reetta Kuojärvi-Närhi).

A selection of high-resolution images are available here»


Pehr Hilleström, The Inner Gallery of the Royal Museum at the
Royal Palace, Stockholm, 1796 (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm)

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Press release (1 September 2014) from Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum:

Nationalmuseum has made a major loan of works to the Pehr Hilleström exhibition at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum in Helsinki. The loan comprises some twenty works by this artist best known for his documentary paintings of 18th-century Stockholm.

Pehr Hilleström, Self-Portrait, 1771 (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum; photo by Erik Cornelius)

Pehr Hilleström, Self-Portrait, 1771 (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum; photo by Erik Cornelius)

This is the first time that a Finnish gallery has mounted a comprehensive exhibition of works by the Swedish artist Pehr Hilleström (1732–1816). Nationalmuseum in Stockholm has contributed some twenty paintings by Hillestrom, one of Sweden’s most highly regarded artists of the 18th century. The works on loan include Testing Eggs, Kitchen Scene, Card Game at the Home of Elis Schröderheim, Public Banquet at Stockholm Castle New Year’s Eve 1779, plus two self-portraits and an enigmatic portrait of Carl Michael Bellman. In all, fifty of Hilleström’s best-known paintings are on display. The exhibition was planned by Nationalmuseum’s Mikael Ahlund, who also wrote the commentary for the accompanying book.

Pehr Hilleström portrayed the entire spectrum of life in the Gustavian era, from idle young ladies in elegant drawing rooms to industrious working-class wives going about their domestic chores. He is famous for his almost documentary depictions of city fires and official ceremonies in 18th-century Stockholm. His wide range of motifs includes industry, landscapes and scenes from the theatre. In his later years, he
also turned to historical and religious motifs.

Sweden’s Nationalmuseum Launches Free Online Journal, Volume 20

Posted in journal articles, museums by Editor on September 5, 2014

Press release (3 September 2014) from the Nationalmuseum:

natmus-2Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum has launched its first digital journal, available online to download and read free of charge. The Art Bulletin of Nationalmuseum Stockholm contains academic articles on art history relating to Nationalmuseum’s collections. The journal is moving to digital-only format and will be available through the DiVA portal (a Swedish publishing system for academic research and student theses) and the museum’s own website. The Art Bulletin of Nationalmuseum Stockholm is an annual publication containing academic articles on art history relating to Nationalmuseum’s collections. The journal has existed in print form since 1996, but is now switching to digital-only format, starting with volume 20. The journal’s established graphic design will be enhanced through the addition of digital media features such as metadata, live links to chapter headings and page references, and high-resolution images.

“For an art institution like Nationalmuseum, it’s important to offer our readers high-quality images that do full justice to the works,” said Janna Herder, editor of the Art Bulletin of Nationalmuseum Stockholm. “Readers therefore have the option of downloading the entire journal in low-resolution format or individual articles in high-resolution format.”

Nationalmuseum expects to attract a larger and wider readership now that the journal and its articles are freely available and searchable via Google and other search engines. As a member of the DiVA portal, the museum is able to distribute the publication more effectively in the academic community. “This is a further step in the digital evolution of Nationalmuseum and a key initiative in fulfilling our mandate to improve access to and awareness of our collections,” said Magdalena Gram, the museum’s head of research, library and archives and the journal’s editor-in-chief. “Another aspect of our mandate involves collaboration with other institutions such as universities and colleges. Offering an established publication like the Art Bulletin of Nationalmuseum Stockholm in digital format through the DiVA portal marks a breakthrough in terms of our ability to make specialized knowledge and information freely available.”

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Articles related to the eighteenth century (visit the Nationalmuseum website for the full contents) . . .

Art Bulletin of Nationalmuseum Stockholm 20 (2013).


Carina Fryklund, “Three 17th-Century Paintings from the Collection of Gustaf Adolf Sparre (1746–94),” pp. 11–16.

Magnus Olausson, “Roslin’s Self-Portrait with his Wife Marie Suzanne Giroust Painting a Portrait of Henrik Wilhelm Peill (1767),” pp. 17–18.

Magnus Olausson, “Wertmüller’s Portrait of Henri Bertholet-Campan with the Dog Aline (1786),” pp. 19–20.

Guilhem Scherf, “Une Statuette en Terre Cuite de Jean-Baptiste Stouf au Nationalmuseum,” pp. 27–36.

Magnus Olausson, “Madame Lefranc Painting a Portrait of her Husband Charles Lefranc (1779): A Miniature by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard,” pp. 37–8.

Anders Bengtsson, “A Unique Plate Warmer,” pp. 39–40.

Anders Bengtsson, “A Chair Fit for a Prince,” pp. 41–2.

Acquisitions 2013: Exposé, pp. 61–96.

A R T I C L E S  O N  T H E  H I S T O R Y  A N D  T H E O R Y  O F  A R T

Martin Olin, “An Italian Architecture Library under the Polar Star: Nicodemus Tessin the Younger’s Collection of Books and Prints,” pp. 109–18.

Magnus Olausson, “Louis Gauffier’s Portrait of Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt (1793): A Political or a Conspiratorial Painting?,” pp. 119–22.

Ulf Cederlöf, “An Exceptionally Protracted Affair: The Nationalmuseum’s Acquisition of Sergel’s Collections of Drawings and Prints, 1875–76,” pp. 123–34.

S H O R T E R  N O T I C E S

Görel Cavalli-Björkman and Margaretha Rossholm-Lagerlöf, “A Source-Critical Comment on Roger de Robelin’s “On the Provenance of Rembrandt’s The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis,” 135–36.

Roger de Robelin, “Response to “A Source-Critical Comment etc.,” pp. 137–38.


Helen Evans and Helena Kåberg, “The Nationalmuseum Lighting Lab,” pp. 139–46.

Call for Papers | Streitsache: Architecture as Matter of Contention

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on September 5, 2014

From Candide: Journal for Architectural Knowledge:

Streitsache: Architecture as Matter of Contention
Aachen University, 29–31 January 2015

Proposals due by 20 September 2014

From January 29 to 31, 2015 the second Candide Conference will take place at RWTH Aachen University. The peer-reviewed Candide: Journal for Architectural Knowledge was founded in 2009 and publishes contributions on the knowledge of architecture. The best papers presented in the conference will be published in a forthcoming issue.

The interdisciplinary conference Streitsache: Architecture as Matter of Contention intends to probe the complex relation between architecture and conflict. There are numerous instances in which architectural objects become objects of conflict, ‘bones of contention, a Streitsache. Conceiving of architecture as a Streitsache generates new architectural knowledge, including knowledge on the interactions that emerge from and through the objects of contention. Architectural things, whether in the form of architectural details, buildings or entire cities, are actors whose agency becomes manifest in conflictual processes. The field of politics and the negotiation of law is constituted through and by them. As thresholds Streitsachen are politically operative because they render conflicts visible and negotiable. The debates surrounding the Stuttgart 21 project, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, or Les Halles in Paris could serve as recent examples.

The aim of the conference is to expand the scope of thinking about architecture, its function and character, into fields of the theory of law and political philosophy. As agents of the political, ’things of contention render plurality and heterogeneous interests visible and negotiable. Architecture’s dissension opens up a new space for collective thinking and action. The conference is interdisciplinary and addresses scholars and practitioners from the fields of architecture, art, political sciences, legal studies, cultural studies, anthropology, science and technology studies, cultural technology studies, and media philosophy.

The structure of the conference follows the phases of architectural processes in which matters of contention become visible and negotiable: a) design, planning, and implementation b) judgment and critique c) negotiation and settlement.

a) Conflicts arise because of sketches, plans, models, construction site protocols, budgets, legal rules, and press releases. How and through which circumstances does architecture turn into a matter of contention? What precisely is the disputed subject? How can we frame the design process as a sequence and as a negotiation of difference between agencies, both human and non-human? What kind of architectural knowledge becomes manifest in a concrete dispute?

b) Matters of contention generate their own social spaces. They are the sites where a contending community—and therewith the precondition for the political—emerges. How do disputing actors appropriate architecture? What modifications do contested things undergo during the conflictual relation? How do values become comprehensible and negotiable during a conflict? How do processes of selection function and how are verdicts reached? How do architectural objects become instruments that trigger or resolve conflicts?

c) Architectural matters of contention not only promote bellicose polemics but also social knowledge, which is implemented in processes of negotiation and arbitration. How does architecture function as a repository of or evidence of past conflicts? How can knowledge gained from past conflicts be used to create strategies to prevent future conflicts? Does it make sense to think the culture of architecture as a culture of contention?

We welcome submissions of case studies, historical and theoretical reflections dealing with particular projects, built architectures and specific disputes. The working languages at the conference will be German and English. Please send an abstract (max. 500 words) and a short CV before September 20, 2014 to: candide@theorie.arch.rwth-aachen.de.

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