Exhibition | Remembering Radcliffe

Posted in books, exhibitions by Editor on December 5, 2014


James Gibbs, Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, 1735–49
(Photo: Mike Peel, December 2007, Wikimedia Commons)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From the Bodleian:

Remembering Radcliffe: 300 Years of Science and Philanthropy
Bodleian Library, Oxford, 28 November 2014 — 20 March 2015

Curated by Stephen Hebron

A new exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries explores the life and legacy of John Radcliffe, the doctor and philanthropist who gave Oxford some of its most iconic buildings. Remembering Radcliffe: 300 Years of Science and Philanthropy opens on 28 November and marks the 300th anniversary of the physician’s death.

396x454_Radcliffe-portraitJohn Radcliffe (bap. 1650–1714) was the most successful doctor of his day and was sought after as a physician to the royal family. On his death he left the bulk of his fortune to charitable causes. With beautiful engravings, watercolours, and architectural drawings, the Bodleian’s free exhibition tells the story of the Oxford landmarks funded by Radcliffe’s legacy: the Radcliffe Camera (the first circular library in Britain), the Radcliffe Observatory, and the Radcliffe Infirmary (the precursor of the modern John Radcliffe Hospital). The exhibition also looks at Radcliffe’s ongoing legacy in the work of The Radcliffe Trust.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for people to learn more about this remarkable physician and philanthropist,” said Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian. “John Radcliffe’s legacy lives on today—not only in Oxford’s stunning buildings but through his legacy’s investment in scientific research and its support for UK heritage and crafts, and classical music performance and composition through The Radcliffe Trust.”

Exhibition Highlights
• Architectural designs by Nicholas Hawksmoor and James Gibbs for Dr Radcliffe’s Library, which later became the Radcliffe Camera, part of the Bodleian Library
• A 3D scale model of the Radcliffe Camera from 1735
• Rare and first edition books from the first collection of books housed in the Radcliffe Camera
• Early photographs and maps of Oxford including the buildings that bear Radcliffe’s name
• Watercolours, sketches, and engravings of the Radcliffe Camera, Radcliffe Observatory, and Radcliffe Infirmary
• Medical instruments, prescriptions, and records from Radcliffe’s medical career
• Letters, diary entries, and other materials related to Radcliffe’s life and death
• Silverware, stone carvings, and basket weavings produced by contemporary artists supported by The Radcliffe Trust

“The exhibition explains how an 18th-century doctor became one of Oxford’s greatest benefactors,” said curator Stephen Hebron. “Visitors can discover the story behind one of Oxford’s most famous buildings, the Radcliffe Camera, including its origins, its design, how it was built, and its role as a university library.”

On his death in 1714 Radcliffe left the bulk of this fortune to the University of Oxford, including £40,000 for the construction of the Radcliffe Camera, funds for an extension to University College and provision for two travelling fellowships in medicine. He stipulated that the residue of his estate be used for charitable purposes, forming the basis of The Radcliffe Trust. The Trust continues to this day and supports classical music performance and training as well as the UK’s heritage and crafts sector. To celebrate their tercentenary, The Radcliffe Trust has generously supported the Bodleian Libraries’ Remembering Radcliffe exhibition.

“If the amazing Dr Radcliffe had done no more than create the Radcliffe Camera as a monument to his memory this would have been an extraordinary achievement,” said Felix Warnock, Chairman of The Radcliffe Trust. “As it is, his endowment of The Radcliffe Trust was if anything even more visionary: the Trust, one of the very first grant-making charities, now stands on the threshold of a remarkable fourth century of philanthropic giving. We welcome you to the exhibition and accompanying events and hope you leave enriched and inspired by this truly original and remarkable benefactor.”

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Distributed by The University of Chicago Press:

Stephen Hebron, Dr Radcliffe’s Library: The Story of the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford (Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2015), 104 pages, ISBN: 978-1851244294, $25.

9781851244294_p0_v1_s600The Radcliffe Camera is one of the most celebrated buildings in Britain. Named for the physician John Radcliffe—who directed a large part of his fortune to its realization at the heart of the University of Oxford in the early eighteenth century—the circular library is instantly recognizable, its great dome rising amidst the Gothic spires of the university. Drawing on maps, plans, photographs, and drawings, Dr Radcliffe’s Library tells the fascinating story of the building’s creation over more than thirty years. Early designs for the Radcliffe Camera were drawn by the brilliant architect Nicholas Hawksmoor, who conceived the shape so recognizable today: a great rotunda topped by the University of Oxford’s only dome. From there, it would take decades to acquire and clear the site between the University Church of St Mary’s and the Bodleian. After Hawksmoor’s death, the project was taken on by the Scottish architect James Gibbs who refined the design and supervised the library’s construction. Published to accompany an exhibition opening in November at the Bodleian Library, Dr Radcliffe’s Library tells the fascinating story of the making of this architectural masterpiece.

Stephen Hebron is a curator working in the Department of Special Collections at the Bodleian Libraries. He is the author, most recently, of Marks of Genius: Masterpieces from the Collections of the Bodleian Libraries.

New Book | British Romanticism and Italian Old Masters

Posted in books by Editor on December 5, 2014

From Ashgate:

Maureen McCue, British Romanticism and the Reception of Italian Old Master Art, 1793–1840 (Ashgate, 2014), 204 pages, ISBN: 978-1409468325, $110.

9781409468325As a result of Napoleon’s campaigns in Italy, Old Master art flooded into Britain and its acquisition became an index of national prestige. Maureen McCue argues that their responses to these works informed the writing of Romantic period authors, enabling them to forge often surprising connections between Italian art, the imagination and the period’s political, social and commercial realities. Maureen McCue examines poetry, plays, novels, travel writing, exhibition catalogues, early guidebooks and private experiences recorded in letters and diaries by canonical and noncanonical authors, including Felicia Hemans, William Buchanan, Henry Sass, Pierce Egan, William Hazlitt, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, Anna Jameson, Maria Graham Callcott and Samuel Rogers. Her exploration of the idea of connoisseurship shows the ways in which a knowledge of Italian art became a key marker of cultural standing that was no longer limited to artists and aristocrats, while her chapter on the literary production of post-Waterloo Britain traces the development of a critical vocabulary equally applicable to the visual arts and literature. In offering cultural, historical and literary readings of the responses to Italian art by early nineteenth-century writers, McCue illuminates the important role they played in shaping the themes that are central to our understanding of Romanticism.

Maureen McCue is a Lecturer in English Literature at Bangor University.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊


1. Attempting ‘To Engraft Italian Art on English Nature’
2. Connoisseurship
3. Making Literature
4. Samuel Rogers’s Italy


Call for Panels and Papers | Fashion

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

From the conference website:

Fashion, the 84th Anglo-American Conference of Historians
Senate House, London, 2–3 July 2015

Proposals due by 15 December 2014

In a major collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, the IHR is taking Fashion as the theme for its annual conference in summer 2015. Fashion in history is a topic which has come of age in recent years, as scholars have turned to addressing what is chic and what is style over the ages and across different cultures. The history of fashion, and the role of fashion in history, is not just confined to the study of dress and costume, but encompasses design and innovation, taste and zeitgeist, treats as its subjects both people and objects, and crosses over into related disciplines such as the history of art and architecture, consumption, retailing and technology. And across the world, fashion brings together museums, graduate teaching programmes, learned societies and the fashion profession around a common set of interests and concerns. The IHR conference next year we hope will be a perfect showcase and a meeting-point for the wide spectrum of specialists in this exciting field.

Our plenary speakers include Christopher Breward (Edinburgh), Beverly Lemire (Alberta), Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge) and Valerie Steele (Fashion Institute of Technology, New York). Proposals for panels on the themes of dress, imitation and emulation, taste and style, body-art, the fashion-industry and its media, fashionability and trend-setting, catwalks, fairs and exhibitions, innovation in interior design, architecture and public space, fashion education and technology will be accepted down to the middle of December. Individual paper proposals will also be accepted. Panels should comprise three papers and a chair, and proposals must include the name and affiliation of the speakers, the title of the panel and the titles of the individual papers. Please send proposals by 15th December toIHR.Events@sas.ac.uk Decisions will be made known once the Programme Committee has met in early January 2015.

Conference | The Legacy of Carlo Fontana

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on December 5, 2014

As posted at H-ArtHist:

L’eredità di Carlo Fontana nell’architettura del tardo-barocco europeo
Istituto Svedese di Studi Classici, Rome, 5 December 2014

Convegno organizzato da: Istituto Svedese di Studi Classici, Roma -Svenska Institutet i Rom.
Con la collaborazione di: Università degli Studi di Camerino; Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Impresa, Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”

fontana04-05-20149:30  I sessione | La famiglia Fontana e l’Europa
Coordina Elisabeth Kieven (Bibliotheca Hertziana)
• Giuseppe Bonaccorso (Università degli Studi di Camerino), I Fontana dopo Fontana. L’epilogo di una dinastia familiare: da Mauro Fontana ai numerosi “nipoti” in Europa
• Antonio Russo (La Sapienza, Università di Roma), Architettura e scenografia negli altari a tabernacolo di Carlo Fontana: persistenze, innovazione e fortuna
• Jasenka Gudelj (Università di Zagabria), Carlo Fontana e l’Adriatico orientale: il caso di Dubrovnik
• Andrzej Betlej (Jagiellonian University, Kraków), The Current State of Research on the Influence of Carlo Fontana and His Pupils on Art in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
• Francesco Amendolagine, Abdul Kader Moussalli (Università degli studi di Udine), La famiglia Fontana all’estero: architetture e decorazione in terra polacca

14:00  II sessione | Cultura e professione architettonica nel Settecento europeo
Coordina Aloisio Antinori (Università degli Studi del Molise)
• Martin Olin (Istituto Svedese di Studi Classici), Architectural Culture in Northern Europe During the Eighteenth Century
• Aloisio Antinori (Università degli Studi del Molise), Circolazione e uso delle stampe romane di architettura al tempo di Carlo Fontana e durante il XVIII secolo
• Mauro Volpiano (Politecnico di Torino), Formazione e aggiornamento degli architetti sabaudi a Roma tra Seicento e primo Settecento
• Simonetta Ciranna (Università degli Studi dell’Aquila), L’eredità di Carlo Fontana nella formazione dell’architetto-ingegnere di fine Settecento. Disegno e geometria nel lavoro di un professionista

%d bloggers like this: