Journal of the History of Collections 27 (March 2015)

Posted in journal articles by Editor on March 7, 2015

In addition to the following articles related to the eighteenth century in the current issue of the Journal of the History of Collections , I would draw your attention to Stefan Krmnicek’s article on coins from the Tux Collection and Jessica Priebe’s article on Boucher, both of which have been published online but will also appear as part of forthcoming issues in the coming months. They serves as a useful reminder that with the advantages of digital advance access, ‘current issue’ no longer tells the whole story. CH

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Stefan Krmnicek, “‘Nummus aliquantulum suspectus’: The Counterfeit Coins of the Tux Collection (1715–1798) at the University of Tübingen,” Journal of the History of Collections, first published online: 8 February 2015.

The coin collection of the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Tübingen contains some fifty counterfeits, imitations and fabrications of ancient coins which can be traced back to the bequest of the Stuttgart senior civil servant (Regierungsrat) Carl Sigmund Tux (1715–1798) at the ducal court of Württemberg. These coins are of particular historical value, for all fabrications in the Tux collection are fixed with a terminus ante quem through the bequest of 1798. A selection of the most interesting counterfeit specimens is presented and discussed against the background of the history of the Tux collection and the early development of numismatics at the University of Tübingen. Additionally, Tux’s descriptions of the counterfeit coins provide first-hand insight into the abilities, knowledge and limitations in ancient numismatics of the most passionate coin collector and leading coin specialist at the ducal court of Württemberg in the Baroque period.

Jessica Priebe, “The Artist as Collector: François Boucher (1703–1770),” Journal of the History of Collections, first published online: 28 January 2015.

The name François Boucher is synonymous with the visual and material culture of luxury in mid eighteenth-century France. His paintings are filled with desirable objects that informed the tastes of collectors. What is less known is that Boucher was a prolific collector of art and nature, with more than 13,000 different objects in his collection at the time of his death in 1770. Despite this, a formal study of his collection is almost entirely absent from the existing field of historical scholarship. This article aims to bring to light Boucher’s activities as a collector, in particular his interest in natural objects for which he was especially well known. It also considers the extent to which Boucher’s passion for collectable objects had an impact on his practice as an artist.

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Journal of the History of Collections 27 (March 2015)


Rachel Finnegan, “The Travels and Curious Collections of Richard Pococke, Bishop of Meath,” pp. 33–48.
This article examines the collecting career of the Revd Richard Pococke (1704–1765), some time Bishop of Ossory and subsequently Bishop of Meath, who travelled extensively in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean from 1733–41 and accumulated a modest yet important collection of antiquities, coins, medals and natural curiosities. Using evidence from his recently published Grand Tour correspondence, together with other contemporary sources such as letters and sale catalogues, this article considers his foreign travels and mode of collecting and also the scholarly uses to which his foreign collections were put, including his contribution to learned societies, and the publication of his eastern travels.

Leanne Zalewski, “Fine Art for the New World: Thomas Jefferson, Collecting for the Future,” pp. 49–55.
Of Thomas Jefferson’s many accomplishments—President of the United States, co-author of the Declaration of Independence, and founder of the University of Virginia—his art collection fails to top the list. However, Jefferson’s vision for the developing nation involved a strong interest in the arts. As such, he assembled his own art collection and planned an ideal, but ultimately unrealized, sculpture gallery. His collection, neither vast nor impressive, included portraits, busts, engravings, and copies after Old Master paintings. Although it included not a single work of European or American art could be called a masterpiece or canonical work, yet his collection was the first significant art collection in the United States. Why? This article examines the legacy of his trailblazing assemblage through an analysis of his fine art collection both real and ideal within the broader context of the history of collecting in the United States.

Richard Scully, “A Serious Matter: Erwin D. Swann (1906–1973) and the Collection of Caricature and Cartoon,” pp. 111–122.
This paper explores the origins and development of the Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon, begun by Erwin D. Swann in 1966, and currently held by the Library of Congress in Washington, dc. One of the world’s few collections dedicated to the preservation of original comic art by caricaturists and cartoonists from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, Swann’s collection also transcends national boundaries, and embraces comic art as one of the ‘universal folk expressions’. An established art collector, Swann sought to give caricature and cartoon the same status as ‘high’ art, and worked hard to achieve this prior to his death in 1973. His work has been continued, and his collection maintained, in subsequent years. A closer investigation of the collection’s genesis, and the intentions of Swann himself, sheds light on the significance of this unique archive, and its utility for the continuing, ‘serious’ scholarship of comic art worldwide.


• Elizabeth Williams, Review of Tessa Murdoch and Heike Zech, eds., Going for Gold. Craftsmanship and Collecting of Gold Boxes (Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2014), pp. 124–25.

• Tom Stammers, Review of Alexandra Stara, The Museum of French Monuments 1795–1816: ‘Killing Art to Make History’ (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2013), pp. 125–26.

• Tom Stammers, Review of Andrea Meyer and Bénédicte Savoy, eds., The Museum is Open: Towards a Transnational History of Museums, 1750–1940 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014), pp. 127–28.

• Clare Barlow, Review of Rosie Dias, Exhibiting Englishness: John Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery and the Formation of a National Aesthetic (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013), pp. 128–29.

Exhibition | On the Road to Italy: Robert to Corot

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 7, 2015

Now on view at Amiens:

Sur la route d’Italie: Peindre la nature d’Hubert Robert à Corot
Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie d’Évreux, 26 April — 21 September 2014
Musée de Picardie, Amiens 13 February — 31 May 2015

df83a83421Pour la première fois, la collection de paysages français de l’éditeur Michael Pächt est présentée au public dans une exposition événement organisée en partenariat avec l’Institut national du patrimoine et le musée d’Art et d’Archéologie d’Evreux. Fasciné par le paysage français de la fin du XVIIIe siècle et de la première moitié du XIXe siècle, grand admirateur de Corot, dont il a rassemblé quelques-unes des plus belles pages peintes sur le motif, Michael Pächt a retracé, au gré d’achats guidés par la passion de l’amateur, une chaîne iconographique, stylistique et humaine, dont les relations maître-élève et les amitiés constituent les maillons. Les affinités électives entre artistes, les parentés, les héritages et les ruptures reprennent vie, introduisant le visiteur dans l’intimité qui se crée entre le peintre et la Nature.

D’Hubert Robert à Corot en passant par Michallon, Bidault, Granet et Rousseau, la collection Pächt nous plonge dans la grande aventure de la peinture de plein air à travers les oeuvres de ceux qui firent le voyage en Italie avant de trouver une terre d’élection dans la forêt de Fontainebleau, en Picardie ou dans le Sud de la France. Une centaine d’oeuvres, peintures, dessins, estampes, ainsi que quelques rares clichés-verre de Corot et de Rousseau, viennent animer la Galerie Puvis de Chavannes le temps d’un partage entre un amateur et un public auquel il livre un peu de sa passion.

Paysages français des collections du Musée de Picardie

L’exposition se prolonge avec une sélection de peintures choisies dans les réserves parmi les plus grands chefs-d’oeuvre du musée. Cet accrochage met également à l’honneur les esquisses inédites de Charles Larivière et d’Albert Maignan qui laissèrent de leur séjour en Italie, aux deux extrémités du XIXe siècle, des toiles imprégnées de la lumière du Sud.

Commissariat général
Olivia Voisin, conservateur du patrimoine, chargée du département Beaux-Arts
Florence Calame-Levert, directrice du musée d’Évreux
François Bridey, directeur adjoint du musée d’Évreux

Commissariat scientifique
Gennaro Toscano, directeur du département des conservateurs, Institut national du patrimoine, Paris

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Published by Gourcuff Gradenico and available from Artbooks.com:

Gennaro Toscano, Sur la route d’Italie: Peindre la nature d’Hubert Robert à Corot (Montreuil, Gourcuff Gradenico, 2014), 180 pages, ISBN: 978-2353401789, 29€.

4020918-papier_couv_final-1Cet ouvrage présente un ensemble extraordinaire de paysages d’artistes français ayant effectué le voyage en Italie (fin XVIIIe et xixe siècle). Les quelque 26 artistes renommés (Hubert Robert, Granet, Constantin d’Aix, Bertin, Michallon, Corot, Coignet, Rousseau Harpignies…) présents dans la collection ont la caractéristique commune d’avoir peint la nature en plein air en France et en Italie. Montée en partenariat avec l’Institut national du patrimoine (Inp), une exposition se déroulera du 26 avril au 14 septembre 2014 au musée d’Art, Histoire et Archéologie d’Évreux, puis au printemps 2015 au musée de Picardie à Amiens. Cet ensemble de paysages peints en France et en Italie est pour la première fois présenté au public et permet de s’interroger sur la constitution d’une collection particulièrement riche.

En marge de l’exposition, les services de la direction de la culture et de la ville d’Evreux et d’Amiens métropole s’associent pour programmer une «saison italienne». Plusieurs événements verront donc le jour au musée et dans d’autres institutions italiennes, permettant d’explorer la thématique du voyage en Italie ou d’éclairer les relations artistiques entre la France et l’Italie (littérature, Beaux-Arts, musique). Richement illustrée cette publication, solide du point de vue scientifique, s’adresse aussi à un public large et constitue une réflexion sur la peinture de paysage du XVIIIe au xixe siècle.