Clandon Park House Gutted by Fire

Posted in on site by Editor on May 4, 2015

Marble Hall, chimneypiece with marble reliefs by Rysbrack

The Marble Hall at Clandon following the fire, showing a marble relief by John Michael Rysbrack still over the chimneypiece. ©National Trust/John Millar.

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As reported by BBC News (2 May 2015). . .

The investigation into the cause of a fire that ravaged Clandon Park House “will take some time” owing to its complexity, Surrey fire service said. The blaze at the Grade I listed National Trust property near Guildford on Wednesday [April 29] left the structure gutted.

Structural assessments of the building are continuing and will inform what happens to the 18th-century mansion in the future. The trust said it was too early to discuss a restoration of Clandon. But a “significant amount” of the Palladian mansion’s collection had been saved according to Dame Helen Ghosh, the trust’s director general.

“Although the house was pretty well burned out, the operation rescued a significant amount of the collection, and we are hopeful there will be more to recover when our specialists are able to get inside the building and start the painstaking archaeological salvage work,” she said.

“But there is a lot that we will never recover.”

“The immediate sense of shock and loss amongst staff working at the property has quickly been replaced by a steely determination,” Dame Helen added. “When the overall impact of the fire is clearer, we will be able to decide on the longer term future of the house.”

About 80 firefighters tackled the blaze at its height and crews managed to save a “significant” number of valuable antiques, that have now been “safely” put into storage. . .

The full article is available here»

Additional information is available at Emile de Bruijn’s Treasure Hunt: National Trust Collections.


Call for Papers | CAA in Washington, D.C., 2016

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 4, 2015

Here’s a reminder that proposals for 2016 CAA panels are due this Friday, May 8. Details on selected sessions relevant to the eighteenth century are available here.

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104th Annual Conference of the College Art Association
Washington, D.C., 3–6 February 2016

Proposals due by 8 May 2015

The 2016 Call for Participation for the 104th Annual Conference, taking place February 3–6 in Washington, D.C., describes many of next year’s sessions. CAA and the session chairs invite your participation: please follow the instructions in the booklet to submit a proposal for a paper or presentation. This publication also includes a call for Poster Session proposals.

Call for Papers | Sculpture and Parisian Decorative Arts in Europe

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 4, 2015

From H-ArtHist:

The Role of Sculpture in the Design, Production, Collecting,
and Display of Parisian Decorative Arts in Europe, 1715–1815

Mons, Belgium, 29 August 2015

Proposals due by 14 May 2015

An international conference on the occasion of Mons European Capital of Culture 2015 and Waterloo 1815–2015 on Saturday, 29 August 2015

Potential speakers are invited to submit proposals for conference papers. These should be limited to a maximum of 300 words, should be accompanied by a brief CV (no more than a few lines), and should be sent to the Low Countries Sculpture Society (info@lcsculpture.org), arriving no later than Thursday, 14 May 2015. A scientific committee drawn from the Society and invited scholars will make a decision on selected speakers shortly after that date. Proposals must be in English or French, which will be the conference languages. For foreign participants, one hotel night in Mons and modest travel expenses can be covered.

Between 1715 and 1830 Paris gradually became the capital of Europe, “a city of power and pleasure, a magnet for people of all nationalities that exerted an influence far beyond the reaches of France,” as Philip Mansel wrote, or as Prince Metternich phrased it, “When Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold.” Within this historical framework and in a time of profound societal change, the consumption and appreciation of luxury goods reached a peak in Paris. The focus of this one-day international conference will be the role of the sculptor in the design and production processes of Parisian decorative arts—from large-scale furniture and interior decoration projects to porcelain, silver, gilt bronzes, and clocks.

In the last few years a number of studies were carried out under the auspices of decorative arts museums and societies such as the Furniture History Society and the French Porcelain Society. It now seems appropriate to bring some of these together to encourage cross-disciplinary approaches on a European level and discussion between all those interested in the materiality and the three-dimensionality of their objects of study. The relationships between, on the one hand, architects, ornemanistes and other designers, and on the other sculptors, menuisiers, ébénistes, goldsmiths, porcelain manufacturers, bronze casters, and other producers, as well as the marchands merciers, will be at the heart of the studies about the design processes.

A second layer of understanding of the importance of sculpture in the decorative arts will be shown in the collecting and display in European capitals in subsequent generations, particularly those immediately after the French Revolution, as epitomised by King George IV. Overall, the intention of this conference is to shed light on the sculptural aspect of decorative arts produced in Paris in the long 18th century and collected and displayed in the capitals of Europe. Without pretending to be exhaustive, this study day—and its publication—hopes to bring together discussions about the histories and methodologies that could lead to furthering the study of hitherto all too often neglected aspects of the decorative arts.

Research questions may include (non-exhaustive list):
• What are the specificities of the Parisian approach to three-dimensional sculptural design that made it collectable, or was it only collectable in Europe due to its availability at vastly reduced prices when the art market was flooded by the revolutionary auctions?
• What relationships can be established between the ‘Frenchness’ of sculptural designs produced in Paris and the large number of ‘foreign’ designers and craftspeople there (coming in particular from the Low Countries and Germany)?
• What was the impact of public authorities (e.g. guilds and schools), intermediaries (marchands merciers, agents, etc.), private salons, societies, and other networks on the three-dimensional design aspect decorative arts produced in Paris?
• Taste leaders: the role of the monarch, the court, Paris vs. Versailles, and their interest in ‘sculptural’ decorative arts
• Taste disseminators: the role of prints and treatises regarding ‘sculptural’ decorative arts
• The collaborative efforts between architects, designers, sculptors, cabinet makers, ‘porcelainiers’, bronze casters, goldsmiths, engravers, etc.—were they specific to luxury items produced in Paris? Were certain disciplines more appropriate for ‘sculptural design’?
• How do case studies inform us about the role of sculptors in the design and production processes for decorative arts?
• How is sculptural illusionism in painted decorative panels, such as those by Tournai-born Piat-Joseph Sauvage (1744–1818) or in the Casa del Labrador at the royal palace of Aranjuez, related to the design and perception of Parisian decorative arts?
• What was the impact of collectors of old/existing Parisian decorative arts on the design of spaces to display these in European capitals?
• Are centre-periphery theories applicable to the interpretation of decorative arts produced in Paris and its hinterland? Is the work of Abraham Roentgen and his bronze casters an appropriate case study for this?

A dossier exhibition will be especially organised on the occasion of our international conference: Drawn to Be Sculpted: Unknown Designs for 18th-century Decorative Arts / Dessiné pour être sculpté: dessins inconnus du XVIIIe siècle pour les arts décoratifs.

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