New Book | William Hunter’s World

Posted in books by Editor on August 7, 2015

From Ashgate:

E. Geoffrey Hancock, Nick Pearce, and Mungo Campbell, eds., William Hunter’s World: The Art and Science of Eighteenth-Century Collecting (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2015), 424 pages, ISBN: 978-1409447740, $140.

51obh-1q4TL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_Despite William Hunter’s stature as one of the most important collectors and men of science of the eighteenth century, and the fact that his collection is the foundation of Scotland’s oldest public museum, The Hunterian, until now there has been no comprehensive examination in a single volume of all his collections in their diversity. This volume restores Hunter to a rightful position of prominence among the medical men whose research and amassing of specimens transformed our understanding of the natural world and man’s position within it.

This volume comprises essays by international specialists and are as diverse as Hunter’s collections themselves, dealing as they do with material that ranges from medical and scientific specimens, to painting, prints, books and manuscripts. The first sections focus upon Hunter’s own collection and his response to it, while the final section contextualises Hunter within the wider sphere. The volume includes references to The Hunterian’s web pages and on-line databases, enabling searches for items from Hunter’s collections, both from his museum and library.

Locating Hunter’s collecting within the broader context of his age and environment, this book provides an original approach to a man and collection whose importance has yet to be comprehensively assessed.

E. Geoffrey Hancock, an entomologist with a career in various British museums, is currently Honorary Curator of Entomology and a Research Fellow in The Hunterian Museum. His interests include the history of museums and their collections.
Nick Pearce holds the Sir John Richmond Chair of Fine Art at the University of Glasgow, where he specialises in the arts of China. His career has spanned both museums and universities, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Burrell Collection in Glasgow and the universities of Durham and Edinburgh.
Mungo Campbell worked at the National Galleries of Scotland until 1997 and is now Deputy Director of The Hunterian. Curating several major loan exhibitions culminated recently in Allan Ramsay: Portraits of the Enlightenment (2013), and he edited the accompanying publication.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊


Foreword, David Gaimster
Introduction, Mungo Campbell

Part I—William Hunter: Developing His Museum
1  The Great Windmill Street Anatomy School and Museum, Helen McCormack
2  Anatomy and the ‘museum oeconomy’: William and John Hunter as collectors, Simon Chaplin

Part II—William Hunter: Anatomy in Practice
3  William Hunter’s sources of pathological and anatomical specimens, with particular reference to obstetric subjects, Stuart W. McDonald and John W. Faithfull
4  ‘An universal language’: William Hunter and the production of The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus, Caroline Grigson
5  The anatomist and the artists: Hunter’s involvement, Anne Dulau Beveridge
6  William Hunter’s anatomical and pathological specimens, Stuart W. McDonald

Part III—William Hunter: Collector
7  Animal specimens in William Hunter’s anatomical collection, Stuart W. McDonald and Margaret Reilly
8  William Hunter’s zoological collections, Margaret Reilly
9  The shaping role of Johann Christian Fabricius: William Hunter’s insect collection and entomology in 18th-century London, E. Geoffrey Hancock
10  Dr John Fothergill: Significant donor, Starr Douglas
11  The mineral collection of William Hunter: Assembly and function, John W. Faithfull
12  A collection without a catalogue: Captain John Laskey and the missing vertebrate fossils from the collection of William Hunter, Jeff Liston
13  Archaeological objects in William Hunter’s collection, Sally-Anne Coupar
14  William Hunter’s parade shield: A memento of Leonardo’s Milan?, Martin Kemp
15  Ethnographic treasures in the Hunterian from Cook’s voyages, Adrienne L. Kaeppler
16  ‘At last in Dr Hunter’s library’: William Hunter’s Chinese collections, Nick Pearce
17  William Hunter’s numismatic books, Donal Bateson
18  The ‘Hunterian orchard’: William Hunter’s library, David Weston

Part IV—William Hunter: The Wider World
19  On the way to the museum: Frederich The Great’s Bildergalerie in the park of Sanssouci in the context of other painting collections in 18th-century Germany, Heiner Krellig
20  Dr Black goes down to town: The 1788 tour to Ireland and England, Robert G. W. Anderson
21  For ‘instruction and delight’: The enfilade of nature at Sir Ashton Lever’s museum, Leicester House, London, 1775–86, Clare Haynes
22  David Ure (1749–98): The enlightened fossil collector, Neil D. L. Clark


2 Responses

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  1. Michael Yonan said, on August 7, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    As the editor for the series within which this book appears, I’ve got to say that I’m particularly excited about its publication. It’s the eleventh book in the series, but the first that is on a strictly eighteenth-century topic. But check back … it’s not the last!

    • Editor said, on August 7, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Great work, Michael! It’s a book I’m especially looking forward to, as well. Thanks, -Craig

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