Exhibition | Reading, Writing, and Publishing Black Books

Posted in exhibitions, on site by Editor on January 18, 2016


Interior of the African Meeting House in Boston, completed in 1806,
as restored by Shawmut to its 1855 state.

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As noted at History of the Book at Harvard:

Freedom Rising: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Black Books
African Meeting House, Museum of African American History, Boston, 8 January 2015 — May 2016

The Museum of African American History’s Black Books exhibition and complementary programming examine historical and cultural implications of learning to read and write, as well as publishing the works of free and formerly enslaved African American voices. Free black communities from Boston and beyond began sharing books, newspapers, periodicals, poems, and other writings to advance campaigns for freedom from the Colonial period through the 19th century and for personal expression and enjoyment. These pioneering wordsmiths continue to inspire gifted writers to use their published works as agents for social change. To celebrate their passion for free speech and draw parallels across the ages, Black Books places 18th- and 19th-century African American authors from the Museum’s collection of rare books in dialogue with more contemporary works. The exhibit and programs feature a wide array of selected genres, including poetry, fiction, autobiography, medicine, military experience, sociology, and music. Lead partners: National Park Service, Boston African American National Historic Site and Suffolk University’s Mildred F. Sawyer Library, where the Museum’s book collection is housed.

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From a November 2011 press release, celebrating the restoration and reopening of the African Meeting House:

The African Meeting House, built and opened in 1806, is the oldest extant African American church building in the nation constructed primarily by free black artisans. Over more than 200 years, this three-story brick structure has served diverse communities in Boston, as a church, school, and vital meeting place in the 1800s, and a synagogue in the 20th century. In 1967, Sue Bailey Thurman, wife of the Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman, founded the Museum of African American History, which acquired the African Meeting House in 1972. This National Historic Landmark is the crown jewel in the Museum’s collection of historic sites on Boston’s Beacon Hill and Nantucket. . . .

The Museum of African American History is New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of people of African descent and those from Boston and across the nation who found common cause with them in the struggle for liberty, dignity, and justice for all. Founded in 1967 and opened in 1986, its Boston and Nantucket campuses feature two Black Heritage Trails and four historic sites; three are National Historic Landmarks. They tell the story of organized black communities from the Colonial Period through the 19th century. Exhibits, programs, and educational activities showcase the powerful history of individuals and families who worshipped, educated their children, debated the issues of the day, produced great art, organized politically, and advanced the cause of freedom through a strategic network of Northern coastal communities. . . .

Chistoph Vogtherr Named Director of the Hamburg Kunsthalle

Posted in museums by Editor on January 18, 2016

From The Wallace (14 January 2016) . . .

Director, Dr Christoph Vogtherr, to leave the Wallace Collection

We at the Wallace are sad to hear about his departure, he has been an inspiration to his staff and we wish him well in his new role at Hamburger Kunsthalle.

christoph-martin-vogtherrDr Vogtherr joined the Wallace Collection as the Curator of Old Master Paintings and was appointed as Director in October 2011. During his tenure Dr Vogtherr has been responsible for the acclaimed refurbishment of the museum’s Great Gallery, seen visitor numbers increased by 20% and has established the museum as an international research centre for French seventeenth and eighteenth century art and European arms and armour.

Dr Vogtherr said: “It has been a great privilege to be part of the Wallace Collection team over the past nine years and its Director for the past five. I am proud to have been associated with such an outstanding collection and to have made a contribution to ensuring its enduring appeal for future generations. The refurbishment of the Great Gallery has been a once-in-a-lifetime project. The Hamburg Kunsthalle has played a crucial role in the history of the art museum and current museum practice, which explains the timing of this decision but I know I leave the Collection in good hands under the Chairmanship of António Horta-Osório, who I know will lead the Collection from strength to strength”.

António Horta Osório, the Chairman of the Wallace Collection, said: “We are very sorry to learn of Dr Vogtherr’s decision. We are immensely grateful to him for the very substantial contribution he has made to the Wallace Collection. He will leave the museum in a position of great strength artistically and intellectually.”

Dr Vogtherr will take up his post in Hamburg in October and the Wallace Collection will begin the search for a new Director in due course.

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From the Hamburg Kunsthalle (13 January 2016). . .

Dr. Christoph Martin Vogtherr wird Direktor der Hamburger Kunsthalle

Der Stiftungsrat der Hamburger Kunsthalle hat heute beschlossen, Dr. Christoph Martin Vogtherr die künstlerische und wissenschaftliche Leitung der Hamburger Kunsthalle zu übertragen. Vogtherr ist seit 2011 Direktor der Wallace Collection in London, einem der weltweit renommierten Museen für ältere, insbesondere französische Kunst. Er tritt zum 1. Oktober 2016 in der Hamburger Kunsthalle die Nachfolge von Prof. Dr. Hubertus Gaßner an, der in den Ruhestand geht.

Kultursenatorin Prof. Barabara Kisseler: „Mit Christoph Martin Vogtherr geben wir die Leitung der Hamburger Kunsthalle in die Hände eines ebenso erfahrenen wie innovativen Museumsdirektors. Vogtherr ist ein international anerkannter Kunsthistoriker. Als Direktor der Wallace Collection in London ist es ihm gelungen, mit neuen Sammlungspräsentationen und aktuellen Perspektiven ein neues Publikum für das Museum zu begeistern. Wir haben mit ihm eine Persönlichkeit gefunden, die dem Rang der Hamburger Kunsthalle gerecht wird und neue internationale Impulse setzen wird.“

Christoph Martin Vogtherr: „Die Hamburger Kunsthalle ist eines der herausragenden Kunstmuseen in Deutschland. Mit ihrer beeindruckenden und inspirierenden Tradition in der kunsthistorischen Arbeit und der Kunstvermittlung hat sie immer wieder die internationale Museumswelt geprägt und herausgefordert. Ich freue mich sehr über das große Vertrauen der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg und möchte gemeinsam mit allen Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeitern des Museums die künstlerische und gesellschaftliche Bedeutung der Kunsthalle weiter entwickeln.“

Christoph Martin Vogtherr ist seit 2011 Direktor der Wallace Collection in London. Seit 2007 war er dort zunächst als Kurator, später als Sammlungsleiter tätig. Von 2003 bis 2007 leitete er ein interdisziplinäres Forschungsprojekt der Getty Stiftung.

Seine derzeitige Wirkungsstätte, die Wallace Collection, ist eines von mehreren britischen Nationalmuseen und verfügt über eine hochkarätige Sammlung. Für Christoph Martin Vogtherr haben Museen eine wichtige Funktion als Teil der Zivilgesellschaft. Dabei ist es ihm ein besonderes Anliegen, ein junges und internationales Publikum durch innovative Vermittlungsangebote zu gewinnen.

Christoph Martin Vogtherr wurde 1965 in Uelzen geboren und studierte Kunstgeschichte, mittelalterliche Geschichte und klassische Archäologie in Berlin, Heidelberg und Cambridge. 1996 promovierte er an der Freien Universität Berlin mit einer Dissertation über die Gründung der Berliner Museen 1797-1835. Er verfügt über hervorragende internationale Beziehungen im anglo-amerikanischen Raum sowie in Frankreich. Seit 2014 ist er Mitglied im Wissenschaftsrat des Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris.

Call for Papers | Auricular Style: Frames

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 18, 2016

The Auricular Style of the seventeenth century regularly occasions evocations of subsequent Rococo designs (for better or worse, though even consideration of the latter might make for a useful contribution). . . The Rijksmuseum is planning an exhibition on the Auricular Style (kwabstijl) in 2018. From the conference website:

Auricular Style: Frames
The Wallace Collection, London, 5–6 October 2016

Proposals due by 29 January 2016

This two-day international conference will be the first dedicated to the Auricular Style, centring on one of its most significant manifestations, the picture frame. The conference aims to stimulate awareness and study of this important but neglected style by bringing together research in fine and decorative art histories. It will consider the origins and development of the style in different materials, together with its dissemination between European centres. The conference will explore how other areas of the decorative and applied arts fed into the creation of picture frames, and were in their turn nourished through the influence of these sculptural objects.

Fourteen speakers are anticipated, and currently include Karen Hearn (University College London), Jacob Simon (National Portrait Gallery), Hubert Baija (Rijksmuseum), Daniela Roberts (University of Würzburg), Allison Stielau (McGill University) and Ada de Wit (Radboud University / Wallace Collection). Displays to run simultaneously with the conference are planned with the Guildhall Art Gallery, and Ham House, London.

Relevant topics include, but are not limited to, connections between countries (Italy, France, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Britain, Germany and Scandinavia); the Van Vianens; Fontainebleau; the grotesque; ‘Medici’ frames; the influence of prints; Auricular settings; craftsmanship; the style’s decline and its revivals. Poster presentations exhibited during the conference will be edited with the papers and published, fully illustrated, for free download on The Frame Blog, which it is hoped will become a hub for future related research.

Enquiries and submissions (300–400 word abstracts as Word documents) to alabone.g@gmail.com. Registration free for speakers and poster contributors. Agreed travel and accommodation expenses reimbursed for speakers.

Convenors: Gerry Alabone (Tate / City and Guilds of London Art School) and Lynn Roberts (The Frame Blog) in association with the Institute of Conservation (Gilding and Decorative Surfaces Group).