Conference | Capability Brown: Perception and Response

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on August 21, 2016


Programme for the conference:

Capability Brown: Perception and Response in a Global Context
University of Bath, 9–11 September 2016

Capability Brown changed the face of 18th-century England. Yet he left little written explanation of his work. Much must be inferred from his surviving landscapes and by seeing his work in the wider context of the naturalistic style that developed in Europe and further afield. This major conference, organised by the Cultural Landscapes and Historic Gardens Committee of ICOMOS-UK (International Council on Monuments and Sites UK), will be one of the highlights of the first-ever national Capability Brown Festival, providing an international dimension to complement the UK’s national festival of events, openings, exhibitions and publications.

Over a three-day conference in the historic city of Bath (one of the UK’s World Heritage Sites), world-renowned researchers and practitioners will present Brown’s work in a global context and explore the ways in which it has been interpreted over the last 250 years. The conference will include evening receptions at Prior Park, the Brown designed valley garden with its iconic Palladian bridge overlooking the city, and at the Bath Assembly Rooms. There will also be a tour of Brown’s landscape at Croome Court, recently restored by the National Trust. Conference papers will be published for delegates in a special edition of Garden History.

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F R I D A Y ,  9  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 6

10:00  Registration

11:00  Session I | Brown in Great Britain
• Welcome by David Thackray OBE (President of ICOMOS-UK)
• Address by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO (Patron, ICOMOS-UK)
• Introduction by Marion Harney (University of Bath)
• Keynote Talk: Brown and Neo-Classicism, John Dixon Hunt (University of Pennsylvania)
• Lancelot Brown’s Design of the Waters at Blenheim, Hal Moggridge OBE VMH (Past President of the Landscape Institute, Consulting Landscape Architect at Blenheim, 1981–2001)

12.40  Lunch

14:00  Session I | Brown in Great Britain, continued
• Shrubbery to Grove and Flower Garden to Meadow, Mark Laird (Historic Landscape Consultant)
• Brown at Burghley: Aestheticising the Medieval Past, Megan Aldrich (Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London)

15:00  Afternoon Break

15:30  Session 2 | Brown as Perceived Abroad, part A
• The Limits of Brown’s Landscape: Translations of the Landscape Garden into Ireland, Finola O’Kane Crimmins (University College Dublin)
• Models in this Art: Tracing the Brownian Landscape Tradition in America, Therese O’Malley (Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC)

18.30  Reception at Prior Park (depart at 17:45)

S A T U R D A Y ,  1 0  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 6

9:30  Session 3 | Brown as Perceived Abroad, part B
• Introduction by Michael Symes (Garden Historian)
• Brown Invisible in France? The French Perception and Reception of Gardens in Eighteenth Century Britain, Laurent Châtel (Université Paris-Sorbonne) and Monique Mosser (Garden Historian)
• The English Garden in the Low Countries and the Principauté of Liège, Nathalie de Harlez de Deulin (Université de Liège)
• Thomas Whately, Catherine the Great, and the Brownian Tradition in Russia, Boris Sokolov (Russian State University for the Humanities)
• Capability Brown’s Design for Schönenberg at Laeken near Brussels, 1782, Wim Oers (Catholic University of Leuven)
• Hungarian Garden Tourists in Search of Brown’s Legacy, Kristor Fatsar (Writtle College, University of Essex)
• Brown’s Impact on Garden Design in Hungary, Gábor Alfödy (Landscape Architect and Garden Historian)

13:10  Lunch

14:25  Session 4 | Echoes of Brown
• Introduction by Peter Goodchild (Director of The Garden and Landscape Heritage Trust, UK)
• George Parkyn’s “Entwürfe…” Published in Leipzig in 1796 and 1805, Eva Ruoff (Aalto University)
• The Early Landscape Garden in Germany, Marcus Köhler (Technische Universtaet Dresden)
• Beauty in Simplicity: An Exploration of the Design Principles of Capability Brown, Matthew Tickner (Director, Cookson & Tickner Ltd) and Will Cookson (Landscape Architect, Cookson & Tickner Ltd)
• Misconceptions, John Phibbs (Principal, Debois Landscape Survey Group)
• Why Celebrate Capability Brown?, Oliver Cox (University of Oxford)

18.00  Civic Reception in the Assembly Rooms, with Address from Dame Helen Ghosh (Director-General of the National Trust)

S U N D A Y ,  1 1  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 6

9:00  Session 5 | Reflections on Brown’s Legacy
• Introduction by Steven Brown (Chair of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee of Cultural Landscapes)
• Reflections and Future Directions, Michael Symes (Garden Historian)

10:00  Coffee

10:30  Depart in coaches for Croome Court, Worcestershire

12:30  Site Visit to Croome Court

16:00  Depart Croome Court to return to Bath


Exhibition | Noble Prospects: Capability Brown and Yorkshire

Posted in books, exhibitions by Editor on August 21, 2016

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Now on view at The Mercer Art Gallery, with more information from the Capability Brown Festival:

Noble Prospects: Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape
The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, 25 June — 11 September 2016

The great landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716–1783) changed the face of eighteenth-century English parkland, creating a magical world of woods, water and swathes of green that lives on until this day in Yorkshire. This Mercer Art Gallery exhibition is the first ever dedicated to the Yorkshire landscapes of this legendary designer to mark the 300th anniversary of his birth, devised in partnership with the Yorkshire Gardens Trust.

Installation view of the exhibition “Noble Prospects: Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape,” The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, 2016. Photo by Simon Miles.

Installation view of the exhibition “Noble Prospects: Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape,” The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, 2016. Photo by Simon Miles.

Capability Brown is the creator of some of Yorkshire’s most admired landscapes, which include Burton Constable, Harewood, Roche Abbey, Scampston, Sledmere and Temple Newsam. This unique exhibition brings together an intriguing collection of artworks, which reveal more about the designer and his designs. Drawn largely from Yorkshire collections the show features portraits of Capability Brown and his Yorkshire clients, original plans, drawings and documents by Brown, paintings of his creations as well as works of art that inspired his landscapes.

Capability Brown was the leading landscape designer of the second-half of the eighteenth century and there are thought to be 20 sites in Yorkshire associated with him. He rejected the very formal geometric French style of gardening and concentrated on echoing the natural undulations of the English landscape in his plans. The landscape garden is recognised as one of Britain’s greatest artistic achievements and the designs of Brown and his contemporaries have influenced gardens across the world.

Noble Prospects: Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape is supported by The Landscape Agency, Saffery Champness, Savills, Coutts, Harrogate Borough Council, The Capability Brown Festival 2016, Art Fund, Natural England, The Calmcott Trust, The Friends of the Mercer Art Gallery, Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, Historic Houses Associations Yorkshire Friends, Mr and Mrs J. Samuel and private donors. The Yorkshire Gardens Trust, an educational charity founded in 1996, works to help conserve, protect and promote Yorkshire’s rich heritage of parks, gardens and designed landscapes.

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From the Yorkshire Gardens Trust:

Karen Lynch, Noble Prospects: Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape (Yorkshire Gardens Trust, 2016), 72 pages, £12.

Noble Prospects ExhibitionThe development of a new natural style of laying out parks in the eighteenth century is acknowledged to be one of the greatest artistic achievements in British history. One man’s name is indelibly linked with the profession of landscape gardening: Lancelot Brown. Achieving great renown in his own lifetime he became universally known by his affectionate nickname ‘Capability’, and whilst fashions in design have come and gone, his fame remains great three hundred years after his birth. This new publication celebrates Capability Brown’s work in Yorkshire and is the culmination of two years of research to identify just what Brown did in this vast county. It features contemporary views by artists such as J.M.W. Turner and Paul Sandby as well as works by amateur artists who admired the landscapes they visited. Also illustrated are designs by Brown and portraits of the man and his Yorkshire clients. Stunning newly commissioned photography by artist Simon Warner shows the parks as they look today.







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