Exhibition | Feeding the 400

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 13, 2016


Frederick Cayley Robinson, Orphan Girls Entering the Refectory of a Hospital, 1915, oil on canvas (London: Wellcome Library). According to Art UK (the operating name of the Public Catalogue Foundation), the picture is one “in a set of four allegorical paintings on the theme of the ‘Acts of mercy’ commissioned from F. Cayley Robinson for the Middlesex Hospital in 1912. The hospital was demolished in 2008 and the paintings were acquired from the health authority in 2009.”

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From The Foundling Museum:

Feeding the 400
The Foundling Museum, London, 23 September 2016 — 8 January 2017

Curated by Jane Levi

Based on new research, guest curator Jane Levi presents the multi-faceted impact that food and eating regimes had on children at the Hospital from 1740 to 1950. This fascinating story is explored through art, archival material, photographs and the voices of former pupils, whose memories of food are captured in the Museum’s extensive sound archive.

Feeding the 400 explodes myths and misconceptions around eating at the Hospital, demonstrating how the institution’s food choices were far more than just questions of economy, nutrition and health. Working with historians, scientists and cultural practitioners, the exhibition brings alive the connections between what, when, where and why the foundlings ate what they ate; the beliefs and science that underpinned these decisions; and their physiological and psychological effects. Alongside archival material, paintings and objects including tableware from the Foundling Museum collection, a newly commissioned sound work evokes the experience of communal eating, conjuring sounds common to the Hospital’s dining rooms. Feeding the 400 is supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award.

Display | So That They May Be Usefull to Themselves

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 13, 2016

Opening in November at The Foundling Museum:

So That They May Be Usefull to Themselves
The Foundling Museum, London, 15 November 2016 — 7 May 2017

This display in the Introductory Gallery explores the Foundling Hospital’s work with disabled children. The Foundling Hospital was ground-breaking in its approach to access, as shown by the education and care it gave to disabled children in its custody. In some cases this led to lifelong support, even into old age. Curated by the Museum’s volunteers, this in-focus display explores their treatment of disability at the Foundling Hospital in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, alongside stories of former pupils.

Lieke van Deinsen on the ‘Panpoëticon Batavûm’

Posted in museums by Editor on September 13, 2016

From the September 2016 Newsletter on Academic Activities at the Rijksmuseum:

As a Johan Huizinga Fellow, Lieke van Deinsen conducted research into a remarkable collection of eighteenth-century portraits of authors, better known as the Panpoëticon Batavûm. Her findings will be published as the first volume in the new book series Rijksmuseum Studies in History, which will be launched 13 October 2016.

unnamedCollecting was extremely fashionable in the eighteenth-century Dutch Republic. Wooden trays and cabinets, made specifically for the purpose, would be filled with collections of coins, stones and shells. The Amsterdam painter, engraver and amateur poet Arnoud van Halen assembled a collection of a different and unique kind. In 1719, he commissioned a cabinet that eventually served as the repository of over three hundred little portraits of Dutch poets past and present. The formal enshrinement of this remarkable collection did not, however, mark its beginning—or its end. Van Halen had started accumulating his Panpoeticon Batavum at the turn of the eighteenth century, and after his death the cabinet and its contents changed hands several times as lovers of literature and literary societies sought to acquire the Panpoëticon. The collection also inspired dozens of poets to articulate their highly emotional reactions on seeing this ground-breaking image of Dutch literary history. The wooden cabinet became the tangible monument to the Dutch literary canon at a time when Dutch culture was primarily described in terms of decline, Frenchification and the waning of the Golden Age.

The history of the Panpoëticon Batavûm literally ended with a bang. The wooden cabinet was severely damaged when a ship filled with gunpowder exploded in the centre of Leiden. In the aftermath of the disaster, the remaining portraits were sold separately and ended up all over Europe. Nowadays, eighty-three of the original portraits can be found in the Rijksmuseum’s collection.

Read more here»



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