Study Day | Print Collecting in the 18th Century

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on December 1, 2016

A study day in connection with the exhibition An Amateur’s Passion: Lord Fitzwilliam’s Print Collection . . .

Print Collecting in the 18th Century: English Print
Collectors and Collections of English Prints

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 20 January 2017


Jan Collaert Album (Cambridge: The Fitzwilliam Museum)

From the outset the print collection was one of the chief glories of the Fitzwilliam. The collection of Richard, 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam (1745–1816), which he left to the University of Cambridge in order to found the Fitzwilliam, included 198 albums of prints and four unbound portfolios, containing some 40,000 prints. Lord Fitzwilliam’s collection of Rembrandt prints was considered one of the two best collections of his day, but he had much else besides. His collections of Netherlandish and early German prints, notably those by Dürer, were remarkably complete. He spent much time in Paris in the 1780s (he had a mistress there), thus affording him the opportunity to collect French prints in large number. Some of his albums derive from French aristocratic collections broken up at the time of the French Revolution. These albums still sit on the shelves in the Print Room of the Fitzwilliam today. Although the stars of the collection—the Rembrandts, the Dürers—have long since been mounted in separate mounts (mats) for ease of study and display, most of Fitzwilliam’s albums remain intact: a fabulously rare and precious document of an eighteenth-century print collection. Fitzwilliam himself carefully supervised the arrangement of the prints in these albums, mostly during the last years of his life, when he retired to his house in Richmond to devote himself to such tasks.

Tickets £10. Lunch is not included, but coffee is provided. Booking is essential: telephone 01223 332904 or email education@fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊


10.00  Registration and coffee

10.20  Morning Session
• David Alexander, Print Collecting in Eighteenth Century Britain: An Overview
• Nick Stogdon, Collecting Rembrandt Prints in the Eighteenth Century
• Simon Turner, Collecting Hollar: Drawings and Prints
• Elenor Ling, Lord Fitzwilliam’s Print Collection
• Meredith Hale, Thomas Kerrich as Print Collector

12:30  Short tour of An Amateur’s Passion

12:45  Group A visits Graham Robertson Study Room to view selection of albums

13:00  Group B visits Graham Robertson Study Room to view selection of albums

13:15  Lunch

14.30  Afternoon Session
• Sileas Wood, John Brand: Antiquarian
• Sarah Grant, Marie-Antoinette and the Princesse de Lamballe’s English Prints’ Prints
• Kate Heard, ‘A Most Profitable and Intelligent Study’: George IV as a Collector of Prints

15.30  Closing remarks and final discussion





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: