Exhibition | Sampled Lives

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 7, 2017

Press release for the exhibition now on view at The Fitzwilliam:

Sampled Lives: Samplers from the Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 6 May 2017 — 8 April 2018

Coloured silks and metal threads, white-work, and needle lace… Over 120 beautifully embroidered samplers—some hundreds of years old—have gone on display in Cambridge in the exhibition Sampled Lives: Samplers from the Fitzwilliam Museum. Each one meticulously stitched by a girl or young woman, the samplers and accompanying book give a glimpse of past lives: from mid-17th-century English Quakers to early 20th-century school pupils. The skill employed in making them is remarkable—works by girls as young as nine years old are shown.

Very rarely seen due to their fragility and sensitivity to the light, several samplers have been newly conserved and cleaned for the show. This will be the first time so many fine examples from The Fitzwilliam’s outstanding collection of samplers have gone on display together.

The sampler was an essential part of a young woman’s education. It showed much more than just her ability with a needle and thread—it was a stitched CV, representing her competence to run a future home, or for seeking employment where such needle skills would be to her advantage. Samplers were also a work of creativity and pride, some containing hidden messages in the symbols and images used, referring to the girls’ political or religious beliefs. Many are stitched with names and ages. In some cases it is the only surviving document to record the existence of an ordinary young woman.

As the centuries progressed the sampler also became part of exercises towards literacy. Stitched prayers and odes to charity and faith adorned the fabric alongside alphabets and numerals. The displays highlight the importance of samplers as documentary evidence of past lives, revealing their education, employment, religion, family, societal status, and needlework skills. A fully- illustrated catalogue by Carol Humphrey, Honorary Keeper of Textiles, includes new high resolution photography to reveal the intricacy of the coloured silk stitches. It explores some of the personal stories that archival and genealogic research has revealed, as well as showing the evolution of different embroidery styles. It is hoped that the exhibition and book of Sampled Lives will stimulate further research, revealing more about the hidden histories of their makers.

Carol Humphrey commented: “The samplers are a stunning example of the needlework of the past and a masterclass for anyone interested in the changing fashions and styles of embroidery over the centuries. Much has changed in the study of samplers during the last thirty years or so. Now samplers can be seen as a valid means of studying the circumstances and material culture of their makers. When researched in depth, they can reveal not only personal details about an individual girl but also provide a key to family histories. We hope that visitors will enjoy discovering more about the techniques and past lives revealed in the exhibition and the book, and that further discoveries will come to light in the future.”

Carol Humphrey, Sampled Lives: Samplers from the Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge: The Fitzwilliam Museum, 2017), 242 pages, ISBN: 978  1910731  079, £20.

Exhibition | Honey from Many Flowers

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 7, 2017

Now on view at The Fitzwilliam:

Honey from Many Flowers: Carl Wilhelm Kolbe and Salomon Gessner’s Idylls
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 4 March — 10 September 2017

Carl Wilhelm Kolbe, after Salomon Gessner, Damon (Demophon) en Phillis (Phyllis), 1811 (Cambridge: The Fitzwilliam Museum).

Salomon Gessner (1730–88) was a Swiss artist and writer whose idyllic poetry and prose made him a household name in his lifetime. After his death, his family invited the German printmaker Carl Wilhelm Kolbe (1759–1835) to produce prints after a set of Gessner’s landscape drawings, which capture the Romantic period’s preoccupation with the pastoral idyll and delight in the natural world. This exhibition showcases a recently acquired complete set of Kolbe’s twenty-five etchings, issued in five parts from 1805 to 1811, together with a selection of works by eminent masters from whom Gessner drew inspiration, including Anthonie Waterloo, Allart van Everdingen, and Claude Lorrain.





Workshop | Translation Phenomena: Texts as Artistic Intermediaries

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on July 7, 2017

From H-ArtHist:

Translation Phenomena: Texts as Artistic Intermediaries
Übersetzungsphänomene: Texte als künstlerische Vermittlungsinstanzen
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, 17–18 July 2017

In der Epoche der Frühen Neuzeit war Kunstproduktion in hohem Maße konditioniert durch die zentrale und ubiquitäre Kulturtechnik des Übersetzens. Die Übersetzung und Relektüre antiker Texte befeuerte das humanistische imitatio-Denken und inspirierte vielfältige Adaptionen theoretischer Konzepte, vorbildhafter Werke und motivischer Konstellationen. Der Workshop wird sich jedoch nicht primär auf die verhältnismäßig gut erforschte Antikenrezeption konzentrieren, sondern die konsekutiven Übersetzungswellen in den Blick nehmen, die bislang wenig Aufmerksamkeit gefunden haben. Die Veranstaltung thematisiert Konzepte und Praktiken des Übersetzens in ihrer Relation zu Bildender Kunst und Architektur im Zeitraum ca. 1550–1800. Vorrangig sind dabei zwei Prozesse zu untersuchen, die transnationale kulturelle Transfers betreffen: Zum einen geht es um die frühneuzeitlichen innereuropäischen Übersetzungsdynamiken (die Übertragung von Kunst- und Architekturtraktaten z. B. aus dem Italienischen ins Deutsche und Englische und die dabei vorgenommene Kommentierung bzw. Neu-Interpretation plurivalenter Passagen), zum anderen gilt es, die künstlerische Transformation der in solchen Traktaten kodifizierten Vorbilder und Normen sowohl innerhalb als auch außerhalb Europas zu analysieren.

Ort: Haus „kreuz + quer“, Bohlenplatz 1, 91054 Erlangen. Der Eintritt ist frei; eine Anmeldung ist nicht erforderlich.

Konzeption und Kontakt: Prof. Dr. Christina Strunck (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), christina.strunck@fau.de

M O N D A Y ,  1 7  J U L Y  2 0 1 7

14.15  Christina Strunck (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), Begrüßung und Einführung

14.30  Ulrike Kern (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main), Vom Festland zur Insel: Kunsttheoretische Übersetzung im frühneuzeitlichen England

15.30  Kaffeepause

16.00  Constanze Keilholz (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen), Vignolas Regola in Europa: Zur Transformation der Titelillustration eines frühneuzeitlichen Bestsellers

17.00  Paolo Sanvito (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II), Übersetzung und Interpretation von Textquellen zum antiken Theaterbau: Debatten an der Accademia Olimpica in Vicenza, von Daniele Barbaro (1567) bis Enea Arnaldi (1762)

T U E S D A Y ,  1 8  J U L Y  2 0 1 7

9.00 Kristoffer Neville (University of California, Riverside), Leonhard Christoph Sturm as Reader and Critic: Architectural Translation and Synthesis in Germany in the Early Eighteenth Century

10.00  Carolin Scheidel (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), Palladios I Quattro Libri in England: Transformation und Rezeption der illustrativen Elemente

11.00  Kaffeepause

11.30  Daniela Lunger-Šterbová (Univerzita Karlova, Prag), Johann Ferdinand Schor und seine Architekturmanuskripte: Erforschung der theoretischen Quellen seiner Vorlesungen

12.30  Abschlussdiskussion

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