Exhibition | Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 30, 2019

Bacchanalian Triumph, Wedgwood black basalt rectangular plaque, late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. Copied from a bas-relief by Claude Michel Clodion (1738–1814).

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From The Mint:

Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries
The Mint Museum Randolph, Charlotte, North Carolina, 8 February — 30 August 2020

Featuring more than 100 ceramic objects, with loans from notable public and private collections in the United States and England, this exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late eighteenth-century England. The works of art on view include life-size portrait busts, statues, vases, and other fully three-dimensional, ornamental forms, as well as works in low relief, such as large plaques, portrait medallions, and medals.

Among the ceramic bodies produced in great numbers in Staffordshire, England in the late eighteenth century was black basalt. Josiah Wedgwood perfected this fine-grained stoneware in 1768, creating its dark color by adding manganese and carr, a slurry rich-with-iron oxide obtained from coal mines, to the clay body. Basalt was soon produced by many other Staffordshire potters as well. Although Wedgwood and the other potters used black basalt to create so-called ‘useful wares’, such as teapots and bowls, this exhibition showcases basalt sculpture, especially works with classically inspired themes or ornament.

Many of the basalt objects on view in the galleries were copied directly from works of art made in ancient Greece and Rome, such as busts of Homer and Socrates, gems and statues depicting gods and other mythological creatures, and coins with portraits of Julius Caesar and his successors.  Other basalt pieces derived from works made much later. Among the many artists represented in the exhibition by basalt versions of their creations are Michelangelo from the sixteenth century, Gian Lorenzo Bernini from the seventeenth century, and sculptor Louis François Roubiliac from the eighteenth. The Staffordshire potteries also hired modelers and other craftsmen to create new designs for their basalt wares.

Whatever the design source, the basalt sculpture made by Wedgwood and his contemporaries was well-crafted, refined, and perfectly suited for the neoclassical interiors so popular among style-conscious consumers, both in England and beyond, in the last few decades of the eighteenth century. Classic Black proudly highlights this fascinating chapter in the history of ceramics.

The catalogue is published by Giles:

Brian Gallagher, ed., with contributions by Gaye Blake-Roberts, Robin Emmerson, M.G. Sullivan, and Nancy Ramage, Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries (London: D. Giles, Ltd., 2020), 248 pages, ISBN: 978-1911282358, £45 / $60.

Classic Black explores classically inspired sculpture and other ornamental wares in black basalt. This famous stoneware was perfected by Josiah Wedgwood in 1768 and then went on to be produced by other prominent Staffordshire potters. Wedgwood, with prescience, said of his new creation, “Black is Sterling and will last forever.” This volume presents approximately 120 examples of ornamental black basalt, including portrait busts, statues, and vases, ewers and other fully three-dimensional, ornamental forms. It also features works in low relief including tablets, plaques, medallions and cameos. Essays by renowned subject specialists enhance the fully illustrated catalogue entries, which are grouped into three chapters. These each focus on an era of the design sources used by Wedgwood and his contemporaries to create their basalt wares: Classical Antiquity, the 16th and 17th centuries, and the 18th century.

Brian Gallagher is the curator of Decorative Arts at The Mint Museum. His recent projects include the publication, British Ceramics 1675–1825: The Mint Museum, which highlights over 225 examples from the Mint’s renowned British ceramics collection, and the reinstallation of that collection in a long-term display called Portals to the Past: British Ceramics 1675–1825.
Gaye Blake-Roberts is curator of the Wedgwood Museum, Barlaston.
Robin Emmerson is the former curator of Decorative Arts, National Museums, Liverpool.
Nancy H. Ramage is the Charles A. Dana Professor of the Humanities and Arts Emerita, Ithaca College.
M.G. Sullivan is an independent scholar, York University.


Foreword by Todd Herman, President and CEO, The Mint Museum

Robin Emmerson, Classicism and the Design Business
Gaye Blake-Roberts, Wedgwood’s Customers for Ornamental Black Basalt
M.G. Sullivan, Wedgwood’s Basalt and the Sculpture Market

Catalogue by Brian Gallagher
I. Works Based on Sources from Classical Antiquity
Rome and Pompeii: Fountains of Inspiration
Introduction by Nancy Ramage
II. Works Based on 16th- and 17th-Century Sources
From Renaissance Italy to the Golden Age of the Dutch Republic and Restoration England
III. Works Based on 18th-Century Sources
Enlightened Thinkers, Contemporary Events, and New Interpretations of the Classical Past
Concordance (by Object Type)

Selected Bibliography
Photography Credits

Exhibition | La Chine rêvée de François Boucher

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 29, 2019

Press release (via Art Daily) for the exhibition:

A Province of the Rococo: François Boucher’s Idealised China
Musée des beaux-arts et d’archéologie de Besançon, 9 November 2019 — 2 March 2020

Besançon’s Museum of Fine Art and Archaeology presents Une des provinces du Rococo: La Chine rêvée de François Boucher (One of the Provinces of the Rococo: François Boucher’s Idealised China), an exhibition that embarks the visitor on an enchanting voyage of discovery.

The Chinese Garden, 1742, oil on canvas (Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie de Besançon).

The illustrious François Boucher (1703–1770) was one of the key figures of eighteenth-century painting along with Watteau and Fragonard, and was one of the artists displaying the greatest talent in his efforts to renew the decorative arts. At a time when China, an ancient and distant civilisation, was drawing closer to France thanks to the trade in objets d’art, Boucher offered a window into this fascinating world, creating numerous Chinese subjects that were almost instantly adopted as part of Parisian decorative schemes and print collections and, inevitably, in the decorative arts: porcelain, furniture, and particularly tapestries.

The Museum of Fine Art and Archaeology in Besançon—which for the last two centuries has been home to the sketches produced in 1742 for the Beauvais Manufactory, a producer of tapestries—presents an ambitious exhibition with one hundred and thirty international loaned items, offering a poetic take on a theme never before presented to the public: the creative process of an artist who successfully created an exotic and original repertoire through his outstanding curiosity and creativity and who, in the words of the Goncourts Brothers, “made China one of the provinces of the Rococo.”

Tipsy Boats

One of the exhibition’s objectives is to help the visitor understand Francois Boucher’s keen artistic eye, finely honed during his visits to Parisian traders dealing in exotic items, a trade which was booming at the time. The exhibition begins with a series of items sold by marchands-merciers around 1730–1740 (lacquered screens, wallpaper, porcelain, etc.), presented in a specially laid out scene resembling the interior of a shop.

Produced for a pair of exotic item enthusiasts, the Chinese décor created by Antoine Watteau around 1710 at the Muette hunting lodge on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne also decisively influenced the way Boucher came to view Chinese subjects as ornamental features. He was among the artists who visited the site in 1731, to etch the subjects. Dismantled in the eighteenth century, this decor is represented by twelve prints produced by Boucher and by the two surviving paintings by Watteau.

Taste’s Hidden Surprises

The research conducted for the exhibition confirms that Boucher was one of the most ambitious collectors of Asian items in his day. His collection, which was dispersed in 1771 after his death, included around 700 Asian items. It stood out from contemporary collections thanks to its size and above all its virtually boundless diversity. A selection of some fifty items matching descriptions of this collection are presented with a view to presenting its richness and variety, while at the same time giving visitors some idea of the proportions of the different categories of items and forms involved including statuettes, mounted porcelain items, lacquered butterfly-shaped boxes, locks, and musical instruments from China, etc. Very early on, Boucher used this collection as a visual meaning but also as a means of getting himself better known as an artist but also as an enthusiast. He arranged for Gabriel Huquier, the famous print merchant who went on to become his business partner in the field of chinoiseries, to publish a collection of figures drawn by himself based on items from his collection. In the exhibition, these etched prints are compared with Asian models to highlight the changes of form through which the artist succeeded in bringing his collection to life.

China in Silk

His mastery of the vocabulary of forms, something which he alone managed so effortlessly, inevitably saw Boucher emerge as the artist of choice for the tapestry cartoons from the second Chinese series. An initial series had been woven at the Beauvais Manufactory in the late seventeenth century, but the cartoons gradually became worn and their subjects outdated. Boucher was therefore asked by Oudry, the Manufactory’s manager, to supply new models. He created ten ‘mini-cartons’ converted into larger works by the painter Dumons, for the weavers in the low-warp workshops. Eight of these cartons were presented at the 1742 exhibition and six were finally used for the series. The series became one of the greatest successes in the French tapestry industry of the eighteenth century with ten follow-up works being woven between 1743 and 1775. For the first time since the eighteenth century, the exhibition brings together the six tapestry items, forming a set which is truly spectacular in terms of its size and the exotic yet lively nature of its subjects.

China’s Gallantry

Presented in an elegant and intimate atmosphere resembling an art enthusiast’s lounge, this section examines Boucher’s Chinese paintings. The artist produced no easel paintings in this register although he was perfectly able to do so. China was simply a ‘sideline’ in his painted work but a side-line of outstanding quality. It can be seen firstly through the insistent representation of Asian objets d’art like those he had the opportunity to see and collect at first hand, in four interior scenes or ‘fashion pictures’ produced in the late 1730s and put together for this exhibition. These paintings, produced in small sizes for an impeccable result, demonstrate the artist’s great familiarity with the Parisian luxury goods market, which was undergoing profound change at the time, and of which these pictures were part. Three lintel pieces also reveal another function of painting, this time a decorative one. Two of these paintings, delicate blue-and-white monochromes, are seen near the chest of drawers and corners of the Comtesse de Mailly’s blue apartment at the Château de Choisy as research suggests that they came from this same sumptuous decor designed as an outstanding blue and white symphony.

Copyright Boucher

Even more so than through painting, Boucher’s creativity in the Chinese register is also expressed through paper: the artist is the author of almost a hundred print models, mostly distributed by the printmaker and merchant Gabriel Huquier. They both developed a significant repertoire of subjects inspired by Chinese models and adapted to European tastes, which were then reused by craftsmen for screens and for decorating porcelain or furniture. The number of prints featuring Chinese subjects produced by Boucher is extremely impressive for someone who was not a professional ornamentalist and their influence on the decorative arts in France and elsewhere was immense. The drawings and prints exhibited here therefore allow for a better understanding of the transition from one technique to the other, along with several luxury items produced by the manufactory of Vincennes Sèvres and by the best Parisian cabinetmakers, demonstrating their adaptation and use in the decoration of European objets d’art.

One hundred and thirty European and Asian works loaned by numerous museums and private collections also feature in the exhibition, as part of a poetic exhibition experience highlighting a unique approach, one which encompasses the history of art and the history of taste. Objets d’art, drawings, prints, paintings and tapestries, including some never before seen, make it possible to appreciate François Boucher’s keen eye and to demonstrate his central decisive contribution to the growing enthusiasm for China which developed in France back in his day. The manner in which this artist, collector, and enthusiast incorporates the exotic items he knows so well in his paintings and drawings suggests a link with the transformation and re-creation methods used at the same time by the marchands-merciers. We should consequently consider Boucher as an inventor and even as an entrepreneur with a highly developed awareness of the social and artistic challenges of his time, looking beyond the all too convenient label of painter or draughtsman. His idyllic China marks an incredibly creative ten-year interlude in an immense career, the effects of which left their mark on the age of Enlightenment.

The catalogue is published by In Fine éditions d’art:

Nicolas Surlapierre, Yohan Rimaud, Alastair Laing, and Lisa Mucciarelli, eds., Une des Provinces du Rococo: La Chine Rêvée de François Boucher (Paris: In Fine éditions d’art, 2019), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-2902302291, 29€. Contributors include Nicolas Surlapierre, Pierre Rosenberg, Vincent Bastien, Maël Bellec, Adrien Bossard, Stéphane Castelluccio, Claire Délery, Guillaume Faroult, John Finlay, Anne Forray-Carlier, Françoise Joulie, Alastair Laing, Lisa Mucciarelli, Jamie Mulherron, David Pullins, Béatrice Quette, Yohan Rimaud, Marie-Laure de Rochebrune, Kristel Smentek, Perrin Stein, Jean Vittet, and Sylvia Vriz.

More information on the catalogue, including the full table of contents, is available as a PDF file here»

New Book | Mrs Delany: A Life

Posted in books by Editor on December 28, 2019

From Yale UP:

Clarissa Campbell Orr, Mrs Delany: A Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019), 448 pages, ISBN: 978-0300161137, $38.

The first comprehensive biography of Mary Granville Delany—the artist and court insider whose flower collages, in particular, continue to inspire widespread admiration

Mrs Delany is best remembered for her captivating paper collages of flowers, but her artistic flourishing came late in life. This nuanced, deeply researched biography pulls back the lens to place Delany’s art in the broader context of her family life, relationships with royalty, and her endeavor to live as an independent woman. Clarissa Campbell Orr, a noted authority on the eighteenth-century court, charts Mary Delany’s development from a young woman at the heart of elite circles to beloved godmother and celebrated collagist. Orr traces the varied connections Mary Delany fostered throughout her life and which influenced her intellectual and artistic development: she was friends with prominent figures such as Methodist leader, John Wesley, composer G. F. Handel, the writer Jonathan Swift, and England’s leading patron of science, Margaret Bentinck, Duchess of Portland. Mrs Delany reveals its subject to be far more than a widow befriended by George III and Queen Charlotte; she is, instead, restored to her proper place in the era’s aristocratic society—and as a ground-breaking artist.

Clarissa Campbell Orr is the author of, or editor and contributor to, numerous essays and anthologies, including Queenship in Europe 1650–1789 and Queenship in Britain 1660–1837. She was a Visiting Research Fellow at St Mary’s University Twickenham from 2016 to 2018 after a long career at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

Exhibition | Jean-Antoine Houdon’s Portraits of Americans

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 27, 2019

Now on view at the DIA:

Jean-Antoine Houdon’s Portraits of Americans in the Age of Enlightenment
Detroit Institute of Arts, 6 October 2019 — 3 May 2020

Jean-Antoine Houdon, Busts of Benjamin Franklin (left), 1778, and George Washington (right), 1786, terracotta (Paris: Musée du Louvre).

The Detroit Institute of Arts presents a dossier exhibition featuring two masterworks of French eighteenth-century portrait sculpture lent from the Musée du Louvre. Created by the greatest sculptor of the Enlightenment, Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741–1828), the portraits depict two of America’s most iconic founders, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. As ‘Guests of Honor’, the busts are displayed in the company of selected works that similarly depict Franklin, Washington, and Robert Fulton, another early American icon, as among the first to reach celebrity status as enlightened leaders of a new nation. Drawing from the DIA’s own holdings and the important loans from the Louvre, the exhibition gives audiences a unique opportunity to explore and compare images of these very familiar personae through art in a variety of media. Presented in our gallery dedicated to the early American republic, the exhibition sets Houdon’s masterful terracotta portraits alongside painting, sculpture, textile, and work on paper, with significant examples of furniture and decorative arts already on view in the gallery providing a greater context of visual culture in the early American republic.

At Christie’s | Americana Week 2020

Posted in Art Market by Editor on December 27, 2019

Joshua Johnson (ca.1763–after 1824), A Pair of Portraits: Boy with Squirrel and Girl with Dog, oil on canvas, 30 × 24 inches. Lot 219: estimate, 100,000–150,000. Related paintings by Johnson date from around 1800 to 1805.

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From the press release, via Art Daily (22 December 2019) . . .

Christie’s announces Americana Week 2020, a series of auctions, viewings, and events, to be held January 11–24. The week of sales is comprised of Outsider Art on January 17; Chinese Export Art Featuring the Tibor Collection, Part II on January 23; and Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver on January 24.

Object highlights across the week include a majestic composition by Edward Hicks Peaceable Kingdom ($1,500,000–3,500,000), The Gould Family Queen Anne Carved Walnut High Chest-of-Drawers, Newport, 1750–70 ($300,000–400,000), Bill Traylor’s Man on White, Woman on Red / Man with Black Dog (double-sided) ($200,000–400,000) from the Collection of Alice Walker, a double-sided work by Henry Darger Untitled (188/189), double sided ($400,000–600,000), and notable Outsider Art works from The William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation. Works of rarity and fine craftsmanship include a pair of Chinese export porcelain ‘soldier’ vases and covers, early Qianlong Period, ca. 1740 ($100,000–150,000) and an important American silver, gold, and enamel vase by Louis Comfort Tiffany from 1915 ($100,000–150,000).

Americana Week 2020 will offer over a curation of more than 560 lots across the three live auctions. Viewings begin with the Outsider Art sale opening on 11 January at our Rockefeller Center galleries with the remaining two auctions, Chinese Export Art and Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver opening on 15 January. In conjunction with the sales, Christie’s will host the annual Eric M. Wunsch Award for Excellence in the American Arts on Wednesday, January 22 at 6pm honoring Laura Beach, Lita Solis-Cohen, and Mira Nakashima, as well as a Christie’s Lates event on Wednesday, January 15 combining a preview of the auctions, music, and specialist talks.

Outsider Art (Sale 17860)
Christie’s New York, 17 January 2020

On January 17 Christie’s will offer 130 lots of Outsider Art featuring rare and important masterpieces from the category’s top artists, including Bill Traylor, William Edmonson, Henry Darger, Thornton Dial and Martin Ramirez, among others.

Chinese Export Art Featuring the Tibor Collection, Part II, (Sale 18087)
Christie’s New York, 23 January 2020

Chinese Export Art Featuring the Tibor Collection, Part II, taking place in New York on January 24th, presents 166 lots of porcelain and paintings made for the great commerce between China and the West in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The variety on offer includes blue and white, famille verte, famille rose, armorial pieces, and rare European subjects. The sale is led by a rich assortment from the Tibor Collection, which encompasses every category of Chinese export porcelain—from small, charming teawares to massive pairs of important jars—gathered from Latin America, Europe, and the U.S. The collector was drawn to figure and animal models, including lifelike Chinese porcelain birds, pairs of pups to mythical beasts, and amusing packs of blanc de chine foo lions.

Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver (Sale 17810)
Christie’s New York, 24 January 2020

The Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Silver sale on January 24 includes an exceptional selection of 267 lots. The top lot of American Week is a magnificent Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks ($1,500,000–3,500,000), a ‘Late Kingdom’ masterpiece made at the height of the artist’s career and one of the most successful examples of his famous subject. This example differs in minor details to an example now at Colonial Williamsburg and was described by Hicks as “one of the best I ever done.” The significant selection of Folk Art includes a pair of vividly colored and exquisitely detailed portraits by Joshua Johnson: Boy with Squirrel and Girl with Dog (Lot 219, $100,000–150,000); an exquisite painting of two steamers by James Bard, The San Rafael ($50,000–80,000); and an iconic portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart (Lot 291, $200,000–300,000). A group of 11 cigar store figures from the collection of Gary Herman Dubnoff is led by a carved and polychrome paint-decorated Cigar Store Figure Of ‘Punch’ possibly from the workshop of Samuel Anderson Robb (1851–1928), New York, late 19th century ($70,000–90,000).

Important furniture highlights from distinguished collections include the Gould Family Queen Anne Carved Walnut Chest-of Drawers, Newport, 1750–70, from The Wunsch Americana Foundation, Inc. (Lot 296, $300,000–400,000); and from the collection of Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr. is a Queen Anne Walnut Tall-Case Clock, ca. 1740, with a dial signed by William Claggett ($30,000–50,000), and the Tillinghast Family Pair of Queen Anne Walnut Side Chairs, possibly by John Goddard, Newport, 1760–70 (two pairs presented in two lots, each estimated at $15,000–$25,000).

The sale features an impressive group of American silver with early works by Paul Revere II and iconic creations by Tiffany & Co. including a silver, gold, and enamel vase by Louis Comfort Tiffany, which was exhibited at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco ($100,000–150,000), and parcel-gilt silver and enamel musical carousel designed by Gene Moore, ca. 1990 ($50,000–80,000). Additional highlights include a pair of Martele silver vases by Gorham Mfg. Co. for the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle ($10,000–15,000) and an important silver caudle cup, by Jurian Blanck Jr., New York, ca. 1680 ($20,000–30,000).

Exhibition | Divine Illusions: Statue Paintings

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 24, 2019

Opening next month at the Snite:

Divine Illusions: Statue Paintings from Colonial South America
Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, 18 January — 16 May 2020

Curated by Michael Schreffler

Unidentified artist, Our Lady of the Rosary of Pomata, 1669, oil on canvas (Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, photo by Jamie Stukenberg).

In eighteenth-century Spanish America, sculpted images of the Virgin Mary were frequent subjects of paintings. Some of these ‘statue paintings’ depicted sculptures famed for miraculous intercession in medieval Spain. Others captured the likenesses of statues originating in the Americas and similarly celebrated for their divine intervention. Like the statues they portrayed, the paintings, too, were understood to be imbued with sacredness and were objects of devotion in their own right.

Drawn from the extraordinary holdings of the internationally renowned Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, this exhibition focuses on statue paintings of the Virgin from the Viceroyalty of Peru, a part of the Spanish Empire encompassing much of Andean South America. It centers particularly on works produced in Cuzco (Peru) and artistic centers in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca and explores the European and American dimensions of the phenomenon, iconographic variations in the genre, and what these works of art reveal about sacred imagery and its operation in Spanish colonial South America. The identities of the painters and patrons of these works remain largely unknown, but certainly some of them were native Andeans.

The paintings in the exhibition cohere not only in their subject matter and place of production, but also in the painters’ meticulous treatment of the lavish dresses, mantles, jewels, and crowns that adorned the sculpted images. These details enhance their illusionistic effects, simulating the presence of the dressed statue itself. By making divine images from distant places present in colonial Peru and positioning them—through painting—in the company of sacred sculptures from the Americas, works in this genre traced a transatlantic spiritual geography conceived in eighteenth-century Spanish America and extending from the Andes to the Pyrenees and beyond.

In addition to the paintings on display, this exhibition will be supplemented with carefully selected archival and didactic materials. This landmark exhibition is curated by Michael Schreffler, Ph.D., of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History and Design.

Call for Panels | NEASECS 2020, New York — Traffic

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 24, 2019

From the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies:

NEASECS 2020 — Traffic in the Global Eighteenth Century
Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus, New York, 25–27 September 2020

Panel and roundtable proposals are due 30 January 2020 (the call for papers will be posted by 15 February 2020, with a March 30 due date).

It would be difficult to imagine New York City without traffic, but traffic should not be understood merely as the polluting congestion of its highly frequented streets and waterways, an issue already present in New Amsterdam. Traffic also underlines the commerce, or the passing through different hands as the Encyclopédie’s “Trafiqué” underlines, both legal and illicit, of goods, bodies, books, artworks, monies, services, and ideas that is as central to New York City today as it was to the global eighteenth century.

For this 43 edition of NEASECS, we invite panels, papers, and other interventions on the topic of traffic in the global eighteenth century: be it book smuggling, human trafficking, drugs & arms smuggling, import/export, transnational and/or colonial exchanges, or money traders and currency converters; the traffic of ideas as well as objects of knowledge and aesthetic beauty (art objects, fashion…); the infrastructure (or lack there of) that facilitated the movements of such a global and local traffic; and/or the effects and affects of traffic/trafficking including the sonic. All disciplines from the history of science, history of the book, history of religion, architecture, art history, music history, and history, to literary studies, anthropology, and sociology are encouraged to participate. Round tables are also highly encouraged.

Of course, in the long tradition of NEASECS, panels on topics different from the theme of the conference are also welcome.

Panels will be 1 hour and 30 minutes. Panels should not have more than 4 presenters and should allow for at least 20 minutes of discussion.

For the very first time, and perhaps inspired by the controlled chaos of traffic itself and the vibrant, diverse democracy of New York City, we will also be hosting an open forum or town hall on human trafficking in the global eighteenth century. Anyone who wishes to participate can, and this can be in lieu of a paper. Although if you wish to participate in this session in addition to a panel or roundtable that is also welcome. The two-hour session will have parliamentary style format with lively free interventions to any individual who stands up to speak. Those with disabilities that prevent them from standing will be given a flag to raise. All you must do is register. All those who register for this event will be listed as participants in the session in the program.

Proposals for panels and roundtables are due 30 January 2020.
The call for papers will be posted by 15 February 2020.
Submission to panels and roundtables (individual contributions) will be due 30 March 2020.
Early registration at a discounted price must be completed by 30 May 2020.
Registration at the full price must be completed by 1 August 2020.
Please submit your proposals directly to neasecs@gmail.com. Thank you.
Click here to register and submit your proposals.

Call for Papers | Beyond the Academy: Architectural History

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 24, 2019

From the Call for Papers:

The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Architectural History Workshop
Beyond the Academy: Architectural History in Heritage, Conservation, and Curating
The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London, 21 March 2020

Proposals due by 17 January 2020

The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) invites presentation proposals for the Architectural History Workshop in 2020. This is our annual event for postgraduate students and early career professionals to share and develop their ideas; it aims to provide an informal and supportive space away from your own institution where you can discuss, debate, practice and enjoy the company of like-minded researchers and scholars working within the history of the built environment, broadly conceived. The theme of this year’s Workshop is Beyond the Academy: Architectural History in Heritage, Conservation, and Curating. Architectural history is practised in a number of fora: in academia, heritage, museums and collections. Academic research and skills have uses beyond the academy and in a competitive and precarious job market, architectural historians need to be open to a wide set of potential career paths.

We welcome doctoral students and early career professionals in architectural history, heritage, conservation, etc. The event is limited to postgraduate students (full-time or part-time) and early career professionals (those who have completed their postgraduate qualification within the last 5 years). Sessions will be structured to reflect the diversity of presentation styles needed for contemporary practice in architectural history, rather than in themes. Break-out sessions will be facilitated by a panel of invited professionals and scholars to be announced in due course.
This year we are encouraging scholars to present their research in ways that encourage discursive engagement. Research may be at any stage, from a proposal, final work as you write-up, post- doctoral reflections, or anything in-between.

We invite participation in a number of presentation styles including:
• Object-based and/or single-image presentations
• Reports or heritage statements
• Methodological reflections

Proposals can be for either
• 10-minute presentations
• Conference posters (A3 sheet in a standard format)

We welcome research on all periods and all places relating to the study of buildings, the built environment and associated histories that address a full range of methodological approaches to architectural history. All disciplinary approaches are welcome, including but by no means limited to:
• Architecture and Theory
• Urban History, Histories of Architectural Ecologies
• Art History, Material and Visual Culture
• History, Social and Cultural History
• Archaeology, Anthropology, Geography
• Heritage and Conservation of the Built Environment

Proposals should be no longer than 250 words, and indicate whether they are for posters or presentations. If you are interested in making a contribution, please complete the submission form on our website. The closing date for applications is Friday 17 January 2019. The result of all applications will be communicated by Friday, 1 February, with confirmation from the speakers requested by the second week of February. The Workshop will take place on Saturday, 21 March at The Gallery, 70, Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EL. No funding is available and a contribution of £10 is requested from all attendees to cover costs (inclusive of all catering). For further information or clarification of any sort please contact the conference organizers at ahw@sahgb.org.uk.

The Burlington Magazine, December 2019

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, reviews by Editor on December 23, 2019

The eighteenth century in The Burlington:

The Burlington Magazine 161 (December 2019)


• François Marandet, “A Modello by James Thornhill for Addiscombe House, Surrey,” pp. 1028–33. An oil sketch in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, is here identified as James Thornhill’s modello for the ceiling painting of the staircse hall at Addiscombe House, near Croyden, begun c.1702 and demolished in the 1860s. It depicts the classical gods as an allegory of the days of the week.


• Charles Avery, Review of the exhibition Forged in Fire: Bronze Sculpture in Florence under the Last Medici (Palazzo Pitti, 2019–20), pp. 1044–47.

• David Bindman, Review of the exhibition, Hogarth: Cruelty and Humor (Morgan Library and Museum, 2019), pp. 1047–48.

• Brian Allen, Review of the exhibition Hogarth: Place and Progress (Sir John Soane’s Museum, 2019–20), pp. 1048–51.

• Emily M. Weeks, Review of the exhibition Inspired by the East: How the Islamic World Influenced Western Art (British Museum, 2019–20), pp. 1051–53.

• Xavier F. Salomon, Review of the exhibition Luigi Valadier: Splendour in Eighteenth-Century Rome (Galleria Borghese, 2019–20), pp. 1053–55.

• Clare Hornsby, Review of Robin Simon and MaryAnne Stevens, eds., The Royal Academy of Arts: History and Collections (Yale University Press, 2018) and Nicholas Savage, Burlington House: Home of the Royal Academy of Arts (Royal Academy of Arts, 2018), pp. 1060–61.

• Jörg Zutter, Review of Chris Fischer, Venetian Drawings: Italian Drawings in the Royal Collection of Graphic Art (Statens Museum fur Kunst, National Gallery of Denmark, 2018), p. 1064.

• Thomas Stammers, Review of Charlotte Guichard, La griffe du peintre: La valeur de l’art, 1730–1820 (Seuil, 2018), pp. 1066–67.

• Richard Stephens, Review of Wayne Franits, Godefridus Schalcken: A Dutch Painter in Late Seventeenth-Century London (Amsterdam University Press, 2018), p. 1074.


• Anthony Geraghty, Kerry Downes (1930–2019), p. 1075.

Exhibition | Luigi Valadier: Splendour in Eighteenth-Century Rome

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 23, 2019

Now on view at the Galleria Borghese . . . Of the 72 objects included, only 22 were included in the related Frick exhibition, as noted by Xavier Salomon in his review for The Burlington (December 2019), p. 1053.

Luigi Valadier: Splendour in Eighteenth-Century Rome
Galleria Borghese, Rome, 30 October 2019 — 2 February 2020

Curated by Anna Coliva

Ma ciò che la mostra vuole esaltare è la possibilità davvero unica di ammirare le opere del grande artefice all’interno di un contesto decorativo, quale quello della Villa Borghese, capace di restituire, di per sé, quella particolare compresenza di pittori, scultori e artigiani che l’architetto Antonio Asprucci aveva diretto nel rinnovamento del Palazzo di città e della Villa voluto dal principe Marcantonio IV Borghese; artisti che, nei medesimi anni, non solo avevano condiviso molte delle principali imprese artistiche romane ma i cui rapporti diretti con Luigi Valadier sono ampiamente documentati: è il caso, solo per fare un esempio, dell’intagliatore di marmi Lorenzo Cardelli, già nella bottega di Piranesi, che con il grande orafo collaborerà tanto nell’esecuzione del camino della Sala XVI, decorato con applicazioni in bronzo di Valadier, quanto nella realizzazione di manufatti destinati alla committenza anglosassone.

La Villa, che custodisce alcuni dei capolavori, come l’Erma di Bacco e la coppia di Tavoli dodecagonali, sintetizza così il gusto dominante a Roma intorno alla metà del secolo, dove i raffinati apparati decorativi risplendono di un declinante rococò che coesiste con le nuove tendenze stilistiche ispirate all’antico. Di questo particolare contesto culturale, nel senso più ampio, Valadier è protagonista assoluto.

Se la committenza Borghese costituì il filo conduttore dell’attività di Valadier, il rango e il numero dei committenti rivelano lo straordinario successo della sua carriera di orafo e argentiere, esaltando la vastità di campo, l’originalità e l’impronta internazionale della sua produzione, che la mostra intende rappresentare con importanti testimonianze. I prestiti spaziano dalle grandi lampade d’argento per il santuario di Santiago di Compostela, al San Giovanni Battista del Battistero Lateranense, per la prima volta visibili fuori della loro collocazione originale; dal servizio per pontificale della cattedrale di Muro Lucano alle sculture della cattedrale di Monreale; e, ancora, saranno esposte le riproduzioni in bronzo di celebri statue antiche per re Gustavo III di Svezia, Madame du Barry e il conte d’Orsay; il mirabile sostegno del cammeo di Augusto, realizzato su commissione di Pio VI per il Museo Sacro e Profano in Vaticano, oltre alle straordinarie invenzioni dei superbi desert, come quello commissionato dal Balì di Breteuil e poi venduto a Caterina II di Russia, oggi a San Pietroburgo, e la ricostruzione del tempio di Iside a Pompei per Maria Carolina d’Austria.

Una importante sezione sarà dedicata ai disegni, strumento fondamentale per comprendere l’evolversi del procedimento creativo di Valadier e la sua traduzione attraverso l’attività della grande e articolata bottega. Il prezioso volume della Pinacoteca Comunale di Faenza, per la prima volta interamente catalogato in occasione della mostra, ne offre una rassegna variegata, che sarà apprezzabile anche attraverso riproduzioni digitali. I disegni offrono inoltre la testimonianza di opere oggi disperse, come il sontuoso servizio in argento dorato realizzato per i Borghese, i cui pochi oggetti giunti fino a noi saranno riuniti in questa occasione.

In mostra saranno presenti alcuni totem multimediali dedicati ai Luoghi di Luigi Valadier a Roma: siti, chiese, palazzi e ambienti che conservano le sue opere o comunque significativi, come la casa-studio in via del Babuino. Un invito a trasferire questo percorso virtuale nella realtà, per comprendere meglio quel Valadier “romano”, decoratore nella più splendida e “moderna” Villa di delizie della città eterna, ma espressione di quel gusto internazionale che da Roma partiva per diffondere un gusto ricercato e imitato in tutta Europa.

Geraldine Leardi, ed., Valadier: Splendore nella Roma del Settecento (Milan: Officina Libraria, 2019), 376 pages, 978-8833670638, 48€.

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