Enfilade

Lecture Series | Perspectives on Collecting

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on October 31, 2019

From ArtHist.net:

Perspectives on Collecting: A Four-Part Lecture Series
Strawberry Hill House, London, 6–27 November 2019

Strawberry Hill Trust hosts a four-part lecture series exploring perspectives on collecting from renowned speakers: David Starkey, historian and presenter; Tim Knox, Director of the Royal Collection; Martin Caiger-Smith, author and Head of the MA Curating the Art Museum programme at The Courtauld Institute of Art; and Tristram Hunt, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum. The lectures will begin at 7.30pm in the Waldegrave Drawing Room by kind permission of St Mary’s University. Guests are invited to arrive from 6.45pm to enjoy a complimentary glass of fizz in Horace Walpole’s magnificent Gallery.

Wednesday, 6 November
David Starkey, Holbein and The Tudor Court

Wednesday, 13 November
Tim Knox, The Rise and Fall of the Country House Museum

Wednesday, 20 November
Martin Caiger-Smith, Antony Gormley’s Interventions in Historic Collections

Wednesday 27 November
Tristram Hunt, Collecting the Home

Exhibition | Thomas Jefferson, Architect

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on October 25, 2019

Model of Jefferson’s Design for the President’s House Competition, designed by Simone Baldissini and constructed by Ivan Simonato, 2015, scale 1:66, wood, resin, and tempera (Vicenza: Palladio Museum; photo by Lorenzo Ceretta).

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Press release (18 April 2019) for the exhibition:

Thomas Jefferson, Architect: Palladian Models, Democratic Principles, and the Conflict of Ideals
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, 19 October 2019 — 19 January 202

 Curated by Erik Neil, Lloyd DeWitt, and Corey Piper

Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) was Governor of Virginia, Secretary of State, President of the United States, and author of the Declaration of Independence. The most important architectural thinker of the young American republic, Jefferson conveyed ideals of liberty and democracy in his designs. He was also a slave owner. A new exhibition from the Chrysler Museum of Art titled Thomas Jefferson, Architect: Palladian Models, Democratic Principles and the Conflict of Ideals explores this divergence alongside his extraordinary architectural influence.

Thomas Jefferson, Monticello: Observation Tower, recto, ca. 1771, pen and Ink with gray wash (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts).

Organized by the Chrysler Museum of Art in collaboration with the Palladio Museum in Vicenza, Italy, the exhibition focuses on the ideas, formation, and key monuments of the Founding Father who dramatically influenced the architectural profile of the young republic. It will also confront the inherent conflict between Jefferson’s pursuit of contemporary ideals of liberty and democracy and his use of slave labor to construct his monuments.

The Chrysler Museum’s exhibition will follow Jefferson’s evolution as an architect with nearly 130 objects, including models, rare books, paintings, drawings, early photographs, and architectural elements. Visitors will see objects from the Chrysler’s rich collection, as well as loans from the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, Jefferson’s residences at Monticello and Poplar Forest in Virginia, the University of Virginia, and other museums and libraries.

The Palladio Museum will provide 14 models, including 10 newly created models of Jefferson’s buildings and four models displaying the key architecture of Renaissance master Andrea Palladio (1508–1580). The exhibition will feature models of Monticello and Jefferson’s design for the U.S. president’s house, which was not selected, as well as numerous representations of the Pantheon that will highlight its architectural influence on the University of Virginia’s Rotunda. The Chrysler will also display the only autographed drawing by Palladio in an American collection as well as various editions of his treatise, The Four Books of Architecture.

Visitors will also see bricks, nails, and other components from Jefferson’s buildings that were created by enslaved laborers and craftsmen, as well as two rare images of enslaved and formerly enslaved people who can be linked directly to Jefferson and his buildings. These include Isaac Granger Jefferson, an artisan who was a tinsmith and blacksmith and labored in the nailery as an enslaved worker at Jefferson’s Monticello.

“Thomas Jefferson engaged with the most advanced ideas of architecture and city planning of his era. He was also a slave owner who failed to resolve his ideals about freedom and democracy with his reliance upon the institution of slavery. We will examine these facets of Jefferson’s architectural formation and practice to foster a new and fuller understanding of his accomplishments,” said Museum Director Erik H. Neil.

Through his education in Virginia, travels in the colonies and Europe and extensive library, Thomas Jefferson engaged with both classical and contemporary ideas about architecture. His projects frequently referenced ancient models or those of established authorities such as Palladio. He pursued forms that were both aesthetic models and expressive of the new republic’s democratic ideals. He employed those influences in his designs for the Virginia State Capitol, the University of Virginia, buildings in Washington, D.C. and his own residences, Monticello and Poplar Forest.

“For both Jefferson and Palladio, the architecture of the ancients was the key model with regard to functionality, style and meaning,” Neil said. “We see evidence of Thomas Jefferson’s influence in the architecture throughout our region, and we are excited to share the history and influence of these designs with our visitors to present important elements of Virginia’s history.”

Thomas Jefferson, Architect: Palladian Models, Democratic Principles and the Conflict of Ideals is curated by the Chrysler Museum’s Erik Neil, director; Lloyd DeWitt, chief curator and Irene Leache curator of European art; and Corey Piper, Brock curator of American art.

Lloyd DeWitt and Corey Piper, with an introduction by Erik Neil and contributions by Guido Beltramini, Barry Bergdoll, Howard Burns, Lloyd DeWitt, Louis P. Nelson, Mabel O. Wilson, and Richard Guy Wilson, Thomas Jefferson, Architect: Palladian Models, Democratic Principles, and the Conflict of Ideals (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019), 208 pages, ISBN: 978-0300246209, $45.

A richly illustrated catalog published by Yale University Press will accompany the exhibition. A team of leading international scholars will offer new scholarship and a fresh appraisal of Jefferson’s formation and career as an architect, engage the impact and legacy of his status as a slave owner and highlight the work and contributions of enslaved laborers and artisans. Contributors include Lloyd DeWitt, the Chrysler Museum’s chief curator, and Irene Leache, curator of European art; Howard Burns, president of the Centro Palladio, Scuola Normale Pisa; Guido Beltramini, director of the Palladio Museum; Richard Guy Wilson and Louis P. Nelson, both from the University of Virginia; and Barry Bergdoll and Mabel O. Wilson of Columbia University.

S E L E C T E D  P R O G R A M M I N G

Mabel O. Wilson and Louis P. Nelson in Conversation
Saturday, 2pm, 26 October 2019

Renowned scholars Mabel O. Wilson and Louis P. Nelson will discuss the contributions and legacy of enslaved craftsman on the architecture of Thomas Jefferson. Wilson is a professor of architectural design at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Research in African American Studies and co-directs Global Africa Lab. Nelson is the Vice Provost for Academic Outreach and Professor of Architectural History at the University of Virginia. Register at chrysler.org.

Travis McDonald, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest
Sunday, 2pm, 1 December 2019

Travis McDonald, the Director of Architectural Restoration at Poplar Forest, will offer insight into the restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s personal retreat and plantation and the work of enslaved craftspeople.

Lecture | Tom Almeroth-Williams on Animals and the West End

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on October 21, 2019

Jacques-Laurent Agasse, Old Smithfield Market, 1824, oil on canvas (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B2001.2.252).

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Next month at Spencer House:

Tom Almeroth-Williams, Animals and the Rise of the West End
Spencer House, London, 11 November 2019

A lecture at Spencer House exploring the dramatic role played by horses, livestock and dogs in West End life in the Georgian period and their representation in art, presented by Dr Thomas Almeroth-Williams, author of City of Beasts.

Spencer House once stood at the gateway to a horse-powered metropolis, an equestrian paradise and a city brimming with farm animals. The Georgian West End contained the largest concentration of elite riding and carriage horses in the world; and Spencer House is a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, then Europe’s most famous riding venue. At the same time, the building is a monument to the huge contribution made by working horses in the city. Most of the materials used to build Spencer House were hauled there by draught horses, while some were also manufactured with horse-powered machinery. Once the Spencers were in residence, they could also depend on being served the nation’s finest meat thanks to the gargantuan Smithfield livestock trade.

This lively and richly illustrated lecture will discuss the many ways in which animals shaped the West End’s dramatic expansion and daily life in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, covering everything from art and architecture, to industry and crime prevention. Warning: enraged bullocks and fierce dogs will make their presence felt.

There will be an opportunity at the event to buy signed copies of City of Beasts at a discounted price. Monday, 11 November; doors open at 6pm for the 6:30 lecture. Tickets £15, include a glass of wine and an opportunity to view the State Rooms. Booking information is available here.

Tom Almeroth-Williams is a Research Associate of the University of York’s Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies and a Research Communications Manager at the University of Cambridge. In addition to human–animal interactions, his main interests lie in urban life and the world of work in Georgian Britain. His first book, City of Beasts: How Animals Shaped Georgian London, was published by Manchester University Press in May 2019.

Lecture | Matthew Reeve, ‘Children of Strawberry’

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on September 24, 2019

Next month at BGC:

Matthew Reeve, ‘Children of Strawberry’: Replication and Referentiality in the English Gothic Revival / The Lee B. Anderson Memorial Lecture on the Gothic
Bard Graduate Center, New York, 16 October 2019

John Carter, The Tribune at Strawberry Hill, ca. 1789 (Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University).

Matthew M. Reeve will deliver the inaugural Lee B. Anderson Memorial Lecture on the Gothic on Wednesday, October 16, at 6pm. His talk is entitled “‘Children of Strawberry’: Replication and Referentiality in the English Gothic Revival.”

Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill (begun 1747) established a significant template for subsequent Gothic buildings. Eliding the persona of a famous author, antiquary, and connoisseur with an extraordinary Gothic villa, it would be emulated in a long list of commissions from c. 1750 into the twentieth century. In Reeve’s recent work he has explored the place of homoerotic coteries in the formation of the Gothic idiom—and more broadly of medievalism—within Walpole’s milieu. Walpole’s queer coterie would disseminate the Gothic style in Georgian London from c. 1750–1790 in a handful of buildings that followed in Strawberry Hill’s wake. For Walpole, these buildings were “Children of Strawberry,” the offspring of his famous home. This was grounded in the construction of Walpole’s coterie as a ‘queer family’, a sexual rather than biological construction of kinship. Sexuality was, however, only one possible signification of Strawberry Hill and Strawberry Hill Gothic, and the house’s reception history indicates that the meanings of the house morphed to adapt to different needs of patrons. The apparent ‘queerness’ of these buildings and of the Gothic generally, would change significantly around 1800 and be reframed in the light of the religious and social reforms that shaped the Victorian Gothic Revival. Taking the ‘long view’ of Walpole’s famous home, this lecture considers the changing meanings of the Gothic on either side of c. 1800 and in so doing offers a new perspective on the shaping of ‘the Gothic Revival’.

Matthew M. Reeve is Associate Professor and Queen’s National Scholar of Art History at Queen’s University and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Beginning at the University of Toronto, he moved to Cambridge for his graduate work under Paul Binski and taught at the University of Toronto and the University of London. His research has long been divided between medieval art (proper) and episodes of medievalism in Western art. His first books were on Gothic architecture and wall painting and he has recently completed Gothic Architecture and Sexuality in the Circle of Horace Walpole 1717–97, which is soon to appear from Penn State. Arguing that the revival of Gothic art and architecture was the product of a queer coterie surrounding Horace Walpole, this study interrogates the sexual and aesthetic origins of medievalism itself. This project has been supported by fellowships from the Paul Mellon Centre and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and earlier papers from it were published in The Art Bulletin, Architectural History, the Burlington Magazine, and elsewhere. He is currently working on books on the Gothic sculpture of Wells Cathedral, Welsh Gothic architecture, and a collaborative study of Medievalism during Toronto’s Gilded Age.

Lecture | Menno Fitski, On a Japanese Lacquer Chest

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on September 17, 2019

Next Thursday at Columbia:

Menno Fitski, Genji Meets Yoritomo
Burke Center, Columbia University, New York, 26 September 2019

Menno Fitski, head of Asian Art at the Rijksmuseum, will lecture on an astonishing mid-seventeenth century Japanese lacquer chest acquired by the museum in 2013. Hitherto known only through a poor World War II-era photograph published by his mentor (and father-in-law), the late Oliver Impey, the RM chest must be counted as one of the finest examples of Japanese lacquer ever to have been exported to the West. It forms part of what Impey described as the Fine Group—comprised of three other, similarly large, richly lacquered chests, in the the Victoria and Albert Museum; the State Historical Museum, Moscow; and one believed to have been sawn up. The recovery of the RM chest was rightfully heralded in the 2015 exhibition Asia in Amsterdam.

The RM and V&A chests are believed to have passed from the directors of the Dutch East India company in Japan who first acquired them to Cardinal Mazarin whose descendants preserved them throughout the eighteenth century. Around 1800, they were acquired by the renowned English collector William Beckford and subsequently sold in the estate sale of his son-in-law, the 10th Duke of Hamilton in 1882. At this point, their paths diverged—one to the V&A and the RM example into the collection of Sir Trevor Lawrence. At some point thereafter, the RM chest dropped off the map, only to remerge in a house near Paris six years ago.

But the odyssey through trade and European princely ownership is only part of their story as the quality and themes of these lacquers are in every sense exceptional (if only for what we now view as having been made expressly for export, i.e, Namban wares). Of a quality more generally identified with the most refined domestic taste (akin to those collected by Maria Theresa and Marie Antoinette), the panels of the chest illustrate scenes from the eleventh century Tale of Genji.

The lecture is scheduled for Thursday, 26 September 2019 at 6:00pm.

Exhibition and Book | Mudlarking

Posted in books, exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on August 4, 2019

As noted in Salon, the newsletter of the Society of Antiquaries of London, issue 432 (30 July 2019) . . .

Foragers of the Foreshore
Bargehouse on Bankside, London, 25–29 September 2019

Curated by Florence Evans

Mudlarking is gaining new attention. It is an old profession, a term applied especially to people who once lurked on the banks of the Thames in London searching for things they could sell, washed up on the tide or rising from the mud and sewage . . . The poor became less visible and scavengers faded away, but more recently detectorists and collectors have returned to the river, for the thrill and fascination of discovery and contact with people from the past.

Modern mudlarkers need a three-year permit, issued by the Port of London Authority (PLA) for £80, and must report all their finds to the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s Finds Liaison Officer at the Museum of London. . . .

Lara Maiklem is more communicative about mudlarking than many practitioners. She has tens of thousands of followers on social media, where she posts striking photos of her finds (often to be left where they are)—Instagram is made for determined mudlarkers—and has written a book, Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames. Though not be released until 22 August, on Amazon it is already at no 1 in ‘Urban & rural planning’ and no 7 in ‘Social science human geography’. It will be Radio 4 Book of the Week from 12 August. And now there is to be an exhibition.

For five days, writes Karen Hearn FSA, Foragers of the Foreshore will be at the Bargehouse on Bankside (25–29 September), part of a Totally Thames festival. Curated by Florence Evans, says the blurb, this will be “the most expansive exhibition on Mudlarking that has ever taken place.” It will feature new art, photographic portraits of mudlarkers taken by Hannah Smiles, and “a chance to meet Mudlarker in Residence Nicola White.” Museum of London Archaeology’s Thames Discovery Programme, Thames21, and Unruly Heritage will explain inter-tidal archaeology. Maiklem is among event speakers.

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From Bloomsbury:

Lara Maiklem, Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1408889213, £19.

For thousands of years human beings have been losing their possessions and dumping their rubbish in the River Thames, making it the longest and most varied archaeological site in the world. For those in the know, the muddy stretches provide a tangible link with the past, a connection to the natural world, and an oasis of calm in a chaotic city.

Lara Maiklem left the countryside for London in her twenties. At first enticed by the city, she soon found herself cut adrift, yearning for the solace she had known growing up among nature. Down on the banks of the River Thames, she discovered mudlarking: the act of scavenging in the mud for items discarded by past generations of Londoners. For the next fifteen years her days would be dedicated to and dictated by the tides, in pursuit of the objects that the river unearthed: from Neolithic flints to Roman hair pins, medieval shoe buckles to Tudor buttons, Georgian clay pipes to discarded war medals. Moving from the river’s tidal origins in the west of the city to the point where it reaches the sea in the east, Mudlarking is the story of the Thames and its people as seen through these objects. A fascinating search for peace through solitude and history, it brings the voices of long-forgotten Londoners to life.

Lara Maiklem moved from her family’s farm to London in the 1990s and has been mudlarking along the River Thames for fifteen years. She now lives with her family on the Kent coast within easy reach of the river, which she visits as regularly as the tides permit. This is her first book.

 

Lecture | Susan Sloman, Mapping Gainsborough in Bath and London

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 13, 2019

From the Society of Antiquaries:

Susan Sloman, Mapping Thomas Gainsborough’s Career in Bath and London
Society of Antiquaries of London, 9 July 2019

Much of Susan Sloman’s research into the Thomas Gainsborough’s life and career has involved mapping and architecture. She is primarily interested in how the streets and buildings in which he lived affected his practice.

In Bath, Gainsborough shared a large central town house built for the Duke of Kingston with his sister (a milliner). This was destroyed at the time of the excavation of the Roman Baths in the last decade of the nineteenth century, and photographs of the excavation show Gainsborough’s house teetering at the edge of the Great Bath held up by wooden props. For the exhibition catalogue accompanying Gainsborough’s Family Album (National Portrait Gallery, November 2018 – February 2019), Sloman has written about the roles the artist’s wife and sister played within his professional life, and how his and his sister’s use of property created wealth for the family as a whole and supported his portrait-painting practice.

In the course of research for another exhibition (Gainsborough and the Theatre, Holburne Museum, Bath, October 2018 – January 2019), the changes in London’s streetscape south of Piccadilly that took place at the time of the construction of Regent Street were discovered to be particularly striking. The area Gainsborough frequented in the vicinity of Pall Mall looked very unlike the place we know now. He was only a short walk from the ‘Little’ Theatre (the site of the later Haymarket Theatre) and the King’s Theatre or Italian Opera House, also in Haymarket. Across Pall Mall from these theatres was Dalton’s Warehouse, home to the Royal Academy for the first ten years of its existence, between 1769 and 1779. It is hoped that these elements of geography and archaeology will be of wider interest beyond the confines of art history—and will form a key focus of this talk on Gainsborough’s career.

This public lecture will begin at 13.00; doors open at 12.30. It is free and open to the public, but space is limited and reservations are strongly recommended to avoid disappointment. To book online, simply click the ‘Reserve Your Seat’ button, available here.

Book Launch | Art and Race

Posted in books, exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 11, 2019

This evening at The Courtauld:

An Evening about Art and Race, Launching L’Art et la Race: L’Africain (tout) contre l’oeil des Lumières
The Courtauld Institute of Art, King’s Cross, London, 11 June 2019

Organized by Katie Scott and Esther Chadwick

The Courtauld Institute invites you to a round-table discussion to celebrate the publication of Anne Lafont’s major new book L’Art et la Race: L’Africain (tout) contre l’oeil des Lumières (2019) and to mark the exhibition Le Modèle noir at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. The book will be launched by Dr Mechthild Fend (UCL) and Dr Esther Chadwick (Courtauld), followed by conversation between Professor Lafont (EHESS), Professor David Bindman (UCL), and Sam McGuire (Tate) about the staging of the exhibition. Drinks reception to follow.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019, 5:00–6:30pm; Research Forum Seminar Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square Campus, Penton Rise, London. Free and open to all. Registration details are available here.

Exhibition | The Sweetness of Life

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on May 30, 2019

From the Norton Simon:

The Sweetness of Life: Three 18th-Century French Paintings from The Frick Collection
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, 14 June — 9 September 2019

Jean-Siméon Chardin, Lady with a Bird-Organ, 1753 (?), oil on canvas (lined), 20 × 17 inches (New York: The Frick Collection).

Jules and Edmond de Goncourt, the eminent 19th-century historians of French art and society, baptized the 1700s the ‘century of women’. Though 18th-century women did make strides in the sciences, literature, and the arts, they were most often portrayed in genre scenes pursuing leisurely, quotidian pleasures and tasks. Three superb 18th-century French genre paintings from The Frick Collection in New York, part of an ongoing reciprocal exchange program, are on view this summer at the Museum. These artfully constructed visions of contemporary life and fashion, as depicted by François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin and Jean-Baptiste Greuze, provide viewers with an intimate look at the lives of middle-class French women of the 1740s and 1750s. The paintings will be installed in the Museum’s 18th-century Rococo gallery among its own works by Chardin and Boucher, as well as paintings by Jean-Antoine Watteau and Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

S E L E C T E D  P R O G R A M M I N G

• David Pullins (Assistant Curator, The Frick Collection), Female Models in the ‘Century of Women’: From Fiction to Reality in Chardin, Boucher, and Greuze
Saturday, 15 June, 4:00pm

• Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell (Fashion Historian), Fashioning the Feminine in 18th-Century France: Dress, Desire and Domesticity in Three Works from The Frick Collection
Saturday, 24 August 24, 4:00pm

Seminar | Tim Clayton, Gillray in Grub Street

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on May 16, 2019

James Gillray, Love in a Coffin, 1784
(The Lewis Walpole Library)

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From the Mellon Centre:

Tim Clayton, Gillray in Grub Street: Some Episodes from the 1780s
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 22 May 2019

James Gillray is known for working with Hannah Humphrey from her shop in St James’s Street, but Hannah did not become his dominant publisher until 1791 and they did not move to St James’s Street until 1797. For the first thirteen years of his adult working life Gillray had a number of publishers and at times worked on the margins of what was legally acceptable. This paper addresses some of Gillray’s work during the 1780s with a view to introducing for discussion issues that have proved problematic in the consideration of graphic satire, including authorship and origination, size of editions and prices, and legal sanctions against caricatures. The evening begins with the presentation of the paper at 6:00, followed by discussion and then drinks and nibbles at 7:30.

Tim Clayton is an author and historian who has worked chiefly on print history and military history. His book The English Print 1688–1802 (1997) sought to trace the growth and themes of the London print trade in the eighteenth century; more recent work has concentrated on graphic satire and literary propaganda in Bonaparte and the British: Prints and Propaganda in the Age of Napoleon (2015) and This Dark Business: The Secret War against Napoleon (2018). He is currently working on a book provisionally entitled ‘James Gillray and the Business of Satire’.