Enfilade

The Wallace’s History of Collecting Seminars, 2019

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on February 15, 2019

From The Wallace Collection:

History of Collecting Seminars
The Wallace Collection, London, 2019

The History of Collecting seminar series was established as part of the Wallace Collection’s commitment to the research and study of the history of collections and collecting, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Paris and London. The seminars are free, no bookings required. To join the History of Collecting mailing list and receive updates on the future programme, please email your interest to collection@wallacecollection.org.

Monday, 25 February
Naomi Speakman (Curator of Late Medieval Europe, The British Museum), ‘Rich Treasures of Ivory Carvings’: Francis Douce’s Network, Medieval Ivories, and the Doucean Museum

Monday, 25 March
Esmée Quodbach (Assistant Director and Editor-in-Chief, Center for the History of Collecting), The Frick Collection), The Case of Leo Nardus (1868–1955): Reconstructing the Remarkable Career of a Major Yet Forgotten Dealer in Old Masters

Monday, 29 April
Giuseppe Rizzo (PhD candidate, Rupert-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany), The Formation of Renaissance Taste in Early Victorian Britain: The Second Duke and Duchess of Sutherland as Collectors of Florentine Copies

Monday, 20 May
Emily Teo (PhD candidate, University of Kent and Free University of Berlin), Gotha’s Chinese Cabinet: Duke August’s Collection of East Asian Objects

Monday, 1 July (Please note the unusual date)
Frances Fowle (Professor of Nineteenth-Century Art, University of Edinburgh and Senior Curator of French Art, National Gallery of Scotland), A Woman of Taste: Mrs R. A. Workman’s Collection of Modern French Painting

Monday, 29 July
Kate Heard (Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust), ‘The Great Joss and His Playthings’: George IV as a Print Collector

Monday, 30 September
Isabelle Kent (Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Assistant, The Wallace Collection), ‘The Aura of Popularity’: The Rise and Fall of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo in the Nineteenth-Century British Art Market

Monday, 28 October
Moya Carey (Curator of Islamic Collections, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin) and Mercedes Volait (research professor at CNRS, based at InVisu, INHA, Paris), Architectural Salvage from Cairo to London: The Pivotal Role of the Paris Exhibitions of 1867 and 1878

Monday, 25 November
Barbara Lasic (Lecturer in History of Art and Coordinator of Postgraduate Programmes, University of Buckingham), A ‘Fauve de la Curiosité’: The Hybrid Career of Edouard Jonas (1883–1961), Dealer and Curator

Display | Spotlight on Boilly

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on February 14, 2019

Louis-Léopold Boilly, Les Malheurs de l’amour (The Sorrows of Love), 1790
(London: The Wallace Collection)

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Opening this month at The Wallace:

Spotlight on Boilly
The Wallace Collection, London, 29 January — 19 May 2019

Curated by Yuriko Jackall

Over the course of his varied artistic career, Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761—1845) witnessed the overthrow of the French monarchy, the revolutionary period, and the rise of Napoleon. Of the fifteen paintings once owned by Sir Richard Wallace, three remain at the Wallace Collection, depicting detailed and humorous scenes of domestic life amongst the Parisian bourgeoisie. Thanks to the generosity of Étienne Bréton and Pascal Zuber, authors of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Boilly’s oeuvre, the three paintings have undergone extensive restoration and will be welcomed back to the museum with a special display showcasing the renewed vibrancy of their finely jewelled colours and celebrating Boilly’s genius as a chronicler of French society.

Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, From Boudoir to Boulevard: The Revolutionary Art of Boilly
The Wallace Collection, London, 22 February 2019, 18:30

Louis-Léopold Boilly, The Dead Mouse, 1780s or 1790s (London: The Wallace Collection).

Louis-Leopold Boilly lived in extremely turbulent times. Yet, he did not merely survive this violent period: he thrived, painting the faces and places of modern Paris with humour, innovation, and startling modernity. On the eve of the UK’s first exhibition devoted to Boilly at the National Gallery—Boilly: Scenes of Parisian Life, curated Francesca Whitlum-Cooper— and to celebrate the recent conservation of the Wallace Collection’s three Boillys, this lecture by Dr Whitlum-Cooper will introduce Boilly to the public, suggesting that, half a century before the Impressionists, he was one of the first ‘painters of modern life’. The lecture will be prefaced by a brief conversation between Dr Whitlum-Cooper and the Wallace Collection’s Curator of French Paintings, Dr Yuriko Jackall, tracing Boilly’s critical fortunes in the present day. The talk will be followed by a wine reception and book signing with Dr Whitlum-Cooper of her new exhibition catalogue. Booking information is available here.

In addition, Yuriko Jackall will give a talk about the display on 21 February and 27 February, at 13:00.

The third painting by Boilly in the Wallace Collection is The Visit Returned, ca. 1789.

Lecture | Sally Jeffery on Nicholas Hawksmoor at Castle Howard

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on February 6, 2019

This talk by Sally Jeffery is part of The Gardens Trust’s Winter Lecture Season:

Sally Jeffery, Nicholas Hawksmoor and Castle Howard Gardens
The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, London, 6 March 2019

Architectural and garden historian Dr Sally Jeffery will discuss her recent research on Hawksmoor’s designs for Wray Wood, Castle Howard. Among documents formerly at Wilton House are four sketches for streams and rockwork attributed to Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661–1736) that have recently been identified as projects for the garden in Wray Wood, Castle Howard. This naturalistic woodland garden was much admired by early visitors, who commented on its innovative features, including a cave, an artificial stream with cascades and rockwork, and much classical sculpture inspired by Ovid. Little now survives, but using these drawings and other records, a picture of the garden can be constructed, and Hawksmoor’s role in the design can be better appreciated. Wednesday, 6 March 2019, 18:00.

Lecture | Susan Rather, “Constructing the American School”

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on February 3, 2019

Susan Rather, “Constructing the American School”
The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., 7 February 2019

The Smithsonian American Art Museum invites you to join Dr. Susan Rather, Professor of Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, for a lecture entitled “Constructing the American School” on Thursday, 7 February 2019, at 4:00pm EST at the museum.

Professor Rather is the author of The American School: Artists and Status in the Late Colonial and Early National Era (New Haven and London: Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2016), which was awarded the 2018 Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art from the Smithsonian American Art Museum–in addition to winning the New England Society Book Award for Art and being short-listed for the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History.

What did it mean to be an artist in the 18th- and early-19th-century Anglophone world, and how did artists come to be regarded as professionals distinct from artisan makers? Professor Rather addresses how she came to this project and how it developed, as well as the benefits of mining even the most familiar or the slightest textual evidence. Following brief consideration of well-known painters (Copley, West, and Stuart) who successfully engineered their own legacy, the lecture focuses on the necessity, challenges, and rewards of restoring non-elite painters to the narrative of American art at its beginnings.

Those unable to attend the lecture can watch a live webcast here»

Lecture Series | Six Georgian Cities

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on December 15, 2018

From The Georgian Group:

Six Georgian Cities
Art Workers’ Guild, London, February – March 2019

The Georgian Group is pleased to announce details of its Spring 2019 lecture series, Six Georgian Cities. Each of the six lectures will explore aspects of the Georgian architecture of a different English town or city in the context of its social and economic history. Lectures will be held at the Art Workers’ Guild (London WC1N 3AT) with tickets costing £15 (including wine). The dates, speakers, and locations covered are as follows:
26 February — Oxford, Geoffrey Tyack
12 March — Nottingham, Pete Smith
19 March — Bury St Edmunds, Caroline Knight
2 April — Exeter, Rosemary Yallop
9 April — Bristol, Andrew Foyle
16 April — Derby, Max Craven

Doors open at 6.00pm, lectures start at 6.30. The nearest tube stations are Russell Square and Holborn. Details, along with booking information, are available here.

Lecture | Katie Scott on Artists as Consumers

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on November 9, 2018

From BGC:

Katie Scott | Artists as Consumers:
A Picture, a Snuffbox, a Teacup, a Carriage, an Umbrella, and a Bath
Bard Graduate Center, New York, 5 December 2018

Katie Scott will deliver a Françoise and Georges Selz Lecture on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century French Decorative Arts and Culture on Wednesday, December 5, at 6pm. Her talk is entitled “Artists as Consumers: A Picture, a Snuffbox, a Teacup, a Carriage, an Umbrella, and a Bath.”

This paper is part of a collaborative research project into the material culture of eighteenth-century French artists. It focuses not on the studio, however, but on the domestic interior and on the diverse stuffs of social life. It asks how prominent artists such as Nicolas de Largillière, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, and Jacques-Philippe Le Bas responded to the range of consumer goods, both luxury and every-day, flooding the Parisian market in which they lived and worked. Did ownership of gold boxes and porcelain, and also baths and umbrellas, serve to articulate artistic identity in new ways? Was that artistic identity single and determined largely by official institutions such as the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, or was it multiple and inflected by individual taste and patterns of consumption? In short, what did material things mean to artists, and what did these same things say about them?

Katie Scott is Professor in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She has a longstanding interest in the interior and in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French decorative arts, which she teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and which is the focus of much of her research. Her current research project, which she will present in this lecture, is a collaboration with Dr. Hannah Williams (Queen Mary University, London) that will result in a book to be published by Getty Publications in 2020.

Exhibition | William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on October 19, 2018

Press release (12 September 2018) for the exhibition:

William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum
The Hunterian, Glasgow, 28 September 2018 — 6 January 2019
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 14 February — 20 May 2019

Curated by Mungo Campbell with Nathan Flis and Lola Sánchez-Jáuregui

A major new exhibition at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, will mark an important anniversary in the history of Scotland’s oldest public museum. William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum opens on 28 September 2018 and marks the William Hunter Tercentenary—300 years since the birth of Hunterian founder, Dr William Hunter (1718–1783). The exhibition not only offers a critical examination of Hunter—a man of exceptional vision who saw no boundaries between art and science, but explores his life, character, and career as well as his research, collection, and links to Glasgow.

Rhetenor blue morpho butterfly (Morpho rhetenor Cramer), 1775, Suriname (Hunterian, University of Glasgow).

Hunter’s original Enlightenment collection is a rare example which has survived largely intact and these objects and artworks are the foundation of The Hunterian collections today. William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum showcases this truly unique collection, encyclopaedic in nature and with its heart in the Scottish Enlightenment. The exhibition also offers a balanced account of the circumstances that made a collection like Hunter’s possible and examines the means by which it was amassed. Visitors will have the opportunity to see key items from Hunter’s collection, reunited for the first time in over 150 years and displayed to highlight the connections between them.

More than 400 items will be on display including: fossils; anatomical specimens and preparations; paintings, drawings and prints; rare books and manuscripts; ethnographical objects; rocks and mineral specimens; coins and medals; shells, corals, beetles, butterflies and examples of taxidermy. The majority come from The Hunterian, and Archives and Special Collections at the University of Glasgow Library, where Hunter’s collection of books and manuscripts is kept.

Key loans include a life size écorché figure from the Royal Academy of Arts in London and Johan Zoffany’s painting William Hunter Lecturing that shows William Hunter delivering an anatomy class, on loan from the Royal College of Physicians in London.

Important conservation work has been carried out on a number of items from Hunter’s collection including paintings, frames, sculptures, textiles, books, works on paper and objects of decorative art.

Ferdinand Verbiest, Kunyu Quantu 坤輿全圖 (A Map of the Whole World),1674, woodblock print on paper laid down on cloth, in four parts (Hunterian, University of Glasgow).

Must see items include:
• Four of Hunter’s plaster cast models, now fully restored, which were used in preparation for his great publication Anatomia Uteri Humani Gravidi Tabulis Illustrate (Anatomy of the Gravid Uterus Exhibited in Figures, 1774). A selection of related drawings, prints, and proofs are included, many of which have not been on display before. The casts show the various stages of the pregnant human womb in progressive states of dissection in graphic and stunning naturalistic detail.
• Our unique 17th-century Chinese map of the world, displayed in its entirety for the first time.
• Hunter’s complete collection of 88 gold Roman coins, issued by every Roman Emperor from 27BCE to 491CE. The Hunterian is one of only three places in the world where such a complete series can be seen.
• Hunter’s will — on loan from the National Archives of Scotland and on public display for the first time.
• The life-size écorché figure on loan from the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
• An exceptional and fully restored 18th-century Maori cloak from New Zealand made of flax and feathers.
• The Hunterian Psalter — usually housed in Archives and Special Collections at the University of Glasgow Library, this lavishly illuminated bound English manuscript is dated to 1170 and is considered the greatest treasure of William Hunter’s library.

William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum also reveals the contribution made by Hunter to the development of modern museums as we know them today, exploring the interplay between the arts and sciences in the pursuit of knowledge over the course of the 18th century.

Jean-Siméon Chardin, A Lady Taking Tea, 1735, oil on canvas (Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow).

The exhibition and publication William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum are the result of a five-year collaborative research project between The Hunterian and the Yale Center for British Art and showcase new research undertaken by an international team of scholars. The lead curator is Mungo Campbell, Deputy Director of The Hunterian; and the organizing curator at the Yale Center for British Art is Nathan Flis, Head of Exhibitions and Publications, and Assistant Curator of Seventeenth-Century Paintings. They are assisted by Lola Sanchez-Jauregui, William Hunter Tercentenary Curator at The Hunterian. A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue will be published by The Hunterian and the Center in association with Yale University Press.

Running in parallel with William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum are two exhibitions offering 21st-century responses to Hunter’s collections, life, and work. Strange Foreign Bodies and Rosengarten showcase the work of leading contemporary artists and writers including Claire Barclay, Christine Borland, Anne Bevan, and Janice Galloway.

Strange Foreign Bodies is a group exhibition of films, prints, and sculptural works by artists including Claire Barclay, Christine Borland, Sarah Browne, Alex Impey, and Phillip Warnell. Taking William Hunter’s Tercentenary as its point of departure, the exhibition offers a 21st-century perspective on Hunter’s Enlightenment project, with processes of mutation, metamorphosis, and technological transformation central to many of the works. We encounter the story of a woman who has turned into an octopus, the philosophical reflections of a heart transplant patient, and the simulated breathing of an animatronic medical mannequin. These ‘strange foreign bodies’ reflect the complexity of all human embodiment today.

Rosengarten is a unique installation that brings together the sculpture of Anne Bevan and the words of Janice Galloway, two of Scotland’s foremost artists in their fields. Inspired by obstetric implements and important historic medical collections, Rosengarten looks at the tools of birthing and powerfully reflects the human and tender emotions of mother and baby that run parallel to the hard and frequently interventive experiences associated with modern childbirth.

William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum is at the Hunterian Art Gallery from 28 September 2018 until 6 January 2019 then at the Yale Center for British Art (Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA) from 14 February until 20 May 2019. The project has been generously supported by The Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, Museums Galleries Scotland, and the Rev. Dr Donald McKellar Leitch Urie Bequest. Strange Foreign Bodies, also at the Hunterian Art Gallery, runs from 28 September 2018 until 13 January 2019. Rosengarten is now open at the Hunterian Art Gallery and runs until 20 January 2019. Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland and a grant from the Art Fund. Admission to all three exhibitions is free.

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

3 October 2018 — Mungo Campbell (The Hunterian), William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum: Curator’s Introduction

10 October 2018 — Christine Whyte (Lecturer in Global History, University of Glasgow), A Triangular Trade of Medical Knowledge: William Hunter, Enslaved Women, and Scottish Medical Expertise

William Hunter and Assistants, Anatomical Specimens: Arteries of the Intestine, 1746–83, portion of human gut with mesentery, turpentine and glass jar; portion of human gut and glass jar; portion of human gut with mesentery, turpentine and glass jar (Hunterian, University of Glasgow).

17 October 2018 — Paul Rea (Senior Lecturer in Human Life Sciences, University of Glasgow), Anatomy in the Digital Age

24 October 2018 — Dominic Paterson (The Hunterian), Strange Foreign Bodies

31 October 2018 — Jeanne Robinson (The Hunterian), ‘Mr Termite’: An Agent of Entomology and the Empire in 18th-Century Sierra Leone

7 November 2018 — Alicia Hughes (University of Glasgow), Title to be confirmed

14 November 2018  — Anne Dulau Beveridge (The Hunterian), The Curious Collector: What William Hunter’s Portraits Tell Us about the Man

21 November 2018 — Maggie Reilly (The Hunterian), Title to be confirmed

28 November 2018 — Michelle Craig (Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholar, University of Glasgow), The Curious Collector: Provenance in William Hunter’s Library

5 December 2018 — Matthew Sangster (Lecturer in 18th-Century Literature and Material Culture, University of Glasgow), Conceptions of Knowledge in William Hunter’s Library

12 December 2018 — Jesper Ericsson (The Hunterian), Title to be confirmed

19 December 2018 — Frances Osis (University of Glasgow), Title to be confirmed

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The catalogue is published by the Yale Center for British Art:

Edited by Mungo Campbell and Nathan Flis, with the assistance of María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui, William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art in association with The Hunterian, 2018), 440 pages, ISBN: 978-0300236651, $65.

Accompanying a groundbreaking exhibition, this publication is the first in 150 years to assess the contribution made by Hunter, the Scottish-born obstetrician, anatomist, and collector, to the development of the modern museum as a public institution. Essays examine how Hunter gathered his collection to be used as a source of knowledge and instruction, encompassing outstanding paintings and works on paper, coins and medals, and anatomical and zoological specimens. Hunter also possessed ethnographic artifacts from Spain, the Middle East, China, and the South Pacific, and was an avid collector of medieval manuscripts and incunabula; these were all located within one of the most important ‘working’ libraries of eighteenth-century London.

C O N T E N T S

Amy Meyers and Steph Scholten, Directors’ Foreword
Mungo Campbell and Nathan Flis, Acknowledgments
Contributors’ Biographies
Seren Nolan, William Hunter: A Chronology

Part I  Physician, Anatomist, Collector
• Mungo Campbell, William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum: An Introduction
• Nathan Flis, Skeletons in Hunter’s Closet: James Douglas and the Fashioning of William Hunter
• Craig Ashley Hanson, A Motto for a Museum: William Hunter’s Inheritance from Richard Mead
• Matthew Sangster, Conceptions of Knowledge in William Hunter’s Library
• Meredith Gamer, Scalpel to Burin: A Material History of William Hunter’s Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus
• Dominik Hünniger, ‘Extolled by Foreigners’: William Hunter’s Collection and the Development of Science and Medicine in Eighteenth-Century Europe
• Nicholas Thomas, ‘A Great Collection of Curiosities from the South Sea Islands’: William Hunter’s Ethnography
• María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui, Anatomical Jars and Butterflies: Curating Knowledge in William Hunter’s Museum

Part II  Catalogue of the Exhibition
• Mungo Campbell, Portraits and Papers
• Mungo Campbell, Pedagogy and Professional Practice
• Peter Black, Anatomical Illustration and the Practice of Anatomy
• Maggie Reilly and Stuart McDonald, Anatomical Preparations
• Mungo Campbell, The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus
• Peter Black and Anne Dulau Beveridge, Pictures
• Michelle Craig, The Library
• Donal Bateson, Coins and Medals
• Mungo Campbell, Pacific and Other ‘Curiosities’
• Maggie Reilly and Jeanne Robinson, Shells, Corals, Birds, Insects, and Other Preserved Animals
• John Faithfull and Neil Clark, Ores and Fossils

Appendices
1  Letter from William Hunter to William Cullen, 2–20 April 1765
2  Sale Catalogue of William Hunter’s Personal Effects, 1783

Selected Bibliography
Index
Photography Credits

Research Lunch | Nicole Cochrane on Classical Art in Britain

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on October 1, 2018

From the PMC:

Nicole Cochrane, Ancient Sculpture and the Narratives of Collecting: (Re)Contextualising the Collection and Display of Classical Art in Britain
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 5 October 2018

Joseph Wright of Derby, Academy by Lamplight, 1769, oil on canvas (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection).

Collections of ancient art are an ever-present sight in British museums and art galleries, largely due to the efforts of the collecting practices of Britain’s wealthy, male elite. Through an exploration of private collections of ancient art and their transition to public display, this paper explores the implicit and explicit role of the individual collector on the reception of antiquity in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century museum. It will analyse how collection formation and display reinforced the connection between owner and object, irrevocably tying the collector with his possessions. Turning then to their museum contexts, arguing that the individual created a reception of the classical world which is always necessarily mediated by the narrative of the collector. It hopes to shed new light on the way we analyse the space and context of the public and private gallery, arguing that the identity and narrative of the collector continues to have an important, yet overlooked, effect on the way we understand the ancient world.

Research Lunches are a series of free lunchtime research talks. All are welcome, but please book a ticket in advance. 1:00–2:00pm, Seminar Room, Paul Mellon Centre.

Nicole Cochrane is a final year PhD candidate at the University of Hull as part of the AHRC Heritage Consortium. Her PhD explores the way we understand and interpret the ancient world within the museum environment, asserting the importance of the private collector and their private display as imbedding legacies and narratives of collecting on British museums and galleries of ancient art. As part of her PhD project, in 2016 she completed an internship at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds proposing a project on the global history of sculpture collecting.

Research Lunch | Wolf Burchard on Italian Royal Furniture

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on September 30, 2018

From the PMC:

Wolf Burchard, Italian Royal Furniture at Attingham Park
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 2 October 2018

Attingham Park, Shropshire was home to eight generations of the Berwick family, before it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1947. Its collection comprises a remarkable assemblage of early 19th-century Italian gilt-wood furniture, acquired by William Noel Hill, 3rd Lord Berwick during his diplomatic missions in Sardinia, Turin, and Naples between 1808 and 1833. The pièce de résistance of his furniture is a neo-classical daybed, which—for generations— was thought to have belonged to Caroline Murat, sister of Napoleon. New research, however, reveals that it actually belonged to Maria Theresa, Queen of Sardinia and niece of Marie Antoinette of France. Wolf Burchard’s lecture disentangles the fascinating history of Maria Theresa’s furniture—which is associated with two palazzi in Milan and Genoa as well as the leading architects of the day, Giocondo Albertolli and Carlo Randoni—and how it came to Attingham.

The Fellows Lunches are a series of free lunchtime research talks given by recipients of Paul Mellon Centre Fellowships and Grants. All are welcome, but please book a ticket in advance. 1:00–2:00pm, Seminar Room, Paul Mellon Centre.

Wolf Burchard is Furniture Research Curator at the National Trust. In 2015, the Trust’s Furniture Research and Cataloguing Project received generous funding from the Paul Mellon Centre and the Royal Oak Foundation. Burchard was previously Curatorial Assistant at the Royal Collection Trust from 2009 to 2014. He studied history of art and architecture at the universities of Tübingen, Vienna and the Courtauld Institute of Art, from which he holds an MA and PhD. He is the author of The Sovereign Artist: Charles Le Brun and the Image of Louis XIV (Paul Holberton Publishing 2016), publishes and regularly lectures on the art and architectural patronage at the British, French and German courts; he is on the board of trustees of the Georgian Group and the Furniture History Society as well as on the vetting panels of TEFAF Maastricht and New York, and Masterpiece Art Fair.

Exhibition | Ladies of Quality and Distinction

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on September 22, 2018

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

Ladies of Quality and Distinction
The Foundling Museum, London, 21 September 2018 — 20 January 2019

Andrea Soldi, Portrait of Isabella Duchess of Manchester, 1738 (London: Whitfield Fine Art).

This autumn, for the first time, visitors to the Foundling Museum will have an opportunity to discover portraits and stories of the remarkable women who supported the establishment and running of London’s Foundling Hospital. Marking 100 years of female suffrage, Ladies of Quality and Distinction resets the focus of the Hospital’s story and radically re-hangs the Museum’s Picture Gallery.

Despite its male face, women permeate every aspect of the Hospital story—as mothers, supporters, wet nurses, staff, apprentice masters, artists, musicians, craftsmen, and foundlings. Yet for almost 300 years, history has placed these women as a footnote in the story. The Museum is redressing this balance by bringing these overlooked stories to the fore.

Following a successful campaign via Art Happens, the Art Fund’s crowdfunding platform, the Museum brings together portraits of the ‘ladies of quality and distinction’ who signed Thomas Coram’s original petition to King George II in 1735, calling for the establishment of a Foundling Hospital. Working closely with eighteenth-century specialist Elizabeth Einberg, the Museum has identified portraits of these duchesses in public and private collections across the UK. Hung together for the first time, these paintings will temporarily replace the portraits of male governors that line the walls of the Museum’s Picture Gallery, reuniting the Ladies on the site of the charity they helped establish, and highlighting their role in shaping British society today. Included are magnificent court portraits by leading eighteenth-century painters William Hogarth, Thomas Hudson, and Godfrey Kneller. The majority of the portraits are in private collections, having remained within the family or ancestral home. Some paintings have not been on public display for many years.

Downstairs in the Museum’s exhibition gallery, the lives of the women who supported the day-to-day running of the institution will be brought to life. Women worked in many different roles at the Hospital, from laundresses and scullery maids, to cooks and matrons. Beyond its walls the organisation was supported by a small army of wet nurses who fostered the children in their infancy, as well as inspectors who supervised them. It was not until the twentieth century that the first woman was appointed Governor. Nevertheless, many female supporters of similar social class to the Hospital Governors gave valued advice, particularly around the proper care of infants, girls, and female staff.

Highlighted stories include: Mrs Prudence West, a female inspector and the only woman to run a branch Hospital; Miss Eleanor Barnes, one of the earliest female Governors of the Hospital; Mrs Elizabeth Leicester, an early matron of the Foundling Hospital who oversaw some of its most challenging years; and Jane Pett, a dry nurse highly acclaimed for her exceptional care.

Caro Howell, Director of the Foundling Museum said: “Women of every social class permeate every aspect of the Foundling Hospital story. After centuries of omission, their revolutionary, catalytic and invaluable contributions can at last be celebrated. We are incredibly grateful to the 336 donors who supported our Art Happens campaign to make this important exhibition possible.”

This exhibition forms part of the Museum’s year-long programme of exhibitions, displays, and events to mark the centenary of female suffrage, by celebrating women’s contribution to British society, culture, and philanthropy from the 1720s to the present day. The Museum raised over £20,000 towards this exhibition through a successful Art Happens crowdfunding campaign. The Museum is incredibly grateful to all our exhibition donors, including the 336 donors who gave to our Art Happens campaign, our main corporate exhibition sponsor Saxton Bampfylde, and to Art Fund, whose support made conservation of paintings loaned for this exhibition possible.

P R O G R A M M I N G

Georgian Women
The Foundling Museum, London, 19 October 2018

Discover what it meant to be a woman during this period and how three writers have brought the era to life. Speakers include Imogen Hermes Gowar, author of the Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlisted novel The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock; writer and television presenter Janet Ellis, author of The Butcher’s Hook; and Katharine Grant, whose novel Sedition was described by The Guardian as “subversive and unmissable.” Cash bar on the night. The programme begins at 19:00 (doors open at 18:30). Tickets £15 (£12.50 concessions and Foundling Friends). Details, including booking information, are available here.

Film Screening: The Duchess
The Foundling Museum, London, 9 November 2018

Join us for a unique cinema experience and enjoy the sensational 18th-century drama The Duchess, screened in the Picture Gallery. Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes star in this film exploring the life of Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire, as she struggles to protect her children from her unscrupulous husband and social pressures, and find her independence. The film begins at 19:00. Tickets are £12. Details, including booking information, are available here.

Wikithon: Ladies Of Quality & Distinction
The Foundling Museum, London, 17 November 2018

Join our Wikipedia edit-a-thon and help us bring the overlooked stories of women and the Foundling Hospital to the fore. Bring your laptop and prepare with our Edit-a-thon guide. Led by researchers from the project Editing the Long Nineteenth Century: Recovering Women in the Digital Age in partnership with the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, the session begins at 13:00 and lasts until 16:00; it is free, but booking is essential. This event is part of the Being Human Festival, organized by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.