Online Talk | Kay Etheridge on Maria Sibylla Merian

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on August 11, 2022

Part of this fall’s offerings from Smithsonian Associates:

Kay Etheridge | Maria Sibylla Merian: A Biologist to the Bone
Online, Smithsonian Associates, Thursday, 17 November 2022, 6.45pm

Maria Sibylla Merian, Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium (The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname), plate 31 (Amsterdam, 1705).

The aesthetic appeal of the images created by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) has led history to label her as an artist who painted and etched natural history subjects. However, Merian was as passionate a naturalist (biologist in modern terms) as Charles Darwin or Carl Linnaeus, and like all scientists, she was impelled by her curiosity about nature. Merian was the first person to spend decades studying the relationships of insects and plants, and her work revolutionized what came to be the field of ecology. Kay Etheridge, professor emeritus of biology at Gettysburg College, draws on Merian’s own words to consider her motivations in the context of her time and place, and discusses Merian’s body of work in comparison to that of her near-contemporaries working in natural history. $20 (members) / $25 (nonmembers).

Book Discussion | Grafted Arts

Posted in books, lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on August 10, 2022

Gangaram Tambat, View of Parbati, a Hill near Poona Occupied by the Temples Frequented by the Peshwa, 1795, watercolor and graphite on paper
(New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection).

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From YCBA:

Grafted Arts: Art Making and Taking in the Struggle for Western India, 1760–1910
Virtual and in-person, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 7 September 2022, 4.00pm

Author Holly Shaffer, Assistant Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, Brown University, in conversation with Laurel Peterson, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, Yale Center for British Art

During the eighteenth century, Maratha military rulers and British East India Company officials used the arts to engage in diplomacy, wage war, compete for prestige, and generate devotion as they allied with (or fought against) each other to control western India. Shaffer’s book conceptualizes the artistic combinations that resulted as ones of ‘graft’—a term that acknowledges the violent and creative processes of suturing arts, and losing and gaining goods, as well as the shifting dynamics among agents who assembled such materials.

Holly Shaffer’s research focuses on art and architecture in Britain and South Asia across visual, material, and sensory cultures. Her book Grafted Arts: Art Making and Taking in the Struggle for Western India, 1760–1910 was awarded the Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities by the American Institute of Indian Studies. Shaffer curated the exhibition Adapting the Eye: An Archive of the British in India, 1770–1830 at the Yale Center for British Art. She and Laurel Peterson, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, are co-curators of an upcoming exhibition at the YCBA about artists and the British East India Company.

This program is presented through the generosity of the Terry F. Green 1969 Fund for British Art and Culture.

To watch the livestream on September 7 at 4.00pm, please click here»

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Note (added 15 August 2022) — The posting was updated with the new time (4.00).

Online Talk | Felicity Myrone on Prints and Drawings at the BL

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on July 15, 2022

King’s Concordance, C.23.e.4. f.34r (London: The British Library).

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Felicity Myrone | Prints and Drawings at the British Library: Revealing Hidden Collections
Wallace Collection Seminars on the History of Collections and Collectin
Online, Monday, 25 July 2022, 17.30 (BST)

It is our pleasure to invite you to the next Wallace Collection Seminar in the History of Collecting. Viewing options are provided below.

The British Library’s collections contain extensive visual materials, much originating from its foundation as part of the British Museum. While the collections that remained at the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum have now been fully catalogued, there is currently no index or catalogue to the British Library’s far more extensive holdings of prints and drawings. Valuable and diverse collections and materials are usually unlisted and undescribed, found in collective records and in items categorised as other formats.

A project to make more of the Library’s collections accessible is now underway. With the support of a Getty Paper Project grant and building on a Paul Mellon Mid-Career Fellowship, this involves writing the first handbook to the prints and drawings collections. What do we hold and why? How are our prints and drawings currently described, or more commonly, not? How can archival research into the collections—including historic acquisitions and Library/Museum duplication and transfers—help us to question the long-held assumption that art found its natural place at the Print Room? This paper explores how the perceived purpose and status of prints and drawings has varied and developed in the context of library collections in the 18th and 19th centuries, using case studies drawn from the history of the British Museum and Library.

Felicity Myrone is Lead Curator of Western Prints and Drawings at the British Library in London.

Register now (via Zoom) or watch online (via YouTube)

Workshop | Japanese Woodblock Printing

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on July 8, 2022

The Wonders of Woodblock Printing: Experiencing Early Modern Japan, with block cutter Nagai Saeko and printer Ogawa Nobuto, in conversation with Elenor Ling and Laura Moretti
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 13 August 2022, 2pm

Katsushika Hokusai, Block-cutting and printing surimono, 1825, color print from woodblocks, with metallic pigment and blind embossing, 213 x 191 mm (Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum, P.438-1937).

Wonderfully flexible in shaping visionary mise-en-page and in combining text and images, woodblock printing fuelled a buoyant publishing industry in early modern Japan. From the seventeenth century until the end of the nineteenth century woodblock-printed books and ephemera inundated the market, firing the imagination of authors, artists, publishers, and readers. This two-hour workshop brings this rich tradition to your fingertips, featuring professional block cutter Nagai Saeko and printer Ogawa Nobuto from the Sekioka Mokuhanga studio in Tokyo. You will observe how a woodblock is cut, experience how to print from it, and engage with original early modern woodblocks. In conversation with Laura Moretti, there will be a chance to learn more about how a publisher’s workshop would have operated. There will also be an opportunity to view some of the Fitzwilliam’s colour woodblock prints and printed books in the Study Room with Curator Elenor Ling.

This workshop is run in conjunction with the Ninth Summer School in Early Modern Palaeography at Emmanuel College. It is generously sponsored by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Mitsubishi Corporation London Branch, and Jonathan Hill Bookseller.

Book your place here»

Online | Hogarth’s Topographies: ‘The Five-Day Peregrination’

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on July 7, 2022

Hogarth’s Tour / Frontispiece, An Account of What Seemed Most Remarkable in the Five Days Peregrination, 27 November 1781, etching and aquatint in sepia ink with hand coloring on laid paper; sheet 23.6 × 34.5 cm (Lewis Walpole Library H67).

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From The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale Library:

Jacqueline Riding and Caroline Patey | ‘The Five-Day Peregrination’: A Dizzy Journey through the Topographical History of Kent
William Hogarth’s Topographies: A Series of Conversations
Online, The Lewis Walpole Library, Wednesday, 20 July 2022, noon (EDT)

Topography is central to William Hogarth’s canonical progress series in which London settings play a decisive narrative role. Lesser-known works by the artist, however, also engage with topographical representation. Pierre Von-Ow’s online exhibition William Hogarth’s Topographies considers the artist’s illustrations of national and colonized geographies beyond the metropole. The county of Kent is the site of a tour undertaken in May 1732 by Hogarth and a group of friends who collectively memorialized the adventure as The Five-Day Peregrination. The exhibition presents the peregrination as both a jesting imitation of the Grand Tour of the landscapes and monuments of Europe and as a satire of the British antiquarians who, since at least the sixteenth century, had minutely inventoried the country’s history and antiquities as a means of reclaiming a glorious past.

Jacqueline Riding and Caroline Patey will discuss the textual and visual representations recorded by Hogarth and his fellow travelers of their tour of Kent, first in manuscript (now in the British Museum) and later published as An Account of What Seemed Most Remarkable in the Five Days Peregrination (1782, etc.). The event seeks to explore the connections between this little-known project and the broader literature of actual and invented travels, as well as the history of Kent and its ties to the global expansion of the British Empire. Dr. Riding has structured her recent biography Hogarth: Life in Progress (2021) with eight interludes that address different aspects of The Peregrination. Dr. Patey is currently working on a translation of The Peregrination into Italian. Riding and Patey will share their thoughts about why the tour of Hogarth and his friends continues to demand attention bringing to this program insights from their recent and current work.

This program is organized by The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, in conjunction with the online exhibition William Hogarth’s Topographies curated by Pierre Von-Ow, PhD candidate in Yale’s Department of The History of Art.

This is an online event, and registration is required. Register here»

Professor Caroline Patey has studied English and Comparative literature in Paris (Paris III), Dublin UCD, and the Università degli Studi, Milan, where she was Chair and Professor of English Literature until 2018. Her interests and fields of research include Renaissance literature, late Victorian culture and Modernism with a special focus on intermediality, the intersection between art, museums and literature, and the cross-border circulation of cultures and aesthetic forms. She has edited and co-edited the outcome of various collective explorations of these topics and has published numerous book-length studies on subjects as diverse as Proust and Joyce (1991), Mannerism (1996), Shakespeare and history (1998), and Henry James (2004). Together with Cynthia Roman (Yale) and Georges Letissier (Nantes), she has recently co-edited the two volumes of Enduring Presence: William Hogarth’s Afterlives in British and European Culture (2021). Since her retirement in late 2018, Caroline has taught specialist seminars in Italy and Germany (Bard College, Berlin, 2020). She co-directs a collection of critical essays on British and Anglophone literature, Prismi, Classici nel tempo, Mimesis, Milano, and sits on the board of the journal of comparative literature, Letteratura e Letterature.

Dr Jacqueline Riding specializes in British history and art of the long eighteenth century. She is the author of Jacobites: A New History of the ’45 Rebellion (2016), Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre (2018), and Hogarth: Life in Progress (2021), which has been awarded the Sunday Times Art Book of the Year 2021 and a Times and Sunday Times Paperback of 2022. Former curator of the Palace of Westminster and director of the Handel House Museum, London, she is a historical adviser on feature films including Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner (2014) and Peterloo (2018), a consultant for museums and historic buildings including Tate Britain and Historic Royal Palaces, and Books Editor for The Art Newspaper. Jacqueline is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Department of the History of Art, University of York, and trustee of the Jacobite Studies Trust and [JMW] Turner’s House, London.


Talk | Pride of Passage: Strawberry Hill

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 29, 2022

Celebrating Pride Month, in conjunction with the exhibition The Grand Tour: The Two Horaces and the Court of Florence; from EventBrite:

Pride of Passage: Strawberry Hill, Sexuality, and the Grand Tour
The London Library, St James’s Square, 29 June 2022, 7pm

Last year World Monuments Fund (WMF) announced a commitment to Underrepresented Heritage as one of three global priorities. This year is significant for the Pride movement and LGBTQ+ community, as it marks the 50 years since the first Pride took place in the United Kingdom. Join WMF Britain for its annual Paul Mellon Lecture, in partnership with Strawberry Hill House and Queer Britain.

This special event will take a fresh look at Horace Walpole, the creator of the ‘little Gothic castle’ at Strawberry Hill, his sexuality, and the liberating impact of the Grand Tour, exploring research into the correspondence between his network of friends and acquaintances, which has informed the interpretation of the house and collection. The discussion will also address the importance of telling historical LGBTQ+ narratives across the cultural sector, ensuring these stories are preserved, understood, and celebrated.

The event, hosted by John Darlington, Executive Director at WMF Britain, will spotlight WMF’s focus on underrepresented heritage and its involvement at Strawberry Hill. Dan Vo, Head of Learning and Engagement at Queer Britain, will join Joseph Galliano, Director and Co-Founder of Queer Britain, in conversation, taking the audience on their own Grand Tour, from Walpole to the UK’s first LGBTQ+ museum. The event will include a Q&A with both speakers.

“Queer people have impacted every part of culture, yet all too often their lives have been written in the margins of history books.” –Queer Britain

John Darlington is Executive Director of World Monuments Fund in Britain. He is an archaeologist, author, and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries with over 30 years’ experience of heritage conservation in the UK and internationally. Prior to joining WMF, John was Regional Director for the National Trust in Northwest England and County Archaeologist for Lancashire.

Joseph Galliano is Director and Co-Founder of Queer Britain. He is a fundraiser, journalist, former editor of Gay Times magazine, and third sector ambassador manager who has just opened the UK’s first national LGBTQ+ museum, Queer Britain, at 2 Granary Square, Kings Cross, N1C 4BH.

Dan Vo is Head of Learning and Engagement at Queer Britain and Project Manager of the Queer Heritage and Collections Network. He founded the award-winning volunteer-led V&A LGBTQ+ Tours and has developed LGBTQ+ programmes for the National Gallery, National Galleries of Scotland, National Museum Wales, and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, among others.

At Bonhams | Preview of Summer Auctions at After Hours Event

Posted in Art Market, lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 26, 2022

Detail of a tray from a Sèvres tea service (déjeuner ‘corbeille losange’) painted by Armand l’aîné, dated 1758 (Five Hundred Years of European Ceramics, Lot 164, estimate £100,000–£150,000).

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From Bonhams and Eventbrite:

After Hours at Bonhams: The Classics
Bonhams, London, New Bond Street, 4 July 2022, 6pm

This summer, explore The Classics, a series of auctions dedicated to the Classic Arts at Bonhams. This season of sales will offer rare and exceptional items across traditional collecting categories, including ceramics, fine glass, works of art, furniture, silver, sculpture, clocks, Old Master paintings, antiquities, books and manuscripts, and more.

Join us After Hours at Bonhams for an evening of art, drinks, food, music, workshops, and conversation set against the backdrop of our forthcoming auctions.

A fine and rare mid-18th-century quarter chiming table clock, chinoiserie decorated on a light yellow ochre ground; Eardley Norton, London, numbered 297 (Fine Clocks, 14 July 2022, Lot 73, estimate: £7,000–10,000).

Programme Highlights
• Join broadcaster and creative director at Glassette Laura Jackson in conversation with The Wallace Collection, celebrating the must-see exhibition Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts, with co-curators Helen Jacobsen and Wolf Burchard
• Live performances by multi-instrumental duo Momento Sounds
• Portraits by artist Michalis Christodoulou
• London Calligraphy pop-up booth

Also Featuring
• Ice-Cream Parlour by Ladurée
• Pay Drinks and Cocktail Bar

On View, The Summer Classics
Old Master Paintings, 6 July 2022
Antiquities, 7 July 2022
500 Years of European Ceramics, 7 July 2022
Decorative Arts through the Ages, 13 July 22
The Grand Tour Sale, 14 July 22
Fine Clocks, 14 July 22

Online Talk | Disaster on the Spanish Main

Posted in books, lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on June 9, 2022

From the Fraunces Tavern Museum:

Craig S. Chapman, The American Experience in the West Indies, 1740–42
Online, Fraunces Tavern Museum, New York, Thursday, 16 June 2022, 6.30pm (ET)

Thirty-five years before the battles of Lexington and Concord, the British colonies in North America raised a regiment to serve in the British Army for an expedition to seize control of the Spanish West Indies. The expedition marked the first time American soldiers deployed overseas. In this lecture, Craig Chapman will discuss the Americans’ role in the conflict, their terrible suffering, and the awful results of the expedition. This lecture will be held via Zoom. Registration ends at 5.30pm on the day of the lecture.

The talk is based on the author’s recent book, published by Potomac, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press:

Craig Chapman, Disaster on the Spanish Main: The Tragic British-American Expedition to the West Indies during the War of Jenkins’ Ear (Lincoln, Nebraska: Potomac Books, 2021), 426 pages, ISBN: ‎978-1640124318, $30.

Disaster on the Spanish Main unveils and illuminates an overlooked yet remarkable episode of European and American military history and a land-sea venture to seize control of the Spanish West Indies that ended in ghastly failure. Thirty-four years before the Battles of Lexington and Concord, a significant force of American soldiers deployed overseas for the first time in history. Colonial volunteers, 4,000 strong, joined 9,000 British soldiers and 15,000 British sailors in a bold amphibious campaign against the key port of Cartagena de Indias. From its first chapter, Disaster on the Spanish Main reveals a virtually unknown adventure, engrosses with the escalating conflict, and leaves the reader with an appreciation for the struggles and sacrifices of the 13,000 soldiers, sailors, and marines who died trying to conquer part of Spain’s New World empire. The book breaks new ground on the West Indies expedition in style, scope, and perspective and uncovers the largely untold American side of the story.

Craig S. Chapman spent thirty years managing dual careers in telecom network sales and the U.S. Army and National Guard. He is the author of Battle Hardened: An Infantry Officer’s Harrowing Journey from D-Day to VE Day and More Terrible Than Victory: North Carolina’s Bloody Bethel Regiment, 1861–65. Chapman lives and writes in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Panels and Performances | Porcelain, Chinoiserie, and Dance

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 6, 2022

The Ballet des Porcelaines arrives in the UK this month with performances at Waddesdon Manor (16–17 June) and Brighton’s Royal Pavilion (19–21 June). In conjunction with the project, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) presents a day of panel discussions:

Porcelain, Chinoiserie, and Dance: The Teapot Prince
Worcester College, Oxford, Friday, 17 June 2022

Waddesdon Manor

Three panels of creative artists and academics discuss the porcelain ballet, The Teapot Prince, as part of its world tour. Panel members include choreographer, Phil Chan, founder of Final Bow for Yellow Face; Meredith Martin, art historian and co-creator with Phil Chan, of The Teapot Prince; artist, Hannah Lim; poet and academic, Sarah Howe; ceramicist, Matt Smith; writer and ceramicist, Edmund de Waal; and art historian, Katie Scott. All are welcome! Registration is available here»

The Teapot Prince is based on an Orientalist fairy tale about a sorcerer who lives on a ‘Blue Island’ and transforms anyone who dares to trespass into porcelain cups, vases, and other wares. When the sorcerer turns the eponymous prince into a teapot, his lover, the princess comes to his rescue…The original Ballet des Porcelaines can be seen as an allegory for the aggressive European desire to know and steal the secrets of Chinese porcelain manufacture. In the new version, the narrative is flipped. The main protagonists are now Chinese, the Sorcerer a mad European porcelain collector, modelled on Augustus II the Strong (1670–1733), King of Poland, elector of Saxony and founder of Meissen, the first European manufactory to succeed in making true porcelain.

Music Room at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton,
Photo by Jim Holden

Exhibition | Making East London Porcelain

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 4, 2022

Now on view:

Making East London Porcelain
Stratford Library, London, 1–30 June 2022

It is now over 250 years since the earliest dated pieces of Bow porcelain were produced in London. The success of the Bow Porcelain Factory reminds us that Newham was a global centre for experimentation and creativity during the middle of the eighteenth century. As part of our Making London Porcelain Project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), scientists and curators at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Ashmolean Museum have been researching 15 objects owned by Newham Borough of London. Using scientific analysis, we have been trying to better understand the materials and processes used to create such incredible works of art.

Making East London Porcelain is part of a collaborative science-led heritage project between the V&A Museum and Newham Borough of London, which has been made possible by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Capability for Collections Fund. Focusing on the celebrated Bow Porcelain Factory, this project brings communities together to explore Newham Borough as a place of creativity, experimentation, and entrepreneurship in the mid-eighteenth century. Co-curated with sixth-form students from Chobham Academy (Newham) and Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School (Chelsea), the exhibition explores how heritage science and re-making practices can help us better understand the places we live today and inspire us to innovate and experiment tomorrow.

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Exploring Bow Porcelain
Stratford Library, London, Wednesday, 15 June 2022, 6.00pm

Join us for an object-handling workshop with local artists as we celebrate the launch of the exhibition Making East London Porcelain.

Take part in a conversation with local ceramic artist Julia Ellen Lancaster, one of the Explorer Leach 100 Artists, whose work offers a modern twist on sculptural figures and historic clay recipes, such as those made by the Bow Porcelain Factory. You will have the opportunity to handle and examine historic pieces of eighteenth-century Bow porcelain from Newham’s special collections guided by V&A Ceramics Curator, Dr Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth, and learn about how historic making processes inspire and influence ceramic artists in Newham today.

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