New Book | The Mansion House, Dublin

Posted in books, on site by Editor on April 12, 2016

Published by Four Courts Press:

Mary Clark, ed., The Mansion House, Dublin: 300 Years of History and Hospitality (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015), 180 pages, ISBN: 978-1907002199, €25 / $65.

SetRatioSize745550-clark-mansion-houseDublin’s Mansion House is the only mayoral residence in Ireland and is older than any surviving in Great Britain. Originally the town house of merchant and property developer Joshua Dawson, it was purchased by the Dublin City Assembly in April 1715 and since then has been the home of each lord mayor during their term of office. This is the first major work on the Mansion House and includes essays on its history, architecture, and antique furnishings, along with an account of one year in the residence, which gives a vivid picture of how the building is used.

Mary Clark is the Dublin City Archivist and is curator of the Dublin Civic Portrait Collection. Fanchea Gibson is the Administrator of the Mansion House and oversees the day-to-day running of the mayoral residence. Nicola Matthews is architectural Conservation Officer with Dublin City Council and her research interests include the historic fabric of Merrion Square. Susan Roundtree was Senior Executive Architect with Dublin City Council and was responsible for the care and conservation of the Mansion House. Patricia Wrafter is Senior Executive Council and is responsible for the historic furnishings of the Mansion House.

Royal Collection Trust Announces £37-Million ‘Future Programme’

Posted in museums, on site by Editor on April 7, 2016


Windsor Castle, Upper Ward Quadrangle panoramic view, with the State Entrance shown in the center (Wikimedia Commons: Diliff, 4 November 2006).

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For anyone who has ever been bewildered by the plan and circulation route at Windsor, this is excellent news! The State Apartments will make much more sense with the alignment of the visitor’s entrance and the State Entrance (pictured under the clock in the photo above). The project also serves as a useful reminder that the palace today looks like the ‘perfect’ medieval castle largely because of renovations undertaken by George III and even more so by George IV in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. CH

Press release from The Royal Collection Trust (5 April 2016). . .

The Royal Collection Trust today announced a £37-million investment at Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse to fund a series of projects that will transform the experience of visitors. Collectively known as Future Programme, the projects will deliver significant improvements to the way visitors are welcomed on arrival, interpret the buildings in new ways, create dedicated Learning Centres and open up new spaces to the public. Work will begin on site in 2017 and is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2018. Both palaces will remain open to visitors throughout the development.

Windsor Castle and Holyroodhouse have been royal palaces since the 12th century and have welcomed visitors for hundreds of years. Today they are official residences of Her Majesty The Queen and in full use as the setting for State Visits, Investitures and Garden Parties. One and a half million people visit the palaces each year, enjoying these historic buildings and the great works of art from the Royal Collection.

At Windsor Castle, Future Programme will
• Increase public access to the ground floor of the State Apartments, incorporating the State Entrance into the visit and for the first time opening up the 14th-century Undercroft to the public as the Castle’s first café
• Reinstate the Castle’s Georgian Entrance Hall, creating a proper sense of arrival and linking the current visitor entrance on the North Terrace with the State Entrance on the south side of the Castle
• Introduce new interpretation and a choice of thematic routes through the State Apartments, replacing the current single, linear route
• Create a dedicated Learning Centre to enable more schoolchildren, families and adults to engage with the Palaces and Royal Collection first hand

At the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Future Programme will
• Introduce new interpretation in the State Apartments, exploring the rich history of the Palace, from its foundation by King David I in the 12th century and occupation by Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, to the role of the Palace today
• Introduce a new Family Room inside the Palace, and restore the interiors of the Abbey Strand buildings, just outside the Palace gates, creating a Learning Centre within them
• Include plans to make more of the Palace’s outside spaces, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, including the Abbey, the grounds and Forecourt, re-connecting the Palace to the city

Funded by The Royal Collection Trust from admissions to the official residences of The Queen and associated retail income, Future Programme is part of the continuing investment by the charity in the presentation and interpretation of the royal palaces and the Royal Collection. Future Programme is the most significant investment by The Trust since the creation of The Queen’s Galleries at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which opened to the public in 2002.

Today’s announcement coincides with the appointment of the architectural practices Purcell and Burd Haward Architects as the Lead Designers for Future Programme at Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse respectively.

Jonathan Marsden, Director, Royal Collection Trust, said, “Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh’s royal palace, are two of the most important historic buildings in Britain and home to some of the greatest works of art. Future Programme represents an important investment to enhance everyone’s enjoyment of the Palaces and the Royal Collection and to deliver the best-possible experience of visiting these royal residences.”

Andrew Clark, Chairman, Purcell, said, “It is a great privilege to be appointed as Lead Designer for Future Programme at Windsor Castle. We are excited to be part of the work which will celebrate this royal residence, improve the presentation of the spectacular collections on display there, and transform the experience of visiting this wonderful historic building for the hundreds of thousands of people who do so each year.”

Catherine Burd, Director, Burd Haward Architects, said, “We are delighted to be appointed Lead Designer for Future Programme at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and to be working with Royal Collection Trust across a number of projects that will enable this hugely important building and the works of art on display there to be better understood and enjoyed by all.”

Sir Neil Cossons OBE, former Chairman, English Heritage and a member of the Master Plan Steering Group for Windsor Castle, said, “Windsor Castle is the most important—and perhaps best-known—secular building in England. Twenty years after the completion of the exemplary restoration work following the near-catastrophic fire in 1992, this new investment will introduce an outstanding programme of improvements to increase everyone’s understanding of the Castle and all that it represents as part of the nation’s history, and their enjoyment of the spectacular works of art from the Royal Collection.”

Ian Rankin OBE, author and a member of the Master Plan Steering Group for the Palace of Holyroodhouse, said, “As an Edinburgh resident and a visitor to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (often in the role of amateur guide for visiting friends), I am delighted that there are to be significant developments with the onus on education and information. This will prove invaluable, I hope, to visitors, no matter how much (or how little) they already know or think they know!”

Capability Brown Festival 2016 Marks Designer’s 300th Birthday

Posted in anniversaries, conferences (to attend), on site by Editor on March 14, 2016


Blenheim Palace

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Press release for the Festival, which includes events throughout the year:

Capability Brown Festival 2016

The Capability Brown Festival 2016 is the first-ever nationwide celebration of the work of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716–1783). It marks the 300th anniversary of his birth in August 1716. The Festival unites 19 partner organisations, in the UK’s largest festival of its kind to date. It is funded with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional match funding, and funding in kind, from the Festival’s partners and supporters. The Festival is managed by the Landscape Institute.

Richard Cosway, Portrait of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, ca.1770–75 (Private Collection/Bridgeman Images)

Richard Cosway, Portrait of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, ca.1770–75 (Private Collection/Bridgeman Images)

The Festival has two key strands. The first is about increasing audiences and public access to the sites Brown worked or advised on. People will be able to explore and engage with Brown’s legacy landscapes, features and houses. The Festival will encourage as many Brown sites as possible to open in 2016, including those not ordinarily open to the public, and will support site owners and guardians in interpreting their landscapes for visitors. The second strand of the project is to discover more about Brown’s work and how he created his amazing landscapes and management systems with the tools available in the eighteenth century. Researchers, volunteers, independent groups and individuals, universities and sites themselves are being encouraged to undertake research projects on Brown and his work. This will be collated and shared through exhibitions, websites, social media and a range of events.

The Capability Brown Festival 2016 will
• Celebrate Capability Brown as an artist and landscape designer
• Encourage an increased number of people and a more diverse audience to visit, learn about and enjoy Brown’s landscapes
• Commission a range of interesting and innovative projects to encourage sites and people to get involved across the country
• Encourage a greater appreciation of our designed landscape heritage.

stowe_mapTo achieve this the Festival project team will
• Offer a comprehensive programme of support to owners of Brown sites, aiming to open as many as possible during Festival year, including those not normally open to the public
• Develop a network of hub sites across England to support and engage the Brown sites in their area or region
• Work with sites, with a special focus on those in urban areas and those commissioned to run projects, to bring Brown to new audiences
• Interpret all or as many sites as possible, using research by volunteers who will be trained and supported by the Festival
• Use media, PR, partner and central communication opportunities to promote understanding of Brown’s art and design influence
• Stimulate new research, and create a definitive record of Brown sites
• Ensure that the Festival’s findings, research and learning resources are accessible to as many people as possible, and share learning as it develops through a programme of regional seminars
• Engage volunteers in all aspects of the 2016 celebrations.

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown changed the face of eighteenth-century England, designing country estates and mansions, moving hills and making flowing lakes and serpentine rivers. Brown was baptised on 30 August 1716 at Kirkharle, Northumberland, the fifth of the six children of William Brown, a yeoman farmer and Ursula, née Hall, who had worked in the big house on the Kirkharle estate. He went to the village school at Cambo, and then began work as a gardener at Kirkharle, leaving in 1739. In 1741 he reached Stowe, Buckinghamshire where he rapidly assumed responsibility for the execution of both architectural and landscaping works in the famous garden. It was at Stowe in 1744 that Brown married Bridget Wayet, with whom he eventually had nine children. While at Stowe, Brown also began working as an independent designer and contractor and in autumn 1751, shortly after Cobham’s death, he was able to move with his family to the Mall, Hammersmith, the market garden area of London. His nickname of ‘Capability’ is thought to have come from his describing landscapes as having ‘great capabilities’.

Brown’s style derived from the two practical principles of comfort and elegance. On the one hand there was a determination that everything should work, and that a landscape should provide for every need of the great house. On the other his landscapes had to cohere and look elegant. While his designs have great variety, they also appear seamless owing to his use of the sunk fence or ‘ha-ha’ to confuse the eye into believing that different pieces of parkland, though managed and stocked quite differently, were one. His expansive lakes, at different levels and apparently unconnected, formed a single body of water as if a river through the landscape, that like the parkland itself, ran on indefinitely. This effortless coherence is taken for granted today in a way that was predicted in his obituary: ‘where he is the happiest man he will be least remembered, so closely did he copy nature his works will be mistaken’.

Brown offered a number of different services to his clients: for a round number of guineas, he could provide a survey and plans for buildings and landscape, and leave his client to execute his proposal; more frequently he provided a foreman to oversee the work, which would be carried out by labour recruited from the estate. Even in 1753, when he opened his account with Drummond’s Bank, Brown was employing four foremen and by the end of the decade he had over twenty foremen on his books. Finally, he could oversee and refine the work himself, usually by means of visits for a certain number of days each year. He also practiced architecture, and during the 1750s contributed to several country houses, including Burghley House, Blenheim, Chatsworth and Harewood. However, his architecture played second fiddle to his ‘place-making’. In 1764 he was appointed to the gardens of Hampton Court, Richmond and St James’s, and he then moved to Wilderness House, Hampton Court.

Brown had suffered from asthma all his life, and his habit of the constant travel, together with his practice of not always charging for work (he would sometimes allow his client to determine the value of what he had done and seems frequently to have submitted plans and surveys without a bill), did affect both his health and finances. He continued to work and travel however until his sudden collapse and death on February 6th, 1783. He died at his daughter Bridget Holland’s house in London, but was buried at Fenstanton, in Cambridgeshire, the only place he is known to have owned property and where he became Lord of the Manor.

Brown is best remembered for landscape on an immense scale, constructing not only gardens and parkland, but planting woods and building farms linked by carriage drives, or ‘ridings’, many miles from the main house. Although his work is continually reassessed, every landscape gardener and landscape architect since, both in Britain and across the developed world, has been influenced in one way or another by Brown. Over two centuries have passed since his death, but such are the enduring qualities of his work that over 150 of the 260 or so landscapes with which he is associated remain worth seeing today. The images that Brown created are as deeply embedded in the English character as the paintings of Turner and the poetry of Wordsworth.

Founding Partners
The Landscape Institute
The National Trust
The Historic Houses Association (HHA)
English Heritage
Historic England
The National Garden Scheme
The Gardens Trust
The National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS)
Parks & Gardens UK

Festival Partners
Blenheim Palace
The Royal Horticultural Society
Bridgeman Images
The Embroiderers’ Guild

Festival Supporter
The Georgian Group

Festival Funder
Heritage Lottery Fund

Redwood Library Acquires Collection of Early Modern Architecture Books

Posted in on site, resources by Editor on February 18, 2016


Redwood Library and Athenaeum in Newport, Rhode Island, with Harrison’s Mirror mounted on the front pediment of the 1750 building, designed by Peter Harrison; the mirror was one element of the installation exhibition To Arrive Where We Started by Peter Eudenbach (July 2012 — July 2013).

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From Art Daily (17 February 2016) . . .

The Redwood Library and Athenaeum—a hybrid historic site, museum, rare book repository, and the oldest continuously operating lending library in America (1747)—has acquired a comprehensive collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British architecture books and building manuals from the antiquarian bookseller Charles Wood. Comprising 53 titles, the collection deepens the Library’s already significant holdings of material devoted to early modern architecture and design, one of its cornerstone collecting areas. The acquisition was made possible by a grant from the B.H. Breslauer Foundation, as well as from donations from a number of local and national benefactors.

newport-2-“By virtue of what the Redwood is—the country’s oldest public Neo-Classic structure and a touchstone of the nation’s architectural patrimony—we are duty bound to remain a center for the study of early American architecture,” said Benedict Leca, Executive Director of the Redwood Library. “This collection dovetails perfectly with our existing holdings, notably the Cary Collection of supremely rare eighteenth-century pattern books, and exemplifies our commitment to the scholarly interpretation of our own building and those of colonial Newport.”

Newport’s historic center of learning and a designated national landmark, the Redwood Library has been serving New England and beyond as a resource supporting the range of intellectual pursuit for nearly three hundred years. In a city especially known today as a hub of historic preservation, garden design and place making, the Redwood endures as a locus of research in these domains through a constellation of related collections, making this acquisition especially pertinent.

The Redwood’s Newport Collection, an indispensable trove when researching Newport and Aquidneck Island, comprises over 5,000 books and hundreds of archives and manuscripts. The Doris Duke Preservation Collection focuses on New England colonial and nineteenth-century architecture, with an emphasis on the preservation and restoration of both the exterior architectural structure, including windows, doors and moldings, and on interior decorative elements, such as wallpaper and textiles. The Dorrance Hamilton Gardening Collection currently holds over 500 titles of landscape architecture, classic ‘how-to’ guides by important historic designers, such as Geoffrey Jellicoe and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, as well as a number of discerning treatments of historic world gardens. The Cynthia Cary Collection, collected over decades by Mr. and Mrs. Guy Fairfax Cary, Sr., contains nearly 200 fifteenth- to mid-nineteenth-century English and continental pattern books of furniture, decoration, and ornament. All of these collections are a resource for scholars from all over the world, and continue to grow through the acquisition of primary works and authoritative scholarly titles.

“This outstanding collection is particularly noteworthy as it is a blend of builder’s manuals on one hand, and of illustrated, so-called gentlemen’s folios on the other,” specified Benedict Leca. “It gives us a window not only on period building techniques, but also on the diffusion of architectural knowledge, its styles and fashions, by way of some real rarities. The Scamozzi Mirror of Architecture, for example, was often used practically by builders and thus literally consumed; for this reason it rarely survives complete. Of appeal to the connoisseur rather than the builder is a very rare suite of nine copperplate engravings of Chinese lattice designs by William Halfpenny, with the only two other known copies at the British and Avery libraries.”

Further highlights from the collection include a number of rare manuals and pamphlets, including Henry Cook’s Patent artificial slate manufactory (1786), one of only three copies listed in the National Union Catalog (NUC); Abraham Fletcher’s The Universal Measurer (1766), one of only six copies on OCLC; and The Rudiments of Architecture or the Young Workman’s Instructor (1775), one of only two known copies, the Redwood’s having an eighteenth-century Boston provenance. The folios include a copy of the now scarce pattern book produced by Abraham Swan, The British architect or the builder’s treasury of stair-cases (1765?); and Christopher Wren Jr’s Parentalia: or memoirs of the family of Wrens (1750), an exceptional copy complete with the often-missing mezzotint frontis portrait of Wren.

Study Day | Exploring Lee Priory: A Child of Strawberry Hill

Posted in conferences (to attend), lectures (to attend), on site by Editor on January 28, 2016

Lee Priory Banner

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From Eventbrite:

Exploring Lee Priory: A Child of Strawberry Hill
Taddington Manor, Taddington, Near Cutsdean, Gloucestershire, 1 March 2016

Organized by Peter Lindfield

This study day, based at Architectural Heritage, Taddington Manor, Gloucestershire, explores the architecture of James Wyatt (1746–1813), the most famous architect of late Georgian Britain. The day will feature talks by experts on the architecture, interiors and furniture by James Wyatt, including the development of his architecturally-aware Gothic style at Lee Priory, Kent, before his most famous house, Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire.

The relationship between Lee Priory and the most famous Gothic Revival house in Georgian Britain, Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, will also be addressed. The conservator who worked on Strawberry Hill and a second, previously unknown, room saved from Lee Priory before its demolition in 1953, will speak about Wyatt’s work.

The highlight of the day will be the close examination of the second surviving room from Lee Priory, the Library Ante-Chamber. This room is currently for sale and the study day offers perhaps the last chance to be able to get up close and examine, under the guidance of experts, one of the most exciting Wyatt-related discoveries of the recent past.

Registration (£25) includes lunch and refreshments at Taddington Manor. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with the organiser, Dr Peter N. Lindfield, at: peter.lindfield@stirling.ac.uk. At time of booking, please advise of dietary or access requirements. Tuesday, 1 March 2016 from 10:30 to 16:30.

Exhibition | Reading, Writing, and Publishing Black Books

Posted in exhibitions, on site by Editor on January 18, 2016


Interior of the African Meeting House in Boston, completed in 1806,
as restored by Shawmut to its 1855 state.

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As noted at History of the Book at Harvard:

Freedom Rising: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Black Books
African Meeting House, Museum of African American History, Boston, 8 January 2015 — May 2016

The Museum of African American History’s Black Books exhibition and complementary programming examine historical and cultural implications of learning to read and write, as well as publishing the works of free and formerly enslaved African American voices. Free black communities from Boston and beyond began sharing books, newspapers, periodicals, poems, and other writings to advance campaigns for freedom from the Colonial period through the 19th century and for personal expression and enjoyment. These pioneering wordsmiths continue to inspire gifted writers to use their published works as agents for social change. To celebrate their passion for free speech and draw parallels across the ages, Black Books places 18th- and 19th-century African American authors from the Museum’s collection of rare books in dialogue with more contemporary works. The exhibit and programs feature a wide array of selected genres, including poetry, fiction, autobiography, medicine, military experience, sociology, and music. Lead partners: National Park Service, Boston African American National Historic Site and Suffolk University’s Mildred F. Sawyer Library, where the Museum’s book collection is housed.

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From a November 2011 press release, celebrating the restoration and reopening of the African Meeting House:

The African Meeting House, built and opened in 1806, is the oldest extant African American church building in the nation constructed primarily by free black artisans. Over more than 200 years, this three-story brick structure has served diverse communities in Boston, as a church, school, and vital meeting place in the 1800s, and a synagogue in the 20th century. In 1967, Sue Bailey Thurman, wife of the Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman, founded the Museum of African American History, which acquired the African Meeting House in 1972. This National Historic Landmark is the crown jewel in the Museum’s collection of historic sites on Boston’s Beacon Hill and Nantucket. . . .

The Museum of African American History is New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of people of African descent and those from Boston and across the nation who found common cause with them in the struggle for liberty, dignity, and justice for all. Founded in 1967 and opened in 1986, its Boston and Nantucket campuses feature two Black Heritage Trails and four historic sites; three are National Historic Landmarks. They tell the story of organized black communities from the Colonial Period through the 19th century. Exhibits, programs, and educational activities showcase the powerful history of individuals and families who worshipped, educated their children, debated the issues of the day, produced great art, organized politically, and advanced the cause of freedom through a strategic network of Northern coastal communities. . . .

2015 Georgian Group Architectural Awards

Posted in on site by Editor on December 23, 2015

Landmark Trust Belmont 3(1)

Richard Samuel Coade, Belmont (Lyme Regis, Dorset), 1785, the home of Eleanor Coade; appropriately the house showcases the eponymous artificial stone she pioneered.

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The 2015 Georgian Group Architectural Awards were announced earlier in December. This year two joint winners share the award for Restoration of a Georgian Interior: the private apartment at Sir John Soane’s Museum and the Soane Tribune at Wotton House. The award for Restoration of a Georgian Building in an Urban Setting recognizes Belmont House in Lyme Regis (hooray for Eleanor Coade and the eponymous artificial stone she pioneered!). CH

From The Georgian Group:

Belmont House in Lyme Regis is a 1785 maritime villa looking out over the Cobb. John Fowles wrote The French Lieutenant’s Woman here. By the time he died it was in a bad state, the gardens overgrown and the structural condition of the building poor. The Landmark Trust acquired it and took the decision, at once brave and controversial, to restore it to the form known by Mrs Coade, creator of the artificial stone that bears her name. That involved demolishing what was left of the substantial Victorian and later extensions in order to make it a villa in the round. The project has been informed by meticulous building analysis and documentary research and the building is now again a thing of real beauty, a delightful monument to one of the great female entrepreneurs of the Georgian period.

The full list of awards is available here»

On Site | The Fritz Lugt Collection (Paris) and the Pars Museum (Shiraz)

Posted in on site by Editor on November 22, 2015

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From the November issue of WoI:

Valérie Lapierre, with photographs by Roland Beaufre, “Dutch Originals: The Frits Lugt Collection,” The World of Interiors (November 2015), pp. 108–17.

A connoisseur like no other, Frits Lugt was just 15 when he bought his first Rembrandt sketch (he’d already written a book). Fifty years on, he opened the Fondation Custodia in Paris [housed in the eighteenth-century Hôtel Turgot], so that generations of experts and laymen alike could share his collection of Golden Age art for free. With brocatelle-lined walls and Vermeer-inspired floors, it’s ‘the place to see drawings in Paris’, as Valérie Lapierre learns.

More information is available from the Fondation Custodia.

Marie-France Boyer, with photographs by Olivia Froudkine, “Splendour in the Grass: The Pars Museum,” The World of Interiors (November 2015), pp. 152–59.

The garden of Nazar (meaning ‘dazzling’) in the Iranian city of Shiraz is home to the jewel-like Pars Museum. Decorated with vibrant panels of tiles, this octagonal pavilion incorporates a sparkling collection of pottery, glassware and bronze work. It also houses the tomb of an enlightened ruler who oversaw an era of urban development and artistic outpouring.


Pars Museum of Shiraz, Iran, The octagonal structure, called the Kolah Farangi (‘foreign hat’) was built by Karim Khan Zand (ca. 1705–79), who is buried there (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, February 2013).

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From the Wikipedia entry for the Pars Museum:

The Pars Museum is a museum in Shiraz, Fars Province, southern Iran and is located in Nazar Garden. The octagonal building was the place in which royal guests were hosted during the Zand dynasty of Iran. It was also used for holding official ceremonies. It is also the burial place of Karim Khan Zand.

The old Nazar Garden was one of the largest gardens of Shiraz during the Safavid rule (1501–1722). During Zand dynasty (1750–1794) Karim Khan built an octagon structure which was called Kolah Farangi. It was used to receive and entertain foreign guests and ambassadors and hold official ceremonies. In 1936 the pavilion became a museum. It was the first museum which was located outside the capital city of Tehran. The brick designs, tiling, pictures and big stone dadoes are among the architectural features of the building. . . .

The Sound of Paris in the Eighteenth Century

Posted in on site, resources by Editor on July 14, 2015

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Audio Reconstruction of Eighteenth-Century Paris

A team from Université Lyon-2, led by Mylène Pardoen (Department of Music and Musicology), has reconstructed the soundscape of eighteenth-century Paris.

From Le Journal CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique). . .

La musicologue Mylène Pardoen a reconstitué l’ambiance sonore du quartier du Grand Châtelet à Paris, au XVIIIe siècle. Présenté au salon de la valorisation en sciences humaines et sociales, à la Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, son projet associe historiens et spécialistes de la 3D.

Paris comme vous ne l’avez jamais entendu ! C’est l’expérience que propose la musicologue Mylène Pardoen, du laboratoire Passages XX-XXI, à travers le projet Bretez. Un nom qui n’a pas été choisi par hasard : la première reconstitution historique sonore conçue par ce collectif associant historiens, sociologues et spécialistes de la 3D1, a en effet pour décor le Paris du XVIIIe siècle cartographié par le célèbre plan Turgot-Bretez de 1739 – Turgot, prévost des marchands de Paris, en étant le commanditaire, et Bretez, l’ingénieur chargé du relevé des rues et immeubles de la capitale.

70 tableaux sonores

C’est plus précisément dans le quartier du Grand Châtelet, entre le pont au Change et le pont Notre-Dame, que la vidéo de 8 minutes 30 transporte le visiteur. « J’ai choisi ce quartier car il concentre 80 % des ambiances sonores du Paris de l’époque, raconte Mylène Pardoen. Que ce soit à travers les activités qu’on y trouve – marchands, artisans, bateliers, lavandières des bords de Seine… –, ou par la diversité des acoustiques possibles, comme l’écho qui se fait entendre sous un pont ou un passage couvert… » S’il existe déjà des vidéos sonorisées, c’est la première fois qu’une reconstitution en 3D est bâtie autour de l’ambiance sonore : les hauteurs des bâtiments comme les matériaux dans lesquels ils sont construits, torchis ou pierre, tiennent compte des sons perçus – étouffés, amplifiés… – et inversement. . . .

More information is available here»

The Alamo Now a World Heritage Site

Posted in on site by Editor on July 7, 2015


 The Alamo, San Antonio
(Wikimedia Commons, 18 April 2007)

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As reported by Reuters, via The Guardian (5 July 2015). . .

Alamo Named First World Heritage Site in Texas after Nine-Year Campaign
Spanish colonial missions in San Antonio chosen as part of 23rd US site deemed of ‘outstanding importance’ to human heritage

A United Nations agency on Sunday [5 July 2015] named the Alamo and the four Spanish colonial Catholic missions in San Antonio a World Heritage Site, making them the first places in Texas deemed to be of “outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity.”

The decision capped a nine-year campaign by San Antonio and Texas to have the early 18th-century missions listed alongside world treasures such as Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat. The missions are now the 23rd World Heritage Site in the US.

“The city of San Antonio is delighted with Unesco’s decision today and the recognition that our Spanish colonial missions are of outstanding value to the people of the world,” mayor Ivy Taylor said from Bonn, Germany, where the announcement was made.

Sarah Gould, archivist at the Institute of Texan Cultures, said there were many reasons for the listing of the four missions, which are still used as Catholic churches, and the Alamo, a fortified church, barracks and other buildings that was the scene of the 1836 battle for Texan independence. . . .

But the designation has not been entirely embraced in Texas, where the phrase ‘United Nations’ provokes suspicion among some. . . .

The full article is available here»