New Digital Publication | Art & the Country House

Posted in books, online learning, resources by Editor on November 30, 2020

From the Mellon Centre:

Martin Postle, ed., Art & the Country House, launched November 2020.

Explore the collections of Castle Howard, Doddington Hall, Mells Manor, Mount Stuart, Petworth House, Raynham Hall, Trewithen and West Wycombe through the Paul Mellon Centre’s new online publication Art & the Country House.

Involving research by over forty authors, Art & the Country House brings together detailed catalogues, document transcriptions, commissioned essays, films and an abundance of specially commissioned photography. Through its search facility, objects, artists, art works and bibliographies can be located and compared in new, productive, and more rapid ways.

Each of the houses has been carefully selected so as to ensure a broad range of research topics and to provide an appropriately varied set of examples, in terms of geographical location, scale, patterns of ownership, chronologies, collections and displays.

Essay topics include the evolution of customised picture galleries; the conscious preservation of the past; women’s collecting and display strategies; country houses as homes and tourist destinations; and the economic and political structures that underpinned the extravagant acquisition policies of the owners of so-called ‘power houses’.

Art & the Country House, as with all other Paul Mellon Centre digital publications, is open access.


Online Exhibition | Participez à la vie des académies d’art

Posted in exhibitions, resources by Editor on November 16, 2020

Announcing the exhibition:

Participez à la vie des académies d’art… Portes ouvertes de 9 à 90 ans
An online exhibition of the ACA-RES programme

Organized by Émilie Roffidal and Anne Perrin Khelissa

How were artists and craftsmen trained in French art academies in the age of Enlightenment? The virtual exhibition Participez à la vie des académies d’art. Portes ouvertes de 9 à 90 ans is now available online. The result of a collective work combining research and training, the exhibition presents a selection of works from the teaching material and artistic production of art academies and provincial art schools in the 18th century. Most of the collections from these institutions were dispersed during the French Revolution between city museums, libraries, and other heritage collections such as art schools. Painted portraits of teachers, pupils, or amateurs are included, providing a more vivid testimony of the institutions. A whole little-known part of French heritage is honoured here.

This exhibition has been developed within the framework of the ACA-RES research programme on art academies and their networks in pre-industrial France (Les Académies d’art et leurs réseaux dans la France préindustrielle) supported by the FRAMESPA UMR 5136 laboratory of the Toulouse-Jean Jaures University, the Labex SMS, the Deutsches Forum Für Kunstgeschichte of Paris and the Centre National d’Histoire de l’art.



British Library Makes 40K Maps and Views Available Online

Posted in resources by Editor on November 8, 2020

Matthew Dixon. ‘A General Plan with a Project for the Defence of the Arsenals of Plymouth, / By Lieut: Colonel Dixon Chief Engineer of the Plymouth Division. Revised and corrected by Geo. Beck Jan. 1780.’ (London: British Library, Maps K.Top 11.79.2.TAB).

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From Art Daily (1 November 2020). . .

The British Library is nearing the end of a project to make 40,000 early maps and views freely available online for the first time. The material forms part of the Topographical Collection of King George III (K.Top) held by the British Library and captures four centuries of visual impressions of places throughout the world, from maps and atlases to architectural drawings, cartoons, and watercolours. Nearly half of the images are now available for anyone to view online via the British Library’s digital Flickr Commons Collection. This resource offers everyone the chance to virtually explore, the geography, art, science, and cultures of the past through the collection of one of history’s most avid armchair travellers.

Over seven years, a team of expert cataloguers, curators, conservators, and imaging specialists at the Library have worked to catalogue, conserve, and digitise the K.Top Collection. This project would not have been possible without significant philanthropic support and we are very grateful to the individuals and trusts whose generosity has enabled us to make this outstanding collection available to researchers across the world.

The collection is a distinct part of the larger King’s Library which was presented to the Nation by George IV in 1823. As a collection of maps and views that was built during the formative period of the British Empire, it is an important resource for the study of how Britain viewed and interacted with the wider world during this period. The collection consists of printed and hand-drawn works dating between 1500 and 1824 and covers a broad variety of compelling themes. Highlights include:
• The hand-drawn map of New York City, presented to the future James II in 1664
• Early 18th-century architectural drawings by Nicholas Hawksmoor for commissions including Castle Howard and London ‘Queen Anne’ churches
• The vast Kangxi Map of China of 1719 made by the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ripa
• A set of drawings of Lucca by the Italian artist Bernardo Bellotto, circa 1742
• James Cook’s large manuscript map of the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, 1763
• Watercolours by noted 18th-century artists such as Paul Sandby and Samuel Hieronymus Grimm
• Military maps of English south coast harbours including Plymouth from the 1780s, precursors of the Ordnance Survey
• Views of parts of modern-day Ontario, Canada, drawn by the artist Elizabeth Simcoe in around 1792
• The earliest comprehensive land-use map of London from 1800

A number of maps from the collection are accessible for the public to view in the British Library’s free, permanent exhibition Treasures of the British Library, including maps of forts in North America by Mary Anne Rocque (1765). The gallery has recently reopened to the public (booking essential).

The first batch of 18,000 images are now freely available to explore via the British Library’s page on Flickr Commons, alongside over 1 million copyright-free images from the Library’s collection of printed books. The images have been added to Flickr by British Library Labs (BL Labs). BL Labs supports the experimentation and reuse of the Library’s data and digital collections in exciting and creative new ways through competitions, events, exhibitions, collaborative projects and annual public awards (the deadline for entry this year is 30 November 2020.)

The maps will also be made available on the British Library’s ‘Georeferencer’, an interactive application that allows volunteers to turn maps into data by adding locations to digitised British Library collections, initiating innovative new forms of discovery and research. A selection of essays illustrated by images from the K. Top collection are available on the Library’s Picturing Places web space.

Tom Harper, Lead Curator of Antiquarian Mapping, said “This is a momentous and intriguing set of early maps and views which provides multiple windows into the world of previous centuries. We’re pleased to have been able to make this outstanding collection available through cataloguing and digitisation and to enable aspects of Britain’s past to be more fully understood.”

Dr Mia Ridge, Digital Curator for Western Heritage Collections, commented, “Providing online access to these images and metadata is an important milestone for digital research support at the British Library. The collection lends itself to digital scholarship methods such as computer vision, machine learning and AI, crowdsourcing, and georeferencing. We’re also excited to learn more about innovative applications for new and emerging computational methods as researchers explore the collection.”

In Process | Catalogue Raisonné of Porcelain by Lücke

Posted in resources by Editor on October 28, 2020

Enfilade doesn’t include a lot of these sorts of notices. It’s nice, however to note who is working on what, and I’m glad to include more. This one comes from ArtHist.net:

In Process | Catalog Raisonné, Porcelain by Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke (ca. 1703–1780)
Vanessa Sigalas

Dear Colleagues,

I am researching the porcelain oeuvre of Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke (ca. 1703–1780). Lücke is mostly known as ivory carver with an incredibly diverse repertoire of thematic subject matters, spanning from classical antiquity, folk and genre depictions, and traditional portraits to medical curiosities. He worked as an itinerant artist for various aristocratic and bourgeois clients. Besides ivory, he also worked in stone, wood, wax, papier-mâché, terracotta, faience, and porcelain. While his ivories have gotten more attention in recent scholarship, his porcelain creations have not been further investigated after the early 1980s, when Christian Theuerkauff published two essays on the topic.

Lucke worked for several porcelain manufactories during his lifetime: Meissen (1728/29), Vienna (1750/51) and Höchst (1752). (He had also negotiated with the porcelain factories in Fürstenberg and Berlin). In the same year (1752), he went to Copenhagen to make porcelain himself (although not very successful). In 1754, he tried to found a porcelain factory in Schleswig. However, he was not successful in producing porcelain there either. Nevertheless, as a porcelain modeller, he produced a fascinating and versatile body of work. Although Lücke’s time at the Meissen factory lasted less than ten months—he began in April 1728 and was dismissed in January 1729—his models demonstrates the divergences and similarities between ivory and porcelain and the different methods of working with them. His work report for the Meissen manufactory, though incomplete, shows that Lücke’s tasks were diverse. He modelled figural handles and applications for vessels as well as dishes, pipe bowls, and even a cannon. At Höchst, for example, where he worked in 1752, he created a series of fifteen comedians, recalling several ivory commedia figures that he had created twenty years earlier while still in Dresden.

I am in the process of creating a catalog raisonné for his porcelains and would appreciate any notification of their whereabouts, either in private or museum collections.

Many thanks, and all best wishes,


Dr. phil. Vanessa Sigalas
Kunsthistorikerin / Art Historian
92 Meadowbrook Rd
West Hartford CT 06107

Damaged & Destroyed, A New Online Feature from PMC

Posted in resources by Editor on August 14, 2020

From the Paul Mellon Centre:

The online feature, Damaged & Destroyed, focuses on a selection of the damaged and destroyed works that are recorded in the Centre’s photographic archive, and uses them to suggest some of the values and limitations of such archives. It takes the form of three stories. The first offers a glimpse into the work and tragic life of the largely forgotten eighteenth-century artist Hugh Robinson; the second looks at four portraits of women associated with a titled Scottish family, the Rothes, which were totally destroyed during a high-profile warehouse fire in 1997; and the third looks at a damaged sketchbook by the nomadic Georgian artist George Chinnery.

Each of these stories offers a distinct point of entry into the Paul Mellon Centre’s rich photographic archive. And each, in turn, suggests some of the different ways in which we might think about the photographs of lost, destroyed or damaged pictures that are to be found buried within its crowded contents.

In 2021, the Paul Mellon Centre (PMC) will be publishing its photographic archive online. The archive comprises more than 100,000 reproductions of paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures. The photographs, which were taken over a forty-year period between the early 1960s and the late 1990s, offer images of objects from across six centuries, and focus in particular on sixteenth- to nineteenth-century British art.

The Decorative Arts Trust Meets Capital Campaign Goal

Posted in resources by Editor on August 13, 2020

Maureen Marton (center right) was the Decorative Arts Trust Curatorial Intern at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art (MWPAI). Here she evaluated the back of a crazy quilt with MWPAI staff. Photo by Richard Walker Photography. 

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Press release (15 July 2020) from the Decorative Arts Trust:

The Board of Governors of the Decorative Arts Trust is honored to announce the successful conclusion of a $2M campaign to raise endowed funds in support of the Emerging Scholars Program (ESP). Titled Providing a Future for Students of the Past, the campaign commenced in 2017 and was achieved through contributions from more than 200 donors. The largest fundraising effort mounted by the organization to date, the generosity of Trust members and a small group of private foundations and charitable funds ensures the ESP’s future in the years ahead. Upwards of 50 emerging scholars benefit from the Trust’s support in a typical year.

The Trust’s Executive Director, Matthew A. Thurlow, cites “the tremendous munificence of our community” in reaching the goal. “We are grateful for the opportunity to celebrate this milestone, especially in a challenging climate.”

Charles T. Akre, Jr., President of the Trust’s Board of Governors, adds “the benefit of the ESP to young scholars and institutions alike is a great source of pride for the organization and our membership. This service is central to the Trust’s mission and will remain part of our core focus thanks to the success of this campaign.” Akre chaired the Campaign Committee and guided the fundraising process to a successful end.

Robert A. Leath, Chairman of the Trust’s Education Committee, which oversees the ESP, and President of the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, states “this campaign helps to secure the future of our field through valuable opportunities for highly qualified young professionals who will serve as the next generation of caretakers for our nation’s artistic legacy.”

Brock W. Jobe, Vice President of the Board of Governors and Professor of American Decorative Arts Emeritus at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, sees this as “a foundational moment for the Trust that guarantees the continuation of grants and internships that change the lives of young professionals and enhance the Trust’s commitment to scholarship and the museum world.” Jobe was instrumental in the expansion of the ESP.

New YouTube Channel | ArtStoryLab

Posted in resources, teaching resources by Editor on August 7, 2020

A note from Hyejin Lee:

In April, I created a YouTube channel called ArtStoryLab, featuring short videos on various art-historical topics. I have ten episodes so far, and most of them center on 18th-century European art. As the channel grows, I hope to branch out into other fields of art history. I upload a new video every few weeks. All ten episodes can be found here.

My aim for the channel is to create fun and accessible art-historical contents that everyone can enjoy. While my videos feature recent works by other art historians, I prioritize my personal interpretations on artworks in each episode to empower my viewers to form their own opinions about the visual, material world they inhabit. I have created the channel also as a teaching resource for art history courses in the age of remote learning. In the future, I would like to feature my colleagues in interviews and other formats to show art historians in action in academia, museums, and elsewhere. The big vision for the channel is to demonstrate to the global audience at YouTube the importance of visual literacy and the relevance of art history for today’s world in approachable, entertaining ways. I would greatly appreciate it if you could share this channel with your colleagues and students. I also welcome any questions, comments, and suggestions for future episodes.

Hyejin Lee

Call for Participation | Blackness, Immobility, and Visibility, 1600–1800

Posted in Calls for Papers, resources by Editor on June 24, 2020

From the Call for Participation:

Blackness, Immobility, and Visibility in Europe, 1600–1800
Journal18 | Creating a Collaborative Scholarly Resource

Contributions due by 1 August 2020

Hyacinthe Rigaud, Young Black Man Carrying a Bow, 1697, oil on canvas (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dunkerque).

As people across the world step into the fourth or fifth month of a global pandemic and nearly universal lockdown, movement has gained new valence as an aspirational condition of human life. Concurrently, the Black Lives Matter movement singularly illuminates the racialization of the purportedly universal freedom to cast breath, stretch one’s legs, move of one’s own will. One aspect of recent protests and mobilizations has been to show how this ‘immobilization’ and related violence has a very long history and has been enshrined in monuments that are being dismantled around the world. At this crucial juncture, Journal18 is initiating a project to create a collaborative resource for teaching, research, and collective discussion around these issues.

Over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries, European powers formulated, debated, and enacted myriad policies and laws to direct and restrict the movements of people of color in Europe, usually in conjunction with similar or more severe steps taken across sites of empire. Of note is how these measures usually privileged the proprietary rights of colonizers and enslavers over the lives of people of color, and how through such measures ‘blackness’ acquired the characteristics of a legible visual category. Blackness as lived experience and colonial category thus both illuminates and often (mis)informs art historical assessments of race in 17th- and 18th-century European art and visual culture, especially in relation to lives that spanned and were interconnected across the globe.

Journal18 invites its readers to contribute to a timeline chronicling the representation and regulation of black bodies in Europe, ca. 1600–1800. Setting these dates in relation to black lives that scholars have judiciously traced within colonial archives and a selection of works of European and colonial art that picture black sitters or subjects, our goal is to create a digital resource for use by researchers, educators, and students of the long 18th century. Given the critical role of dates in art historical scholarship, our aim is to underscore through the spatial proximities of a timeline, historical affinities that can allow us to connect what we can see within works of art with what we are learning to discern in the archives.

How to participate:

Our goals is to create a timeline of events and artworks—a pedagogical tool that is not exhaustive in scope, but rather a cross-referential visualization of the juxtapositions and connections through this history.

1  Take a look at the Google Doc (www.shorturl.at/gBHJK) containing preliminary dates, events, and artworks relating to the presence and movement of black bodies in Europe during the period under consideration. This is a starting point, but there is still much to add.

2  We invite you to add to the document: pertinent dates, relevant artworks (submitted either as copyright-free digital images or as hyperlinks), the names or accounts of relevant historical actors, or anything else that might contribute to or improve the proposed timeline (including any necessary corrections to existing items).

3  Please contact our Notes & Queries editor, Zirwat Chowdhury (zirwat@ucla.edu) with any questions and additional suggestions, or if you have any trouble accessing or editing the document.

4  Make sure you have made all your contributions by 1 August 2020. We hope to publish the timeline in Journal18 for the start of the Fall 2020 semester.

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Note (added 24 June 2020) — The original posting incorrectly listed the due date as August 15.

Digital Project | Adam Grand Tour, Letters and Other Writings

Posted in resources by Editor on May 19, 2020

From the project website:

Robert & James Adams’ Grand Tour Letters and Writings, 1754–63
Organized by Adriano Aymonino and Colin Thom with Giles Bergel and Harriet Richardson

Charles-Louis Clerisseau (attributed), Capriccio, ca.1756–57 (London: Sir John Soane’s Museum, SM Adam volume 56/139, photograph by Hugh Kelly).

The digital project—Robert & James Adams’ Grand Tour Letters and Writings 1754–63—aims to present an online critical edition of all the known Adam brothers’ Grand Tour letters and writings as a freely available, open-access, fully searchable database. This will enable readers to view the letters in their original form alongside new and accurate transcriptions, with contextual scholarly annotations.

The website will be updated periodically as the project progresses through its various phases. The completed online edition of the letters will be hosted from 2022 by Sir John Soane’s Museum, custodians of most of the surviving Grand Tour and architectural drawings from the Adam brothers’ office, and will be licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA licence.

The project is supported by a Digital Project Grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and is a collaboration between UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture and the University of Buckingham’s Department of History and History of Art. It also has the support of Sir John Soane’s Museum, the National Records of Scotland, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Institute of British Architects and London Metropolitan Archives/City of London. The editors and directors of the project are Dr Adriano Aymonino of the University of Buckingham and Colin Thom of the Survey of London at UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture. The project’s technical manager is Dr Giles Bergel (UCL and Oxford). The project’s transcriber is Harriet Richardson.  Please send any comments or new information to us by email to: editors@adamgrandtour.online.

Decorative Arts Trust Prize for Excellence and Innovation

Posted in opportunities, resources by Editor on May 14, 2020

From the Decorative Arts Trust:

Decorative Arts Trust Prize for Excellence and Innovation, $100,000
Application due by 30 June 2020 (extended from the original deadline in March)

To further the Decorative Arts Trust’s mission to foster appreciation and study of the arts, the Trust has established the $100,000 Decorative Arts Trust Prize for Excellence and Innovation. The Prize funds outstanding projects that advance the public’s appreciation of decorative art, fine art, architecture, or landscape.

Images from Old Salem and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.

The Prize shall be awarded to a non-profit organization in the United States or abroad for a scholarly endeavor, such as museum exhibitions, print and digital publications, and online databases. The Trust’s selection committee aims to recognize impactful and original projects that advance scholarship in the field while reaching a broad audience.

“This new award will advance the work of our talented mid- and late-career colleagues as a complement to our efforts to support young scholars through the Emerging Scholars Program,” states Matthew A. Thurlow, the Decorative Arts Trust’s Executive Director. “Thanks to the generosity of three lead donors, we are making a long-term commitment to furthering innovative scholarship in the arts while reinforcing the Trust’s mission and promoting our broader programs. We look forward to celebrating exceptional endeavors in the arts.”

Details and Deadlines

The deadline has been extended: Nominations and self-nominations should be submitted to thetrust@decorativeartstrust.org by June 30. Projects can extend 1–5 years for final completion after the prize is awarded, but no longer. Collaborative endeavors that unite multiple institutions are encouraged to submit nominations. Ongoing projects are suitable for nomination.

Nominations should include:
• clearly defined mission and outcomes
• budget
• timeline
• CVs of key personnel and list of collaborating partners (if applicable)
• list of current funders and other potential fundraising sources (if applicable)

Finalists will be notified by the end of 2020.

Endowing the Prize

The Trust is thrilled to embark on this initiative. We welcome additional contributions to endow the Prize, including appreciated securities and IRA and other retirement fund disbursements.

Read the blog post announcing the Prize.