Enfilade

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
hyejinlee.18e@gmail.com

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.

New Resource | Colonial Virginia Portraits

Posted in resources by Editor on March 30, 2020

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The Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture announces the debut of Colonial Virginia Portraits.

Featuring an interactive database of oil portraits with a documented history in Virginia or of colonial Virginia subjects painted before ca. 1776, the site includes portraits painted in both the colonies and abroad. While most subjects are colonists, there are also records of portraits of family, friends, and officials from England or elsewhere that hung in Virginia homes. It also includes portraits of colonial Virginians that were sent or left abroad. Portraits can be searched or browsed by subject, family name, artist, date, location(s), or attributes. Twenty-eight institutions and several private collections have shared images for the project.

The site represents the scholarship of Janine Yorimoto Boldt. For the initial release of the site, she compiled 500 entries recording over 500 portraits and about 350 individual images. Additional entries will likely be added in the coming months. You can read about some of the work that went into collecting the initial images in this blog post Dr. Boldt wrote for the OI’s Uncommon Sense, “When the Past Still Hangs in the Parlor.”

“Colonial portraits were sites where subjects, patrons, artists, and viewers mediated both individual and community identities,” Dr. Boldt writes. “Based on this assumption, I began systematically gathering evidence of portraits from colonial Virginia. I was particularly interested in portraiture’s function in a colonial plantation society and discovering any regional trends. The resulting database became Colonial Virginia Portraits. Together and individually, the portraits can tell scholars about kinship, gender, race, social status, political ideologies, and cultural exchange because all of these affected representational choices. Spanning 150 years, the portraits are evidence of the development of an American art, culture, and society.”

Janine Boldt is the 2018–2020 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the American Philosophical Society Library and Museum. She is the lead curator for the 2020 exhibition Dr. Franklin, Citizen Scientist and was co-curator of Mapping a Nation: Shaping the Early American Republic. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from William & Mary in 2018. Her current book project investigates the political function and development of portraiture in colonial Virginia.

Colonial Virginia Portraits is the latest in a series of digital projects undertaken by the Omohundro Institute thanks to the Lapidus Initiative for Excellence and Innovation in Early American Scholarship, generously funded with a gift from Sid and Ruth Lapidus. Other projects funded by the Lapidus Initiative include the Ben Franklin’s World and Doing History podcasts, both available in Apple Podcasts; the publication of the refreshed Commonplace (in partnership with the American Antiquarian Society); the OI Reader app; and the Georgian Papers Programme (in partnership with William & Mary, King’s College London, and the Royal Collection Trust). Additional projects, including a second version of the OI Reader app, are due later in 2020.

Visitors to Versailles Database

Posted in resources by Editor on October 25, 2019

From the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles:

Visitors to Versailles Database
Accessible since October 2019

After Charles Le Brun, The Different Nations of Europe, oil on canvas, 17th century (Château de Versailles, MV 5778).

The Visiteurs database is part of the research programme Court Identities and the Myth of Versailles in Europe: Perception, Adherence and Rejection (18th–19th Centuries), led by the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles and directed by Gérard Sabatier.

The purpose of this tool is to draw up a list of the personal accounts of foreign visitors to the domain, palace and court of Versailles, in order to examine how the ‘Versailles myth’ was disseminated throughout Europe. The period in question will extend from the reign of Louis XIV to the end of the 19th century, in order to establish how opinions about this place evolved, from the moment it established itself as the centre of royal power to when it became a testimony to a monarchical past. The corpus will bring together a variety of texts: memoirs, travel accounts, letters and even diaries, written by authors of diverse social and geographical origins. To make these more easily accessible, several thematic filters will be put in place, such as the period of the trip, places visited, people encountered and the occasions at court when the observations were made. The database has been accessible since October 2019 through the resources portal of the Centre.

Access the Visiteurs Database (in French).

The Digital Piranesi

Posted in fellowships, opportunities, resources by Editor on May 15, 2019

Along with highlighting the project generally, this posting also aims to publicize a related two-year post-doc position (May 31 is the application due date).

The Digital Piranesi is a developing digital humanities project that aims to provide an enhanced digital edition of the works of Italian illustrator Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778). This project aims to make Piranesi’s views, maps, and texts accessible in a complete digital collection and, in an interactive digital edition, to make them visible, legible, and searchable in ways that the original works are not. The scale and breadth of Piranesi’s works require innovative methods of presentation, discovery, and analysis. By digitally illuminating and enacting many of the graphic features of his designs, this project will provide new ways of seeing this rare and complex historical material.

The University of South Carolina is one of fewer than ten institutions to hold a complete set of Piranesi’s posthumous Opere (1837–39), a set of twenty-nine elephant-folio volumes, housed in the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, that assembles all of his individual publications (such as Views of Rome and Imaginary Prisons). Alternatively historical and imaginative, Piranesi’s representations of ruins are exercises in rigorous archeological investigation as much as they are fanciful experiments in urban imagination. The Digital Piranesi aspires to appeal to these two elements of Piranesi’s own works—the historical and the imaginative—and to explore the ways that Piranesi’s works seem to predict many elements of digital design. His illustrations of ruins and crypts are immersive, his architectural studies often consist of multiple layered images, and his maps and ruins include detailed alphabetic keys. His indexed maps, annotated architectural studies, immersive interiors, and multi-image views push the limits of the printed page. While his earliest works were individual engravings of Roman ruins marketed towards visitors on the grand tour, he quickly began producing increasingly larger images and adding not only textual keys but also indices, prefaces, and dissertations. Pushing against the limits not only of the printed page but also of the bound book, his multi-plate engravings become elaborate foldouts in bound volumes, and the references in his maps and indices direct users through unnumbered pages and between different publications. His works are rare—his complete works are exceedingly so—and they constitute a colossal corpus with expansive pedagogical and scholarly potential lacking in any comprehensive searchable index. The Digital Piranesi aims to make the content and connections in this rich body of work easily accessible and searchable.

Piranesi’s architectural views and his referential networks require complex interactions with the spaces of the printed, illustrated book. These ways of interacting with print—tracing cross-references, ‘reading’ an image through its explanatory key—call for specific methods of preservation and display beyond producing digital images. The Digital Piranesi heeds this call by performing the links that Piranesi forges between maps, indices, and images; across unnumbered pages in multiple volumes; and within heavily-annotated engravings. Piranesi’s images are most frequently viewed individually, divorced from their original larger networks of cross-referencing. The digital environment, although it is unable to reproduce the materiality of his original works, offers a way of experiencing Piranesi’s works that is complementary to his vision. Digitally representing not only Piranesi’s images but also their interconnections, composite layers, and verbal references promises to reveal new insights about eighteenth-century Rome, the birth of art history as a discipline, and the graphical representation of knowledge.

With the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Division of Preservation and Access for 2019–21, the University of South Carolina is able to hire a postdoctoral fellow, who will contribute to the digital project’s ongoing development and assist in curating an exhibit to commemorate the tricentennial of Piranesi’s birth in the fall of 2020. The application deadline is 31 May 2019. More information is available here.

Launch of Royalpalaces.com

Posted in resources by Editor on December 15, 2018


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From The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) issue 419 (11 December 2018) . . .

Royalpalaces.com

Simon Thurley FSA, one-time Curator of Historic Royal Palaces (1989–97) and Chief Executive of English Heritage (2002–15) . . . has launched Royalpalaces.com, which he describes as

“an encyclopaedic website about British royal residences . . . There is currently nowhere online that people can go to find authoritative information about royal residences from the Saxons to the present, or to find out quickly and easily about royal domestic architectural patronage. RoyalPalaces.com will eventually have nearly 150 place entries covering royal residences from Abingdon to York; most entries have an image and a plan in addition to explanatory text. The website has launched with the first 50 entries. There will also be nearly 30 monarch entries for the greatest British royal architectural patrons—the website launches with ten, including one for Queen Elizabeth II. There will also be podcasts covering various thematic issues. The first podcast deals with the tricky issue of ‘what is a palace?’—and the answer is not ‘a royal residence’. Hopefully of use to the more scholarly-minded will be the bibliographies attached to each entry. All contributions or omissions in these will be gratefully received as will notification of errors spotted.”