As Enfilade’s readership continues to grow, I receive more and more items to post. I wouldn’t want it any other way (and please keep the news coming), but it does mean that interns have become an increasingly helpful part of managing the site. I’ve therefore been most grateful for all Rebecca Woodruff has done to keep the ship afloat over the past six months! Rebecca is one of my students, and I had the good fortune of getting to know her better during a May interim course based in Stockholm, looking particularly at country houses and palaces (it was with Rebecca and a handful of other students I first visited Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, one of the really extraordinary museum spaces of the eighteenth century). As an aside, I’m also pleased to report that Rebecca will be presenting a paper for the undergraduate panel at the meeting of this year’s Midwest Art History Society (in April, at Cleveland and Oberlin)! She’s done a fabulous job as an intern.
Many thanks, Becca!
Anyone paying particularly close attention to postings here at Enfilade over the past few months (really since the end of last year) will have noticed that many of them—often the most interesting and lively ones—have come from ‘InternCS’. I’m delighted here to give Caitlin Smits, one of my own students, her due with this posting. It’s been especially enjoyable to work with Caitlin over the past several years. She went to London as part of my January 2014 interim, and she’ll also be part of my upcoming May course based in Stockholm and Copenhagen (all 16 of us are counting the days). Her art historical interests are wide-ranging, her instincts are spot-on, and she’s perhaps the most effective administrator I’ve ever encountered in an undergraduate. Yes, she’s also keenly intelligent and witty, to boot. Thanks, Caitlin, for all the terrific work.
From the Editor
As Enfilade turns six, I continue to be amazed at the growth of the site—all because of you fabulous readers! This spring we passed the half-million hits threshold. A typical month brings in more than 10,000 visits, and over 1300 of you are subscribers. Thank you.
And so I’ll extend in my usual annual pleas:
1) Buy an art book this week. In the world of academic art history publishing, several hundred books sold over a few days is stellar. It’s an important way to communicate that the eighteenth century is a thriving field with a vital, engaged audience.
2) Renew your HECAA membership. In the normal world $30 doesn’t really count as philanthropy. For a small academic society it does. And thanks to Michael Yonan’s indefatigable work with the IRS in securing HECAA’s 501c3 status, all donations are now tax deductible in the United States. So send in a contribution of $100 or $5. But donate something. We accept PayPal.
3) Finally, send in news you’d like to see reported! Years into this, and I’m not sure what surprises me more: how easy it is to know what’s going on in the field all over the world, or how difficult it is to know what’s going on in the field all over the world! I’m glad to post announcements about conferences, forthcoming books, journal articles, exhibitions, fellowship opportunities, &c. The postings readers most enjoy are inevitably original content, reports of interesting collections, house museums, resources, and the like. No reason to be shy.
Again, thanks to all of you and all the best!
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Here, after five years, 1056 subscribers, and 421,000 hits, I’m as excited as ever about what Enfilade has become, thanks to such loyal readers. Thank you!
If you’re reading this with any measure of kind-hearted gratitude, here’s what you can (I dare say should) do:
1) Join HECAA (Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art & Architecture). It’s quick and inexpensive—just $30 (only $5 for students)—with the money going to promote the field of eighteenth-century studies, much of it to graduate students at that. Or you can donate whatever amount you choose. Think your $3 doesn’t matter? Well, if all 312 of you visiting the site today gave that much, we would bring in close to a $1000. For an organization like HECAA, that’s enormous. Click here to join or contribute.
2) Buy an Art Book. If readers like you aren’t buying art books, then who do we expect will? So if you’ve not bought an art book within the past month, buy one today (and ‘no’, remainders, used books, and the like don’t count).
Thanks for reading; thanks for writing in with news to share.
–Craig Ashley Hanson
Image: Trade card of Negri & Wetten, Confectioners at the Pineapple, Berkeley Square. Print by Ignatius Fougeron, after Peter Babel, ca. 1799 (London: British Museum, D,2.1636). From the collection of Sarah Sophia Banks. Food historian Ivan Day writes about eighteenth-century ice creams with reference to Negri, and last summer Vic Sanborn provided a fine summary of Negri’s business, “The Pot and Pineapple and Gunter’s: Domenico Negri, Robert Gunter, and the Confectioner’s Art in Georgian London,” published at her ever interesting blog Jane Austen’s World.
I’m delighted to welcome Mattie Koppendrayer on-board here at Enfilade as a summer intern. As one of my students at Calvin College, Mattie is used to putting up with me during the school year; it’s good of her to sign on for June and July, too.
She is an exceptional student—the only case I’ve had of a student finding her way to a paper topic on Chinese export ceramics with nothing in the class materials leading her there. Earlier this year, I had the chance to get to know Mattie better during a January-term spent in London (12 of us altogether). I can vouch for her good judgment, keen interest, and warm sense of humor.
The December 2013 issue of Architectural Digest teasingly includes this news in the column “AD Hears. . .”
that architecture aficionados are agape at the flamboyant plasterwork concealed behind the modest façade of Germany’s Schloss Mirow—the birthplace of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of England’s King George III—currently under renovation (48).
With a small amount of online searching, I found only a little more about the project; readers should feel free to chime in with more information. Presumably, we’ll hear more in the coming months. -CH
Schloss Mirow, Wikimedia Commons, 2011
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From the Mecklenburg website:
Das Mirower Schloss befindet sich in der Endphase seiner hochkarätigen Restaurierungsarbeiten. Höchst komplex sind die zahlreichen Methoden, die am Schloss zum Einsatz kommen. Die hohe Qualität und die Besonderheit der Restaurierungsarbeiten in Mirow haben das Schloss nun zum “Hot Spot” werden lassen. Die für den Dreh beauftrage Produktionsfirma Spiegel TV begleitete und interviewte einen Tag lang verschiedene Experten bei ihrer Arbeit – sie gehören zu den absoluten Spezialisten des Landes.
Das Fimteam traf in Mirow auf ganz unterschiedliche Gewerke: Bauhistoriker Dr. Tilo Schöfbeck verschaffte einen reizvollen Eindruck von den Techniken zur Altersbestimmung von Gebäudeelementen, während Diana von Stietencron einen spannenden Einblick in die geheimen Rezepturwelten von Vergoldern und Fassmalern des 18. Jahrhunderts gab. Bildhauer Bernhard Lankers wusste davon zu berichten mit welcher Genialität die Schnitzer im Rokoko gearbeitet haben. Einzigartig ist auch das Rekonstruktionsprojekt, bei dem eine handgestickte Tapete vom Atelier Twist in Berlin wieder zum Leben erweckt wird. . . .
To celebrate Enﬁlade’s fourth birthday (22 June), I’m encouraging readers to participate in the second annual Buy-an-Art-Book Day! This year I’m happy to announce a special, one-day discount from Ashgate. Many thanks for the kind support. — Craig Hanson
At Ashgate or Lund Humphries, use the promotion code 287Y for a 20% discount on Saturday, June 22. The offer should work internationally, though please bear in mind U.S. timezones.
With two fabulous Clerks of the Pinterest Boards — Katrina London and Debs Wiles — taking the lead, I’m delighted to announce that HECAA and Enﬁlade now have a Pinterest presence! Having written about the site in the past (21 May 2012 and 17 January 2013), I’m now even more optimistic. Lots of you are already pinning. Some of you, on the other hand, are rolling your eyes at the very mention of it — not another new digital platform to make sense of! As one who signed up for a Pinterest account (yes, accounts are free) and then did nothing with it for months, I understand feelings of nagging annoyance and even disdain. But after a year of using Pinterest for personal interests and projects, I’ve been won over. It’s not nearly as good as it should (or could) be, but I think there is enormous potential for scholars to provide some leadership and make this new vehicle serve our own interests. It’s still an experiment, and six months from now, we’ll likely have a much better sense of the limits. On the front end, I offer the following suggestions; and don’t worry, we have no plans to change what happens here at the regular site for Enﬁlade. As always, feedback is welcome. -CH
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1) Plan. You’ll need to sign up for an account — but even before that — you need to consider how you want to use your account. As a social media platform, Pinterest will want to intertwine you with the people you ‘follow’ and the things you ‘pin’. It’s entirely common for people to use their real names, and if you’re using it to extend a professional presence, that’s probably advantageous. On the other hand, if you’re pinning cleaning tips, then maybe you’ll want something a bit more discreet (initials, pseudonyms, &c.).
2) Press on. When you sign up for an account, you’ll list several sites you want to ‘follow’. Over time, that list will grow as you hone your preferences and likes. For most people, Pinterest is only as satisfying as the things they’re following. Warning: here’s there’s a small learning curve. After you first sign up, you’ll likely be bombarded by lots of images (‘pins’) that have little to do how you want to use the site. Don’t fret. In a day or two, you’ll gradually begin to make sense of how it works, the visual clutter will dissipate, and it’s easy enough to ‘unfollow’ things you want to go away.
3) Follow HECAA! We currently have several ‘boards’. Whenever we post a new pin, it will automatically be pinned to your homepage, too. People who follow you will see it only if you ‘repin’ it yourself.
4) Explore. There are lots of museums, academic presses, and other scholarly institutions to ‘follow’ (Yale UP is one example). There are also lots of images of amazing eighteenth-century artifacts — often posted by historical novelists. At the level of strategy, Enﬁlade is not aiming to assemble large collections of interesting objects — paintings by Chardin or Kauffman, for instance. We have all kinds of resources for such collections: books, databases, &c. Instead, we’re interested in exploring what kinds of information would be a good fit with Pinterest and how we would take advantage of Pinterest as a venue for distributing visual information. Ultimately, we’ll be exploring how we might marshal collective efforts to maximize a critical mass of interest in eighteenth-century studies.
5) Think about organization. You’ll be able to create your own boards, assigning each pin to one of these. Generally, the more precise a board, the more useful it will be — to yourself and to others who may follow you. If you’re unsettled by the social media component, users are allowed three ‘secret boards’.
6) Think about who might see what you’re pinning. If you’re wondering how Pinterest could possibly be useful, consider this. Say you’re working on a paper on eighteenth-century picture frames. Through web searches, you find 10-20 sites and images you’d like to keep in mind. In a matter of seconds, it’s easy to pin each of those examples to a board you call ‘Frames’. With a system much easier than bookmarking or printing hard copies, you’re able to make a visual record, with brief captions and links. But also bear in mind: if those examples turn out to be crucial to your paper, anyone following you can, now, in effect, peer over your shoulder as you’re working. Perhaps that’s fine. Or perhaps you should use one of your ‘secret boards’ for that material. It’s easy enough to turn a ‘secret board’ into a public one later on, but you can’t go the other way.
HECAA’s Pinterest boards are available here»
I’m delighted to introduce two new Enﬁlade interns: Katrina London and Debs Wiles. For the next six months they’ll be exploring the scholarly potential of Pinterest. As Clerks of the Pinterest Boards, they’ll not only be pinning themselves but also helping us think through issue of organization and anticipating pitfalls. In fact, they’ve been working on all of this already for several weeks now. I’m thrilled at their interest and enthusiasm. Welcome aboard!
For an introduction and invitation to HECAA’s Pinterest boards, please see this posting.
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I am delighted to join Enfilade as a Clerk of the Pinterest Boards. I recently earned my master’s degree in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture at the Bard Graduate Center, where I specialized in the decorative arts of eighteenth-century France. Also at the Bard Graduate Center, I was a contributor to the exhibition and catalogue Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened earlier this month. I currently work in the Academic Programs department at the Bard Graduate Center as a program assistant for an NEH Summer Institute directed by Professor David Jaffee, and I am considering doctoral programs in art history.
Deborah (Debs) Wiles
I came to horticulture as a career change. The more I learned about gardening and gardens, the more interested I became in the history of gardening. This led me to complete an MA in garden history at the University of Greenwich in London where I studied the history of Kensington Gardens and the evolution of the country house garden from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth centuries. I’ve since continued to research the biography of seventeenth-century traveler Celia Fiennes. I look forward to exploring ways to use social media as a scholarly tool!
From the Editor
Open Position: Clerk of the Pinterest Boards
Last May I invited Enﬁlade readers to consider how Pinterest might be put to better use for scholars of the eighteenth century. Over the past few months, I’ve grown even more bullish, optimistic about the potential utility of pinning images with texts (organized under headings) and then distributing those pins via a social network (recent stats for Pinterest usage are available here). Pinterest Business accounts were launched in November, and while these may not be precisely the model for establishing scholarly credibility, the offering suggests Pinterest may slowly be growing up. If art historians are well placed to say what’s wrong with most of what happens on Pinterest, it seems to me we might also start contributing models for making a tool like this work better.
For all of these reasons, I’m now accepting applications for a volunteer position I’ve dubbed Clerk of the Pinterest Boards. I’m especially interested in exploring the following problems:
• How and to what extent might Pinterest be used in the production of knowledge, particularly in terms of collecting information (visual and textual information) and presenting that information together?
• How can we make a Pinterest board into something more than merely a collection of ‘pretty’ pictures?
• Are there things Pinterest could do that other digital formats (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, &c.) don’t do or don’t do well?
• How might we increase broad interest in the art and architecture of the eighteenth century via Pinterest?
I’m envisioning this position as extremely flexible and open-ended. As an experiment, it should probably run for at least a year, but the amount of work should be minimal to modest, perhaps an hour or two each week. For the best candidates, you’re probably already spending this much time on exactly the kinds of searches the positions would require; I just need you to start pinning those results and giving some thought to larger questions of organization and goals.
To apply, please send a message of interest and a recent CV to me at CraigAshleyHanson@gmail.com. As always, comments and feedback are welcome.
— Craig Hanson
P.S. — If this talk of pins brings to mind Adam Smith’s example of a “trifling manufacture,” all the better; you’re in the right place.