Enfilade

Addressing Colonialism and Historic Slavery at the National Trust

Posted in books, on site, teaching resources, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on August 25, 2021

Illustration by Michael Kennedy for Sam Knight’s article in The New Yorker (23 August 2021), p. 31

The National Trust released its Interim Report on the Connections between Colonialism and Properties Now in the Care of the National Trust, Including Links with Historic Slavery in September 2020. Sam Knight’s recent article, “Britain’s Idyllic Country Houses Reveal a Darker History” from The New Yorker (23 August 2021), pp. 30–41, explores the wider context of the report along with its British reception.*

The article is, to my thinking, immensely instructive, usefully framing the scale of the problem (historically) and the magnitude of work now to be done (both professionally and societally). As Knight writes, “The National Trust, more than any other institution, helped to create the idealized version of the English country house. Almost every historian I spoke to supported the charity’s decision to reinterpret its properties, but many also observed that it did not have a choice. . . . Given Britain’s changing demographics and the weight of recent decades of colonial history, the elisions of the past were no longer tenable. The National Trust has been forced to explode a myth of its own making. But many English people preferred the myth as it was” (34).

As for the report itself, much of the attention has been directed to its listing of National Trust properties. In fact, taken as a whole, it provides an excellent guide to crucial historic institutions—with essays ranging from compensation for slave-ownership to the East India Company—along with relevant bibliographies (I can imagine lots of useful teaching applications). CH

* In the same issue of The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik writes of ‘What the French Make of Lafayette,” pp. 66–70, observations occasioned by two recent biographies Mike Duncan’s Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution (Public Affairs, 2021) and Laurent Zecchini’s Lafayette: héraut de la liberté (Fayard, 2019).

Penrhyn Castle in Wales, Clandon Park Gardens in Surrey, Speke Hall in Liverpool, and Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire (National Trust); all four properties are included in the report’s “Gazetteer.”

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From the NT:

The National Trust cares for places and collections on behalf of the nation, and many have direct and indirect links to colonialism and historic slavery. We’ve released a report examining these connections as part of our broader commitment to ensure that these links are properly represented, shared and interpreted.

The buildings in our care reflect many different periods and a range of British and global histories—social, industrial, political and cultural. As a heritage charity, it’s our responsibility to make sure we are historically accurate and academically robust when we communicate about the places and collections in our care.

The Interim Report on the Connections between Colonialism and Properties Now in the Care of the National Trust, Including Links with Historic Slavery details the connections 93 historic places in our care have with colonialism and historic slavery. This includes the global slave trades, goods and products of enslaved labour, abolition and protest, and the East India Company.

It draws on recent evidence including the Legacies of British Slave-ownership project and the Trust’s own sources. It also documents the way that significant Trust buildings are linked to the abolition of slavery and campaigns against colonial oppression.

It has been edited by Dr Sally-Anne Huxtable (National Trust Head Curator), Professor Corinne Fowler (University of Leicester), Dr Christo Kefalas (National Trust World Cultures Curator), and Emma Slocombe (National Trust Textiles Curator), with contributions from other National Trust curators and researchers around the country. Some of the research has already been used to update our digital content and supports visitor information and interpretation at relevant places.

Sally-Anne Huxtable, Corinne Fowler, Christo Kefalas, and Emma Slocombe, eds., Interim Report on the Connections between Colonialism and Properties Now in the Care of the National Trust, Including Links with Historic Slavery (Swindon: National Trust, 2020).

C O N T E N T S

Authorship and Acknowledgements
Foreword, Gus Casely-Hayford

Introduction — Sally-Anne Huxtable, Tarnya Cooper, and John Orna-Ornstein
1. Wealth, Power, and the Global Country House — Sally-Anne Huxtable
2  Trade in Enslaved People — Jane Gallagher
3  Abolition, Resistance and Protest — Christo Kefalas
4  Compensation for Slave-ownership — Elizabeth Green, Christo Kefalas, and Emma Slocombe
5  Merchant Companies — Rupert Goulding
6  The East India Company — Lucy Porten
7  Banking and Bankers — Frances Bailey
8  The British Raj in India after 1857 — Rachel Conroy
9  Industrialisation and the Import of Cotton — Emma Slocombe
10  Research — Sophie Chessum

Gazetteer of National Trust Properties

Appendix: Next Steps
Bibliography
Further Reading

Xavier Salomon on Clodion’s Dance of Time

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning, teaching resources by Editor on January 1, 2021

The Dance of Time, Three Nymphs Supporting a Clock, movement by Jean-Baptiste Lepaute, sculpture by Claude Michel Clodion, 1788, terracotta, gilt brass, and glass, H.: 41 inches (New York: The Frick Collection, bequest of Winthrop Kellogg Edey) Photo: Michael Bodycomb.

A very Happy New Year to all of you! I should have posted news of this brief talk earlier, but it will be available on YouTube whenever you might have the time and inclination to watch. I also point out the series more generally for those of you always looking for teaching resources. Past installments (typically 20 minutes) address paintings by Gainsborough, Stubbs, Romney, Tiepolo, Boucher, and Chardin, along with extraordinary decorative arts objects (and plenty of works beyond the eighteenth century). CH

Xavier Salomon on Clodion’s Dance of Time
YouTube, 1 January 2021, 5pm (EST)

This week’s episode of Cocktails with a Curator toasts the new year with Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon as he examines a masterpiece of both sculpture and clockmaking: The Dance of Time, by Clodion (Claude Michel) and Jean-Baptiste Lepaute. In this 18th-century timepiece, three terracotta nymphs or Hours dance in a circle around an exquisite mechanism enclosed in a glass globe. The Frick has one of the country’s most important collections of clocks, many of which came to the museum through a gift from Winthrop Kellogg Edey. Welcome 2021 by raising a Metropolitan cocktail—Happy New Year!

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

First Issue of ‘Art History Pedagogy and Practice’ Released

Posted in journal articles, teaching resources by Editor on December 19, 2016

From AHTR:

046570f9d4625921720f54e9dcfe88f8Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR) is thrilled to release the inaugural issue of Art History Pedagogy and Practice (AHPP), the first academic journal dedicated to the scholarship of teaching and learning in art history (SoTL-AH). The result of a two year initiative, generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, AHPP responds to the need to support, collect, and disseminate pedagogical research specific to the discipline. Published biannually by AHTR in partnership with the Graduate Center for the City University of New York and the CUNY Office of Library Services, AHPP is available as an open access e-journal on Academic Works, CUNY’s Digital Commons repository.

With its first issue, “What’s the problem with the introductory art history survey?” AHPP seeks to advance a long-running conversation in art history by exploring issues related to the introductory survey course. A robust response to the initial call for papers revealed that discourse around this topic has evolved in recent years to reflect current changes across the educational landscape. Faculty today acknowledge a broader range of skills and content to be foundational to art historical study and the significant role of digital technology in instructional practice, but research is necessary to examine the impact of new pedagogies when applied in the classroom.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Art History

The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) encourages scholars to investigate their teaching practice with the same curiosity and intellectual rigour used to approach key research questions in their discipline. While SoTL research encompasses many interests, it generally involves asking meaningful questions about student learning and how it can be improved; conducting research into teaching and learning that is systematic, analytical, evidence-based, and uses a variety of research methods; and sharing the results of that inquiry to benefit colleagues and contribute to a growing body of knowledge around teaching and learning.

As a peer-reviewed journal, AHPP developed as a natural outgrowth of the AHTR Weekly, a lively and wide-ranging blog series where diverse practitioners write about their teaching ideas and experiences. Together, these forums offer a digital model of publication where informal and formal SoTL exchange can complement one another and foster public-facing discourse about education in the humanities. The articles in first issue explore different models of inquiry appropriate to SoTL in art history. They include case studies and qualitative data in the form of student comments, personal reflections, and observations in the classroom, and address quantifiable measurements around learning outcomes, graded performance, and other methods used in education and the learning sciences. Most importantly they ask questions that are important to developing conceptual frameworks for pedagogical practice in art history, and serve as a point of departure for future study in this emerging area of the discipline.

AHTR

ArtHistoryTeachingResources.org (AHTR) is a online platform that connects a diverse field of practitioners teaching art history and visual culture. The site currently provides an evolving repository of adaptable lesson plans; a weekly blog of shared assignments, teaching ideas, and reflective essays; and biannual publication of Art History Pedagogy and Practice. Founded on dual goals to raise the value of the academic labor of teaching and to provide peer support across ranks of tenured, tenure-track, and contingent instructors, AHTR began in 2011 as a collaboration between Michelle Millar Fisher (CUNY, MOMA) and Karen Shelby (Baruch College, CUNY), who created the arthistoryteachingresources.org website with support from the New Media Lab at the CUNY Graduate Center. Since its public launch in 2013, AHTR has grown an average of 120% each year and has been viewed over 500,000 times by educators in K-12, post-secondary institutions, and art museums, and academic support staff including reference librarians and curriculum designers. AHTR’s administration has similarly expanded to a leadership collective of art historians and an advisory network assembled for expertise and leadership in art history, museum education, and digital humanities.

AHTR believes that effective high-quality instruction is essential to the future of art history. We are excited to contribute to this goal by providing a platform for scholarly discourse and publication on teaching and learning in art history, and look forward to the next issue of AHPP in Spring 2017. We are grateful for the support, encouragement, and hard work of so many people who have helped to realize this major initiative. In addition to the authors and peer reviewers who contributed content to AHPP’s inaugural issue, we wish to thank Jill Cirasella and Megan Wacha at CUNY, Jillian Clark at bepress, Danielle Maestretti at Flexport, CHIPS, Max Marmor, Lisa Schermerhorn, and Wyman Meers at the Kress Foundation, AHPP’s Advisory Board, and co-editors Renee McGarry and Virginia B. Spivey.

Art History Pedagogy and Practice 1.1 (December 2016)

• Virginia B. Spivey and Renee McGarry — Editor’s Introduction: Advancing SoTL-AH
• Aditi Chandra, Leda Cempellin, Kristen Chiem, Abigail Lapin Dardashti, Radha J. Dalal, Ellen Kenney, Sadia Pasha Kamran, Nina Murayama, and James P. Elkins — Looking Beyond the Canon: Localized and Globalized Perspectives in Art History Pedagogy
• Melissa R. Kerin and Andrea Lepage — De-Centering ‘The’ Survey: The Value of Multiple Introductory Surveys to Art History
• Beth Harris and Steven Zucker — Making the Absent Present: The Imperative of Teaching Art History
• Julia A. Sienkewicz — Against the ‘Coverage’ Mentality: Rethinking Learning Outcomes and the Core Curriculum
• Glenda M. Swan — Building a Foundation for Survey: Employing a Focused Introduction

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23 Things for Research: Teaching with Digital Tools

Posted in resources, teaching resources by Editor on November 22, 2013

For anyone thinking about introducing digital tools into the classroom in connection with structured assignments, you might find this model from Oxford’s Bodleian Library useful. -CH

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23 Things for Research
An online learning programme for researchers, students and staff at the University of Oxford

2JA2fPAV7LVEB0kFkXrq-jl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVaiQDB_Rd1H6kmuBWtceBJ23 Things is a self-directed course, run as part of the Engage programme, that aims to expose you to a range of digital tools that could help you in your personal and professional development as a researcher, academic, student or in another role. The aim is for you to spend a little time each week over Michaelmas Term, building up and expanding your skills. Each week, we’ll talk about one or more of the tools/tasks from our 23 Things programme and encourage you to try it out and reflect on it. We hope that the programme presents a realistic challenge and will allow you to fit it into your schedule. 23 Things for Research is inspired by the first 23 Things Oxford and based on the original 23 Things program, which ran at the
Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006.

Continue reading here»

New Resource for the History of Paper

Posted in resources, teaching resources by Editor on January 20, 2012

Though especially concerned with issues of book production, this research and the resulting website have implications for all early modern print culture. Aimed at a wide range of audiences — “from the complete novice to the paper-conservation scientist” — the site might be especially helpful for teaching purposes..CH

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From a UICB press release (17 January 2012) . . .

Tim Barrett of the University of Iowa Center for the Book Launches Paper History Website

Research by a University of Iowa led team reveals new information about why paper made hundreds of years ago often holds up better over time than more modern paper. Led by Timothy Barrett, director of papermaking facilities at the UI Center for the Book, the team analyzed 1,578 historical papers made between the 14th and the 19th centuries. Barrett and his colleagues devised methods to determine their chemical composition without requiring a sample to be destroyed in the process, which had limited past research. The results of this three-year project show that the oldest papers were often in the best condition, in part, Barrett says, due to high levels of gelatin and calcium.

“This is news to many of us in the fields of papermaking history and rare book and art conservation,” says Barrett. “The research results will impact the manufacture of modern paper intended for archival applications, and the care and conservation of historical works on paper.”

Barrett says one possible explanation for the higher quality of the paper in the older samples is that papermakers at the time were attempting to compete with parchment, a tough enduring material normally made from animal skins. In doing so, they made their papers thick and white and dipped the finished sheets into a dilute warm gelatin solution to toughen it. . . .

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From the project website, Paper through Time . . .

This website is designed for use by a wide range of visitors, from the complete novice to the paper-conservation scientist. Newcomers to the site may want to begin with the PROJECT OVERVIEW & AUTHORS and CONCLUSIONS sections for a quick sense of our research and what we learned. Those unfamiliar with papermaking history and technique may wish to start with European Papermaking Techniques 1300-1800 (under BACKGROUND) for an introduction to the craft. Visitors with a strong interest in papermaking history, materials and processes, paper permanence, paper science, and paper conservation are advised to begin at the top of the menu to the left and click on each tab, reading as interest and time permit. The site will be updated regularly. Suggestions for changes are welcome via email messages . . .

Syllabus: Arts and Trans-Atlantic Revolution

Posted in teaching resources by Editor on August 22, 2011

Here’s the second part of our back-to-school syllabus feature for the fall, this one from one of Laura Auricchio’s undergraduate courses. It’s a nice pairing with yesterday’s MA-level course and interesting to see how some themes persist even as the readings and assignments have been reworked for a different context. Both syllabi offer terrific examples of pace variation, nicely inserted late in the semester. I’ve abridged much of the logistical content, but the full syllabus is available here as a PDF file. Thanks again to Laura, and all the best to everyone still pulling syllabi together for the new semester.  -CH

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Arts and Trans-Atlantic Revolution
Professor Laura Auricchio

Visual culture plays crucial roles in both shaping and commemorating moments of political and social change. This course asks how both “high art” and “popular” images and objects contributed to upheavals that shook both sides of the Atlantic at the end of the 18th century. Focusing on revolutions in the U.S. (1775-1783), France (1789-1799) and Haiti (1791-1804), the course examines thematic, stylistic, and iconographic influences that crossed the ocean, with particular emphasis on the varying roles of race, class, and gender in each context. The course also traces the visual legacies of these revolutions in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, examining, for instance, how, why, and to what effect Jacob Lawrence created his series dedicated to the Haitian slave-turned-leader Toussaint L’Ouverture (1938), or Emanuel Leutze painted George Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851). Visits to works on view in NYC are central to the course experience.

Requirements
15%  Attendance/ participation/ preparation
15%  Weekly reading responses
Preliminary assignments on topic of final paper:
15%  -Formal analysis (2-3 pages)
15%  -Annotated bibliography (8-10 sources)
10%  -Proposed argument (1 page)
30%  -Final paper (8-10 pages)

C O U R S E  S C H E D U L E (more…)

Syllabus: Visualizing Revolution

Posted in teaching resources by Editor on August 21, 2011

With a new academic year upon us, this year’s syllabi sampling is generously provided by Laura Auricchio, of Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. Today’s syllabus comes from a graduate seminar offered four years ago in conjunction with Parsons’s MA program in the History of Decorative Arts (thus it’s heavy on visual and material culture and light on painting and sculpture). It’s been reformatted slightly, but the original is available here as a PDF document. We’ll have one more tomorrow. Thanks, Laura!

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Visualizing Revolution: America and France
Professor Laura Auricchio

How did works of visual and material culture help to shape, reflect, and commemorate the revolutions that roiled France and the United States at the end of the eighteenth century? Drawing on objects housed at the Cooper-Hewitt, and timed to coincide with a New-York Historical Society exhibition focusing on America’s 1824-5 celebrations of the Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolution, this course will examine stylistic and iconographic influences that crossed the Atlantic, and ask how and why the different contexts of the French and American revolution yielded different roles for the visual arts. Issues to be addressed will include: Neoclassicism as a “republican” style; the politics of dress and decoration; public festivals and monuments; and nineteenth-century visions of eighteenth-century events. This course will require students to integrate primary-source research with historical and theoretical readings, and is recommended only for students who have already taken Proseminar. (more…)

Forvo — You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato

Posted in resources, teaching resources by Editor on July 16, 2011

Note from the Editor

One of the challenges of ‘doing’ art history, whether at the introductory, student level or as an established scholar, is knowing how to pronounce lots of unfamiliar words and names. That making sense of the eighteenth century requires such a wide range of international knowledge just compounds the difficulties. A working knowledge of French and Italian go a long way, but they hardly solve all of one’s problems (and incidentally just reinforce how large the gaps are in what often counts as the field’s dominant terrain). The important addition of German helps a lot, but there’s still plenty of room for serious gaffes. Latin is always useful with languages, though sometimes it can hurt with pronunciations. And names can be tough even in one’s native language. At least for American speakers, British names like Albemarle, Derby, and Leicester are tricky enough without the likes of Featherstonhaugh (which is sometimes, maybe all the time?, pronounced Fanshaw).

The digital revolution has transformed lots of what we do, but until recently, the usage model depended upon reading as an exclusively visual (and thus silent) experience. How often have I heard fine presentations from my students, marred by their serious mispronunciation of some crucial term or person in their paper? How often have I done the same thing, realizing only a few moments before giving a talk that I’ve never actually heard that name pronounced before?

One indication of the expanding sensory dimensions of the web comes from a source that I stumbled across several months ago, Forvo. The site’s tagline is clear enough: All the words in the world. Pronounced. Well, they’re not there yet (at least as of today, no Featherstonhaugh), but what is included is impressive. This past May, the site passed the million mark, with 267 languages represented . . .

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We are celebrating these days our third year online and coinciding with this anniversary we have reached an amazing number of pronunciations: 1,000,000. We have no words to thank you for making this possible but we have a graphic instead : )

Our friend Asier has created this nice infographic where you can see the evolution of Forvo and also the key data in our way.

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The site allows users to see how the same word would be pronounced in multiple locations. The proper pronunciation, for instance, of the British surname, Albemarle, would be a mispronunciation of the eponymous town in North Carolina. Forvo gives you both.

I still have questions. Is it affectation for an American to pronounce the city Bath with a British accent? Or in fact a mispronunciation of the city’s name not to do so? It also is often quite useful to know how names were pronounced in the eighteenth century (sometimes the shifts have been substantial), and at least currently Forvo appears to deal only with the present. Still, I think it’s a really valuable tool. I’ll be pointing students to it and also checking words myself (likely much more often than I would care to confess). -CH.

ECCO Texts and Print-on-Demand Possibilities

Posted in books, resources, teaching resources by Editor on June 20, 2011

While working on an article related to William Cowper’s Myotomia Reformata, I recently discovered that I could purchase a paperback copy for less than $25 at Amazon or Alibris. I was surprised but guessed that these copies were the remainders from a recent printing of the 1724 text. In fact, however, they are the result of a print-on-demand initiative. Here’s the description from Alibris:

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As noted at EMOB, the covers of these new paperbacks do not come from the original books, and in this instance, the selection is hardly ideal. I'm not sure if the editor, Dr. Richard Mead, would be angry, appalled, or merely amused.

The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. In its determination to preserve the century of revolution, Gale initiated a revolution of its own: digitization of epic proportions to preserve these invaluable works in the largest archive of its kind. Now for the first time these high-quality digital copies of original 18th century manuscripts are available in print, making them highly accessible to libraries, undergraduate students, and independent scholars. Medical theory and practice of the 1700s developed rapidly, as is evidenced by the extensive collection, which includes descriptions of diseases, their conditions, and treatments. Books on science and technology, agriculture, military technology, natural philosophy, even cookbooks, are all contained here.++++The below data was compiled from various identification fields in the bibliographic record of this title. This data is provided as an additional tool in helping to insure edition identification: ++++British LibraryT132919Titlepage in red and black. Edited by Richard Mead, assisted by Joseph Tanner, James Jurin and Henry Pemberton. Large paper issue.London: printed for Robert Knaplock, and William and John Innys; and Jacob Tonson, 1724. [12],
lxxvii, [1],194p., plates: ill.; 2.

Condition: New
Publisher: Gale Ecco, Print Editions
Date published: 2010
ISBN-13: 9781140985778
ISBN: 1140985779

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An online search quickly turned up a fine discussion of the issue — not surprisingly — at Early Modern Online Bibliography. Eleanor Shevlin wrote a thoughtful posting on the subject last August, which has thus far occasioned 27 responses. The posting nicely lays out the potential advantages and drawbacks. Most objections relate to concerns over bibliographic completeness and uniformity. I’ve not yet looked to see what the art offerings might look like, but for anyone looking to incorporate primary sources into the classroom, this could be useful. I’ve included below a comment on the posting from Scott Dawson (24 August 2010) that clarifies some of these issues, but by all means have a look at the full discussion at EMOB. -CH. (more…)

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