Enfilade

‘Curious Specimens’ and the Great Volcanic Cloud

Posted in conferences (summary), on site, site information by Editor on April 20, 2010

Rooftop of Strawberry Hill, April 2010. The new Gothic pinnacles have been recreated from oak. The chimney pots date from the 19th century; they, like the rest of the exterior, will be painted the same original white as the wooden ornaments; yes, it's going to be bright.

The Strawberry Hill Trust was formed in August of 2002 to restore Horace Walpole's Gothic Villa at Twickenham, just outside of London. With a budget of £8.2 million ($13million), the project is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year.

Good News: The Curious Specimens conference in London was even better than I had expected (and I expected a lot). The Walpole and Mrs. Delany exhibitions are both stunning as installed, respectively, at the V&A and Soane’s Museum. The conference panels were stimulating, and Saturday’s visit to Strawberry Hill was thrilling (hard to beat a rooftop tour). Many thanks to the organizers, especially Luisa Calè and Lisa Ford but also Michael Snodin, Amy Meyers, Margaret Powell, Alicia Weisberg-Roberts, and Brian Allen.

Bad News: Because I’m caught in the UK under a massive cloud of ash, with irregular access to email, Enfilade will be updated less frequently than normal during the next few days. ‘Caught’ hardly conveys my joy at having a few extra days in London; nor does talk of the ash cloud conjure the wonderful sunny weather that the city is currently experiencing, but it does perhaps suggest the utter strangeness of the situation (and to be fair, for untold numbers of people, the travel freeze is proving to be an horrendous ordeal). Please feel free to continue sending details for any announcements or news items you would like to see posted. I’ll add them as soon as I can. Thanks for your patience. -CH

Strawberry Hill

Posted in catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 15, 2009

The Walpole show at the YCBA opened yesterday in New Haven with a lecture by Michael Snodin (Senior Research Fellow at the V&A). From the museum’s website:

Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 15 October 2009 — 3 January 2010
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 6 March — 4 July 2010

Edited by Michael Snodin (Yale University Press, 2009), $85

Ed. by Michael Snodin (Yale University Press), $85

Horace Walpole (1717–1797) was the youngest son of Robert Walpole, first earl of Orford and prime minister under both George I and George II. Horace’s birthright placed him at the center of society and politics, and of literary, aesthetic, and intellectual circles. His brilliant letters and other writings have made him the best-known commentator on social, political, and cultural life in eighteenth-century England. In his own day, he was most famous for his personal collections, which were displayed at Strawberry Hill, his pioneering Gothic-revival house on the banks of the Thames at Twickenham, outside London, and through which he constructed narratives of English art and history.

This groundbreaking exhibition seeks to evoke the breadth and importance of Walpole’s collections at Strawberry Hill by reassembling an astonishing variety of his objects, including rare books and manuscripts, antiquities, paintings, prints and drawings, furniture, ceramics, arms and armor, and curiosities. These will be drawn frominternational public and private collections as well as those of the Center and Yale’s Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut.

Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill has been organized by the Center, The Lewis Walpole Library, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with contributions by an array of distinguished international scholars. The Center is the only U.S. venue. The exhibition has been generously supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Michael Snodin, Discovering Strawberry Hill
Wednesday, 14 October, 5:30pm

Peter Inskip, Revealing Strawberry Hill House
Tuesday, 20 October, 5:30pm

Cynthia Roman, Works of Genius: Amateur Artists at Strawberry Hill
Wednesday, 11 November, 5:30pm