‘Picturing Places’ at the British Library

The British Library is delighted to announce the launch of Picturing Places, a new free online resource which explores the Library’s extensive holdings of landscape imagery.
Rotunda

Robert Mitchell, Cross-section of The Rotunda, Leicester Square, built to exhibit panoramas (1801). BL 56.i.12 (Plate 14).

The British Library’s huge collection of historic prints and drawings is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Picturing Places showcases works of art by well-known artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and J. M. W. Turner alongside images by a multitude of lesser-known figures. Only a few have ever been seen or published before.

Historically, the British Library’s prints and drawings have been overlooked by scholars. This is the first time that a large and important body of such materials from the Library are being brought to light. While landscape images have often been treated as accurate records of place, this website reveals the many different stories involved – about travel and empire, science and exploration, the imagination, history and observation.

As well as over 500 newly-digitised works of art from the collection, this growing site will feature over 100 articles by both emerging and established scholars from many disciplines. Part of the British Library’s ongoing Transforming Topography research project, films from the Library’s 2016 conference exploring the depiction of places are also accessible, providing revelatory insights about the history of landscape imagery.

Follow @BL_prints for updates on the project’s progress.

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Lewis Walpole Library Masterclass

The Lewis Walpole Library is now accepting applications for its residential masterclass,  A Contest of Two Genres: Graphic Satire and Anglo-American History Painting in the Long Eighteenth Century.

The residential course will be led by Mark Salber Phillips (Carleton University) and Cynthia Roman (Lewis Walpole Library), and will take place 15-18 May.

According to the Lewis Walpole Library website:

Centuries-old hierarchies of the visual arts have placed history painting and graphic satire at opposite ends of the spectrum. “History painting” – high minded narrative art depicting exemplary heroes and events— carried enormous prestige, bringing fame to the individual artist as well as to the national school. In contrast, graphic satire was viewed as the lowest form of visual expression – more closely connected to political prints than to high-minded “histories.”

This residential seminar is intended to give doctoral students in a variety of disciplines the opportunity to consider issues and overlaps between these two narrative genres. Making use of visual material and textual resources from the collections of the Lewis Walpole Library’s at Yale, we will examine the often-embattled efforts of artists to construct new modes of visual representation as well as of narrative and history.  Through a multidisciplinary approach, we  will take note of a variety of key issues, including the theoretical context of Enlightenment intellectual history, the more focused discourse of art treatises, and direct encounters with the formal and aesthetic qualities of works of art. Among history painters we will give our attention to the works of William Hogarth, Gavin Hamilton, Benjamin West, and John Trumbull, while among the satirists we will focus on James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, and Isaac and George Cruikshank.

The class will be taught as a combination of seminars, small group discussions, and visits to the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Most of the teaching will take place in the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington.

Places are limited, and (post)graduate students are encouraged to apply by submitting a short statement of interest here. Transportation will be available to and from New Haven, and accommodation may be available on-site upon request.

 

Woodpeckings: Victorian prints, book illustration and word-image narratives

Woodpeckings Conference Image

Friday 16th – Saturday 17th June

9am-5pm

Stevenson Lecture Theatre, British Museum

 

Register here: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/english/dalziel/2017/02/22/woodpeckings-victorian-prints-book-illustration-and-word-image-narratives/

Organised by the Dalziel Project

This two-day event presents new perspectives on Victorian prints, book illustration and word-image narratives, brought into dialogue with scholarly interpretations of the Dalziel Archive, a phenomenal resource for researchers of nineteenth-century prints.

The Dalziel Archive has been made newly accessible through the Dalziel Project, funded by the AHRC. The Dalziel family led the most substantial London firm of wood engravers; they were, to borrow the contemporary slang, prolific “woodpeckers”, or “peckers”. At this time, wood engraving was the chief medium of mass production, profusely illustrating books, periodicals and ephemera: everything from Dickens and Trollope to fitness manuals and chocolate advertisements… Between 1839 and 1893 the Dalziels made around 54,000 prints, including all the wood engravings for Lewis Caroll’s Alice books, and Pre-Raphaelite wood engravings after John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones.

Our conference brings this new material into the rich field of word-image scholarship. Papers range from analyses of pictorial initials made for canonical Victorian novels, to theories of art instruction and interrogations of the album form. Topics include:

  • Medium and replication technologies
  • Relationships between media: e.g wood engraving, drawing and photography
  • Questions of authorship
  • Digital networks and illustration
  • Rethinking pattern and textual ornament
  • Wordlessness and the image
  • Print and seriality
  • Non-authorized illustration, revisions and interventions
  • Tactile reading and the Victorian pop-up book
  • Affective encounters with the archive

During the conference there will be a round table and sessions inviting participants to examine archival material in the Prints and Drawings study room.

Contributors include: Luisa Calè (Birkbeck), Esther Chadwick (British Museum), Douglas Downing (Independant Scholar), Hannah Field (Sussex), Georgina Grant (Ironbridge Gorge Museum), Natalie Hume (Courtauld), Lorraine Janzen Kooistra (Ryerson), Brian Maidment (Liverpool John Moores), George Mind (Sussex), Clare Pettitt (Kings), David Skilton (Cardiff), Lindsay Smith (Sussex), Bethan Stevens (Sussex), Julia Thomas (Cardiff), Mark Turner (Kings) and Kiera Vaclavik (Queen Mary).

Respondants: Susan Matthews (Roehampton), Sheila O’Connell (British Museum), Peter Lawrence (Society of Wood Engravers) and Felicity Myrone (British Library).

Round table: Caroline Arscott (Courtauld), Michael Goodman (Cardiff) and Katherine Martin (V&A).

Generously supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Museum and the University of Sussex.

@dalzielproject

Register here: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/english/dalziel/2017/02/22/woodpeckings-victorian-prints-book-illustration-and-word-image-narratives/