Collaborative PhD: The Archives of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, 1710-1760

The University of Leicester and Spalding Gentlemen’s Society invite applications for an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA), ‘Antiquarianism, Science and Networks of Knowledge: The Archives of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, 1710-1760’.

Funded by the AHRC’s Midlands3Cities (M3C) programme, the project operates as a collaboration between the University of Leicester and the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, Britain’s oldest provincial learned society and second-oldest museum. The successful applicant will be able to formulate a topic within the project’s broad remit based on their areas of interest and/or professional experience, and will enjoy opportunities for training in conservation, cataloguing, exhibition design, curatorship and collections management. The project also provides regular opportunities for public engagement.
Students with interests in book history, print culture, library and archive studies, and cultural history are especially encouraged to apply. The terms of the CDA allow the successful applicant to extend their funding for an additional 0.5 years to curate an exhibition of materials from the archive, much of which has never been studied or made available to the general public.
Throughout the PhD the student will be jointly supervised by Dr Kate Loveman (Leicester) and Dr Dustin Frazier Wood (SGS Librarian), with additional supervisory support from Professor Roey Sweet (Leicester) and Julia Knight (Ayscoughfee Hall).
Full details, including information on how to apply, are available on the M3C website. Deadline for applications is 15 January 2018.

 

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19th-Century Women Writers on the Old Masters

Knowing ‘as much art as the cat’: 19th-Century Women Writers on the Old Masters

The Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies will host a major conference examining the role of English-speaking women as disseminators of knowledge about Old Master paintings and historic painting techniques during the Victorian era on Friday, 10 November at 10am in the Sainsbury Wing Lecture Theatre, National Gallery.

Aims and Scope:
John Ruskin infamously dismissed the art historian Anna Jameson as knowing ‘as much of art as the cat’. However, in recent years there has been an upsurge of interest in women like Jameson as influential interpreters of the visual arts and as writers of art history during the formative years of the discipline. This conference, which capitalises and expands upon this interest, will look afresh at the role of English-speaking women as disseminators of knowledge about Old Master paintings and historic painting techniques during the Victorian era.
While the National Gallery’s first Director, Charles Eastlake, and his male colleagues produced scholarly publications, including museum catalogues, aimed at professionals and connoisseurs, women in his circle and in the following generations typically had a wider reach. They could – and did – speak to specialists, but many chose to disseminate information in more creative and demotic ways. Mary Merrifield, for instance, wrote on historic painting techniques and also published articles about women’s fashion, in which she used the Old Masters as a sartorial guide, illustrating her points with pictures from the National Gallery’s collection.
Among the research questions the conference speakers will engage with are: What was the contribution of British women writers to the emerging discipline of art history, including canon formation, formal criticism and history of techniques and other genres such as exhibition guides and translations? Is there anything distinctive about women’s approach to these fields? A second set of issues we will address concerns women’s networks and relationships – between sexes, between generations, and with professional counterparts abroad  – as well as exploring women writers’ institutional affiliations. Finally, we hope to see new insights emerging at the conference about the reception of women writers’ published work in art history, not least in relation to its reach and audiences and its critical fortune.

London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar

The Autumn programme of the London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar features two sessions of interest to scholars of illustration:

 

3rd November: Historical Fiction

Dr Brian H Murray (King’s College London) and Prof. Rosemary Mitchell (Leeds Trinity)

 

8th December: Nineteenth-Century Illustration

Prof. Julia Thomas (Cardiff) and Dr Mary Shannon (Roehampton)

 

Information, including details of how to book, are available on the Institute of English Studies website.

William Blake’s Cottage Virtual Tour

The Big Blake Project, based in Bognor Regis, has released an online virtual tour of William Blake’s Cottage in Felpham, West Sussex, where William and Catherine Blake lived between the Septembers of 1800 and 1803.

Using 360° photography, the tour provides an immersive experience designed to be viewed via virtual reality goggles, but can be accessed on a web browser on any computer, tablet or smartphone.

The tour includes six viewing zones: four rooms and the stairwell inside the house, and the garden. Each area is populated with images from Blake’s works. Those inside the house are all related to his time in Felpham; those in the garden reflect Blake’s interest in the pastoral.

Each zone in the tour also features musical settings of Blake’s poetry, composed by Lucien Posman, by kind permission of the composer.

An introduction to each zone explains the theme and its relevance to Blake’s time in Felpham. Viewers can also read more about selected images that appear in each zone.

The tour was commissioned by the Big Blake Project; it was produced by photographer Jason Hedges, and curated by Naomi Billingsley. The project was jointly funded by the Big Blake Project and a grant from West Sussex County Council and Arun District Council.

The William Blake’s Cottage Virtual Tour is included in the Blake Fest exhibition at Bognor Library, which runs until 7 October (open 2-5pm, Thursday-Saturday). Other showings will be announced soon; the tour can also be viewed online.

CfP Reminder

RIN members, readers and fellow travellers who are interested in the techniques and process of printing are reminded of two upcoming events, both organised by member Elizabeth Savage of the Institute of English Studies.

Registration is still open for Blocks Plates Stones, to be held at the Courtauld Institute on Thursday, 21 September. The day-long symposium will examine how woodblocks, plates and lithographic stones can be used in print-related research. Registration is £45 standard or £16 with concessions (or £60/£30 for those who wish to attend the evening reception at the British Academy).

The deadline for submissions for papers for Printing Colour 1700-1830, is 1 October. The conference will be held on April 10-11, with an object session on April 12. Transport and accommodation will be funded for all speakers, regardless of where they are based.

 

Blake Archive Launches New Edition of Jerusalem

The William Blake Archive has announced a new digital edition of Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion, Copy F, from the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.

As the accompanying editorial commentary notes, Copy F was the last copy of Jerusalem – and the last illuminated book – to be printed by Blake, being finished c.1820. This new edition joins the William Blake Archive’s digital Copy E and will soon be joined by a digital Copy A. Access to the entire William Blake Archive is unrestricted and free of charge.

New Resource: Art Researchers’ Guide to Liverpool and Merseyside

9780956276384Rose Roberto, PhD candidate at the University of Reading, has written with details of a new publication for scholars working on book history in Liverpool and Merseyside.

Art Researchers’ Guide to Liverpool and Merseyside, co-edited by Rose Roberto and Emily Parsons, is the sixth in a series of pocket-sized books aimed at visual artists, academics, teachers, students and local researchers, published by the Art Libraries Society, UK & Ireland (ARLIS/UK & Ireland). It describes institutions across the region with both traditional and recently established collections, from book binding and illustration history through to counter culture and modern art.

Tracing its origins back to 1207, Liverpool was one of the greatest ports in the world and one of the most prosperous towns in Britain for two hundred years. UNESCO has designated Liverpool a World Heritage Site and, compared with other British cities, it has more museums and galleries than anywhere outside of London.

Today Liverpool is home to a thriving arts community, with exciting programmes of exhibitions, talks and events all year round as well as regular festivals such as the Liverpool Biennial. In 2008 Liverpool was European Capital of Culture, and that legacy lives on.

This handbook describes the major collections of libraries, archives, and museums where you can research culture, art, and design. It will allow you to explore Liverpool and the Merseyside region and direct you to the most appropriate places to suit your research needs.

‘These are handy, well designed little booklets,’ says art historian, Mark Westgarth, ‘loosely drawing on the format of the ubiquitous city tourist guides.’  They are portable, user friendly and fit in a coat pocket.
The Liverpool and Merseyside Guide provides 2 foldout maps, with locations numbered and highlighted. There are high quality colour images of the buildings, interiors and some of the key objects and artworks in each institution.  At the back of the guide is a subject-index to the collections in each institution, using simple, at-a-glance visual keys.

‘Catherine Marcangeli’s introduction captures both the history and the current thriving arts scene in Liverpool,’ says Emily Parsons, editor of the guide, ‘while the full colour illustrations in the guide show the wealth and variety of the unique material housed in Liverpool and Merseyside available for researchers to come and see.’

‘There’s nothing like having a handy little booklet to carry around and place oneself, metaphorically, in the city,’ says Mark Westgarth of the series.  ‘And perhaps more importantly these Guides inculcate an attitude, in students in particular, to move away from the Internet (excellent though such a resource is!) and become more active as researchers.’

Copies can be purchased for £6 from the Liverpool John Moores University online shop.