Seminars 2017-2011


Monday, 20th November

Professor William J. Diebold:

Displaying “German Greatness” in Nazi Germany: the Exhibition Deutsche Größe (1940-1942) and its Legacy

Although it is not well known to scholars, the cultural-historical exhibition Deutsche Größe (“German Greatness” or “Grandeur”)  was probably the most important museum display of the Nazi era.  The show’s subject was the history of Germany from the early Middle Ages until the assumption of power by Adolf Hitler.  Deutsche Größe was supported at the highest levels of the Nazi Party and its presentation of history was frankly ideological, but the show expressed that ideology through a series of ambitious and innovative display techniques.  One of these was the use of an elaborate interior architecture for each of the show’s fifteen chronologically-arranged galleries, an architecture which was intended to give the feeling of the period on display in each gallery.  Even more remarkable from the museological perspective was the exhibition’s exclusive use of facsimiles (most of them hand made) for the exhibition of its close to 2000 objects.  

This paper presents Deutsche Größe and describes how it came about and how it worked to shape an understanding of history that would serve Nazi goals.  Special attention is paid to Deutsche Größe as a piece of museology and to the display of the art and culture of the high Middle Ages, an area of history that was especially fraught and problematic for the National Socialists because it came from the “First” Reich that they saw revived in their “Third” Reich.  The paper ends with a consideration of the legacy of Deutsche Größe in two later exhibitions, one which took place in Cold War West Germany and the other in the German Federal Republic after unification.

William J. Diebold, Jane Neuberger Goodsell Professor of Art History and Humanities, Reed College, Portland, Oregon USA

Professor Diebold was awarded his PhD in 1989, at Johns Hopkins University.  Thesis (with honors): “The Artistic Patronage of Charles the Bald.”   Since September, 1987, he has been a member of the Art History and Humanities Faculty at Reed College, Portland, Oregon.   He has been a member of the Editorial Board of Studies in Iconography since 2015.   Following the award of a grant, in Spring 2018, he will be a member of the School of Historical Studies, at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.  His many publications include: 

“’Brother, What do you think of this idol?’  Early Medieval Travelers Encounter ‘Idols.’”  Ready for submission

“’Not pictures but writing was sent for the understanding of our faith:’ Word and Image in the Soissons Gospels.”   Ready for submission

“Baby or Bathwater?  Josef Strzygowski’s ‘Ruins of Tombs of the Latin Kings on the Haram in Jerusalem’ (1936) and its Reception.”  Orient oder Rom? Prehistory, history and reception of a historiographical myth (1880–1930), eds. I. Foletti and F. Lovino.  Under review.

“The Magdeburg Rider on Display in Modern Germany.”  The Long Lives of Medieval Art and Architecture, eds. J. Feltman and S. Thompson.  (London:  Routledge; forthcoming)

“‘A living source of our civilization’. The Exhibition Deutsche Groesse/Grandeur de l’Allemagne/Duitsche Grootheid in Brussels, 1942.” Arts of Display/Het vertoon van de kunst, eds. H. Perry Chapman et al. (Leiden:  Brill, 2015) ( = Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art/Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 65 [2015]), 292-319.

Monday, 23rd October

Lukas Fuschgruber

The Collection Form and the Auction Form: Public Sales of Art in Nineteenth Century France 

Recent valuation theory has pointed to the rise of the collection form as a key reference of value in the nineteenth century (Arnaud Esquerre and Luc Boltanski, “La ‘collection’, une forme neuve du capitalisme. La mise en valeur économique du passé et ses effets.” In: Les Temps Modernes, Nr. 679, 2014, p. 5-72.). This paper wants to link these theories to new findings on the circulation of collections in the auction circuit.

Every auction is a collection. Whether it is an estate sale, or a curated selection of works. And at the same time it is the event of the dispersal of the collected into new collections. The collection form and the auction form are heavily linked in the art world of the 19th century.

The art auction in the 19th century is a public space where the performance of art’s economies through gestures and movements takes place. An image of the market leaves its traces for example in the countless caricatures and prints about French art auctions. And in the same year of the publication of Marx’ Capital Vol. 1, 1867, two books, by Philippe Burty and Jules Champfleury, appear in France with an apparatus of terms concerning the economies in conflict during an art auction, with numerous distinctions of different kinds of values (L’hôtel des commissaires-priseurs and L’hôtel des ventes et le commerce des tableaux). They are the textual equivalent to the image of the market in pictures. A new imaginary of the market as a “machine” is emerging.

The presentation aims to provide a picture atlas to this image of the market, supported by a historical discourse analysis that also wants to serve as an example of a possible re-connection between art theory and art history. The paper asks how we can connect new findings on auctions in the 19th century, particularly in France, to recent theories about the collection form.

Lukas Fuchsgruber is an art historian based in Berlin, who recently completed his PhD thesis about the creation of the Hôtel Drouot auction house in Paris in 1852. From 2011 to 2014 he worked as an author and researcher for “Art TransForm”, a German-French research project (DFG/ANR) on transnational artist formation in the nineteenth century. Since 2014 he is affiliated with the “Forum Kunst und Markt” (Centre for Art Market Studies) in Berlin, taking part in the organization of the annual workshops, coordinating the young researchers initiative and contributing to the Journal for Art Market Studies as a writer and guest editor. In 2017 he has worked as a research fellow at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg and taught a course on art forgery together with Dorothee Wimmer in Berlin.

Monday, 12th June

Dr Lindsay Alberts 

Embedded Collections: The Cappella dei Principi and its Forerunners

The Cappella dei Principi at San Lorenzo in Florence, a massive space covered from floor to dome with variegated hardstones, remains the most spectacular chapel decorated in the difficult and highly expensive technique known as commesso or Florentine mosaic.  Commissioned by Ferdinando I de’ Medici in 1604 as the funerary chapel for the Medici grand dukes, the cappella asserts the political, financial, and spiritual authority of the dynasty through the display of an impressive collection of rare and difficult-to-work natural specimens, literally embedded into the structure of the space itself.

While not a common decorative approach, the use of multicolored stones as a predominantly non-figurative decorative program did have precedents.  This paper examines the communicative strategies at play in early modern forerunners of the Cappella dei Principi, chapels and altars in which collections of rare stones were incorporated into larger religious structures.  Examples such as the chapel of Renée of France (Castello Estense, Ferrara), the Cappella del Perdono (Palazzo Ducale, Urbino), and the high altar of the cathedral of Vicenza demonstrate that the Cappella dei Principi drew upon a small but visually powerful tradition in Renaissance Italy that asserted political and spiritual power through the prestige of collecting.  

With its massive granducal sarcophagi, the Cappella dei Principi also proclaims dynastic authority through the display of a secondary collection, that of the collected bodies of the grand dukes themselves.  Through this strategy and in its octagonal shape, the chapel appears to draw upon the visual precedent of the Pantheon of the Kings at El Escorial.  Commissioned by Philip II in 1563, the chapel houses the bodies of almost thirty Spanish Habsburg monarchs.  Ferdinando’s brother and predecessor Francesco I, himself a dedicated collector, lived at Philip’s court at the time of the commission, and this paper further explores how this imperial model, no doubt of great attractiveness for the Medici dynasty, recently elevated to granducal status, was translated into a distinctly Florentine monument through the use of the local commesso technique.  

Dr. Lindsay Alberts holds a PhD in the History of Art from Boston University; she also attended University College London and Georgetown University.  She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Music at Framingham State University in Massachusetts, where she teaches introductory and early modern art history courses.  She has also taught at a number of additional universities in the Boston area and works as a lecturer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  Her research focuses on politics and collecting in Florence under the Medici Grand Dukes.  Dr. Alberts’ current research, upon which her seminar is based, focuses on the relationship between materiality and authority in the Cappella dei Principi, the dynasty’s ostentatious funerary chapel at San Lorenzo, one of the most spectacular examples of Florence’s signature pietre dure medium.

Monday, 24th April  

Dr Ingrid Steiner 

Conversing a Great Deal With Pictures: William Byrd II and his Portrait Collection

In July 1736, William Byrd II (1674-1741) wrote to his friend, Anglo-Irish Politician, John Percival (1683-1748): “…I had the honor of your lordship’s commands of the 9th of September and since that time have had the pleasure of conversing a great deal with your picture.”

Virginia Planter, Statesman, and Historian, William Byrd II established powerful, strong, and enduring relationships on both sides of the Atlantic. His secret diaries have served as a primary source for understanding colonial Virginia life, his explorations enhanced our knowledge of Virginia and North Carolina, and his belief in culture and education led to the formation of a large private library and portrait collection.  Byrd II’s portrait collection was unique in colonial Virginia. It not only was comprised of his family members, but portraits of his friends, colleagues and notable personages from his London and Virginia life.

Recognizing that a literal ocean existed between Virginia and London, Byrd employed portraits as “physical representatives” of his relationships. Byrd’s portrait collection was more than just mere likenesses. His collection represented a formal social bond and testified to a personal relationship between the owner and the sitter. These portraits were both a public and private display of his affection, ambitions and memory.

Examining Byrd’s own diaries, letters and scholarly materials, this talk considers the collection Byrd surrounded himself with at Westover. It pays particular attention to his collecting motives and display of the portraits. Upon analysis, the portraits become a window into an important transatlantic collection during the Virginia colonial era, which laid the foundation for other early American collections.

Ingrid Steiner is an Art History Lecturer at California State University and Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Games and Animation. Her research interests focus on Colonial American Virginia Portraiture and the migration of British Baroque Portraiture into the colonies, particularly the collection of William Byrd II. She holds a MA in Humanities and a MS in Education and has spoken both domestically and internationally on William Byrd II and art history pedagogy.

Monday, 6th March 

Sandra Kriebel 

“Kaiser gives Art Show“: A Loan Exhibition of Old English Masters in Honour of the German Emperor

When Emperor William II celebrated the beginning of his fiftieth year in January 1908, the Royal Academy of Arts arranged an Exhibition of Old English Masters in his honour. Over 200 masterpieces by some of the most important British painters of the 18th and early 19th century were brought to Berlin. Among them were many that had never been exhibited publicly before, like Thomas Lawrence’s Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Farren or Gainsborough’s Blue Boy, which was shown outside of the British Isles for the very first time. The paintings, mostly portraits, were primarily lent by private collectors in London like Sir Ernest Cassel, John Pierpont Morgan, or Henry Oppenheimer and some British aristocrats like the Duke of Westminster or the Marquess of Londonderry, as well as several German connoisseurs from Berlin. Almost 70,000 people saw the exhibition within four weeks, which made it one of the most popular events ever arranged at the Royal Academy. 

This paper will examine this unique exhibition and illustrate the display of these art treasures in Berlin as well as the circumstances of the formation of this important cultural event. By focussing on coeval press reports and historical records, the political dimensions of the exhibition will be discussed, which was allegedly arranged on the Kaiser’s special request after his visit to London in 1907. It will be argued that the exhibition was not only an elaborate and costly birthday gift to the emperor, but probably also meant as an ‘Entente of Art’ to try to resolve the complicated political relationship between the two nations via ‘cultural diplomacy’.

 Sandra Kriebel is a Ph.D. student at Humboldt-University (Berlin) researching in the areas of exhibition history, private collecting, and art sociology in the 19th and early 20th century. She successfully grad-uated from Leipzig University in 2010 with a Masters’ Degree in Art History and Classical Archaeology. For her interdisciplinary Masters’ thesis she wrote on Modes of adapting antique sculptures in the oeuvre of neo-classical sculptor Emil Wolff (1802–1879) by applying methods of both her fields of study. Since 2012 she has lectured in both disciplines, as well as in Musicology, at Leipzig University, where she specialized in interdisciplinary concepts involving teaching collections and university muse-ums. She furthermore coordinated the teaching project Leipziger Sammlungsinitiative at Leipzig University funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

In October 2016 she started her biennial Scholarship for Doctoral Students at Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst to work on her doctoral thesis on Old Master Loan-Exhibitions from private property in Berlin during the German Kaiserreich: Social tasks and functions in the cultural and educational policy (working title).

Monday, 6th February 

Erin Thompson

What No Owner Can Complain of Having Lost:  Motivations for Collecting Looted Antiquities

Theodoric the Great, 6th c. CE King of the Ostrogoths, permitted his subjects to take artifacts from ancient graves, since “it is not greedy to take what no owner can complain of having lost.” (Cassiodorus Variae 4.34.) This talk will trace the long history of the justification of looting archeological objects as a victimless crime. 

Drawing from letters, diaries, memoirs, interviews, and other sources that reflect the self-perceptions of antiquities collectors, Erin will explain why many modern collectors believe that countries of origin do not deserve to own antiquities, while they themselves possess some special power of understanding of antiquities that gives them a better right to own them.   The importance of understanding the role antiquities collecting plays in collectors’ social networks will also be examined. Antiquities collectors throughout history have described the personal friendships with curators and dealers that grew alongside their collections. More intimately still, are the bonds formed on the basis of a shared collecting interest with other collectors, parents, siblings, and even spouses.

These social links can prove harmful when they lead collectors to purchase looted antiquities, and understanding collectors’ social networks is key to convincing these collectors to stop collecting in ways that can encourage the destruction of archeological sites and even fund organizations like the Islamic State that are selling looted antiquities to fund their genocidal campaigns.

Erin Thompson is an assistant professor of art law and art crime at John Jay College, City University of New York and holds a PhD in ancient Greek, Roman, and Ancient Near Eastern art history from Columbia University, as well as a law degree from Columbia Law School. She studies the looting and collecting of antiquities and her recent book, Possession: A Curious History of Collecting from Antiquity to the Present (Yale, 2016), covers the history of the private collecting of Greek and Roman antiquities, with a focus on collectors’ motivations and self-perceptions.

Monday, 9th January

Karen J. Lloyd 

Displaying the Pope’s Living Presence: Bernini’s Clement X in Cardinal Paluzzo Altieri’s Collection

The 1698 inventory of Cardinal Paluzzo Altieri’s Roman apartments places a sculpted bust of his uncle, Pope Clement X Altieri, in the cardinal’s ‘Room of Paintings.’ The bust was particularly precious, as it was the last papal portrait in marble made by the then-aged Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Analysis of the inventory indicates that Paluzzo intended his collection to shape his public image as a rigorously devout prelate and, as was typical of the time, to acknowledge his political allegiances and debts. Bernini’s bust was however set apart, as the only sculpture and the only portrait displayed in a space dedicated solely to art. How did the circumstances of display shape the meaning and reception of Bernini’s last papal bust? 

Some scholars, most recently Caroline Eck, have argued that early modern sculpture was at times perceived as having a ‘living presence,’ that the boundaries between art and life could become blurred in viewer experience. However, the mechanisms by which such an experience might be triggered and the extent to which patrons sought to cultivate such a response, remain murky. Consideration of the display of Bernini’s Clement X, as well as seventeenth-century descriptions of the installations of the artist’s busts of Popes Paul V Borghese and Urban VIII Barberini in their respective family palaces, provide valuable insight into how such responses may have been intentionally fostered in learned audiences. Drawing on Alfred Gell’s theory of art and agency as well as early modern literary and theological sources, this talk explores Bernini’s papal busts at the intersections of patronage, display, and living presence.


Karen J. Lloyd is an Assistant Professor of Renaissance and Baroque art history at Stony Brook University. She is the co-editor of A Transitory Star. The Late Bernini and his Reception, and author of articles on Bernini, art collecting and display in seventeenth-century Rome, and the polemics of the early modern devotional image. Her work focuses in particular on the visual apologetics of nepotism in papal Rome, from rhetoric to modes of reception. Most recently, she has examined Italian representations and reform of the colonial Peruvian Virgin of Copacabana for a forthcoming book on early modern Italy and the Americas.


Monday, 12th December

M.J. Ripps will speak to us on ‘Langton Douglas:  a dealer devoted to Bode and Berlin 1903-1914”. 

The fabled relationships Wilhelm von Bode (1845 – 1929) forged with Sir J.C. Robinson (1824 – 1913), Surveyor of the Royal Collection – as well as gifted picture speculator, and the legendary French dealer Charles Sedelmeyer (1837 – 1925), appreciably benefitted Gemäldegalerie acquisitions before 1900. While Ripps has already recounted that narrative in a brief paper, what remains less familiar are the ‘successor’ relationships Bode cultivated after 1900. 

Judging from ample circumstantial evidence, the correspondence Robert Langton Douglas (1864 – 1951) struck up with Bode fast became especially significant to his continuing ambitions in Berlin, even if contemplated purchases did not always end in success. What was almost always successful for Bode, however, was the deep level of ‘field intelligence’ he accumulated from Bond Street – courtesy of the loyal and diligent Douglas – in the decade before the Great War. 

Douglas was a colourful character of verve, genius, and charm, and only a converted dealer. Having read history at Oxford, he was an ordained Anglican priest, but it did not take, and he soon left the church. A connoisseur of Italian pictures, Douglas tried his hand at art criticism, but in the face of a growing family and no meaningful inheritance, he reluctantly commenced a career in the picture trade circa 1903 – albeit in a gentlemanly way. 

Given his scholarly pedigree, Douglas, unsurprisingly, gravitated toward the learned Bode, soon becoming one of his most reliable ‘lieutenants’ in London. Perusal of his voluminous correspondence indicates that he was constantly keeping Bode abreast of any major impending opportunities and offering Berlin first refusal on top-flight pictures. 

Although Denys Sutton published a magisterial profile of Douglas’ career in Apollo (1979), nevertheless it neither substantively addressed Douglas’ involvement in non-Italian pictures nor his key Bode relationship. In this paper, Ripps aims to illuminate what was achieved through that professional affiliation, which gradually morphed into a (lopsided) friendship. 

Both men expected much from the other in their respective quests – Bode to render the Royal Prussian Museums the finest the world over, while Douglas desired validation as a capable connoisseur and trophy hunter, by Dr. Bode himself, the foremost picture expert of the era.

Ripps read history at Virginia and Cambridge and later art history in Amsterdam. He submitted his doctoral thesis at Oxford (‘Bond Street picture dealers and the international trade in Dutch old masters, 1882 – 1914’), supervised by Christopher Brown, during Michaelmas 2010. Ripps has held grants from the Frick Collection, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, and Burlington Magazine (Francis Haskell Prize), and spent a year in the paintings department, J. Paul Getty Museum. Specialized in the history of the market in Dutch and Flemish paintings — and in matters of connoisseurship, Ripps also has significant working experience in the old master trade.

Monday, 14th November

Alba Irollo

Taste and Ambitions of a Queen:  The Genesis of Caroline Murat’s Collection

As Queen of Naples from 1808 to 1815, Caroline ruled for long periods while her husband, Joachim Murat, was absent. This position enabled her to leave a clear imprint on the politics of patronage carried out by the French in southern Italy. She was also able to operate quite freely as she added to her private art collection.

Caroline put together a collection of antiquities that was well known throughout Europe. This collection comprised not only finds from the ancient sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii but from all the excavations in southern Italy. Many of its objects were topics of antiquarian dissertations. The collection included important marbles and bronzes but the most valuable objects were several vases from Magna Graecia, and even a complete ancient tomb.

Caroline Murat’s collection reflected in equal measure her passion for antiquity and her interest in modern art. As collector of modern art, Caroline tended to prefer painters and sculptors trained in France, and their works were commissioned or purchased by the queen through personal funds. More precisely, not only did Caroline continue to acquire art works of the Salon, as she did when she lived in Paris, but she consistently supported young artists newly arrived in Italy to keep up their studies, or to seek their fortune at the new courts formed around the members of the Bonaparte family. In this way, she became a patron of painters such as Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, who made for her the famous Odalisque now at the Louvre.

Alba Irollo holds a PhD from the University of Naples, ‘Federico II’ and is working on a book on Caroline Murat as a patron and collector.


Dr Laura-Maria Popoviciu, Curator, Research & Information (Historical), Government Art Collection

Conversation pieces – Curating the Embassy. Works on display from the Government Art Collection

The UK Government Art Collection displays works of art in government buildings in the UK and in diplomatic buildings around the world with the aim of promoting British art, history and culture. This paper offers an insight into the role of the Collection, both locally and internationally, through a selection of images and archival photographs, which show a number of works in situ and record the changing displays at significant moments in history. I hope to show the way in which the Government Art Collection contributes specifically to one aspect of cultural diplomacy by selecting works that have a strong connection with the host country either through the artist or the subject of the work. At the same time, I hope to illustrate how various displays help to assimilate the past and create continuity with the present, propose new narratives, influence through soft power as well as open up a series of questions about British art and its history.

Dr. Popoviciu completed her doctorate at the Warburg Institute in 2014, entitled Between Taste and Historiography. Writing about Early Renaissance Works of Art in Venice and Florence. 1550-1800. This study investigates how early Renaissance paintings from Venice and Florence were discussed and appraised by authors and collectors (English and Italian) writing in those cities between 1550 and 1800.

Monday, 9th May

Federica Gigante 

Collecting Islamic art in early modern Italy

This seminar is geared towards providing an overview of the mechanisms of importing and collecting Islamic artefacts in Italy in the early modern period. It will focus in particular on the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and will touch on both private and courtly collections in order to analyse the motives for and interest in collecting Islamic artefacts across a wide spectrum of society. 

This session will question the assumption that Islamic artefacts were collected as mere exotica and that they were included in the cabinets of curiosities only as representatives of a foreign and unknown world. It will in particular, pinpoint the channels of importation into Italy and the mechanisms of selection of certain specific artefacts for import, drawing from a wide range of unpublished sources.

Federica Gigante is a PhD candidate at the Warburg Institute and SOAS where she is finishing her thesis on the collection of Islamic artefacts of Ferdinando Cospi. She holds an MA in Cultural and Intellectual History 1300-1650 from the Warburg Institute, and MA in Cultural Policy and Management from City University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Islamic Art from SOAS. She is a former fellow of the Kunsthistorisches Institute (Max Planck Institute) in Florence and of the Centre for Anatolian Civilizations of Koç University in Istanbul. 

Monday, 7th March

Lassla Esquivel Durand

Private museums as an international phenomenon: The examination of the role of the Júmex Collection as a private museum

Private collections form an important part of the demand for contemporary art nowadays. Further research should be done on private museums as a distinctive institutional model, addressing the problems around these entities as stakeholders within the art market and legitimising actors within the art world. 

The tension between global and local is a crucial debate under the umbrella of emerging markets theory. It has opened discussion for the reconfiguration of territories as constellations of artistic hubs: a cluster of cities to produce art – Mexico City, Sao Paulo – and cities to distribute art – London, New York. 

This session will analyse the ways in which private museums affect the infrastructure of the contemporary art scene on both national and international levels through the example in Mexico City: the Júmex Museum. It aims to determine to what extent Júmex’s commercial nature has played a decisive role in the current position of Mexico in the international art scene. It will seek to understand what happens within the intersection between the symbolic and economic sphere of the art, in which arguably, private museums are protagonists. We will discuss the process in which private museums like Júmex are embedded in developing artistic hubs. 

 Lassla Esquivel Durand

Art historian, independent curator, art producer and researcher. She has an MA in History and Business of the Contemporary Art Market by the University of Warwick/IESA UK. She specialises in emerging markets, particularly in Latin America. 

Her curatorial projects have been showcased in Latin America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions and the UK; and her commercial pursuits consist of institutions like Enrique Guerrero Gallery (Mexico City), Shaped in Mexico (London) and not for profit organisations like PAC (Contemporary Art Patronage, Mexico City) and Edge of Arabia (London). 

Currently Lassla Esquivel Durand is researching private museums in Latin America and their relation to the art market, as well as producing cultural projects under the name of ARS PROJECTS platform. 

Monday, 15th February

Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth 

Reclaiming Her Scandalous Past: The decorative art collection of Lady Dorothy Nevill (née Walpole)

 Caroline is a AHRC-funded PhD candidate and White Rose Scholar at the University of Leeds researching the ‘mania’ behind the collecting and display of Sèvres porcelain in 19th Century Britain. She read Art History with French at the University of St Andrews and holds a MA with Distinction in Decorative Arts from The Wallace Collection and The University of Buckingham. Caroline has worked as a Research Curator for a private collection of decorative arts and curated an exhibition on ‘Tea, Art and History’ in the National Museum of Kazakhstan from July-October 2015. She has just completed her first publication on the visual representation of furniture in the 19th Century for ‘The Cultural History of Furniture’, Bloomsbury Press forthcoming, 2017. 

This paper introduces Lady Dorothy Nevill (née Walpole) (1826-1913) as a significant collector of French and English eighteenth-century decorative arts during the late nineteenth century. Until the 1860s, her husband Reginald Nevill (1807-78) received public recognition as the owner of her collection, not Lady Dorothy. In 1862 Lady Dorothy contributed an impressive collection of Sèvres porcelain to the Special Loans Exhibition held at the South Kensington Museum. This bolstered her position in the Victorian art world and from this moment onwards she participated actively in various exhibitions and events held by the Fine Arts and Burlington Clubs. Lady Dorothy is known as a botanist, horticulturist and writer, as well as a political hostess. Yet, little consideration has been given to her role as a collector; therefore this paper hopes to shed light on the importance of her collection, particularly her Sèvres porcelain, in the latter half of the nineteenth century in England. 

Monday, 11th January

Tom Stammers  

Francis Haskell and the History of Collecting

Tom Stammers is lecturer in Modern Cultural History at the University of Durham. He has researched and published widely on the history of collecting in post-revolutionary France. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled ‘Collection, Recollection, Revolution: Scavenging the Paris in Nineteenth-Century Paris’. He has been awarded fellowships at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris, the Huntington Library in Pasadena and the Maison Française in Oxford; in 2015 he organized a major conference with St John’s College, Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum on collecting and cultural history entitled ‘A Revolution in Taste: Francis Haskell’s Nineteenth Century’ which will become a volume published by Oxford University Press. He is starting new research on the formation, exile and dispersal of French royal collections in Britain and Europe in the nineteenth century, as well as on the evolution of the Louvre. He is a regular contributor to the arts magazine Apollo. 


Monday, 7th December

Stephane Castelluccio 

The display of Paintings in the French Royal Collections in the Grand Appartement at Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV

During the reign of Louis XIV, some of the paintings in the royal collection were displayed in the Grand Appartement at Versailles. This lecture will present the reasons for the King’s choices and the manner of their display. It will then analyse the differences between the displays in the King’s Grand and Petit Appartements and the aesthetic, political and other reasons behind these choices.

Stephane gained his Phd from the Ecole du Louvre in 1989 on Le Château de Marly sous le règne de Louis XVI, a Phd from the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne in 1998 on Le Garde-Meuble de la Couronne et les collections royales d’objets d’art 1774-1798, and a Phd to be able to supervise research at Paris IV-Sorbonne in 2007 on Le Commerce des meubles et des objets d’art par les marchands merciers parisiens pendant le règne de Louis XIV. He has held the position of HDR researcher at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique in the Centre André Chastel UMR 8150 in Paris since 1994.

A specialist in the history of the royal palaces, their interior decoration, furniture and collections of fine arts, and in the luxury trade in France during the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries, he has published many articles and books. Among these are: Les Collections royales d’objets d’art de François Ier à la Révolution (The French Royal Fine Arts Collections from Francois Ier to the Revolution), Le Garde-Meuble de la Couronne et ses intendants du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle  (The royal Garde-Meuble and its directors from the XVIth to the XVIIIth centuries), Le Commerce des meubles et des objets d’art par les marchands merciers parisiens pendant le règne de Louis XIV  (The trade in furniture and fine art by the Parisian marchands merciers during the reign of Louis XIV).

Monday, 16th November

Sophie North, MA 

The Princesse de Lamballe

This paper is an attempt to explore the taste in decorative arts of the Princesse de Lamballe in the late 18th century. Her life and tragic death have fascinated generations of historians and biographers, but surprisingly no academic study on her interiors and taste for the decorative arts has ever been carried out.  The paper will seek to demonstrate that the Princesse de Lamballe was a follower of the changing fashions in the decorative arts in her public life and in her private life had much simpler tastes.

The Princesse de Lamballe led three distinct lives that dictated her taste in furniture and porcelain. As the Queen’s Surintendante she had official apartments in Versailles between 1775 and 1792 and at Fontainebleau. In both Palaces she was required to entertain members of the Royal family and the court. 

When she was not attending her duties to the Queen, she lived with her father-in-law, the Duc de Penthièvre, at the Hôtel de Toulouse in Paris, which had, since the Régence been seen as a second Versailles within Paris and its interiors reflected that importance.

To escape from her court duties and society the Princess bought a small Hôtel Particulier called the Hôtel d’Eu in Versailles, where she relaxed with her ladies in waiting and played cards. She also bought a country house in Passy, known today as the Hôtel de Lamballe (now the Turkish Embassy).

The Princesse was both in her official and public life a follower of the fashion of times. She frequented the leading marchand merciers. She owned neoclassical furniture from the best menuisiers and frequently bought Sevres porcelain. She adopted Anglomania when it came into vogue.     

Monday, 19th October

Dr. Paola Cordera, Professor of History of Art at the Politecnico of Milan 

For public leisure (with a private benefit). Art on display in the hôtel Spitzer in Paris

The marchand-amateur Frédéric Spitzer (1816-1890) was listed amongst the prominent collectors of Medieval and Renaissance art in nineteenth-century Paris. His outstanding collection – known as the Musée Spitzer – was unanimously considered to be the model of nineteenth-century collecting focused on constructing a residence in which complete stylistic harmony existed between the architectural details, furnishings and the arrangement of the collection. Although Spitzer’s method of collecting and display in period rooms was abandoned at the end of nineteenth century, it profoundly influenced museums in Europe and private collections in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Spitzer’s hôtel in rue de Villejust (now rue Paul Valéry) exerted an enormous influence as an essential reference for living and collecting decorative arts. Its guest list regularly included aristocrats, politicians, musicians, actors, painters, scholars, dealers and collectors.  Social rites and private life in his salons were extended into the museum itself as a cultural and social venue. Spitzer artfully designed his mansion to provide more than mere access to an art gallery: an evocative arrangement of his collections was also provided. It would have been perfect for a showroom as well, as Spitzer gathered artworks for his own interest and for financial gain.

Spitzer’s museum will be reconsidered within a broader narrative including the promotion of his collections in connection with the Decorative and Industrial Arts Exhibitions and Universal Exhibitions. The overall picture which emerges provides a significant overview of nineteeth century collecting practices and displays and offers an invaluable insight into the taste of the time.    

Paola Cordera’s research has evolved from a multidisciplinary background developed through various research projects in the field of museums and cultural heritage.  These have spanned Medieval and Renaissance art, architecture and decorative arts and their revivals and collections in 19th and 20th century.

Frédéric Spitzer and his Parisian museum were the subject of her PhD thesis (Politecnico of Milano and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne).    

Monday, 8th June

Dr. Simon Mills

European Collectors in Early Modern Aleppo

In the sixteenth century, the Syrian city of Aleppo emerged as an important centre of the European Levant trade. The establishment of French, English, and Dutch consulates brought an influx of merchants to the city, lured by the trade in spices and silk. Yet Aleppo also drew a number of Europeans with interests rooted in scientific and scholarly concerns, in search of different kinds of commodities: manuscripts, antiquities, and the flora and fauna of the Near East. This talk will explore the careers of several European collectors in Aleppo, their motivations, and their interactions with Ottoman scribes and dealers. Tracing the development of the merchant communities in the city and the increasing European interest in the antiquities and natural history of Syria, it will argue that commerce interacted with science and scholarship to enable a new kind of early modern collector. It will then survey some of the manuscripts, antiquities, and natural specimens brought back to Europe between the late sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, and assess the importance of their place in the development of European libraries, museums, and scientific collections.

Dr Simon Mills is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Kent. His current project explores the link between overseas trade and various forms of early modern scholarship by tracing the links between English commercial and diplomatic expansion in the Near East and the development of oriental and antiquarian studies in Britain. He was awarded his PhD at Queen Mary, University of London in 2009, and has held fellowships at the Council for British Research in the Levant; CRASSH, University of Cambridge; and the Dahlem Humanities Centre, Freie Universität, Berlin.

Monday, 2nd March

Dr. François Marandet 

The Dukes of Gramont as patrons and collectors in the early 18th century

Because of their military action during the War of the League of Augsburg and that of the Spanish Succession, Antoine Charles, 4th Duke of Gramont (1641-1720), and his son Antoine, 5th Duke of Gramont (1672-1725) have mostly the received the attention of historians. Their role, however, as collectors of paintings, has been often overlooked although the 4th Duke once owned paintings as famous as Titian’s poesie: Diana and ActaeonDiana and Callisto and The Rape of Europa. These masterpieces were then acquired by the Regent Philippe, Duke of Orléans, while other prominent paintings entered the collection of Philip V, king of Spain. This seminar aims to reconsider the 4th Duke as a collector through the discovery of his post-mortem inventory: the significant number of French contemporary paintings (by Nicolas Colombel, the brothers Bon and Louis de Boullogne, and above all by Francisque Millet, the most “poussinesque” landscape painter) seems to foreshadow taste in France during the following decades.  The other discovery is that of a set of family portraits of the 5th Duke of Gramont, his wife and their children, all made by Bon Boullogne (1649-1717), which survive in Bayonne. It appears that the Dukes of Gramont patronised Bon Boullogne and this is borne out by the correspondence of the Northern picture dealer Gillis Van der Vennen, where we learn that the sale of Luca Giordano’s series illustrating the story of Psyche, which is now in the Queen’s collection, was negotiated thanks to “M. Bollone, peintre du duc de Gramont”. 

Dr. François Marandet, whose dissertation focused on the art market and collecting in France during the first half of the 18th century (Paris, Ecole Pratique de Hautes Etudes), organized in 2011 an exhibition on the painter Daniel Sarrabat at the Brou Museum, Bourg-en-Bresse.  More recently, he has curated an exhibition on the painter Bon Boullogne and his pupils at the Magnin Museum, Dijon. 

Monday, 2nd February 

Dr. Barbara Lasic 

‘De Bons Citoyens: John and Josephine Bowes’ collecting of French revolutionary ephemera’

Passionate and eclectic collectors, John and Josephine Bowes assembled one of the largest art collections of the second half of the 19th century which included Old Master Paintings, Renaissance objets d’art and eighteenth-century decorative arts. Now on display in the palatial museum that they founded in County Durham, the collection is a testament to the wide-ranging taste and philanthropic aspirations of its founders. 

While John and Josephine’s passion for the material culture of the Ancien Régime has been amply discussed, their interest in French Revolutionary ephemera has so far been largely overlooked. The present seminar will examine the pro and counter-revolutionary contents of this discreet collection, its methods of acquisitions and links with the rest of the collections. It will locate John and Josephine’s practices within those of a wider network of collectors and hopes to offer a nuanced reading of John and Josephine’s critical historical engagement with 18th-century France. 

Barbara was awarded her PhD on collecting French decorative arts in Britain 1789-1914 by the University of Manchester in 2006.    She then worked at the V&A, where she curated the exhibitions Albertopolis (November 2011-April 2012);  So Noble a Confection:  Producing and Consuming Chocolate 1600-1800 (October 2010 – September 2011) and Gargoyles and Shadows:  Gothic Architecture and 19th-century Photography (January – May 2010).  She has published widely on art collecting, the history of taste and museum architecture.   Barbara now teaches at the University of Buckingham.

Monday, 5th January 

Annalea Tunesi 

C. F. Walker I taccuini (Note book of Bardini’s clients) 

‘Lord Cliveden(?), 7 Carlton Gardens:  Unpredictable buyer; understands nothing but is very rich. Old master paintings, bronzes, antique furniture. To conduct business you have to be … [unclear] on the terms of payment. You will surely be paid in the end, but he will make you sweat for it.’

A notebook or taccuino entitled Appunti di Londra was found in the Bardini archive in Florence and it reveals the marketing technique adopted by Bardini. His agent in this case, a certain C. F. Walker, travelled around Europe and reported carefully interesting details regarding new potential clients.  Bardini would give extremely clear instructions to his agent, asking him to determine the personality, habits, financial possibilities, behaviour and understanding of art of each of these collectors. The taccuino is divided into three sections: London, Brussels and Paris and appears to have been written around 1892. The clients were mainly bankers, wealthy professionals and captains of industry who followed the fashion for collecting. Sometimes their purchases were based on a thorough knowledge of art, and sometimes they only served the purpose of displaying their owner’s wealth.  Appunti di Londra reveals the clarity with which every client was portrayed in just a few short notes. The first section of the notebook, entitled Amatori di Londra, is dedicated to London’s private collectors. The aim of this paper is to analyse the notes written by C. F. Walker, his use of the language and the subtlety of his psychological analysis of every single collector. We will see how Bardini established a circular relationship with English collectors. In Florence he was influenced by their taste while in London he was becoming influential.

After the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Annalea worked for sixteenth years as Art director / set designer in Milan. In 2007 she started the MA course at University of Warwick, IESA School, History and Business of Art and Collecting.  Her MA thesis title was: Why di Bardini use blue?   In July 2014 she was awarded a PhD in museology at Leeds University with the title; Stefano Bardini’s Photographic Archive: A visual historical document. Her research interest began with the Florentine Art Dealer Stefano Bardini (1836-1922) and focuses on medieaval and Renaissance revival in Florence and in England, and the iconological analysis of nineteenth century photographs and interior’s displays. She is preparing a Post doc project on the relationship between Stefano Bardini and his English clients in Italy and in England.


Monday, 1st December  

Dr. Arthur MacGregor, Joint Editor of the Journal of the History of Collections

Cabinets of Curiosities: 500 Years of Representation and Mis-representation

Now used all too often as a portmanteau term for almost any gathering of miscellanea, the concept of the cabinet of curiosities has come a long way down in the world from its early, highly structured meaning. The many dimensions encapsulated in early collections admittedly makes them difficult to characterize succinctly: even those of outwardly similar composition might be interpreted very differently by their owners – and indeed by successive owners through time. The many false trails presented by contemporary catalogues, inventories and pictorial illustrations only add to the problems of interpretation, with some closely reflecting the contents (and even conditioning their display) and others following entirely different agendas. Yet a number of recurrent themes can be detected which allow us to identify some salient characteristics recurring from the Renaissance beginnings of the cabinet to its fall from fashion with the rise of Enlightenment values and post-Linnaean concepts of classification. A number of these themes will be discussed as the progress of the cabinet is followed in the context of changing preoccupations among collectors.

Monday, 3rd November 

Dr. Elizabeth Goldring

‘Princely Pleasures: The Picture Collection of Robert Dudley (1532/3-1588), Earl of Leicester.’

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was one of the most colourful, fascinating, and controversial people of his day. Although best known today as Queen Elizabeth I’s favourite (and the most militant Protestant at her court), Leicester was also the most important and innovative patron of painters and collector of paintings at the Elizabethan court. With the help of his nephew and heir, the poet-courtier Sir Philip Sidney, Leicester amassed a substantial collection of art, including commissioned works by Nicholas Hilliard, Hendrick Goltzius, François Clouet, Paolo Veronese and Federico Zuccaro. Leicester also fostered the birth of an English vernacular discourse on the visual arts and was an early exponent, in England, of the Italian Renaissance view of the painter as the practitioner of a liberal art and, thus, fit company for the educated and well-born. In spite of the fact that Leicester’s pictures and personal papers were widely dispersed in the immediate aftermath of his death, new archival research has permitted Elizabeth Goldring to bring to life this lost world – and with it, a turning point in the history of British collecting. Drawing on the findings presented in her newly published book, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the World of Elizabethan Art: Painting and Patronage at the Court of Elizabeth I (YUP/The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2014), Dr Goldring will provide an overview of Leicester’s picture collection and of the broader cultural environment in which it was created and experienced.

Dr. Goldring is an Associate Fellow of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at the University of Warwick. She is the author of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the World of Elizabethan Art: Painting and Patronage at the Court of Elizabeth I, which has just been published by Yale University Press/The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and General Editor of John Nichols’s The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I: A New Edition of the Early Modern Sources, which was published in five volumes by Oxford University Press earlier this year.

Monday, 13th October 

Nicola Pickering  

Creating le goût Rothschild: the English Rothschild family in the nineteenth century

This paper will focus on the English Rothschild family in the nineteenth century and the style of decoration and nature of collecting which came to be known as le goût Rothschild. The interiors and collections of six Rothschild residences in the Vale of Aylesbury and the collecting activity of their six owners feature in this paper.  It will be argued that a shared Rothschild taste which was common to these residences and collections was not unique in this period, but was certainly distinctive. Many of the interiors of the Rothschild mansions in the nineteenth century had common elements: overall the interior ensembles were highly decorative; the furnishings were generally luxurious, and boiseries and antique tapestries were often present. Furthermore the decorative arts which were most plentiful were those of the French eighteenth-century.  

In these tastes the family did not differ dramatically from existing nineteenth-century trends, they did not initiate new fashions in collecting or the presentation of domestic spaces and in general their preferences were an endorsement and elaboration of the established styles favoured by the landed classes. Yet the Rothschilds’ presentation of their residences and their collecting activities in the nineteenth century were considered by contemporaries to be especially noteworthy and distinctive. The reasons why the phrases le goût Rothschild or le style Rothschild (with their implied sense of uniqueness) may have come into existence will therefore be explored in this paper. 

The wider family network to which the English Rothschild family members belonged and their particular pan-European background, were among the most significant influences on the formation of their collecting tastes. It will also be shown that the carefully devised furnishing of the family’s country residences was conducted in collaboration with a network of dealers all over Europe. Names such as Alexander Barker, Charles Davis, Samson Wertheimer, John Webb, Samuel Pratt, the Durlacher Brothers and the firms of Annoot and Gale and Nixon and Rhodes feature frequently on receipts for purchases the Rothschilds made. These dealers often advised the family members on what to buy, acted as agents, and compiled catalogues of their collections. The repeated use of foreign styles and sources in the English Rothschild’s residences and collections therefore reflected the preferences and inherited interests of the wider Rothschild family network, but also those of these dealers and agents.

Nicola completed her doctorate at King’s College London in 2013. This was an AHRC collaborative award in partnership with the Rothschild Archive, London. Prior to this course of study she undertook an MA in Curating at the Courtauld institute and an MPhil in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Cambridge. 

She is now curator at Eton College and formerly worked for the National Trust as a curator, working in the London and South East region. In the past five years she has also worked in the curatorial departments at Historic Royal Palaces, the Royal Collection, the National Portrait Gallery and Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Monday, 16th June

Dr. Stephen Lloyd

The Buccleuch Collection of Portrait Miniatures: aspects of Victorian and Edwardian antiquarianism,  emulation and display at Montagu House, Whitehall

After the Royal Collection, the portrait miniatures in the Buccleuch collection can be considered as one of the two most important aristocratic collections to have remained mostly intact in Britain. Building on a core of around 150 miniatures inherited from his Scott (Buccleuch) and Montagu ancestors, Walter Francis, 5th Duke of Buccleuch and 7th Duke of Queensberry (1806-1884), acquired another 600 miniatures, with a number of other important examples being acquired by his son William, 6th Duke of Buccleuch (1831-1914). Using the London printsellers and art dealers P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., the collection was built-up systematically over a period of 60 years, alongside a substantial assemblage of prints, both historical portraits (i.e. Reynolds), those by old masters (Rembrandt) and others by contemporary artists (Wilkie and Landseer). The collection of miniatures is well-known for its outstanding group of Tudor and Stuart works by artists such as Holbein, Horenbout, Hilliard, Isaac and Peter Oliver, John Hoskins and Samuel Cooper (the famous unfinished portrait of Oliver Cromwell). While antiquarianism and the continuance of dynastic memory were significant aspects in the development of the collection, this paper will argue that emulation of other prestigious collections, such as those formed by Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill and by Queen Victoria was an important factor in the lavish displays of framed groups of miniatures shown in the Gallery and other private spaces of the Buccleuch family’s London residence in Whitehall.

Stephen Lloyd has been Curator of the Derby Collection at Knowsley Hall, Merseyside since 2012 and is a former Senior Curator at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. After studying at the University of Cambridge and the Warburg Institute, he received his doctorate from the University of Oxford for his thesis on the Regency artists, Richard Cosway (1742-1821) and Maria Cosway (1760-1838). The Cosways were the subject of an international loan exhibition he curated at the SNPG and NPG in London (1995-6). At the SNPG he curated many exhibitions – accompanied by catalogues – on portrait miniatures including selections from the Buccleuch Collection (1996-7 ), the National Galleries of Scotland (2004) and Scottish private collections (2006). Together with Kim Sloan, in 2008-9 he co-curated  a major exhibition at the SNPG and British Museum, The Intimate Portrait: Drawings, Miniatures and Pastels from Ramsay to Lawrence. In 2012 Edinburgh University Press published Henry Raeburn: Context, Reception and Reputation, a multi-authored volume that he co-edited with Viccy Coltman. From 2004 to 2010 Stephen was President of ICOM’s international committee of museums and collections of fine art. He is a Fellow of both the Society of Antiquaries of London and of Scotland.

Monday, 2nd June 

Natalie Voorheis

Edith Beatty’s Collection of French Decorative Arts at Baroda House, Kensington Palace Gardens: A Case Study of Collecting and Display in Britain During the First Half of the Twentieth Century.

This seminar will examine the French eighteenth century decorative arts collection of Edith Beatty (1888-1952). In 1913, Edith married Chester Beatty, an American mining millionaire. The couple lived at Baroda House, Kensington Palace Gardens and they each formed collections. This seminar will describe Edith’s decorative arts collection and trace her collecting habits. The influence of the art market on this collection and the resulting acquisition of objects with real and invented French Royal provenance will be discussed. The display of Edith’s decorative arts collection will be examined, placing these objects in the context of the couple’s collection as a whole. Edith and Chester have been described as the most important collectors of Van Gogh in Britain in the 1930s.  At Baroda House, Van Gogh’s Still Life: Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers (Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art) hung above eighteenth century seat furniture and was flanked by a pair of celadon vases with gilt-bronze mounts now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Chester Beatty formed a remarkable collection, which included important manuscripts, books and textiles, as well as decorative objects, and paintings of the French Barbizon and Realist schools. Edith collected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, French eighteenth-century furniture, Sèvres and gilt-bronze mounted Chinese porcelain. Unlike Chester, she died intestateand her collections were dispersed; consequently, her collection is not widely known.  Much of the collection remains in private hands.

Natalie studied Art History and English at University College Dublin and holds an MA in Decorative Arts and Historic Interiors from The University of Buckingham and The Wallace Collection, London. She has worked at The National Gallery of Ireland and is currently the Curatorial Intern inDecorative Arts at The Royal Collection Trust.


No seminars for this year


Florence, please note that the two events take place at different venues

Thursday, 6th December, 6pm, Harold Acton Library, The British Institute of Florence

Maia Gahtan and Donatella Pegazzano: Gaius Verres and the Rape of Sicily

Wednesday, 7th November, 6pm, The Archaeological Museum of Florence (please note that places are restricted to 25, please book your place in advance)

Mario Iozzo: From Collection to Museum: the Past, Present and Future of the Florentine Archaeological Museum

Monday, 3rd December

Khadija von Zinnenberg Carroll

Anachronism: The Classification and Display of Nineteenth Century Australian Indigenous Collection

Monday, 8th October

Charles Sebag Montefiore

The British as Collectors from the Tudors to the Present Please note: This session starts at 18:30


Monday, 27th June

Barbara Lasic (Assistant Curator, Designs Word and Image Department, Victoria and Albert Museum)

Princely Pursuits: the Collecting Practices of the Camondo Family

Monday, 16th May

Philip Mansel, Historian, Editor of The Court Historian

The collections of the Duchesse de Berry 

Thursday, 28th April

John Hoenig (independent scholar)

Disegni Magnifici:  The Uffizi’s Collection of Drawings by Bernardo Buontalenti

Florence University of the Arts, Sala Michelangelo, Via Magliabechi 1


Mary Westerman Bulgarella

Please note that this session will take place in Florence in collaboration with FUA. For more information contact the convenors at

Monday, 7th March

Leon Lock, Independent Scholar

Collecting Giambologna in Seventeenth-Century Antwerp:  the evidence in contemporary paintings and inventories.

Tuesday, 22 February

Book Launch:  Collecting and the Princely Apartment editors:  Susan Bracken, Andrea Galdy, Adriana Turpin

Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2011 Guest speaker to be announced   At the British Institute

Monday, 21 February

Adriana Turpin, Academic Director, IESA Paris: The Historical Creation of the Renaissance Interior: exchanges between Florence and Britain in the collecting and display of furniture in 19th Century’

This paper aims to analyse the various approaches to the historical interior that developed from the early nineteenth century to the end of the century, paying particular attention to the connections between Florence and Britain at this time. I begin by discussing the influences on collectors and dealers of the later nineteenth century in their acquisitions of furniture for their interiors. Obvious examples are the cassone or the bed, but there are other types of furniture – chairs, tables, cupboards that also should be considered. Re-examining these pieces may nuance our appreciation of how we interpret the Renaissance interior visually and at the same time awaken our appreciation of the Neo-Renaissance interior and furnishing.

Tuesday, 14th February

Koen Brossens (Louvain)

18th century tapestries

Wednesday, 9th February

Mary Westerman Bulgarella (Textile and Costume conservator)

All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go:  Display Techniques of Historic Costumes