Researching visual, print and material culture in the UK?

ArtResearchersGuidesLibrarians and archivists around Edinburgh, Dublin, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff and South Wales, and Liverpool (coming in October 2016) have put together guidebooks that take researchers to treasures such as letters between Cruickshank and his publishers,  centuries-old sketches featuring Kirskstall Abby, and photos of the Cottingley Fairies.  There are botanical illustrations so realistic you feel compelled to stroke petals and illuminated maps, manuscripts and charters with the paintings of Queen Elizabeth I, whose elaborate signature officially classifies as a work of art itself.  Many of these gems are not online.

“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.”

“All these cities have fantastic collections on architecture, design and history broadly defined, but researchers don’t know how to get their hands on everything they might need — this guide helps solve that problem,” says Rose Roberto, book historian at the University of Reading and series editor.

Introductions to each guide have been written by leading scholars such as Christine Casey and Ben Read.  Through a visual narrative, all guides point the way to libraries and repositories with unique and under used resources.  Indexed by over 80 subjects, all guides include citywide maps, navigation icons, and a time-saving subject index to collections and colour images of each place.

“What makes these guides useful is the map and index.  If you’re doing research on fashion history, for example, the visual index shows which places have the right material, and whether it’s a book, archives, or audiovisual format,” says Racher Myers, former design librarian at Leeds University.

Published by the Art Libraries Society of the UK and Ireland (ARLIS), these  pocket sized guides range in price from £4.50-£8.00 each.  The books are available as a set or individually from the ARLIS website, http://arlis.org.uk/periodicals-libraries-sources/publications as well around the different cities featured in the Art Researchers’ Guide series.

New Open Access Journal: British Art Studies

Published jointly by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Yale Centre for Studies in British Art, British Art Studies is a new online, open access, peer-reviewed journal for new research and scholarship of the highest quality on all aspects of British art, architecture and visual culture in their most diverse and international contexts.

British Art Studies is one of the few completely open access journals in the field of art history, providing a forum for the growing debate about digital scholarship, publication and copyright. The Editorial of the first issue is an interesting summary of the aims and digital strategies of the journal.

Issue 1 (Autumn 2015) is avaliable now.

 

Birkbeck 19th C Forum: Tuesday 26 January, ‘Julia Margaret Cameron: New Discoveries’ with Marta Weiss and Colin Ford

Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies
Spring 2016 Programme

The first event of the spring term for the Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies will feature Marta Weiss (Victoria & Albert Museum) presenting on ‘Julia Margaret Cameron: New Discoveries’ with Colin Ford (Former head of the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television) responding. This event is presented in collaboration with the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre at Birkbeck, and will take place Tuesday 26 January 2016 from 6.00pm to 8.00pm in the Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD.

This seminar will explore the new material Martha Weiss discovered while researching the current must-see exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, marking the bicentenary of the birth of Julia Margaret Cameron, 150 years after she first exhibited her work there. Colin Ford has worked extensively on this important photographer, most notably in the comprehensive catalogue Julia Margaret Cameron: Complete Photos (Getty, 2002).

The session is free and all are welcome, but since the venue has limited space it will be first come, first seated.

For further information on the exhibition, see: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/julia-margaret-cameron/about-the-exhibition/

Download Julia Margaret Cameron: Complete Photos (Getty, 2002) here: http://www.getty.edu/publications/virtuallibrary/0892366818.html

For further information on the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, see: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/arts/research/photography

For further information on the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, see: http://www.cncs.bbk.ac.uk/

Audio Recordings of Keynote Lectures from ‘The Arts and Feeling in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture’

From the Birkbeck 19th C Forum website:

‘We are pleased to announce that audio recordings of Keynote Lectures are now available for ‘The Arts and Feeling in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture’, a major international conference which took place at Birkbeck, University of London, 16-18 July 2015.

The conference explored the ways in which nineteenth-century authors, artists, sculptors and musicians imagined and represented emotion and how writers and critics conceptualised the emotional aspects of aesthetic response. It aimed to map the state of the field in this growing area of interest for nineteenth-century scholars by locating recent interdisciplinary work on sentimentality and art and writing and the senses within wider debates about the relationship between psychology and aesthetics in the long-nineteenth century.

Speakers investigated the physiology and psychology of aesthetic perception and the mind/body interactions at play in the experience of a wide range of arts. Key questions included: How did Victorian artists represent feeling and how were these feelings aestheticised? What rhetorical strategies did Victorian writers use to figure aesthetic response? What expressive codes and conventions were familiar to the Victorians? Which nineteenth-century scientific developments affected artistic production and what impact did these have on affective reactions?’

To access the recordings and abstracts, click here.

Image of the Month: Caricature of Darwin and the crew of the Beagle

painting-depicting-charles-darwin

Lot 10, ‘English Literature, History, Childrens’ Books and Illustrations’ Sale, 15 December 2015, Sotheby’s London. Earle, Augustus (attrib.) CARICATURE GROUP PORTRAIT ON BOARD HMS BEAGLE Watercolour, entitled “Quarter Deck of a Man of War on Diskivery [sic] or interesting Scenes on an Interesting Voyage”, depicting Darwin together with ten other figures, all crew members of HMS Beagle, including Robert FitzRoy and three other officers, shipboard with fossils, botanical and mineralogical specimens, some with captions, several figures with nautical and surveying instruments, each figure with a speech bubble with words written above in black ink, single sheet (340 x 205 mm), watercolour and ink on paper (Whatman Mill watermark, undated), [Bahía Blanca, Argentina, on or around 24 September, 1832]; some creasing and light staining, mounted. http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2014/english-literature-history-childrens-books-illustrations-l15408/lot.10.html

Last month, Sotheby’s in London sold for £52,500 the only known painting of the naturalist Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle.

The watercolour, painted by Augustus Earle (1793–1838) was offered in the English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale in London. Darwin (giving a long-winded description of an insect), Captain Robert Fitzroy, and various officers and sailors are all depicted: it captures the bustle of Darwin’s historic expedition, while the speech bubbles hint at in-jokes and standing jokes from the voyage. An officer, thought to be 1st Lt John Clements Wickham, complains: “There is no such thing as walking the deck for all these cursed specimens!”

zoomable digital image of the caricature is available on Sotheby’s website, along with an article on the caricature on Sotheby’s rare books blog Bibliofile.

 

 

A Christmas Workshop: RIN/House of Illustration Partnership

Anna Glendenning is a PhD candidate from Roehampton’s Centre for Research in Romanticism, who works on caricature. She reports here on the Romantic Illustration Network’s collaboration with the House of Illustration on a workshop for Y8 pupils, supported by the University of Roehampton.

On Thursday 3rd December, the House of Illustration in King’s Cross London was home to an exciting day of collaboration between local schoolchildren, RIN member Dr. Mary L. Shannon from the University of Roehampton, and professional illustrator Merlin Evans.

A group of thirty girls aged 12-13 (from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington) braved a suitably chilly winter’s morning to visit the House of Illustration, where they immersed themselves in a special workshop on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol .  I also got to help out: it was hugely enjoyable to be part of such an inspiring day of interdisciplinary fun. For the full photostory, see http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/Courses/English-and-Creative-Writing/News/There-s-no-Bah-Humbug-this-Christmas-for-pupils-at-illustration-workshop/.

Dickens’ text has long been a favourite in English classrooms, but it was the aim of this collaboration to give the girls a unique opportunity to explore the crucial role of illustrations – both conceptually and creatively – with two experts.

The HOI’s learning programme, with Head of Education Emily Jost at its helm, is dedicated to bringing illustrations into the limelight. Its core aim is to enhance knowledge of and confidence in visual communication for all. The Romantic Illustration Network (RIN) shares this enthusiasm. RIN’s project to restore the importance of visual culture in the Romantic period involves a commitment to sharing and to promoting access to the research it undertakes.

Mary Shannon, who specializes in Victorian print culture and is a Dickens expert, led a lively session. By contrasting different illustrations of Scrooge with Dickens’s narrative, trying out their own sketches, and learning from Shannon about Victorian Christmas traditions, the girls contributed lots of compelling thoughts and critiques, expanding their understanding of the relationship between illustrations and Dickens’s text.

After taking a look at the House of Illustration’s current exhibition, the girls returned to the studio for a special session with Merlin Evans. Evans brought in tools from her trade and shared some different techniques of collage-making and line work to help the girls to get to grips with the material qualities of producing images. The girls rummaged through photocopies of Victorian illustrations and had the chance to try out the new drawing methods Evans had demonstrated. The results were exquisite. The girls were able to compare their work with the earlier sketches they had made – a great way to show how their understanding of Scrooge’s character had developed over the course of the workshop, and, hopefully, to boost their illustration skills and confidence into the future.

Future collaborative workshops involving RIN’s Professor Ian Haywood (Roehampton) and Dr Susan Matthews (Roehampton) are in the pipeline, so watch this space in the New Year!

Anna Glendenning

Illumination: How the Visual Captures the Imagination (Senate House Library, London 28 Sept – 19 Dec 2015)

Illumination: How the Visual Captures the Imagination
Senate House Library, London

28 Sept – 19 Dec 2015

http://senatehouselibrary.ac.uk/visiting-the-library/exhibitions/illumination/

How do ideas move from the mental to the physical? From centuries old vases and painted canvasses to books and the virtual, creative ideas manifest themselves visually and allow us to understand such diverse worlds as cartography and astronomy to music and philosophy. Artists have drawn inspiration from themes which have transcended time such as the study of the human body and the natural world, to give them physical presence. The earliest printed books contained illuminations and later illustrations in which image and word converged to generate new visual forms for the reader. Technology also impacted on the ability to interpret objects moving from the naked eye to the scientific instruments designed to enhance optics. This exhibition will explore connections between these developments and how the gestation of the creative idea contributes to our understanding of visual culture. The exhibition draws together for the first time materials from Senate House Library with those of all of the Institute Libraries of the School of Advanced Study.

Over the three months, the Illumination Series will host over twenty events: lectures, symposia, workshop and performances which explore aspects of the visual through different disciplinary perspectives to bring new insights into the materials on display in the exhibition and the Library’s wider collections. Admission to the exhibition and events are free. However, due to space limitations, tickets are required for admission for the events. Click on the Eventbrite link for each event for ticket availability. For further information on the exhibition and the Series, contact the Curator and Research Librarian, Colin J.P. Homiski (details on the website).

Pre-Raphaelite Fellowship: A Joint Fellowship from the University of Delaware Library and the Delaware Art Museum

Pre-Raphaelite Fellowship: A Joint Fellowship from the University of Delaware Library and the Delaware Art Museum

Deadline: November 1, 2015

The University of Delaware Library, in Newark, Delaware, and the Delaware Art Museum are pleased to offer a joint Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite studies. This short-term, one-month Fellowship, awarded annually, is intended for scholars conducting significant research in the lives and works of the Pre-Raphaelites and their friends, associates, and followers.  Research of a wider scope, which considers the Pre-Raphaelite movement and related topics in relation to Victorian art and literature, and cultural or social history, will also be considered. Projects which provide new information or interpretation—dealing with unrecognized figures, women writers and artists, print culture, iconography, illustration, catalogues of artists’ works, or studies of specific objects—are particularly encouraged, as are those which take into account transatlantic relations between Britain and the United States.

Receiving the Fellowship:
The recipient will be expected to be in residence and to make use of the resources of both the Delaware Art Museum and the University of Delaware Library. The recipient may also take advantage of these institutions’ proximity to other collections, such as the Winterthur Museum and Library, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Princeton University Library, and the Bryn Mawr College Library. Each recipient is expected to participate in an informal colloquium on the subject of his or her research during the course of Fellowship residence.

Up to $3,000 is available for the one-month Fellowship. Housing may be provided. Personal transportation is recommended (but not mandatory) in order to fully utilize the resources of both institutions.

The Fellowship is intended for those who hold a Ph.D. or can demonstrate equivalent professional or academic experience. Applications from independent scholars and museum professionals are welcome. By arrangement with the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, scholars may apply to each institution for awards in the same year; every effort will be made to offer consecutive dates.

To Apply:
Send a completed application form, together with a description of your research proposal (maximum 1 page) and a curriculum vitae or resume (maximum 2 pages) to the address given below. Letters of support from two scholars or other professionals familiar with you and your work are also required. These materials may also be sent via email to: fellowships@delart.org.
Pre-Raphaelite Fellowship Committee Delaware Art Museum 2301 Kentmere Parkway Wilmington, DE 19806
Application Form: http://www.delart.org/about/opportunities/#preraphfellowship Important Dates:
The deadline to apply for the 2016 Fellowship is November 1, 2015. Notification of the successful applicant will be announced by December 1, 2015. The chosen candidate will then be asked to provide a date for assuming the Fellowship by January 1, 2016.
If you have any questions or would like to request more information, please contact:
Margaretta S. Frederick Pre-Raphaelite Fellowship Committee Direct line: 302.351.8518 E-mail: fellowships@delart.org

CFP: NeMLA 2016 panel: “Word and Image on Page, Stage, and Screen in the Long Nineteenth Century.”

NeMLA 2016 panel

“Word and Image on Page, Stage, and Screen in the Long Nineteenth Century.”

Chairs Robert Hasenfratz and Kate Holterhoff are asking for abstracts: they welcome projects engaging any aspect of the word-image nexus in illustrated novels, stage productions, or film in Anglo-European or North American culture during the long nineteenth century.

‘The relationship between text and image has an important and suggestive place in the humanities. While in decades past literary scholars have been apt to treat any visual elements accompanying literary texts as supplemental, a growing number of visual and media studies theorists have expressed interest in the important and under-theorized role of paratexts in the form of advertisements, book illustrations, and film and stage adaptations. We have a particular interest in the visual culture of the long nineteenth century. For example, the craze for tableaux vivants, re-creations of famous paintings on stage with living actors, infected both the popular stage, early film, and book illustration in the mid-1890s. The visual culture leading to this moment had itself been conditioned by pre-cinematic arts like magic lantern shows and stereoscopic viewers. We are interested in the complex ways that this visual culture not only supplemented but determined the representational conditions of literary texts, films, and stage productions.’

Abstracts should be submitted by September 30, 2015 through the following link: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/15947

Topographies: London Group of Historical Geographers Autumn Seminar Series

LONDON GROUP OF HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHERS
Seminar Programme, Autumn 2015
TOPOGRAPHIES
Talks in this series may well be of interest to RIN members. Seminars are held on Tuesdays at 5.15pm in the Wolfson Conference Suite (NB01), Institute of Historical Research, North Block, Senate House, University of London.

For further details please visit the LGHG homepage or the seminar listing on the IRH website.

6 October 2015
Stephen Daniels (University of Nottingham)
“’Map-work”: John Britton and the topographical imagination in nineteenth-century Britain.
20 October 2015
Veronica della Dora (Royal Holloway, University of London)
“And he walked from country to country”: Vasilij Grigorovich Barskij’s pious topographies, 1723–1747.
3 November 2015
William Bainbridge (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)
“Mountains run mad”: shared topographies and conflicting memories in the Dolomites.
17 November 2015
Jordan Goodman (UCL)
Making places, knowing lives: Joseph Banks learns Australia, 1770–1810.
1 December 2015Felicity Myrone (British Library)Re-evaluating topography: the case of Captain Thomas Davies’ An east view of the great cataract of Niagara (1762).