The Ballroom at Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent. © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Blog Category

Sir Joshua Reynolds: Sketchbooks to Genius by Paul Willis

Sir Joshua Reynolds is a pivotal figure in the development of the British School of painting, principally through his writings on art and his portraits. However, besides the research conducted by Giovanna Perini Folesani, Reynolds’ Italian Sketchbooks have received little critical attention. This is possibly because his sketchbooks have been generally overlooked in favour of […]

Read More

Excavating the work of Eveleen Myers. The Rediscovery of a late Victorian Photographer, by Judy Oberhausen and Dr Nic Peeters

Judy Oberhausen first met Eveleen Myers (née Tennant, 1856-1937) many years ago at the Delaware Art Museum when she was a young intern working with the Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art. George Frederic Watts’s portrait of Myers as the fresh-faced Jessamine is still there in a gallery filled with other famous Pre-Raphaelite beauties – although […]

Read More

Restoring the Mallory family painting by Jennifer Taylor

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal in North Yorkshire is not known for its large collection of art or furniture; it’s a World Heritage Site famous for its landscaped water garden and 12th century monastic ruins. The devastating fire at Studley Royal House in 1946 had destroyed much of the contents and when the Vyner family […]

Read More

William Rothenstein as a Portraitist by Samuel Shaw

As a portraitist, Sir William Rothenstein (1872-1945) is probably best-known for his chalk drawings and lithographs of famous figures, over two hundred of which are held at the National Portrait Gallery. Rothenstein launched himself on the British art scene as a portraitist in the early 1890s, and continued the practice until his death (one of […]

Read More

The Art of Deception – Camouflage in Leamington Spa, by Alice Swatton

When I saw the Audiences, Authority and Collaboration in Museum Research seminar (12 – 13 March 2015) advertised through the Subject Specialist Network: European Paintings Pre-1900 network it was extremely timely. I am currently undertaking a significant research project into the Civil Defence Camouflage Unit, based in Leamington Spa during WWII. This research has been […]

Read More

Who has the right to catalogue? by Wendy Hitchmough

The two day seminar, Audiences, Authority and Collaboration in Museum Research, began at Tate on a Thursday lunchtime and I went directly from a workshop at the Tower of London on ‘Inclusivity’ that morning. It was great to find the very issues that we had been addressing at Historic Royal Palaces taking centre stage in […]

Read More

An audience with Dr William Hunter by Sarah Backhouse

In 1825, ‘Mrs Baillie’ bequeathed a remarkable conversation piece by Johan Zoffany to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). This painting represents the Scottish-born anatomist, surgeon and midwife Dr William Hunter giving an anatomy lecture to a group of individuals. Mrs Baillie was the wife of Dr Matthew Baillie, Hunter’s nephew and heir. While living […]

Read More

The Portraits of Leon Underwood by Simon Martin

It is over forty-five years on since the last major museum retrospective of the work of Leon Underwood in 1969. Although Underwood (1890-1975) has been described as ‘the precursor of modern sculpture in Britain’ he is an overlooked figure in the history of Modern Art. Between the 1920s and 1950s he created an innovative body […]

Read More

Following Burton’s footsteps by Chris Burton

On Thursday 22nd January, I travelled to the Heinz Archive along with a colleague, Euan, as part of our Understanding British Portraits project. The portrait in question is of Richard Francis Burton, the famous Victorian explorer, in disguise as Haji Abdullah on his expedition to Mecca in 1853. Our aim was to use the archives […]

Read More

A Distracting Discovery by Demelza Williams

In February 2014, Sir Thomas Lawrence’s double portrait of Frances Anne, Marchioness of Londonderry and her son, Lord Seaham, was temporarily allocated through Acceptance In Lieu to Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland, by Arts Council England (left). It arrived along with a significant loan of other items from the Estate of the Marquess of Londonderry […]

Read More