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

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Wax, women, and ‘Who dunnit?’s by Leeanne Westwood

I try to attend the Understanding British Portraits Annual Seminar every year. Whilst not all presentations are relevant to my small portrait collection, there is always something to be gleaned from these events, not least the opportunity to meet like-minded people from little-known collections like my own. This year I met a lovely lady from […]

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Revealing hidden treasures in Edinburgh by Corinne Harrison

After a whirlwind 24 hours in Edinburgh looking at incredible portrait collections, my favourite item of the day was … a ram’s head snuff box. Its existence was revealed after a couple of drinks on our first evening at University of Edinburgh and was just one of many fantastic surprises throughout the visit. We were […]

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From the Queen’s Bodyguard and medical luminaries to humble domestic servants – portraiture in Edinburgh and Erddig by Susanne Gronnow

The Portrait Collections in Edinburgh event in September 2015 gave me a rare opportunity to meet up with portrait specialists, learn about some of the astonishing collections in Edinburgh, and also learn about the breadth of study taking place in other institutions across the country. Reflecting on the event, there seemed to be some common […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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