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

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New approaches to British portraits at The Fitzwilliam Museum by Amy Marquis

Amy Marquis,  Study Room Supervisor (Paintings, Drawings and Prints), The Fitzwilliam Museum, received a Bursary from Understanding British Portraits in October 2012. Here she reflects on the aims of her chosen project. The Fitzwilliam Museum‘s collection, like all collections, is constantly changing, whether this be through high profile acquisitions like our recent successful appeal to save […]

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Connections by Ulrike Smalley

Alexander Sturgis’ riveting talk ‘Presenting Presence: showing portrait sculpture’ was my personal highlight of this year’s Annual Seminar. Not only for its lively and engaging presentation – always appreciated at the end of a long and full day – but also for opening my eyes to an often overlooked form of portraiture. Alexander’s tour de […]

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Understanding British Portraits Annual Seminar 2012 by Ruth Kenny

On 27 November, thanks to the generous allocation of a complimentary ticket by Arts Council England, I attended my first Understanding British Portraits Annual Seminar and enjoyed a stimulating and sociable day.  The wide range of speakers from different backgrounds – both academic and musuems & galleries – ensured that there was much of interest […]

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The Unknown Sitter

A collaboration between the artist Nicky Bird and art historian Lara Perry, Knowing the Unknown Sitter brought together writers from a range of disciplines to explore the problem of the unknown sitter, and the value of their portraits, once identity has been lost.

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Underwear: from corsets to bullet bras and back by Eleri Lynn, V&A

This film from the V&A Channel features author Eleri Lynn as she leads us on a tour of a long hidden world. Eleri’s brief history of shapewear starts with the hourglass and S-bend forms – and steel and whalebone engineering – of Victorian and Edwardian corsets carries on through the breast-flattening bandeau bras worn by […]

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Facing Beauty: Painted Women and Cosmetic Art by Professor Aileen Ribeiro

Throughout the history of the Western world, countless attempts have been made to define beauty in art and life, especially with regard to women’s bodies and faces. Facing Beauty examines concepts of female beauty in terms of the ideal and the real, investigating paradigms of beauty as represented in art and literature and how beauty […]

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The art world in Britain 1660 to 1735

The art world in Britain 1660 to 1735 publishes primary sources and research tools for the study of the arts in Britain between the restoration of Charles II and the opening of Hogarth’s St Martin’s Lane Academy. Launched in October 2011, this long-term project is creating a large body of transcribed sources that underpin secondary […]

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