This book sets out to give an account of what the foundation of The Royal Academy of Arts in 1768 meant for artistic practice in particular and cultural life more generally in Britain between 1760 and 1840. It is to be welcomed, because it fills a gap, and fills it well. The history of art institutions in Britain attracts sporadic attention.
Kathryn Morrison’s task has been enormous: covering just about a thousand years of retail architecture, this work comprises a magnificent collection of visual material and concise history drawn from primary and secondary data.
In 1993 Amanda Vickery's now well-known historiographical review 'Golden Age to Separate Spheres?' provided an exhaustive survey of the interpretation of the position, identity and role of English women from the early modern to the Victorian periods.(1) It was a timely project in response the wealth of interest and research in that field over the previ
Studies of the National Portrait Gallery have analysed its history as an institution, as an architectural space, or as instrumental in the development of portraiture (1).
Every picture tells a story. The story told by posed portraits of the family is one of change over time; family groups look different at different times. Thus the Victorian middle-class family is typically photographed in an indoor ‘domestic’ setting, its members unsmiling, connected to each other by the touch of a hand on a shoulder.
In the introduction to her long-awaited and extremely interesting study of the popular literature of Victorian interior decoration, Judith Neiswander prepares her readers – and perhaps to a certain extent herself – for their predicted negative reactions to the décor of the late 19th-century middle class home.
The Grand Tour was ‘a phenomenon which shaped the creative and intellectual sensibilities of some of the eighteenth century’s greatest artists, writers and thinkers’. So reads the opening paragraph of Adam Matthew Digital’s new website, The Grand Tour. It is a substantial claim to make, but a fair one.
'Never before has such a comprehensive study on Morris been published, and ... it will stand as the standard work on Morris long after the exhibition it commemorates is over.' The book/catalogue that accompanies the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert M useum marking the centenary of Morris's death makes a large claim for itself.
John Rocque (c.1705–62) was a cartographer and engraver of European repute, who could count among his achievements maps of London, Paris, Berlin and Rome.
In November of 2011, I listened to Dr Samuel Alberti present a paper on ‘Body parts in Bart's’ – one of a series of seminars held in St Bartholomew’s pathological museum in West Smithfield. The museum is a cavernous room surrounded on all sides by glass specimen jars, making the visitor feel it is they who are as much under scrutiny as the specimens themselves.