News & Events

Check this page regularly for information on research or conservation projects, upcoming events, and the Society's current activities. For past news and events, please see our News Archive and Public Affairs Page, which details our work on policy and consultation. And don't forget to check the Lecture Archive watch video recordings of lectures given at the Society by our Fellows and guest speakers.


Forthcoming Events at the Society of Antiquaries of London

For events that require tickets or advance registration, you can email the Executive Assistant, or call 020 7479 7080020 7479 7080. For press and general enquiries, please contact the Communications Officer.

2014 Spring Programme

30 APRIL: ANNIVERSARY MEETING
Details TBD


2 MAY: SEMINAR

Church Treasures: Perils and Possibilities

Half-Day Seminar | 9.30 to 12.35

Co-sponsored by the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Churches Conservation Trust, this half-day conference (9.30am to 12.35pm) will examine the status of church fixtures and fittings that are greatly threatened not only by theft and church re-ordering schemes, but also by the sale of the churches themselves. Read more...

Admission is by ticket only (£10, including VAT). To reserve your place, please call 020 7479 7080 or send an email to admin@sal.org.uk.


8 MAY: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

Shelters for Eternity: Recording Ancient Egyptian Coffins in British and Foreign Collections

By Aidan Dodson, FSA

Abstract: Objects that languish unpublished in museum collections are in many ways as ‘lost’ as those still concealed under the ground. Amongst such pieces are many ancient Egyptian coffins which, although often popular exhibits, have often received little or no specialist attention since arriving from Egypt, whether as tourist souvenirs or the fruits of proper archaeological excavations. Dr Dodson is currently undertaking a long-term project to record such objects in UK provincial collections, as well as having been invited to publish those in the national collections in Edinburgh and Stockholm. This lecture will give a brief overview of the history of Egyptian coffins through the lens of collections studied to date, also highlighting some interesting (and some cautionary) tales regarding the collection and conservation of ancient Egyptian antiquities.


15 MAY: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

Hoarding in Iron Age and Roman Britain

By Roger Bland, FSA, Adrian Chadwick and Eleanor Ghey

Abstract: Some 340 hoards of Iron Age coins and 2591 of Roman coins are known from Britain, probably a greater concentration than anywhere else in the Roman Empire. This is a fast-expanding dataset, as 600 of the Roman hoards have been found in the last 20 years. Hoards have long attracted the attention of scholars, but mostly they have been concerned with their contents and have paid less attention to their contexts. An AHRC-funded project with this title, a collaboration between the British Museum and the University of Leicester, will try to redress the balance, by studying hoards in their context to understand better why they were buried. Traditionally it has been assumed that prehistoric metalwork hoards were deposited for ritual purposes, while Roman hoards are thought to have been buried for safekeeping, but can we trace the transition from one type of metalwork deposition to another? And why is there a greater concentration of hoards from the later 3rd century from Britain than anywhere else in the Empire, when the archaeological evidence seems to suggest that Britain did not suffer the level of destruction seen in contemporary Gaul? The project will seek to understand better the reasons why hoards were buried in Iron Age and Roman Britain through a systematic GIS-based analysis of their findspots and survey of selected sites. The paper will look at some of the issues involved and early results from it.


22 MAY: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

London in 1712 as Recorded in the Letters of Samuel Molyneux, FRS

By Paul Holden, FSA

Abstract: In October 1712, Samuel Molyneux travelled from his native Dublin to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society in London. During his stay in England he corresponded with his learned uncle Thomas Molyneux, bestowing intellectual and well-measured accounts of some of the most noteworthy connoisseurs of the day as well as first-hand descriptions of ecclesiastical and secular buildings, historic royal palaces, parks and gardens and notable public and private libraries and collections. Before the next half-century was over, many of these collections and libraries had become the nuclei of the British Museum and British Library.

For the modern reader these seven meticulously written letters sit alongside those of his contemporaries Zacharias Conrad von Uffenbach, Daniel Defoe, Cesar de Saussure, Don Manoel Gonzales, John Loveday in offering an erudite and discursive analysis of early-Enlightenment London providing. As such they provide a fascinating insight into the author's intimate and voluminous knowledge of the cultural and scientific world. This lecture will discuss the buildings, collections, collectors, gardens, parks, and other notable people and places that Molyneux visited whilst in London.


29 MAY: JUNE SOIREE

Details TBD


Past Events (Spring 2014)

30 JANUARY: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

The Archaeological and Social History of an English Country House: Boynton Hall, Yorkshire East Riding

By Richard Marriott, FSA, Adrian Green, FSA, and Tim Schadla-Hall, FSA

Abstract: Fellows Richard Marriott, Adrian Green and Tim Schadla-Hall have completed the survey of the house, landscaped gardens and park of Boynton Hall. The gardens may contain an hitherto unknown formal garden by William Kent. The house is of interest for its development from the 15th- through 18th-centuries. The team has also worked through the considerable documentary archive of the estate (in private hands in Canada). The publication, The Social History and Archaeology of an English Country House, should appear in 2014 and Fellows are invited to hear the team's findings at this lecture ahead of the publication date.

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lectures online.

6 FEBRUARY: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

The Triumph of Music and Time: George Frideric Handel and Musical Clocks by Charles Clay

By Tessa Murdoch, FSA, and Anthony Turner

Abstract: This lecture complements the current exhibition at the Handel House Museum (until 23 February 2014). Historian Anthony Turner provides a contextual and biographical introduction to the work of Charles Clay; Fellow Tessa Murdoch will then provide a curatorial overview of the exhibition.

Despite the Tube/Underground Strike, we will be holding the meeting as planned.

13 FEBRUARY: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

Iona Abbey Research Project: a New Understanding of Scotland's Most Sacred Place

By Peter Yeoman, FSA

Abstract: This lecture will focus on the new understanding of Iona Abbey as Scotland’s most sacred place, based on recent research into the abbey’s archaeology and collections; this recent was performed to complete a Historic Scotland redisplay project. This iconic site came into State care in 1999, and, following years of conservation, is now re-interpreted to the visitors and pilgrims who come to Columba’s isle from all over the world. Beginning in summer 2013, visitors can achieve a better understanding of the unique contribution that Columba’s monastery made to European Christian scholarship, theology, creativity, and law-making. Specifically, this lecture will explore the evolution of the project, which has created new permanent exhibitions of the largest and most important collection of early-medieval high crosses and cross slabs in Britain and Ireland. This will include the first glimpses of important early-medieval artefacts recovered from Prof Charles Thomas' unpublished excavations at the abbey more than 50 years ago.

The completion of this project is part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Iona Community, as well as the 1450th anniversary of the arrival of St Columba.

20 FEBRUARY: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

From Ark to the New Ashmole: Collecting and Cataloguing Sculpture at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

By Jeremy Warren, FSA

Abstract: Jeremy Warren's catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance European Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford will be published in early 2014. With more than 500 entries, the publication will be one of the most significant museum sculpture collection catalogues to be published for many years, and Jeremy will share some of the insights into the collection discovered during his research. The origins of the collection lie in ivories, alabaster carvings (many exhibited at the Antiquaries in 1910) and plaquettes collected by the Tradescants in the early 17th century and given by Elias Ashmole in 1683.  Other objects come from the 18th century Antiquary Richard Rawlinson, while the core of the collection is the Renaissance sculpture collected by Charles Drury Fortnum, who was a Vice-President. Acquisitions made in recent years have complemented the achievements of these earlier collectors.  

27 FEBRUARY: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

Aldborough: New Perspectives on the Roman Town of Isurium Brigantium

By Martin Millett, FSA, and Rose Ferraby

Abstract: The Roman civitas capital of the Brigantes was the subject of considerable archaeological work in the nineteenth century, but has since been little explored. Recent survey work on the site deploying geophysical survey methods provides important new evidence for the planning and development of this key urban centre. In addition, the work has also provided insights into the structure and purpose of its nineteenth century exploration. This lecture will provide the first full discussion of the new work and its results.

6 MARCH: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

Entering the Lists: Writing a History of the Tournament in Europe

By Sydney Anglo, FSA

Abstract: The word ‘tournament’ is a generic term which, over the centuries, comprised several different modes of contest, on horse and on foot; with lance, sword and poll axe. There has long been a consensus about the general lines of its development—beginning with mock combats scarcely less violent than warfare itself, then a gradual amelioration of violence as the encounters attracted spectators with changes in armour and weaponry (which affected fighting techniques). All this led to the development of widely-accepted rules and limitations, safety precautions, easily-regulated modes of fighting and a tendency to incorporate combats within romantic, allegorical scenarios.

Few scholars have accepted that serious ‘mock-fighting’ continued long after the death of Henri II in the Paris Tournament of 1559, and even fewer have been sympathetic to the way in which the tournament's original chivalric content was absorbed within literary, balletic and musical entertainments that increasingly took place within theatres rather than in the lists. Yet the tournament, although a pan-European phenomenon, did not proceed at the same tempo in all countries and did not evolve uniformly. This paper will examine the various ways in which scholars have tried to make sense of all this, and will finally pose the question, ‘Is it possible to construct a general history of the tournament?’ (The answer is ‘Yes’!)


13 MARCH: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

Controlling the Carlow Corridor during the Middle Ages

By Linda Doran, FSA

Abstract: The Carlow Corridor in the eastern midlands of Ireland contains an important early roadway, the Slígh Culann with number of ancient associated roads, as well as the navigable Barrow and Nore rivers. In addition some of the best agricultural land in the country is in this region. The control of the Corridor¾the communication routeways and the agricultural resources¾was important to Gaelic Irish lords, the Vikings, who had two Longphuirt in the area and to the later Normans. The latter developed a number of commercial towns along the routeway among which was New Ross founded by William Marshal. This paper, which is based on a survey funded by the Heritage Council of Ireland, will examine the settlement and control of this Corridor in the middle ages. The struggle for the command of this area mirrors the political and military fortunes of the various groups contesting its domination.

20 MARCH: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

When Prehistoric Farming Begins: New Insights from Kingsmead Quarry

By Alistair Barclay, FSA, and Gareth Chaffey

Abstract: Investigations at Kingsmead Quarry (Berkshire) have produced new insights into social change and habitation from the 4th to 2nd millennia BC. Over a period of 2000 years this landscape was transformed from one of small timber houses—the dwellings of pioneer farmers associated with small-scale agriculture to one where farming was organised on a grand scale. The, so far, unique discovery of four early Neolithic houses on a single site provides new information on architecture, households, sequence and connections with other parts of Britain. There is also evidence to suggest overlap with mortuary monuments—houses of the living and the dead. Lasting for perhaps no more than 200 years these houses, and perhaps this way of life, fade from the known archaeological record. A focus on dwelling is replaced by attention to monument building, occasionally on a grand scale, along with enigmatic pit digging and burial. During this long period of time the traces of habitation and farming become less tangible. However, the less detectable evidence for investment in the land and its tenure may only be apparent by the sudden large-scale reorganisation of the landscape into a system of farmsteads and farms during the middle centuries of the 2nd millennium. A process that may well have preserved past methods and attitudes to land use, marking and ownership.

27 MARCH: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

Baroque and Later Ivories in the Victoria and Albert Museum: How People and Objects Shaped the Collection

By Marjorie Trusted, FSA

Abstract: Dozens, if not hundreds, of people have shaped the great collection of baroque and later ivories at the V&A, but two individuals stand out. The first is Dr Walter Leo Hildburgh (1876-1955), a slightly eccentric American, who settled in London in 1912, and generously donated or bequeathed over 70 baroque ivories to the V&A. The second is Margaret Longhurst (1882-1958), a few years Dr Hildburgh’s junior, who curated the ivories at the V&A from about 1926 onwards, and became the first woman Keeper at a UK national museum in 1938. Her catalogue of the ivories, published in two volumes in 1927 and 1929, provided the bedrock for my own, published in 2013. I will also be examining the V&A’s baroque and later ivories more broadly, from the first acquisitions in 1853 into those of the 21st century, looking at how taste and understanding developed and broadened over that stretch of 160 years.

(Autumn 2013)

16 September (Past Event): Public Evening Debate at RIBA

'The Future Care of Our Nation's Heritage: A Debate' is part of the 'Heritage Past, Present and Future: Celebrating the Centenary of the 1913 Ancient Monuments Act' two-day event

The Society of Antiquaries of London, Arts and Humanities Research Council, English Heritage, and National Trust were co-sponsors of a special evening debate, which focused on the government's role in caring for our nation's heritage.

Watch the Debate Online: Watch the debate online. Visit our 16 September Heritage Centenary Debate programme page for more information about this landmark event.

Debate Heritage: In conjunction with this debate, a special two-day conference was held at the Society. You can watch a selection of recordings from there conference on the Society's YouTube channel. They are all part of the 'Heritage Past, Present and Future' selection. 

03 OCTOBER (Past Event): ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

'Thomas Spratt, FSA: Travels in Crete' by Dudley Moore, FSA

Thomas Spratt (1811-1888) was a Royal Naval hydrographical officer who travelled to Crete in the 19th century, before Sir Arthur Evans’ groundbreaking discoveries of the Minoan civilization. Spratt’s official purpose was to survey the Mediterranean waters around Crete, but—on the instructions of Francis Beaufort—he also set out in search of the Cretan ancient world. What is known of his pioneer investigations? Did he find evidence of this ancient society before Evans? At the time of Spratt’s visit to the island, the notion of a ‘Bronze Age’ of Greece and Crete was not yet known. This lecture looks at some of Spratt’s discoveries on the island, including his attempts to identify the legendary ‘Labyrinth’ of Theseus and the Minotaur, and the existence of a prehistoric culture before the Greek classical era of the 5th century, BC.

We apologise for the inconvenience, but technical difficulties occurred during the recording process and prevented us from sharing a recording of this lecture.

10 OCTOBER: OUT OF LONDON MEETING IN YORK AT 6.00 PM

'The Cropmark Landscapes of the Magnesian Limestone in South and West Yorkshire' by Ian Roberts, FSA

Lecture took place at King's Manor, University of York. Click here for a full programme!

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lecture online.

A comprehensive archaeological mapping of the cropmark landscapes of the Magnesian Limestone belt and its margins in South and West Yorkshire was carried out as an English Heritage ALSF project between 2005 and 2010. Using GIS, the cropmark data were combined with and enhanced by geophysical survey and excavation data, gathered mainly since 1990.

The distributions of identified types and classifications of enclosures and field systems was considered with respect to geology, topography and supposed territorial boundaries. One of the principal aims of the project was to obtain a spatial overview of the incidence of the ‘brickwork fields’, well documented on the sandstones of South Yorkshire, as compared to the more irregular field systems found on the limestone in West Yorkshire. The data also facilitated a comprehensive review of the rural archaeology of the later prehistoric and Roman periods. The work culminated with the publication of a book entitled Understanding the Cropmark Landscapes of the Magnesian Limestone, published in 2010.

17 OCTOBER: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

'5,000 Years of Machair Settlement—Iain Crawford and the Legendary Udal, North Uist, Scotland' by Beverley Ballin Smith, FSA

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lecture online.

It is 50 years this year since Iain Crawford began his archaeological and ethnographic work on the Udal peninsular in North Uist, Western Isles. After working for over 30 annual seasons, he ended his campaigns of survey and excavation in 1994. With a remarkable collection of finds and samples, which amount to c. 40 cubic metres in volume, as well as handwritten notebooks and other copious site records, Crawford found the post-excavation process daunting. Although some progress was made, he did not succeed in interpreting his results in order to publish what he had discovered. The sites he dug are remarkable for their long collective sequence of occupation, beginning with the Neolithic and ending at almost the present day. In order to establish the Udal as an exemplar in excavation techniques and recording, Crawford used new and innovatory technology. Unfortunately, his achievements were never recognised because he did not publish, when other archaeologists did. The excavations had an air of mystery about them as Crawford only publicised the most spectacular elements. He discouraged the visits of academics, gave little significant site information away, and deterred researchers' enquiries. Crawford, as well as the site, became legendary in his own lifetime. Since 2010, with the blessing of the Crawford family and the help of Historic Scotland and the Western Isles Council, a small team has assessed both the documentary archive and the collections. Next year we aim to embark on writing up the results and publishing the individual sites, which form this exciting project. Iain Crawford remains an enigma, and the story of the Udal is as much about him as what was discovered on site.

22 OCTOBER: PUBLIC LECTURE
'Underground: How the Tube Shaped London' by Sam Mullins, FSA

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lecture online.

Public Lectures begin at 1.00. They are free and open to the public, but space is limited and advanced registration is recommended. Please call 020 7479 7080 or email admin@sal.org.uk.

24 OCTOBER: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

'The Copy of the 1215 Magna Carta in the Society of Antiquaries’ Black Book of Peterborough and New Light on the Negotiations at Runnymede', by David Carpenter

We are unable to share a recording of this lecture.

The copy of the 1215 Magna Carta found in a late 13th-century cartulary of Peterborough Abbey, known as the Black Book of Peterborough, which is now in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries, has always been accepted as simply a straightforward copy of the authorised version of the 1215 Charter. This talk shows it is not. Rather, the copy, in several places, has variant reading, some of which it shares with a copy of the Charter in the Huntington Library in California. The talk shows that the Peterborough Black Book and Huntington Library copy are far from unique. Instead they are part of a family of copies of the Charter with distinct differences from the authorised version. The talk explores the possibility that these copies preserve elements of drafts made at Runnymede, which thus throw new light on the course of negotiations there.

31 OCTOBER: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

'Death in Paradise: Archaeology and the Transatlantic Slave Trade' by Andrew Pearson, FSA

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lecture online.

When it was discovered in 1502, the tiny, remote, island of St Helena was described as nothing less than an 'earthly paradise'. In the centuries that followed it became a vital way-station between Europe and the East Indies, where sailors recuperated and their ships were replenished. Between 1840 and 1872, however, the island took on a new role as a reception 'depot' for Africans rescued from illegal slave ships by Royal Navy patrols. But, whilst St Helena had long been the saving of European mariners, the same did not hold true for the freed slaves, who died in their thousands in a bleak camp in Rupert's Valley. A recent archaeological project has investigated the 'liberated African' graveyards that grew up near the depot, now lost amidst a landscape of semi-desert scrub. This lecture describes the findings of the project, which provides a unique insight into the cruelties of the Middle Passage, and into the lives and deaths of its victims.

07 NOVEMBER: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

'Cistercian Patronage in Late Medieval England: A Re-evaluation' by Michael Carter

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lecture online.

The late Middle Ages is usually interpreted as a period of decline for the Cistercians. In the early centuries of the Order's existence, their art and architecture had a characteristic austerity. This was enforced by detailed legislation and reflected the desire of the Order to return to what they saw as a pure interpretation of the Rule of St Benedict. However, from the earliest days evolution is apparent in the Cistercians' attitude towards their art and architecture, and by c.1300 the full panoply of religious art could be encountered in a Cistercian context. The Order's art and architecture had, according to the traditional narrative, ceased to be distinctive. Moreover, scholars have seen this as evidence of the Order's decline and spiritual malaise.

There was considerable rebuilding at a number of northern Cistercian abbeys at the end of the Middle Ages. In my talk I intend to show that Cistercian communities, personified by their father abbots, were the foremost patrons of this work. The financial arrangements that made such expenditure on art and architecture possible will be discussed, as will the motives and meanings of patronage and the attitudes of late medieval Cistercians towards such patronage of art and architecture. The talk will involve a reinterpretation of some well-known Cistercians buildings and artefacts, which rather than showing decline demonstrate the vibrancy of the Order in the two centuries before the Dissolution of the monasteries.

08 NOVEMBER: RESEARCH SEMINAR

'Re-Dating Early England: Archaeological Chronologies for the Fifth to Eight Centuries CE' organised by Fellow Christopher Scull, with Fellows Catherine Hills, John Hines and Sam Lucy.

View the seminar programme page for full details.

Please note that this conference is now fully booked. Thank you!

14 NOVEMBER: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

'The Celtic Moon-Based Culture and the Burial Mound of Magdalenenberg' by Allard Mees, FSA

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lecture online.

A huge early-Celtic calendar structure has been identified at the royal tomb of Magdalenenberg, established 616 BC near Villingen-Schwenningen in the German Black Forest. The order of the burials around the central royal tomb fits exactly with the sky constellations of the Northern hemisphere which can be seen between Midwinter and Midsummer. The builders erected huge rows of wooden posts, which were positioned on the burial mound. The rows were focused towards the most important events at the horizon, the lunar standstills, which occur every 18,6 years. Several more burial mounds of the Celtic Hallstatt period show exactly the same orientation. Caesar remarked upon the moon-based calendar of the Celtic culture in his commentaries on his Gallic wars. Ptolemy also wrote about the cultural meaning associated with the 'lunar standstills'. These early Celtic burial mounds shed new light on the moon-based Celtic culture, which after the conquest of Gaul, was replaced by the modern sun-based calendar introduced by the Romans.

21 NOVEMBER: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

'African Ivories and 18th-Century English Antiquities' by William Hart, FSA

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lecture online.

Among the earliest artefacts to be brought back to Europe from sub-Saharan Africa were a group of ivory sculptures carved for the early Portuguese mariners by carvers in Sierra Leone, Nigeria and the Congo in the late 15th and 16th centuries. These Afro-Portuguese ivories—elaborately sculpted hunting horns, saltcellars, pixes, spoons and forks—were objects of prestige that circulated widely among Europe’s royal and princely families and appeared from an early date in contemporary inventories of their treasuries and wunderkammern. Over the years, however, the fate of these ivories became veiled in obscurity. Of the 200+ ivories identified today, comparatively few have a provenance that can be traced back beyond their presence in the records of museums and private collections in the 19th century. This paper looks at an earlier period, in the letters and minute books of 18th-century English antiquarians, for glimpses they afford of African ivories; and shows that the former are an invaluable, if hitherto unexploited, source for tracing the history of two Afro-Portuguese ivories in particular: the so-called ‘Drumond Castle Oliphant’ and a saltcellar with Christian motifs now in the British Museum. [Antiquarians referred to: Richard Rawlinson, Thomas Hearne, Sir Hans Sloane, George Vertue, Andrew Ducarel, Richard Bateman, Thomas Allan.]

28 NOVEMBER: SPECIAL PRESENTATION AT 3.45 PM

'Presentation of the Statutory Report and Accounts, 2012-’13' by the Treasurer, General Secretary and Finance Manager, with the Finance Committee in attendance to answer questions.

View the presentation online (from the About Us > Financial Statements page)

28 NOVEMBER: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

'Torksey, Lincs: the Viking Winter Camp and Saxon Town' by Julian Richards, FSA, and Dawn Hadley

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lecture online.

In the winter of 872-3 AD a Viking army made camp at Torksey in Lincolnshire, on the banks of the River Trent. The location of the camp has now been identified from the recovery, by metal detector users, of large quantities of war booty, including silver and gold, as well as copper alloy scrap metal. Torksey went on to become a Late Saxon town and the army is also thought to have introduced foreign potters to England, leading to the establishment of the Torksey ware kilns. With the support of the Society of Antiquaries and other bodies, Dawn Hadley and Julian Richards are now leading a new project to investigate the winter camp and its relationship to the Saxon town and pottery industry, and will report on the latest findings.

03 DECEMBER: PUBLIC LECTURE
'Spitfires and Pagodas: Conflict Archaeology in Burma' by Martin Brown, FSA

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lecture online.

Public Lectures begin at 1.00. They are free and open to the public, but space is limited and advanced registration is recommended. Please call 020 7479 7080 or email admin@sal.org.uk.

05 DECEMBER: ORDINARY MEETING OF FELLOWS

'The Malleability of Portraiture in Post-Reformation England: the Kaye Panels of Woodsome, Yorkshire', by Robert Tittler, FSA

In 1567 the Yorkshire squire John Kaye commissioned four complex tableaux painted on both sides of two panels. Two of them are essentially portraits, one of John and one of his wife Dorothy. A third offers a family genealogy in the form of a Tree of Jesse. The last offers 66 coats of arms of those friends and family with whom the Kayes claimed affinity. The panels also hold inscribed poems, moral apothegms born on scrolls by small human figures floating on the picture plane, sundry heraldic devices, and various other visual elements. This paper suggests that the emergence of secular panel portraiture offered the unsophisticated, but socially aspiring 'backwoodsmen' of post-Reformation England a 'malleable moment' in which to experiment with the form and content of portraiture as a form of self-expression. The Kaye panels, like some others of their time, employed a number of visual elements in transition:  some soon to disappear; others to become common portrait tropes; still others to find their place in other visual media. By c.1600 the conventions of polite, continentally-derived portraiture swept over even such remote areas as Woodsome, Yorkshire, bringing this malleable moment to a close.

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lecture online.

06 DECEMBER: STUDY DAY

'Antiquity in a World of Change: Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Birth of Sir Thomas Smith' organised by Fellow Richard Simpson.

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the proceedings online.

12 DECEMBER: CHRISTMAS MISCELLANY AND MULLED WINE RECEPTION

An evening focused on Stonehenge. We heard first from artist Mark Anstee and documentarist Gabi Cowburn about their year-round observational tour of the stones. Then we heard from English Heritage's Senior Properties Historian Susan Greaney about the planning and research for the new Stonehenge visitor centre (where several of the Society's prints are on display). 

Visit the Lecture Archive to watch the lectures online.

2014 Public Lecture Series

Krish Seetah Research

In September 2012, the Society launched a new Public Lecture Series. Forthcoming lectures are listed in the calendar below. All are held at the Society of Antiquaries and begin at 1.00 pm.

Society Lectures Online

John Maddison Lecture

In 2012, the Society started recording and archiving lectures given during Ordinary Meetings of Fellows, the new Public Lecture Series, and various seminars. Videos are online for everyone to watch. Visit the Lecture Archive today.

Welcome to New Fellows



Balloting Results: On 20 March 2014, we elected 10 new Fellows.

See our News Archive, for the names and biographies of Fellows recently elected. The next ballot will be held in the autumn, and details will be posted later this summer.

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