Salon Archive

Issue: 248

New Year Honours 2011

Salon 247’s list of Fellows featuring in the New Year’s Honours List for 2011 omitted Stephen Dunmore, created an OBE for services to the public and voluntary sectors. Formerly Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund, Stephen is a member of our Society’s Finance Committee and he is chair of the BBC’s independent Charity Appeals Advisory Committee, whose members advise the BBC on policy relating to charity appeals and fundraising projects.

Salon 247 also named Jean Dagnall as being amongst those created an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List ‘for services to the Clevedon and District Archaeological Society’. An anonymous well-wisher has written to Salon to say that ‘this brief citation reveals little about Jean’s services to the Clevedon Society, which she joined in the late 1960s, eventually to become Chairman and then to serve as Secretary from 1976 until 2010, when she was made President. She has been active on the CBA’s South-West Committee for thirty years, as Chairman and now as a trustee. She was a member of the national CBA Council, and was elected as one of the CBA’s first Honorary Life Members. Finally, she served on the Council of the Somerset Archaeological Society for ten years. Friends of Jean say that if you mention in archaeological circles that you come from Clevedon, it is very likely that the response will be “Oh yes, Jean Dagnall”, such is her renown.’

ciety in Britain c 600—800 (2006)

Forthcoming meetings

27 January 2011: ‘Ruins and revelry: the Society of Dilettanti’, by Charles Sebag-Montefiore FSA

The Society of Dilettanti was founded in 1732 by a group of young men who had visited Italy. Although perhaps originally seen only as a convivial dining society, its members soon assumed a responsibility for promoting an interest in the Arts and were responsible for some outstanding architectural publications in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Society continues to flourish 278 years later! The Dilettanti, whose membership is limited to sixty, owns a superb collection of portraits by such artist members as Knapton, Reynolds, West, Lawrence, Archer Shee, Sargent and John Ward. The Society dines five times a year and also operates a charitable trust.

3 February 2011: ‘Roman mosaics: the good, the bad and the ugly’, by David Neal FSA, and ‘The history of recording Romano-British mosaics’, by Stephen Cosh FSA; papers to mark the launch of Roman Mosaics of Britain. Volume IV: Western Britain.

David Neal’s paper will describe a range of Romano-British mosaics of varying quality and will assess what they tell us about the attitudes of the villa owners who commissioned them. A number of mosaics are without parallel and the inspiration for these will be discussed. Inferior repairs will be examined. The paper by Stephen Cosh will consider the evolving methods of illustrating Romano-British mosaics and the artists involved, from Aubrey and Stukeley, via Vertue and Lysons through to the present day. Particular emphasis will be laid on the long association which the Society of Antiquaries has had with recording mosaics, culminating in the publication of this final volume of the Romano-British mosaic corpus.

10 February 2011: ‘Growing pains: making and remaking the American Museum in Britain’, by Richard Wendorf FSA

17 February 2011: ‘A villa urbana at Wroxeter: a Roman construct for modern times’, by Dai Morgan Evans FSA

Getting to know the Society: introductory tours of Burlington House

During 2011 we will again be running our popular tours of Burlington House for recently elected Fellows. Each tour will include a welcome by the General Secretary, with an overview of the Society, and its current activities; an introduction by the Head of Library and Collections to the history of the Society’s library and museum collections, followed by a tour of the library; a tour of the Society’s pictures and museum collection given by the Collections Manager; and a display of items from the Library organised and introduced by the Assistant Librarian.

Tours will take place on 10 February, 14 April and 23 June 2011, starting at 11am and lasting about 90 minutes, followed by an optional light sandwich lunch, for which a charge of £5 is made. Numbers are limited to 25 per tour. To book a place please contact the Society’s Executive Assistant.

Underwater Cultural Heritage Seminar, 12 November 2010

As a result of the Underwater Cultural Heritage Seminar that the Society hosted on 12 November 2010, The Times published an article on 12 December 2010, written by our Fellow Robert Yorke, Chairman of the Joint Nautical Archaeology Policy Committee (JNAPC), making the case for the UK Government to ratify the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage 2001.

This warned that the lack of protection for the thousands of historic wrecks around our shores meant that there was no legal means by which the Government could prevent wrecks being pillaged and our cultural heritage being auctioned off around the world. It welcomed the fact that the UK Government had at least signed up to the Convention’s annex, setting out the correct archaeological procedures for managing or excavating wrecks, and urged the UK to join Spain, Portugal, Italy and France, who are among the thirty-five nations that will have signed up to the Convention by the end of 2011.

The article concluded by saying that the Society’s conference gave JNAPC the backing of the national heritage agencies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the UK National Commission for UNESCO to study all aspects of the Convention and to identify the potential costs and benefits to the UK of ratification, in the hope that, once this is completed, it can be used to persuade the Government to change its position.

Georgian Faces: Portrait of a County

This new exhibition at Dorset County Museum (to 30 April 2011) gathers together some sixty portraits of people who helped to shape the history and character of Dorset in the eighteenth century. Our Fellow Gwen Yarker, who curated the exhibition, says that the museum’s purchase of three portraits of members of the Rackett family, by George Romney, provided the stimulus when research into the Reverend Thomas Rackett, rector of Spetisbury, Dorset, for sixty years, revealed the importance of many of his associates to the county during the eighteenth century. A Fellow of our Society, Rackett had a wide circle of contacts in London and the south west, many of whom were also Fellows of this Society and / or of the Royal Society and the Linnean Society of London.

Many of their portraits feature in the exhibition, together with those of the nobility, landowners, politicians, merchants, lawyers, physicians, admirals, colonels, clergymen, artists and architects who contributed to life in eighteenth-century Dorset at a time of growing interest in the county’s antiquities, natural history and geology. Some of the sitters (most notably the antiquary and Fellow Sir Peter Thompson) were also linked by the contributions they made to the Reverend John Hutchins’s major work, the History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset.

Some of the portraits come from museum collections in Dorset and national institutions, such as the National Portrait Gallery and the National Trust, but the largest number are from private collections not normally seen, and include several key discoveries, such as Hogarth’s portrait of the weather-beaten boatman, Thomas Coombs (said to have been 108 years of age at the time his portrait was painted), or Thomas Fry’s painting of the Poole-based merchant, Sir Peter Thompson, engaged in trading wine and salt cod between England and Portugal.

A full programme of lectures accompanies the exhibition, including a seminar day at the museum on 3 February 2011, to be run by the National Portrait Gallery as part of its ‘Understanding British Portraiture’ subject specialist network. For further details see the ‘Exhibitions’ and ‘Events’ pages of the Dorset County Museum website. Supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the London Library, Gwen Yarker’s fully illustrated catalogue, Georgian Faces: Portrait of a County (ISBN: 9780900341052; Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society,2010), accompanies the exhibition and is available from the Dorset County Museum shop or online booksellers.

The exhibition also throws the spotlight on the talents of local artist Thomas Beach (1738—1806), who was born at Milton Abbas, Dorset, and trained with Sir Joshua Reynolds. He is represented in the exhibition by portraits of several officers of the Dorsetshire Volunteer Rangers, a volunteer defence force set up in 1794 at a time when the fear of invasion by the French was very real, and by the fine painting (above) of Rebecca Steward (1766—1859).

Gothic Ivories website

The Gothic Ivories project, led by the Courtauld Institute, went public in December 2010 with the launch of its new website, bringing together some 2,000 images and information about some 750 Gothic ivories now scattered in collections around the world. The launch marks the first step in the creation of a database that will be augmented on a regular basis to build a comprehensive catalogue of the 4,000 or so known Gothic ivories, with information on iconography, provenance, origin, post-medieval repairs and replacements, modern forgeries and many other relevant aspects.

Continuing the history education debate

Recent issues of Salon have reported on aspects of the debate that began last year about the teaching of history, and the desire of the Education Secretary to see students emerge from their school years with a picture of the broad sweep of history, rather than a set of ‘skills’ or a detailed knowledge of one or two periods.

Several Fellows have contributed to the debate, not least Clive Gamble whose letter to the Guardian, on the appointment of Simon Schama as ‘History Tsar’ and adviser to the Government on the content of a new history syllabus, said: ‘While mildly encouraged that Michael Gove is looking again at the teaching of British history, I worry that the Tories' new champion will only gloss familiar narratives rather than provide new ones that deal with all our history. Little or no space is found in Schama’s A History of Britain and the national curriculum for deep history — that is, anything before 1066. Yet the British Museum and the BBC have skilfully combined in A History of the World in 100 Objects to show how this can be done in a novel way that engages and informs the themes of history from our entire past. The edge that objects possess can cut through the soap-history of royal marriages and myths surrounding national identity to form a narrative for all.’

Since Simon Schama’s appointment, various Fellows and bodies involved in history teaching (including the History Association) have waited in vain to be consulted. Some Fellows are now wondering whether it is not time to seize the initiative and with this in mind Fellow John Collis has written to Salon to suggest that it is time that ‘the teaching of history is taken away from politicians, ministry bureaucrats, examining bodies and celebrity historians (who no longer work in Britain), and put into the hands of teachers and academics, the latter to include also all those at present excluded: archaeologists, classicists, medieval historians, world historians, art historians, environmentalists and scientists.’

John continues: ‘Firstly we need to decide what history teaching is for. The politicians’ idea seems to be to turn all our children into informed British citizens, but this is preaching, not teaching and will certainly fail given the diverse origins of our school children. Rather than training “Little Britons”, we should be providing an education for “citizens of the world”, a history for the twenty-first century, not the nineteenth. The children in our schools come from all over the world, and what happened in recent times in Britain will not necessarily be of relevance to them. Equally many of our children will, in adult life, travel and work across the world, and will need a history for the global society they will be living in (our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance). We also need an approach that opens up the whole of the two million of years of human history, addressing the topics of evolution, environmental and climatic change and the way this has affected human societies, the beginnings of culture, religious belief and art in the Palaeolithic, the origins of agriculture, the development of technology, trade and urbanisation and the rise and fall of civilisations. The success of A History of the World in 100 Objects has demonstrated how inspiring this can be.

‘At present, with the Council for British Archaeology, I am trying to put together a network of teachers, historians, archaeologists and others who have similar aspirations for the teaching of history (hopefully supported by some television celebrities and politicians who have a university training in archaeology and anthropology as well as history). The aim will be to develop an alternative curriculum which we hope will be adopted by schools and examining bodies, and perhaps be accepted back as part of the core curriculum. It will be a bottom up “Big Society” approach to combat the top-down “Big Government” approach of Cameron and Gove. I hope it will be a history for everyone.’

V&A Purchase Grant Fund’s future debated in the House of Lords

As reported in the last issue of Salon, our Fellow Lord Howarth of Newport (who served as Arts Minister from 1998 to 2001) tabled a starred Parliamentary Question in the House of Lords on 13 January 2011, asking ‘Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the benefit to the nation of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Purchase Grant Fund’. Ahead of the debate, Lord Howarth’s article on museum funding was published on the epolitix website, giving some of the thinking behind the question.

In this he explains how the fund works, and how critically important it is in supporting non-national museums and galleries, record offices and specialist libraries in England and Wales with their acquisitions, especially ‘in the context of the funding settlement for local government and the further drastic weakening of the capacity of local authorities to support cultural institutions’. Lord Howarth also promised to ‘press the Government to challenge philanthropic donors to match the Government’s own funding for this purpose’, adding that ‘the Government is seeking to promote a broader sharing of responsibility for the funding of cultural activity, and here is an opportunity to advance that agenda brilliantly by restoring, through partnership between the Government and other benefactors, the value of the Purchase Grant Fund to at least the £1.6m which it was in the 1980s’.

At the start of the actual debate (see Hansard), Baroness Rawlings announced that ‘Arts Council England (ACE) will continue the funding of the V&A purchase grant fund, once it assumes responsibility for the museums and library functions of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council’. She did not confirm whether the size of the fund would be maintained, let alone increased, nor was she able to say that the Secretary of State would revert to the former approach whereby the Department determined the size of the fund and channelled the funding directly to the V&A. Instead she made it clear that ACE will determine how much will be in the Fund ‘so that the Arts Council can balance the interests of all the grants and make strategic funding decisions’. She asserted that ‘this will save money and be more efficient’, and that ACE ‘would be consulting those concerned before reaching a conclusion about the level of funding that will be made available to this grant for the next spending period’.

Nothing was said about Wales, where ACE has no competence, and uncertainty still surrounds the transfer of the MLA’s functions in respect of archives. On this matter, Baroness Rawlings said that ‘the department [DCMS] is still in negotiations about which organisations will take responsibility … for archives’, and that ‘an announcement will be made shortly’. She did, however, say that ACE ‘would be consulting as to whether archives should continue to be eligible for the V&A purchase grant’, adding ‘it is possible that archives will continue to be eligible’.

Baroness Rawlings did not rise to Lord Howarth’s suggestion that the Secretary of State should challenge philanthropists to double the size of the Fund. Instead, she and other participants in the debate talked in general terms about the importance of philanthropic giving to the Government’s culture strategy. She did, however, reveal that fiscal incentives (such as donations in lieu of tax) were being discussed with the Treasury and expressed the hope that ‘a decision that is favourable for the arts and museums’ would be forthcoming ‘very soon’.

Feedback

First, here are some corrections to errors that crept in to the last two issues of Salon. Fellow Cecil Humphery-Smith points out that ‘your notice of the award of the 2010 Prix Dr Walburga von Habsburg Douglas to my good friend Antti Matikkala [Salon 246] has, unfortunately, altered his gender: for “her” book, read “his” book’.

Salon 46 was also guilty of misspelling Zurbaran (the incorrect Zurburan appeared in the picture caption), on which subject Fellow Stephen Massil writes to point out that Salon’s account of the proposed sale of the Durham portraits of Jacob and his sons, the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel, rather foreshortened the series of events that brought the pictures to the Bishop’s Palace.

‘It is doubtful’, Stephen writes, ‘whether these pictures were ever sent by sea to South America (although other series of the same subject by Zurbaran are in Mexico and Peru). Instead, the collection appears to have been acquired by Sir William Chapman, either before or during the period he was in disrepute over the South Sea Bubble; when put up for sale (perhaps in 1726) the pictures were acquired by James Mendes of Eagle House, Mitcham, who died in 1749, after which the pictures were sold by his widow at auction in 1756, from where Bishop Trevor takes over.

‘The Mendes connection adds poignancy to the Anglo-Jewish connection that the collection can be said to commemorate, for Mendes was a son of Fernando Mendes (d 1722), the Royal physician who attended Charles II at his death. There is a suggestion that Zurbaran painted the pictures for a “New Christian” patron in the 1640s: if this were to have been the case, it is my suggestion that such a patron might have been Fernando Mendes’s father.’ Stephen adds that Gabriele Finaldi wrote extensively about the paintings in Apollo magazine when the pictures were displayed in the National Gallery (and subsequently in the Prado) in 1994.

And for the record, Norman Hammond says that the article in which our newly elected Fellow, David King, identified the sitter in Holbein’s portrait of A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling (National Gallery) was also published in Apollo (it was the cover story on 1 May 2004), and not in the Burlington Magazine, as stated in Salon 246.

Salon’s errors, irritating as they are, are as nothing compared to one that our Fellow Robin Derricourt spotted recently. It was conveyed by means of an erratum to a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, 37(1), 107—15 (doi:10.1016/j.jas.2009.09.020), entitled ‘Investigation of chemical changes in bone material from South African fossil hominid deposits’, by A Kuczumow et al.

The abstract for this paper stated: ‘The bone fragments of the Australopithecus Africanus from the dolomitic cave in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa have been studied by the use of several spectral techniques. The aim was to establish their degree of preservation and possibilities of inferring the life conditions from them.’

The erratum stated: ‘The fossil fragments analysed in this study were bovid remains, not specimens of Australopithecus africanus. The fossil fragments do not come from “the cave in the Cradle of Humankind” as stated in the paper but from two sites, namely Gladysvale and Coopers, located in this area. The fossils are not 2.2 Ma in age, but come from deposits that range from the Iron Age to 1.5 Ma.’

How such errors could have been introduced it is hard to imagine, but it is not meet to gloat: after all, there but for the grace of God go I. Perhaps more understandable is the error that Salon’s editor copied from the Daily Telegraph’s obituary for our late Fellow Robert James Potter OBE, saying that ‘Robert Potter lived to see St Francis, Old Sarum, one of the first churches that he ever designed, designated as a Grade II listed building’. Fellow Peter Saunders points out that ‘while Potter lived to a ripe old age (101), he would have had to have been far older to have built a church at Old Sarum, given the latter’s ancient monument status. This fine church (which used to be my local church in the 1970s and still thrives today) was of course built in New Sarum, known to most as Salisbury.’

Salon’s short list of potential Fellows who followed alternative careers prompted two further offerings. Fellow Dai Morgan Evans noted that Mark Pryce, Managing Director of Waitrose, said in an interview with the London Evening Standard’s City Editor (15 December, p 39) that he took up a job as a graduate trainee in the John Lewis Group having graduated in archaeology from Lancaster in 1982. And Fellow Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology, spotted Daniel Radcliffe, the actor, admitting in the November 2010 issue of Hello magazine (we Fellows have eclectic reading habits) that ‘I’m fascinated by archaeology’. Unfortunately he then qualified this statement by adding ‘People think when you’re famous you're going to be cool. I’m not.’

Claire Worland, the National Trust’s Learning and Interpretation Officer at Sutton Hoo, has written to thank Salon for helping to track down the photographers whose albums of photographs of the 1939 excavations are the subject of the current exhibition at the Sutton Hoo Visitor Centre. As a result of featuring these photographs in Salon and appealing for help, Fellow Andrew Pike first of all identified one of the photographers as Barbara Wagstaff, a teacher at Putney High School who was mentioned in his mother’s history of the school (The Oak Tree); searching through his mother’s papers, he then discovered the programme of a pageant put on by Putney High School in 1927, with the names of the mistresses involved with the production listed, including that of the second photographer, Mercie Lack. Andrew adds: ‘I do remember my mother saying (as was confirmed by one of my fellow FSAs) that Misses Wagstaff and Lack were on holiday in Suffolk and more or less stumbled across the excavations and, with their interest in photography, got roped in as semi-official photographers.’

Our Fellow Christopher Young also had his memory jogged by the piece on Chedworth villa in Salon 246, and the news that Fellow Simon Esmond-Cleary will write up the post-discovery history of Chedworth as part of his work there; it reminded Christopher that the first museum display at Chedworth was prepared by the late Joan Clarke (also a Fellow) in the early 1950s as part of the work she did when she was an Assistant Keeper at the Ashmolean.

In response to the suggestion (Salon 246) by Fellow Michael Hill that the National Trust could reaffirm its commitment to conservation by reviving The National Trust Yearbook (later titled National Trust Studies), our Fellow Sarah Staniforth says that ‘the Arts, Buildings & Collections Bulletin, or ABC Bulletin [which Salon has commended to Fellows on several occasions: see the National Trust’s website] was our internal Research and Specialist Publishing Group’s response to a debate that we had a few years ago about whether we should republish National Trust Studies

Fellow David Adshead, National Trust Head Curator, adds to this by summarising the history of these various publications. ‘Three editions of The National Trust Year Book: Studies in Art History and Nature Conservation relating to Properties in the Care of the National Trust were published by Europa Publications Ltd for the years 1975—6, 1976—7 and 1977—8. Articles on coastal geomorphology and the swallow-tail butterfly at Wicken Fen, for example, served to highlight the extraordinary breadth of the Trust’s holdings and responsibilities, but they made strange bedfellows with essays on the fine and decorative arts, so the Year Book was replaced with National Trust Studies and three further volumes, for 1979, 1980 and 1981, were published, for Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications by Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd. The art and architectural focus of these volumes was tightened at the expense of nature conservation and archaeology.

‘These volumes were splendid and attracted contributions from a number of distinguished art and architectural historians, but sales were very limited and (being hardbound) the annual proved prohibitively expensive to produce. In 1993 an alternative vehicle for publishing the fruits of research into the National Trust’s properties was found in a collaboration with Apollo magazine. The new publication was titled The National Trust Historic Houses and Collections Annual. From that first edition in 1993 until the present time there has been annual issue of the magazine, usually published in April, given over to National Trust subject matter.

‘Our late Fellow, Gervase Jackson-Stops, who had edited The National Trust Year Book and National Trust Studies, continued as the NT staff editor of this publication until his death in July 1995, the same year that the National Trust celebrated its centenary, for which, before he died, he produced a conspectus, The National Trust 1895—1995: 100 Great Treasures, with Fellow Jonathan Marsden’s help. Fellows Alastair Laing and Tim Knox then edited the 1996 edition; thereafter, from 1997 to 2002, the annual was edited by Tim Knox. In 2003 David Adshead took over as the NT’s staff editor and has continued in that role to the present. Along the way we have benefited enormously from the help of Apollo’s professional editors and their staff, in turn: Fellow Robin Simon, David Ekserdjian, Fellow Michael Hall and, most recently, Oscar Humphries.

‘In 2007 the annual was for the first time produced as a supplement. 2010 saw two developments: firstly, the mailing was extended from some 7,000 Apollo subscribers to include a further 28,000 readers of The Spectator, enabling some 35,000 copies to be printed and hugely increasing its reach; and secondly a digital version was published, which can be read on the Exact Editions website. In 2011 the same arrangement will be followed, though a downloadable iPad version will also be available and the annual will be published in June rather than April.

‘More than 200 articles have been published so far through the Year Book, NT Studies and the Houses & Collections Annual, and it is intended to digitise these in 2011. They are all listed on the first edition of the NT’s Electronic Bibliography) and links to the digital versions, hosted by Exact Editions, will be added to a future edition.

‘We have tried to sell the National Trust Historic Houses and Collections Annual via the National Trust’s shops, but it has always been an uphill struggle. Fellows can, however, buy it from the NT’s online bookshop.

Lambert Barnard’s early Tudor paintings in Chichester Cathedral

Following recommendations by the Chichester Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee, the Dean and Chapter have engaged the Hamilton Kerr Institute to carry out urgent in situ conservation work to their rare and fragile early Tudor panel-paintings executed by Lambert Barnard for Bishop Robert Sherburne, c 1534. The scheme — depicting The Founding of the See of Selsey under St Wilfrid and its Continuation in Chichester under Bishop Robert Sherburne — is huge in scale. It includes an equally large Cathalogus — a list of successive Bishops of Selsey and Chichester — and is supported by a series of roundels portraying the kings of England from William I.

The scheme was the subject of a timely and illuminating article by Jonathan Woolfson and Deborah Lush in the Antiquaries Journal for 2007 (‘Lambert Barnard in Chichester Cathedral: ecclesiastical politics and the Tudor royal image’) and was described by the late Edward Croft-Murray, in 1957, as ‘the most complete surviving record we have of artistic activity in the provinces during this fascinating time of transition’.

Left: The scheme in its entirety, painted on large oak boards measuring 8 by 12 feet. The scene on the left shows Caedwalla, king of the West Saxons, granting land in Selsey, the original site of the diocese, to St Wilfrid for his monastery c AD 685; on the right, Henry VIII confirms Caedwalla’s grant to Bishop Sherburne.

Karen Coke, art historian and a member of the Lambert Barnard Panels Steering Group, a sub-committee of the Chichester Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee, describes the panels as ‘unique in subject: interwoven into their main theme is a depiction of the history of the early Christian Church in Sussex and references to the historical authority of the Church of Rome added to which, in an early example of visual rhetorical comment, the scheme both celebrates the continuation of the Tudor dynasty whilst revealing the disruption, personal and public, of the uncertain years immediately prior to the Reformation. Displaying a highly sophisticated ideology these paintings also allow a valuable glimpse into the understanding of the use and interpretation of history in the early years of Henry VIII and provide an important visual document of the nature of painting in a regional court at the time.’

After nearly five hundred years, the painted panels themselves are in need of urgent attention. The paint is flaking and suffering increasingly large areas of loss — a problem compounded by well-meaning but heavy-handed areas of over-painting dating from the eighteenth century. In 2011 the Hamilton Kerr Institute aims to carry out tests, clean and stabilise the paintings and prevent further damage.

An appeal has been launched to raise funds for the work to the tune of £250,000, with the Prince of Wales as Patron. In support of this project, three free lectures on ‘Lambert Barnard and his world’ will be given in Chichester Cathedral (on 18 January 2011: ‘Chichester at the time of the Reformation’, by Dr Andrew Foster, University of Kent; on 14 February: ‘The Chichester Lambert Barnard paintings’, by Rupert Featherstone, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; and 14 March: ‘Henry VIII and the English Church’, by Dr Steven Gunn, Merton College, Oxford. Details can be found in the downloadable Events leaflet, and regular updates on the project can be seen on the cathedral’s website.

News of Fellows

When our late Fellow John Hurst, the pioneering medieval archaeologist, died in 2003, the Society for Medieval Archaeology, of which he was a founder, instituted the John Hurst Prize for the undergraduate dissertation that makes the most original contribution to medieval archaeology (from AD 400 to 1500). The 2010 prize has been awarded to Chester University archaeology student Ruth Nugent, for her research on ‘Feathered funerals: birds in early Anglo-Saxon burial rites’. Ruth, who was supervised by our Fellow Professor Howard Williams, is now continuing to research early Anglo-Saxon burials at postgraduate level at Chester.

Howard himself gives his inaugural lecture as Professor of Archaeology at 7pm on 3 February 2011 in the Beswick Lecture Theatre, University of Chester, and he extends an invitation to all Fellows to attend. His intriguing title is ‘Asses to ashes and dust to rust: archaeology and death in the 21st century’. There is tea and coffee available before and wine afterwards. Tickets are available free of charge on request by emailing Lynda Baguley.

Chester might have been an appropriate university to honour our Fellow Alan Garner, the acclaimed Cheshire author, but Alan will in fact be travelling south, to the University of Warwick, on Thursday 20 January 2011, where he will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at the university’s winter degree ceremony. The award honours Alan’s achievements as an author whose books are firmly established as classics of English literature. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of his first published novel, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, which, like many of Alan’s subsequent works, draws on the history, archaeology, mythology, language and geography of Alderley Edge, where he lives and grew up. Alan is also a founder of the Blackden Trust educational charity, which runs a range of courses for adults and young people introducing them to archaeological and historical research methods based on the landscape and history of Blackden, in Cheshire.

Congratulations are also due to our Fellow Anthony Cutler, Evan Pugh Professor of Art History at Pennsylvania State University, who has been elected Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford for the academic year 2011—12. In this, he joins a distinguished list of Fellows (see Wikipedia for a list). As Slade Professor, Dr Cutler will be presenting eight lectures and four seminars during Hilary Term (January to March) 2012. Dr Cutler is a world authority on late antique, early Christian and Byzantine art and the links between Byzantium and the Islamic world.

From the University of Reading comes the news that our Fellow Roger Matthews has been appointed Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology. Professor Matthews was previously at the UCL Institute of Archaeology and, prior to that, successively Director of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq and Director of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara. He is currently Chairman of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq. Roger’s appointment reflects the university’s commitment to the archaeology of the Near East, building on the continuing work of Dr Wendy Matthews (joint leader with Roger of the Central Zagros Archaeological Project in Iran, the latest AHRC-funded phase of which, on ‘Sedentism and resource management in the Neolithic of Western Iran’, has just begun) and our Fellow Professor Steven Mithen (whose work at Wadi Faynan in Jordan and on the Water Life and Civilisation Project is well known).

Gary Brown, founder and Managing Director of Pre-Construct Archaeology (PCA), who has just been elected a Fellow, writes to say that PCA has opened a new regional office in Cambridge, in addition to the principal offices in London and Durham. The new office is run by Mark Hinman, formerly a senior project manager with the Cambridge County Council Archaeology Unit and Oxford Archaeology East. PCA has also just appointed our Fellow John Maloney as Marketing Manager.

Geoff Egan memorial event

Obituaries for our late Fellow Geoff Egan will appear shortly in The Times and the Guardian, and Salon will provide links in due course. Geoff’s funeral took place on 14 January 2011; anyone who wishes to make a donation in Geoff’s memory may do so to: The Company of Arts Scholars Charitable Trust, c/o The Clerk, 28 Aldebert Terrace, London SW8 1BJ.

The Portable Antiquities team at the British Museum is organising a memorial event for Geoff from 2pm to 5.30pm on 24 March 2011, in the BP Theatre at the British Museum. All are welcome, and further details will be published in Salon once they are available.

Conferences for Claude Blair, 12 and 18 February 2011

The Wallace Collection has announced that it will be holding a day conference to celebrate the life and work of our late Fellow Claude Blair, on 19 February 2011. The day’s talks will reflect Claude’s interests in arms and armour and will be given by some of Claude’s close colleagues, as well as others for whom his work was an inspiration. Speakers will include Fellows John Blair, Marian Campbell, Tony North and Ian Eaves, and Donald LaRocca, Ralph Moffat and Tobias Capwell. The proceeds of the conference fee of £25 will go to the Wallace Collection’s Claude Blair Library Appeal, which has been set up to enable the Wallace Collection to purchase a significant portion of Claude’s personal library of nearly 400 volumes. For further information on the conference and the appeal, contact Tobias Capwell, Curator of Arms and Armour at the Wallace Collection.

The Wallace Collection conference complements the similar tribute to Claude and his achievements previously announced in Salon, to be held at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 12 February 2011 and hosted by the Church Monuments Society, on the themes of Brasses, Effigies, Conservation and Humour. For the full programme see the Church Monuments Society’s website.

Anthony Radcliffe, curator and scholar of sculpture (1933—2011)

Our Fellow Tony (Anthony) Radcliffe, died on 1 January. Tony spent virtually the whole of his career at the V&A, latterly as Keeper of Sculpture (1979—89) before becoming Samuel H Kress Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington in 1993—4. The pre-eminent authority on Renaissance bronzes, he published catalogues of the Frick Collection, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection and the Robert H Smith Collection. The following extracts are taken from an obituary written by our Fellow Paul Williamson, Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

‘Anthony Frank Radcliffe (always Tony to his friends and colleagues) was born in Wivenhoe, Essex, on 23 February 1933, the son of a doctor. He was educated at Oundle School and read English at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, followed by national service in the Artillery Regiment between 1955 and 1957. Italy was already beginning to exert its lifelong pull on him when he went to work at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome in 1958. Further employment in film was hard to find, however, so when he applied for and was offered a job at the Victoria and Albert Museum he thought he should take it up, only intending to stay for a few months.

‘He entered the museum profession on the lowest rung of the curatorial ladder and was allocated to the Department of Circulation, the V&A department charged with preparing and touring exhibitions to the regions. It was not long before Radcliffe’s talents were recognised by the formidable Keeper of the Department of Architecture and Sculpture, John Pope-Hennessy, who arranged for him to assist with the ground-breaking exhibition of Italian Renaissance bronzes held in London (at the V&A), Amsterdam and Florence in 1961.

‘This opportunity was to shape his future career and set him on the path to inheriting Pope-Hennessy’s mantle as the outstanding scholar in the field. Many of the most beautiful and important bronzes ever made passed through his hands at this early stage, so that when he returned to the Circulation Department in 1961 he was already smitten with sculpture and determined to develop his knowledge in that area. He started to write on sculpture and in 1966 published his first book, European Bronze Statuettes, one of the excellent Connoisseur Monographs published by Michael Joseph under the general editorship of Frank Davis.

‘In 1967 Radcliffe was again poached by John Pope-Hennessy, who, on taking up the directorship of the V&A selected him as his Assistant, and he served in this capacity until 1974. This was an arduous post, challenging in the manifold duties he had to discharge and especially onerous because of the extraordinarily high standards demanded by Pope-Hennessy. He also benefited from close involvement with Pope-Hennessy’s academic projects. “The Pope” had catalogued the V&A’s outstanding collection of Italian sculpture in a three-volume work in 1964, but when the authorities of the Frick Collection in New York asked him to do the same with their sculpture collection he recognised that, with his directorial responsibilities, he would only be able to complete the work with considerable assistance, and Radcliffe was drafted in to help. In the event, he played such a major role that he was jointly credited on the title-page of the two volumes when they were published in 1970.

‘In 1974 Radcliffe was promoted to Assistant Keeper in the Department of Architecture and Sculpture. Now responsible, with his colleague Charles Avery, for all post-medieval sculpture in the national collection, he made a number of outstanding acquisitions, including Donatello’s Chellini Roundel. This was stopped from export in 1976 and purchased for the then extremely high price of £175,000, through a high-profile fundraising campaign and the support of the Art Fund. It was ironic that through the work of Radcliffe and other scholars of bronzes the price of these desirable items gradually increased beyond reach for all but the wealthiest individuals and institutions. The unintentional effect of Radcliffe’s scholarship on the market was also seen following the pioneering exhibition of 1978—9 that he and Avery organised with Manfred Leithe-Jasper of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna on Giambologna 1529—1608, Sculptor to the Medici (shown in Edinburgh, London and Vienna), which encouraged a new generation of dealers and collectors to focus on the sublime bronze statuettes of this great and original artist.

‘When the Keepership of the Department became vacant in 1979, Radcliffe was a popular choice to replace John Beckwith, the distinguished medievalist. He found himself faced with many challenging tasks and expended much energy on modernising the stores and other unglamorous but vital activities, but he found time (often eked out in the early hours, before he set off for work, or at weekends) to work on such memorable exhibitions as the Splendours of the Gonzaga (V&A, 1982), The Genius of Venice (Royal Academy of Arts, 1983—4), and Italian Renaissance Sculpture in the Time of Donatello (Detroit and Florence, 1985—6). He was also responsible for reorganising and reopening several major galleries, most notably the two great Cast Courts.

‘At the end of the 1980s, the V&A experienced seismic change in the curatorial ranks, brought about principally by a hostile report from the National Audit Office. This led in 1989 to the enforced departure of all the Keepers, with the exception of Radcliffe, who was invited to fill the new post of Head of Research. Following a restructuring, he stepped aside from this role in 1990 and effectively became Keeper Emeritus until his retirement at the age of sixty in 1993. He was exceedingly well thought of outside the museum and took up a number of short-term visiting posts, becoming Andrew W Mellon Senior Consultative Curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, in 1990, and a Visiting Scholar at the J Paul Getty Museum in 1991.

‘On retirement, further invitations came his way, most notably for the Kress Professorship for the year 1993—4 at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. In 1992 he had published, with Malcolm Baker and Michael Maek-Gérard, a superb catalogue of the Renaissance and later sculpture in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection: this was a spellbinding display from a master at the top of his game and a model of what the best object-based scholarship can deliver. It inspired and was followed by a catalogue of the fine Renaissance bronzes in the Robert H Smith Collection, published in 1994, and together these volumes will stand as monuments to his knowledge and acute understanding of Renaissance sculpture.

‘Honours continued: he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1993, appointed Cavaliere Ufficiale al Merito della Repubblica Italiana in 2003 (joining his medal from the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno of Florence in 1986) and he was delighted to be made Honorary Keeper of Renaissance and Baroque sculpture at the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1996. But his energies began to diminish in the late 1990s and his health was not robust, leading ultimately to lung cancer. In recent years he moved back to London from Berkshire to share a house with his two sons in New Cross. He had married Enid Cawkwell in 1960, from whom he had separated shortly after his retirement and who with his sons survives him. He died on 1 January 1 2011, at the age of seventy seven.’

Events

25 and 26 February 2011, ‘Audiences and resources in a decade of global scarcity’, the Yorkshire Country House Partnership’s Fourth International Seminar at the King’s Manor, University of York. The seminar will focus on the challenge facing historic houses in the next decade in attracting audiences from around the world. The sessions will include: realising the potential for a global audience; resources to support scholarly agendas; the conservation and environmental challenges; country houses in times of war; the historic house and empire; and the challenges facing Scottish and Irish historic houses. Further details from Anna Louise Mason at Castle Howard.

12 March 2011, ‘Astronomy with gears: the Antikythera mechanism and some other precursors of medieval clockwork’, an illustrated presentation by Michael Wright, Honorary Research Associate, Imperial College. Organised by the Society for the History of Medieval Technology and Science, the lecture will take place at 2pm in The Classroom, The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB. More information is available on the society’s website.

17—19 March 2011, Heritage Reinvents Europe. The 12th EAC (Europae Archaeologiae Consilium) Heritage Management Symposium will be held as part of the EAC Annual General Assembly at the Provincial Heritage Centre in Ename, Belgium, recently built by the Government of the Province of East Flanders in the medieval archaeological park on the banks of the River Scheldt.

The symposium will explore several key themes: does cultural heritage bind or separate; does it have the power to add value to the ‘Europe-feeling’; will emphasising the commonalities in national histories speed up the process of European integration; can shared cultural roots contribute to economic union; should cultural heritage serve as an instrument in the promotion of civil understanding of the ‘building of Europe’? Further information can be found on the EAC website.

15 to 17 April 2011, Houses and communities in Wales. Our Fellows David Austin, Richard Suggett and Gerald Morgan will be among the speakers at this British Association for Local History (BALH) annual regional conference, to be held at the National Library of Wales and the Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth. The programme and booking form can be found on the BALH website.

6 to 8 May 2011: Hands across the water: the archaeology of the cross-channel Neolithic, a major international conference organised by the Prehistoric Society and Bournemouth University Archaeology Group in association with the Neolithic Studies Group and the Société Préhistorique Française, to be held at Bournemouth University.

Archaeological work on both sides of the Channel in recent years has started to throw new light on the origins and development of early farming communities in the Channel coastlands (and further afield in Britain and Ireland) during the fifth and fourth millennia BC, and on the issue of cross-Channel contact. Consideration will be given to artefacts, burial monuments, enclosures, lifeways and ceremonial sites on either side of the Channel and on the islands in between. What are the similarities and differences? How do the dates of major components compare? Can we refine our narrative of Neolithicisation in Britain and Ireland with specific reference to the Continental material? What were the processes and social practices that promoted or restricted cross-Channel contacts? And how do recent discoveries impact on available models for explaining and understanding of the Neolithic of the Channel coastlands?

Organised by our Fellows Alison Sheridan and Timothy Darvill, with speakers who are all undertaking important work in this field on both sides of the Channel, the conference will highlight new discoveries and disseminate the results of the very latest research. Further details and online registration can be found on the conference website.

Books by Fellows ...

… will be back with a bumper edition in the next issue, by when Salon’s editor will have had time to follow up and digest the many books that have been sent or commended for mention.

Gifts to the Library, October to December 2010

The Society is very grateful to the donors of the following books, given to the Library in the period from October to December 2010. Full records for all are in the online catalogue, and all are now available in the Library.

 From the joint author, Paul Arthur, FSA, Il Complesso tardo-antico ed alto-medievale dei SS. Cosma e Damiano, detto Le Centoporte, Giurdignano (LE) Scavi 1993—1996 by Paul Arthur and Brunella Bruno (Università del Salento Beni Culturali, 17) (2009)
 From the editor, John Bowman, FSA, A Critical Edition of the Private Diaries of Robert Proctor: The Life of a Librarian at the British Museum (2010)
 From the author, Iain Gordon Brown, FSA, ‘Consigned with Indifference to the Chance of an Auction’: The Lives and Meanings of Sir Walter Scott’s Writing-Cabinet (2010); Rax me that buik: Highlights from the Collections of the National Library of Scotland (2010)
 From the author, Brigitte Corley, FSA, Painting and Patronage in Cologne 1300—1500 (2000); Conrad von Soest: Painter among Merchant Princes (1996)
 From the author, Alexandra Croom, FSA, Roman Clothing and Fashion, revised edition (2010)
 From the author, Timothy Darvill, FSA, Prehistoric Britain, 2nd edition (2010)
 From the co-editor, Timothy Darvill, FSA, The Book of Poole Harbour, edited by Bernard Dyer and Timothy Darvill (2010)
 From the author, Mark Downing, FSA, Military Effigies of England and Wales. Volume 1: Bedfordshire—Derbyshire (2010)
 From the author, Paul Drury, FSA, Audley End (2010)
 From the author, George Eogan, FSA, Megalithic Art in County Meath (2010)
 From the Merchant Taylors’ Company via Stephen Freeth, FSA, A Historical Catalogue of the Pictures, Herse-cloths and Tapestry at Merchant Taylors’ Hall with a List of the Sculptures and Engravings, by Frederick M Fry (1907); A History of the Site of Merchant Taylors’ Hall and Adjoining Properties belonging to the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of Saint John Baptist in the City of London, by Henry Lennox Hopkinson (1913); Supplement to the Historical Catalogue of Pictures, by Frederick M Fry (1928); An Illustrated Catalogue of Silver Plate of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, by Frederick M Fry (1929)
 From the Worshipful Company of Vintners via Stephen Freeth, FSA, The Worshipful Company of Vintners: A Catalogue of Plate, by Sophia Lee (1996)
 From Mark Hall, FSA, Fustat Expedition Final Report. Volume 2: Fustat — C (American Research Center in Egypt Reports, 11) (1989)
 From the co-authors, Richard Hobbs, FSA, and Ralph Jackson, FSA, Roman Britain: Life at the Edge of Empire (2010)
 From the editor, Lynn Hulse, FSA, Royal School of Needlework Handbook of Embroidery (1880) , by Letitia Higgin (2010)
 From Aideen Ireland, FSA, A Time of Change. A Short History of Churt: The Period between 1840 and 1880, by Gillian Devine (2005); If Those Trees Could Speak: The Story of an Ascendancy Family in Ireland, by Frank Tracy (2005); The Dublin and Blessington Steam Tram: ‘A Pictorial and Social History’, by Aidan Cruise (2009)
 From the author, John R Kenyon, FSA, The Medieval Castles of Wales (2010)
 From John Lewis, FSA, Landscape Evolution in the Middle Thames Valley: Heathrow Terminal 5 Excavation. Volume 2 (Framework Archaeology Monograph, 3) (2010)
 From Vincent Megaw, FSA: Blut und Wein: Keltisch-römische Kultpraktiken (Protohistoire Européenne, 10) (2007); Untersuchungen zum früheisenzeitlichen Metallhandwerk im westlichen Hallstatt- und Frühlatènegebiet (Bochumer Forschungen zur ur- und Frühgeschichtlichen Archäologie, 2) (2009)
 From the author, Jennifer Montagu, FSA, Antonio Arrighi: A Silversmith and Bronze Founder in Baroque Rome (2009)
 From the co-author, Cecilia Powell, FSA, Savage Grandeur and Noblest Thoughts: Discovering the Lake District 1750—1820, by Cecilia Powell and Stephen Hebron (2010)
 From Paul Quarrie, FSA, Parish Churches of Wiltshire: A Guide (2010)
 From Derek Renn, FSA, The World of Orderic Vitalis. Norman Monks and Norman Knights, by Marjorie Chibnall (1984; paperback reprint 2001)
 From the co-author, Miles Russell, FSA, UnRoman Britain: Exposing the Great Myth of Britannia, by Miles Russell and Stuart Laycock (2010)
 From the author, J D Sainsbury, FSA, Hertfordshire’s Army Cadets (2010)
 From Matthew Spriggs, FSA: Lapita: Oceanic Ancestors, by Christophe Sand and Stuart Bedford (2010); Lapita Peoples: Oceanic Ancestors, by Stuart Bedford, Christophe Sand and Richard Shing (2010); Lapita, ancêtres océaniens: dans le blanc des yeux, masques primitifs du Népal, 9 novembre 2010—9 janvier 2011 (2010)
 From the editor, Neil Stratford, FSA, Cluny 910—2010: onze siècles de rayonnement (2010)
 From Neil Stratford, FSA, Archéologie en Bourgogne: Cluny, archeologie d’une Abbaye (Saône-et-Loire) (2010); Malta: An Archaeological Paradise, by Anthony Bonanno, FSA, 9th edition (2003)
 From the joint author, Martin Stuchfield, FSA, The Monumental Brasses of Hertfordshire, by William Lack, H Martin Stuchfield and Philip Whittemore (2009)
 From Jeremy Warren, FSA, Corona y arqueología en el Siglo de las Luces: Madrid, Palacio Real, Abril—Julio 2010 (exhibition catalogue) (2010)
 From Niamh Whitfield, FSA, Kettengerassel: Halten—Bewegen—Schmücken: Eiserne Ketten im 19. Jahrundert (2010)
 From the author, Paul Williamson, FSA, Object of Devotion: Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture from the Victoria and Albert Museum (2010)
 From the author, Barbara Yorke, FSA, Nunneries and the Anglo-Saxon Royal Houses (2003); The Conversion of Britain: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain c 600—800 (2006)