Salon Archive

Issue: 53

Anniversary Meeting

At the Anniversary Meeting held on 8 May, the following awards were made:

The Frend Prize to Stephanie Wynne-Jones
The Frend Medal to Philip Rahtz
The Society Medal to John Hurst (posthumously) and to Beatrice De Cardi.

The Presidents Anniversary Address will be published on the website shortly, and in Volume 83 (2003) of The Antiquaries Journal.

Ballots

At the ballots that preceded the Anniversary Meeting, the following were elected unopposed as Officers of the Society:

Professor Rosemary Cramp, President
Professor Geoffrey Wainwright, Treasurer
Professor Martin Millett, Director
Taryn Nixon, Secretary

The following were re-elected to Council:

Judith Helen Blezzard LRAM, BA, BMus, PhD
Martin Oswald Hugh Carver BSc
Rosemary Cramp CBE, MA, BLitt, DSc
Graham John Fairclough BA
William Patrick Filmer-Sankey MA, D.Phil, FRSA
Andrew Peter Fitzpatrick BA, PhD
Mirjam Michaela Foot MA, DLitt
Tom Grafton Hassall OBE, MA
Martin Millett BA, DPhil
Susan Mary Pearce MA, PhD, FMA
Sarah Penelope Pearson BA
Mark Redknap BA, PhD
Julian Daryl Richards MA, PhD
Roger Andrew Stalley B.Sc, M.Phil, PhD
Geoffrey John Wainwright MBE, BA, PhD.

The following new members were elected to Council:

John Penrose Barron, MA, DPhil.
Amanda Dorothy Barras Chadburn, BA
Eric Fernie, CBE, BA, AcDip
Taryn Jane Pearson Nixon, BA
Frank Edwin Salmon, MA, PhD.

Forthcoming meetings

15 May: Ballot
22 May: �Offering places at unauthorised medieval shrines in England�, by the Revd Mark Spurrell, FSA

Burlington House court action

The date of the court action to consider the terms under which the learned societies occupy their apartments at Burlington House has been listed to begin on 19 January 2004. The General Secretary has offered to host a briefing session in the autumn for those who might be interested.

John Hurst

It is with more than usual sadness, given the circumstances, that we report the death of our fellow, John Hurst, who succumbed to pneumonia on 29 April 2003. Fellows might remember that John Hurst was seriously injured in an apparently random attack that took place on 9 March near his home in Great Casterton, Stamford. Police are now treating John�s death as murder.

It is especially tragic that John was not able to attend the 2003 Anniversary Meeting when he was to have been presented with the Society Medal by the President. Nevertheless, John was aware that he had been awarded the medal and his members of his family report that John talked about it in one of his last moments of consciousness.

Ivor No�l Hume, who was a good friend of John�s, has given us permission to publish his response to the news of John�s death, as follows.

�The senseless death of a friend or colleague is always cause for both anger and sadness, but the loss of John Hurst goes infinitely deeper. Struck down with him was his lifetime�s store of knowledge and experience, much of it irreplaceable. Indeed, the loss may be compared to the destruction by arson of a national library.

�I had known John since 1953 when I contributed the glass section to his report on Excavations at St Benedict's Gates at Norwich, and since then my shelves have been enriched by many a signed offprint. His generosity and willingness to share his knowledge were as legendary as his encouragement of those of us who knew far less than he did.

�The volume Everyday and Exotic Pottery from Europe, published in John's honour in 1992, listed no fewer than 146 papers of his own, a legacy unlikely to be eclipsed by any living archaeologist. John Hurst's contributions to the archaeological study of western European pottery rank alongside those of the late Robert Charleston who ploughed much the same field, albeit from a more esoteric, curatorial point of view.

�That we should have lost both is a tragedy that leaves a void not easily filled. That twenty-first century scholars will now be challenged to do so may be the abiding and only benefit from the thuggery that took the life of John G Hurst. He will be most sorely missed.�

Fellows� news

David Williamson, FSA, whose death was recorded in Salon 52, was the subject of an obituary in The Independent on 9 May 2003 (the same issue carried Andrew Saunders�s obituary for John Hurst). The obituary for David Williamson paid tribute to his work as a genealogist and contributor to Burke�s Landed Gentry (1952) and Burke�s Peerage (1953) and subsequent volumes of those works that appeared in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as his authorship of Burke�s Guide to the Royal Family (1973), Burke�s Royal Families of the World (1977-80) and Burke�s Presidential Families of the USA (1975). In the 1980s, Williamson moved to Debrett as co-editor of Debrett�s Peerage and Baronetcy and various related titles. Two amusing anecdotes are recorded in the obituary: the first that Williamson�s nickname, �the Burglar� derived from his habit of wearing a black polo-neck sweater and dark glasses, even on the dullest of winter days, and the second that he is immortalised in film, playing the cameo part of the Dean of Westminster in Rowan Atkinson�s recently released James Bond spoof, Johnny English.

We have also learned with regret of the recent deaths of our Fellows John Richard Earnshaw and Peter Charles Geoffrey Jackson.

Congratulations to Graham Speake, FSA, whose recently published book Mount Athos: Renewal in Paradise (Yale University Press, 2002) has won the 2002 Criticos Prize. The prize is awarded annually for a book on some aspect of Greek culture and has a value of �10,000.

Iraq one month on

One month after the looting of the Baghdad National Museum and of the burning of the National Library in Iraq, a number of leading archaeologists, including Professor Lord Renfrew, FSA, are calling for a temporary worldwide ban on the sale of all Iraqi antiquities that do not have a documented history proving legitimate ownership. A motion to this effect is being drawn up by UNESCO to put to the UN Security Council. Professor Renfrew�s call has been backed by McGuire Gibson, of the University of Chicago�s Oriental Institute, who says that looting has been going on for a long time in Iraq, and that most Iraqi antiquities currently being traded have been acquired illegally, and smuggled out of Iraq via Iran and Israel. The Chicago Institute has set up a website detailing looted items to enable reputable dealers to check whether any items they are offered have been stolen.

Antiquities dealers in London and New York are - not surprisingly � opposed to a ban saying that it interferes with legitimate trade and that looted antiquities often take decades to appear. Only now, according to one commentator, have works of art looted during the Second World War begun to turn up, as the people who originally acquired them die.

In Iraq itself, the museums now seem to be secure, but looting has been reported at ancient monuments, such as Umma and Umm-al-aqarb, both in the south of the country. Mark Altaweek, also of the Chicago Institute, says that �Stealing from the museum was a one-off heist. The sites have always been the looters� bread and butter and now they will simply go back to what they have always done�.

Donny George, curator of the Baghdad National Museum, visited the UK in late April and gave a report on the current state of affairs at a meeting hosted by the British Museum. George maintained that Coalition forces could do much to stem the flow of antiquities from the country simply through effective border control. He also said that Iraq�s heritage could be a positive force for the rebuilding of the country after the war, and that Iraqis were competent to do this on their own behalf, provided that the funding was made available by the international community. The British Museum has agreed to co-ordinate offers of financial help.

Meanwhile, Ralph Hassall, son of our Fellow, Mark Hassall, is doing his bit to help the reconstruction effort in Iraq by launching a new English-language newspaper in the capital. According to Ralph: �I think we need to listen to what the Iraqi people want to say about the future of their country, and I hope The Baghdad Bulletin will help out�.

Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill

David Gaimster, FSA, currently working at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on secondment from the British Museum, reports that �One positive outcome of the crisis in Iraq is that Richard Allen�s Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill has been fast-tracked into its committee stage on 14 May. It should come back to the House of Commons for its Report and Third Reading on 13 June. This represents a complete reversal in fortunes. Previously the Bill had sat in a queue of Private Member Bills awaiting its Committee stage with little progress of progressing in this Session of Parliament. The Bill now looks set to complete its Commons stages in good time to allow it to progress through the Lords and back to the Commons before the end of this Session.�

Hardwick Park to be restored

Campaigners for the restoration of Hardwick Park, located in the Prime Ministers constituency of Sedgefield in County Durham, announced last week that they had secured a �5 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant towards returning this mid-eighteenth-century country park to its former glory. The park was commissioned in the 1750s by John Burdon, the Tyneside coal baron, and designed by James Paine, of Chatsworth, Alnwick Castle and Kedleston fame. Set out around a 17-acre lake, the park was threaded by a maze of paths that led to temples, follies and grottoes complete with subterranean waterfalls, hidden fountains, mirrors and erotic scenes painted on stained glass (which have not survived). The restoration includes the provision of a visitor centre and is due to be completed by 2006.

Arkwright Portrait Appeal

The Derwent Valley Mills Partnership is heading an appeal to raise �950,000 to buy an important portrait of Richard Arkwright junior who, with his father, Sir Richard Arkwright, founded the Derwent Valley industrial complex that was designated as a World Heritage Site in December 2001.

Painted by Joseph Wright in 1790, the portrait depicts Richard Arkwright with his wife Mary and their daughter Anne. If the appeal is successful, the painting will be hung alongside Wright�s portrait of Sir Richard Arkwright in the Wright Gallery at Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

The National Collections Art Fund has agreed to make a grant of �50,000 towards the appeal. Contirbutions can be made by sending a cheque made out to �Arkwright Portrait Appeal� at Derwent Valley Mills Partnership, PO Box 6297, Matlock DE4 3WJ. All donations will be returned if the appeal is unsuccessful.

Decorative Arts Society Journal

The theme of the autumn 2004 edition of the Decorative Arts Society Journal is to be the �Arts and Crafts Movement�, both in Britain and internationally. This will coincide with the Society�s Arts and Crafts Exhibition. The DAS is inviting papers in the range of 3,000 to 7,000 words that present unpublished research, reflect fresh discoveries, add to previous knowledge or reappraise previous studies. Synopses should be emailed to Alex Werner.

IHBC annual school

The annual school of The Institute of Historic Building Conservation, open to all consultants and conservators engaged in the conservation of the historic built environment, is to be staged this year at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 June, with a day school on Saturday. This year's theme is the role of conservation as a cultural and economic catalyst in city, country and coast. For further information, contact Lydia Porter at the IHBC on 01747 873133 or visit www.ihbc.org.uk.

The history of collecting

The inaugural Wallace Collection seminar on the history of collecting will take place on Thursday 19 June 2003, at 4.30pm, when Dr Kelley Helmstutler di Dio, of the Medici Project, in Florence, will lead a discussion on the topic of �Collections as status symbols: the art collections of Leone and Pompeo Leoni�.

Leone Leoni (1509-1590) is credited with having created the first gallery in Milan in his home, the Casa degli Omenoni. As part of his efforts to reinforce his social status, Leone gathered together an art collection that in quantity and quality was unprecedented for an artist. Pompeo Leoni (c1533-1608) followed his father's example, displaying a noteworthy collection in his grand home in Madrid. His house and collection helped establish his position at the court in Madrid just as it had for Leone in Milan. Leone and Pompeo Leoni�s collection included works by the most important European painters and sculptors active in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, including Leonardo, Michelangelo, Titian, Parmigianino, Barocci, Luini, and Correggio. The scope of their collections, their display, and the ways in which they aided the Leoni in establishing their social status will be explored.

Anyone wishing to attend is requested to inform Jeremy Warren, Head of Collections at the Wallace Collection, in advance.

CBA�s Archaeology and Education Conference

The programme and booking form for the Archaeology and Education Conference 2003 are now available on the CBA website. This is the foremost conference devoted to heritage education in the UK. It will cover all aspects of archaeology and education - from work with schools to higher and continuing education. The conference will be an ideal opportunity to catch up on the latest issues in education, and find out the latest and best practice in archaeological education.

Vacancies

RIBA�s British Architectural Library: Assistant Curator in Special Collections
Salary c. �19,500, closing date 13 May 2003 (interviews 19 May)

Working as part of a team, the postholder will be involved in all aspects of the administration, exploitation, display and curatorial care of the RIBA's world-famous Drawings and Manuscripts Collections. This is a particularly exciting time in the RIBA�s history, for the two Collections will move next year to the Victoria and Albert Museum, where they will be housed alongside the Museum�s own prints and drawings in a partnership known as Architecture for All. The partners are also developing a permanent exhibition gallery based on their collections. A passionate interest in architecture is essential. You should be a graduate with relevant qualifications and experience.

As the closing date for this post is imminent, anybody interested in applying is encouraged to contact Charles Hind, FSA, Curator of Drawings at the RIBA (tel: 0207-307-3698) to expres an interest. The job description can be found at Applicants should send a CV and a covering letter outlining why you feel that you are suitable for the post, together with current salary details to: The Personnel Office, 21 Portman Square, London W1H 6LP, or by email. Please quote SA07 on letter and envelope.

English Heritage Commissioner Vacancies

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is looking for six new Commissioners to serve on the board of English Heritage. They are especially keen to recruit individuals with skills in the following areas:

Access/Outreach/Community Engagement
Advocacy
Architectural History
Development/Construction/Engineering
Regional Government
Business/Finance

An application form and full job descriptions can be obtained from Mark Greenwood, Public Appointments and Honours Unit, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 3rd floor, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH. Telephone 020 7211 6406. The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is Monday 9 June 2003.

Director, CYMAL: Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales
Salary �51,250, closing date 16 May 2003

This new national cultural body, a division of the Welsh Assembly Government, becomes fully operational on 1 April 2004, and will develop and implement policy for 500 local museums, libraries and archive services in Wales. Application packs are available by email.

Resource: Portable Antiquities Scheme
Education Officer, Finds Adviser, Finds Liaison Officers (seven posts) and Finds Liaison Assistant; closing date 2 June 2003

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is recruiting the next wave of posts in its plan to create a national network of finds liaison officers (a further ten posts will be advertised in the autumn). For further information, contact Roger Bland or Michael Lewis on 0207 323 8611.

British Museum: Head of Education and Information
Salary �45,000-�60,000, closing date not known

The key remit is to plan and implement all educational and related information services for the museum, running a department of 50 staff. Further details by email quoting ref: B280G.

Victoria and Albert Museum: Research assistant, Modernism Exhibition
Salary up to �26,275, closing date 30 May

A practically minded scholar is required to work with the Exhibition Curator in mounting the V&A�s Modernism exhibition, timed for 2006. Details are on the V&A�s website under �About Us� and �Job Opportunities�. Alternatively they can be requested by or by email.

Department for the Destruction of Education

Any hope that the Cambridge-educated Education Secretary might bring a degree of stability and enlightenment to the beleaguered Department of Education and Skills was dashed last week when Charles Clarke made a speech in which he is reported to have said, as an off the cuff remark: �I don�t mind there being some medievalists around for ornamental purposes, but there is no reason for the state to pay them�. Clarke only made matters worse when he later stated that he was not attacking medieval historians, but rather �the medieval concept of a university�. His civil servants attempted to clarify this by saying that �universities should focus their teaching on skills that are useful to the British economy and society if they wished to receive state funding�.

Medievalists immediately fought back. Christine Carpenter, lecturer in medieval history at Cambridge, sent an email to Mr Clarke demonstrating that there are more directors of top UK companies with history degrees than any other subject. �History graduates are extremely employable�, she wrote, �because we train them thoroughly and intensively in all sorts of information gathering, analysing and synthesising techniques�.

Records also show that the graduates who take longest to find employment, and who most often take jobs below their skill level, are those who pursue courses in American Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Art, Design, Linguistics and Media Studies, whereas Classics and History graduates are near the top of the employability list.

But such evidence is likely to be lost on Charles Clarke whose speech ominously included the following words: �I have to ask myself ... why the state should fund universities.� In 1869, Matthew Arnold wrote a brilliantly argued counter-blast to such Philistinism in a book entitled Culture and Anarchy. Perhaps now is the time to dust that book down and prepare for a new fight to remind the Government just what it means to be a civilised country.