Lecture and Booksigning | “Going Bust: Bankruptcy, Patronage, and Power in John Scarlett Davis’s Interior of the British Institution”


Catherine Roach, Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, Virginia Commonwealth University, Yale BA 2002

This lecture marks the publication of Pictures-within-Pictures in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Through a series of spectacular purchases, the merchant Richard Hart Davis made a splash in the London art scene of the 1810s, only to go just as spectacularly bankrupt a few years later. New research has identified the portrait bust in John Scarlett Davis’s Interior of the British Institution as E. H. Baily’s likeness of this onetime collector. The depiction of this bust both celebrates patrons of art and elides the loss of Hart Davis’s personal collection by showing him as a supporter of a collectively sponsored public art gallery.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

January 25, 2017