Past Visiting Scholars
Cooper’s research project, “Nec Plus Ultra [Nothing Further Beyond]: Nullity, Negation + Non Binary Employment,” examines tethers between demonological discourse, the sex-gender binary, and racial slavery in early modern Atlantic World territory. The project theorizes how representations of witchcraft and demonic possession fuel territorialization in Anglophone Europe, North America, and the Caribbean from the fifteenth century onward. Cooper’s research finds that territorialization includes cosmological processes through which areas are delimited into territories and beings are arranged within them.
Thomas’s research project, “Slave-ownership and the Rise of the British Art Museum,” highlights the impact of slave owners (and their families, trustees, and executors) on some of Britain’s key art museums, focusing in particular on the seminal period between the establishment of Britain’s National Gallery in 1824 and its National Portrait Gallery in 1856. It investigates slave owners who were passionate connoisseurs, collectors, patrons, and founders of art museums across Britain. In probing the personal and professional networks and rivalries of Britain’s slave owners in relation to visual culture, aesthetics, and taste, it explores the politics of cultural refinement.
Beenstock’s research project, “A New Jerusalem: British Romanticism Creates Palestine, 1760–1830,” argues that British Romanticism’s representation of Palestine fused biblical metaphor on the one hand with a new political conception of the region on the other. While at the Center, she will explore the relationship between visual and verbal representation in the creation of modern Palestine.
Leonard’s research project, “‘The beauty of the bough-hung banks’: William Morris in the Thames Landscape,” integrates methodologies of art history and historic landscape studies to present a new perspective on William Morris’s life and works focused on his interactions with, and impact on, the landscapes of the river Thames.
Moe’s research project, “Tight braids, tough fabrics, delicate webs, and the finest thread: Weaving as Material and Metaphor,” contributes to a book project that grows out of the Beinecke exhibition Text and Textile. Focusing on the eighteenth century, she will investigate how the advent of mechanical forms of weaving, which transformed the nature of work, burgeoned alongside the maintenance of a handicraft tradition. Reflecting on the historical and conceptual problems that have characterized textiles’ production, use, consumption, and interpretation, her research will argue that textiles are supple material for metaphor making.
Davies’s research project, “A Chequered Past: Nineteenth-Century Board Games, British India and Imperial Socialisation,” examines board gaming in metropole Britain as a cultural phenomenon explicating these networks, and in the process producing, disseminating, and construing imperial relations through play, ca. 1750–1914. By reading games in relation to contemporary processes of geographical expansion, his project explores how gaming’s representative interface and participatory nature promoted, complicated, and contested practices and ideologies of imperial domination, exploitation, and violence. As such, it reveals how ludic representations of Britain and her foreign possessions functioned formally as well as experientially to encode global expansion with ethical and imperial imperatives—to establish domestic and international geographies of power, to constitute domestic space with identity, and to revise diffusionist paradigms through Anglicized Indian board games that brought empire home.
Read’s research project, “The Afterlife of Molyneux’s Question in British and American Landscape Painting and Aesthetics,” explores the aesthetic outcomes of visual and verbal responses to the philosophical problem of Molyneux’s question concerning the powers of recognition of a blind man newly restored to sight, as it migrated from the writings of John Locke, George Berkeley, William Hazlitt, and John Ruskin to nineteenth-century American authors and artists, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Newport artists around Worthington Whittredge.
Anderson’s research project, “Maritime Spaces of Early Modern England,” examines the variety of maritime spaces in England and abroad, looking first at the ship as one of the most important types of built structures that extended English political and economic ambitions abroad. Her research seeks to provide a new maritime history of England’s early modern architecture, encompassing the built structures as well as the urban and rural spaces that made England’s naval strength possible.
Spencer’s research project, “Green Unpleasant Land: Art, Abstraction, and Locational Politics,” addresses the complex location-specific politics formulated by art of the 1970s and 1980s in Britain, exploring how these decades witnessed the advent of artists working from feminist, queer, and postcolonial perspectives who posed significant challenges to traditional notions of landscape and identity. Her research proposes that abstraction played a central role in these challenges as relationships with place and space became increasingly attenuated under the pressures of globalization and the mass media, but also because abstraction was nonetheless still able to operate as a site of productive uncertainty and resistance.
Weeks’s research project, “Framing the Orient: The Design and Function of the Orientalist Picture Frame in Britain and America,” focuses on the study of the orientalist picture frame in Western art from the Renaissance to the present day, with an emphasis on British and American frames and frame makers from the second half of the nineteenth century.
Domercq’s research project, “Popularizing the Pacific: John Webber’s Set Design for ‘Omai, or a Trip Round the World’ and his Preparatory Drawings for ‘Views in the South Seas,’” examines the representations of the peoples of the Pacific, the reception of those images in Britain, and their transformation as they came to be appropriated into popular culture.
Faulkner’s research project, “Sculpture and Spectacle: Sculpture and performance in nineteenth-century Britain,” challenges the oppositions that have been set up between the categories of sculpture and dress by examining these art forms in tandem. She will examine the Center’s collections of nineteenth-century primary material related to the history of dress.
Birrell’s research project, “Investigating the artistic cultures of Gwen John’s rooms,” looks at the gendered, sexual, and emotional identities created and reflected by Gwen John’s representation of rented rooms. The dominance of the flâneur has resulted in the marginalization of urban experiences that occur within private, indoor space. Birrell’s research will generate a comparably historicized cultural project grounded in the subjectivities, artistic practices, and networks associated with the room.
Kaes’s research project, “Painting in Black and White: Strategies of Pictorial Composition in Painting and Print in Late Eighteenth-Century England,” investigates the interrelationship between printmaking and strategies of pictorial composition in painting in late eighteenth-century England. Her project argues that prints and paintings entered a reciprocal relationship in which printed images not simply reproduced painting but, in turn, impacted strategies of pictorial composition employed by painters. While at the Center, she will focus on the way in which the monochrome nature of black-and-white prints necessitated careful use of light and shade in painting so as to create balanced compositions that were successful not only in painting but also in print.
Lyons’s research project, “Making an Impression: Prints by British Women Printmakers in the Long Eighteenth Century at the Yale Center for British Art,” investigates female printmakers (ca. 1700–1850), focusing on Maria Prestel, Letitia Anne and Mary Byrne, Carolina Leighton, Mary Darly, and Angelica Kauffman. Her research will explore the relationship between printmakers and the reproductive print, development of stylistic approach, and the relationship between printmaking and women occupying other roles in the industry, such as painters, publishers, and printsellers.
Burns’s research project, “Rediscovering ‘the English Modern Masters’: artisans of the mid-seventeenth century at the Yale Center for British Art,” centers around the “English Modern Masters” identified in William Sanderson’s Graphice (1658). While at the Center, she will investigate the extent to which England could be said to have had a “school” of art in the mid-seventeenth century, through studying the artwork of these individuals and exploring the factors that influenced them.
Tetermazova’s research project, “On the Question of National Identity: The Art of Gabriel Skorodumov (1754–1792) and James Walker (ca. 1760–ca. 1823) in the Context of British-Russian Cultural Relations,” offers an attempt to reveal the national characteristics in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British and Russian printmaking, focusing on the artistic production of Gabriel Skorodumov and James Walker.
Buchan-Watts’s research project, “St Ives painters and poet: A symbiosis,” examines British abstract expressionist paintings—namely the works of Ben Nicholson, Patrick Heron, John Minton, Roger Hilton, and Peter Lanyon—in relation to the poetry of the modernist poet W. S. Graham. Buchan-Watts’s research will explore the relation between self-consciousness and form in art in twentieth-century poetics, focusing principally on W. S. Graham, for whom visual and linguistic mediums were “always a montage.”
Ram’s research project, “John McHale: Collage and Collaboration, 1945–65,” examines how collage and collaboration were vital elements of John McHale’s creative practice. While at the Center, Ram will study the McHale archive to investigate the relationship between collage and collaboration, and she will analyze how these elements of McHale’s practice intersected and how theoretical or discursive approaches to collaboration manifested within the materiality of collage.
Ayers’s research project, “Strange Beauty: Botanical Collecting, Preservation, and Display in the Nineteenth-Century Tropics,” explores the boundaries between natural history, art, and material culture in the construction of the nineteenth-century British tropics. While at the Center, she will be examining natural historical illustrations, ranging from pencil-sketched drafts of individual plants to fully realized oil paintings depicting picturesque tropical landscapes.
Merkling’s research project, “Energy, Eternity, and Faith in Evelyn De Morgan’s paintings,” examines the late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century works of British artist Evelyn De Morgan alongside nineteenth‐century writing on thermodynamics, and argues that De Morgan was engaged with concerns similar to those raised in the scientific literature, as manifest in the motifs, materials, and themes of her work.
Harris’s research project, “Labor and the Picturesque: Photography, Propaganda, and the Tea Industry in Colonial India and Sri Lanka, 1880–1914,” focuses on late nineteenth-century colonial photographs of workers on tea plantations in India and Sri Lanka. While at the Center, she will analyze the compositional strategies and commercial distribution of these photographs. The images, which romanticized colonial labor, were employed as visual tools and used not only to advertise a product but also to construct a vision of empire.
Robinson’s research project, “The Sculpture of George Frederic Watts,” examines the sculptural work and practice of Victorian artist George Frederic Watts (1817–1904). Her research aims to consider key questions about Watts’s training, studio practice, and creative process while reassessing the artist’s place within the wider narrative of British sculpture, re-establishing his reputation at the forefront of British art.
Presutti’s research project, “Strategic Vision: Artists in the Service of the Royal Navy,” examines maritime representation from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. She will contribute to a peer-reviewed article on the development of a strategic mode of picturing the sea, especially on the part of artists employed by the British Admiralty. Part of a larger inquiry, Presutti’s research at the Center will also investigate the role of naval imagery and collections in the formation of extra-national identity in Britain and France.
Strobel’s manuscript The Art of Mary Linwood: Embroidery, Installation, and the Popular Picturesque is scheduled to be published in 2019. It examines how Mary Linwood adapted the practice of painting to her own purposes while simultaneously challenging the primacy of this genre through her replication and installation of famous artworks.
J. M. W. Turner read Charles Lock Eastlake’s 1840 translation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Zur Farbenlehre (1810) and absorbed Goethe’s theory of light and darkness. Turner’s enthusiastically annotated copy of the book is still extant, and he would depict the relationship between light and darkness in a number of his paintings. Brown will examine paintings, rare books, and manuscripts in the Center’s collection that date from 1840 to 1851.
Chatterjee’s research project, “Imaging Authority: A Study of the Visual Representations of the Early British Indian Empire (1730–1820),” examines the role of images and their attendant politics in the creation and consolidation of the British Indian rule between the mid‐eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries. While at the Center, she will examine how the legitimacy of imperial authority was constructed through imagery in accordance with the political discourse of the times.
Wilder’s research project, “Brilliant Extremes: Novel Impressions in Printed Textiles, 1815–1851,” examines the innovative genres of printed textiles and their representations in a wide range of visual media, in order to complicate and expand the existing history of art and design between 1815 and 1851. Her research will argue that these novel designs were not merely appeals to consumers’ shifting whims, but rather that the designs represented significant visual distillations of a changing world.
Bromwell is writing a doctoral thesis about apocalyptic artwork from 1918 to 1939. At the Center, he will examine works by Stanley Spencer, Cecil Collins, David Jones, and John Martin, allowing him to contextualize interwar evocations of the “End of Days” within the apocalyptic tradition.
Koscak’s project, titled “Royal Subjects: Mass Media and the Reinvention of Reverence, 1648–1760,” focuses on the social practices and responses of individuals to printed images of the royal family. Doing so reveals how the changing media landscape opened up a space in which ordinary subjects reimagined their relationship to the crown.
Sophie Morris will conduct research for her postdoctoral project, “Moving Hands: From Gloves to Medical Manuals in the Visual Culture of Seventeenth-Century London.” She will produce a detailed visual consideration of the shifting aesthetics of the hand in England from an art historical perspective. If it is the work of the image to aid the process of normalizing scientific knowledge in this period, looking at the intersection of costume, artistic practice, and medical production will make possible new observations regarding the rituals that regulated early modern concepts of the body.
Rayner will study how the new commercial availability of artists’ materials in the eighteenth century allowed artists to adapt their painting methods. She will examine paintings and conduct technical analysis to gain insight into the interplay between materials and practice.
Topsfield will be studying Scottish drawings and watercolors in the Center’s collections in order to support a groundbreaking book on Scottish drawings and watercolors that will be published by the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) in early 2019. The book coincides with the opening of the refurbished Scottish wing at the Scottish National Gallery and will be accompanied by an exhibition, to be held in two stages in Edinburgh, which may then potentially tour. There is no survey of historic Scottish graphic art currently in print; this will be the first general overview of the subject since the exhibition The Line of Tradition in 1993, and the first NGS Scottish drawings collection catalogue since a summary publication by Keith Andrews in 1960. This book is intended to remedy a gap in the existing literature and will bring to the fore artists such as John Brown and the watercolor painter George Wilson.
Leveton’s dissertation, titled “Blake’s Radical Ecology,” explores the impact of the invention of the improved steam engine on the artistic production of William Blake. He will be working with the Center’s Blake manuscripts, as well as collection material relating to the development of modern industry.
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, has one of the UK’s best collections of works by George Romney (1734–1802). The collection includes two Romney sketchbooks that have rarely been displayed and are currently in long-term storage. These sketchbooks require further research, and the wider Romney collection would benefit from greater in‐house research to strengthen knowledge and forge connections with other collections for future displays and loans. At the Center, Offord will focus on Romney’s work and practice, with particular attention paid to his sketches, to aid future interpretation and display of his work.
Hughes’s research seeks to contextualize John Ruskin’s reforms of drawing education expounded at the Working Men’s College and published as the The Elements of Drawing (1857). He will be working with nineteenth-century drawing manuals in the Center’s collection, as well as the drawings themselves. Hughes is this year’s Brian Allen Scholar.
Potts’s project, titled “Picturing the Social,” explores experimentation with new kinds of social realist subjects in later nineteenth-century British art. He will be looking at instances of artists negotiating the tensions between a preoccupation with problems of pictorial depiction and experimentation with often charged social realist subjects.
Maria Cristina Wolff de Carvalho will attempt to find further evidence that many works often attributed to British naturalist and artist W. J. Burchell (1781–1863) were actually created by Louisa Anne Beresford, Marchioness of Waterford (1818–1891), and Countess Charlotte Canning (1817–1861). Her research will help to contextualize the landscapes of W. J. Burchell and will pave the way toward the creation of a catalogue raisonné of his work
Lizhi Zhang is an architectural historian specializing in Chinese vernacular architecture. His current research project, “Sino-Indian architectural communication through the maritime Silk Road,” focuses on the interaction between the vernacular architecture of Southeast China and that of South India during the sixteenth century.
Peter Lindfield will conduct research in support of his current monograph, “Antiquarian by Design: Georgian Fakery and the Material Object 1720–1824.” He will examine the urge to produce faked historic artifacts, literature, buildings, and interiors across Britain between 1720 and 1824. An improved understanding of literary and artistic forgery in the Georgian period will reveal counterfeiting’s importance to the construction of Britain’s national heritage.
Elston is working on a PhD dissertation titled “Spatial Interaction: Architectural Representations in Early Tudor England.” She uses space theory and digital humanities tools to explore the ways Tudor depictions of architecture translated the experience of the built environment into pictorial forms. At the Center, she will primarily be working with early sixteenth-century books.
Rosetta Young’s project, titled “Illustrative Etiquette: Misbehavior, Charles Dickens’s Characterizations and the 1830s,” will examine how Dickens constructed his literary characters by drawing from the visual culture around him and how literary character, etiquette, and misbehavior were inscribed as intersecting visual phenomena in the 1830s.
Jennifer Germann will use material from the Center’s collection to contextualize the remarkable portrait Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray (ca. 1785, Scone Palace). Engaging with questions about race, gender, and social rank in British portraiture, her study seeks to provide an account of the lives and representation of black women in Georgian Britain by exploring the portrayal of Dido Elizabeth Belle.
Juliette Bessette is writing a doctoral thesis on the work of British pop artist John McHale. During her placement as a visiting scholar, she will study the influence of McHale’s time at Yale on his artistic production.
Sonal’s work at the Center will focus on so-called Company Paintings from eighteenth and early nineteenth-century India. This work will form part of a project studying the way British-Mughal political interaction was expressed in visual culture.
Joshua Weiner’s project, titled “The Government of the Senses: Aesthetic Detachment from Milton to Hume,” will explore the ideal of detached spectatorship in the new aesthetics of the early eighteenth century. He will use the Center’s collections to trace the interplay between theories of aesthetic experience and representations of subjects in literature and art, organizing their habits of perception aesthetically.
Veronica Uribe’s project, entitled The Joseph and Ann Cox Brown Family Papers: Understanding British Travelling in the Nineteenth-Century from New Granada to Constantinople, will explore the role of drawing in the experience of British travelers during the first half of the nineteenth century. At the Center, she will focus on Britons who traveled in Turkey, examining British women travelers in the context of orientalism and the network of British artists in Constantinople.
Tico Seifert will curate the first comprehensive British exhibition of Rembrandt’s art, to be held at the Scottish National Gallery, June 2–September 16, 2018. This exhibition will encompass almost four hundred years of the collecting of Rembrandt’s art in Britain and its reception by British artists and writers. His research at the Center will focus on the British response to Rembrandt during the eighteenth century, examining rare sale catalogues to prints created after and in response to Rembrandt’s works and the recueils by Picart, Pond and Knapton, Worlidge, and Rogers.
Brett Culbert’s dissertation focuses on the development of Anglo-American landscape aesthetics in the mid-eighteenth century. His research at the Center will explore the emergence of the English landscape tradition in a colonial North American context using plates from Scenographia Americana (1768) and English landscape treatises and gardening manuals in the Center’s collection.
Kerry Sinanan will be pursuing a project entitled “Beauty and the Breast: Representations of Women, Motherhood and Breastfeeding in British Slavery.” She will be examining depictions of native, slave, and free women in the British Caribbean during the long eighteenth century.
Freya Gowrley will be working on a project entitled “Assembling the Self: Collage and Identity, 1770–1900,” which will provide an account of “collage” prior to its use in modernist artistic practices. She will study commonplace books, albums, and scrapbooks in the Center’s collection.
Mary Beard is Classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement and writes the popular column, A Don’s Life. She will be working on a book about the portrayal of Roman emperors in art from the Renaissance to the present.
Duncan Robinson is a graduate of both Cambridge and Yale Universities. In 1970, he became Assistant Keeper of Paintings and Drawings at The Fitzwilliam Museum and in 1976 was appointed Keeper. Throughout his early career in Cambridge he taught for the History of Art Department and, from 1975, was a Fellow and College Lecturer of Clare College. He served as a member of the Visual Arts Panel of the Eastern Arts Association, 1973–81 (Chair, 1979–81). He was a member of the Art Advisory Panel of the Arts Council of Great Britain, 1978–81 (Vice-Chair, 1981), and was appointed, in 1981, to the Council. He will be working on the revision of his Paul Mellon Lectures for publication.
Tom Young will be undertaking thesis research for a project entitled “Autonomy to Assimilation: Art and the Politics of the East India Company 1813–1858.” While at the Center, he will focus on works by European artists working in India.
Rachel Stratton’s thesis explores links between the visual arts, modern science, and politics in mid-century Britain, with particular focus on the Independent Group. Her work at the Center will focus on collage and abstraction in the work of John McHale.
Angela McShane is a scholar of early modern material culture, currently based in the Research Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Her work focuses on popular politics and the everyday in seventeenth-century England. Among other subjects, she has authored works on broadside ballads, drinking culture, and the domestication of politics.
Eleanor Jones’s thesis will explore artistic networks and queer spaces in twentieth-century London, while examining the impact such networks had on visual forms of representation. Her research at the Center will focus on designs for London’s first Cabaret Club in 1912 and the postwar works of John Minton and Keith Vaughan.
Tessa Kilgarriff will be pursuing research for her thesis entitled “Reproducing Fame: Printed and Painted Theatrical Portraiture, 1820–1870.” Her thesis combines theater and art historical approaches to study the production, dissemination, and reception of theatrical portraits in Britain. In addition to theatrical portraiture, she will be examining the correspondence of artists David Roberts and Charles Robert Leslie.
Brigid von Preussen’s dissertation analyzes the relationship between commercial classicism and the ways in which artistic, artisanal, and brand authorship were understood in the late eighteenth century. At the Center, she will be examining drawings by the sculptor and designer John Flaxman, in order to chart the logic of the simplified graphic style that emerged in his work.
Martha Cattell will be conducting research for her thesis on the visual and material culture of whaling in the long nineteenth century. She will be examining marine painting in the Center’s collection, especially works by J. M. W. Turner.
Victoria Howarth is developing exhibitions on Duncan Grant, David Bomberg, and Victor Pasmore for the Jerwood Gallery’s “In Focus” series. Her research at the Center will focus on works by those artists in the Center’s collection.
André L. Tavares Pereira will be conducting research on British paintings in the collection of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, as well as exploring broader questions about the role that British art has played in the cultural history of Brazil.
Amy Concannon will be conducting research for her thesis on the urban landscape in early nineteenth-century British art. She will be examining a wide range of topographical works in the Center’s collection, including works by John Constable, David Cox, E. W. Brayley, and William Havell. She also works as an Assistant Curator at Tate Britain.
Gill Partrington will be examining accordion-folded artists’ books in the collection of the Center for a project entitled “Beyond the Codex: Reading the Accordion Folded Artists’ Book.” The work will form a chapter of a forthcoming monograph focusing on artists’ books from the 1960s to the present.
Danielle is working on a monograph on the British sculptor Joseph Nollekens RA (1737–1823), with a particular focus on his portrait busts.
Jennifer Chuong will be conducting research for her dissertation, which uses the idea of “surface” to explore the material culture of the British transatlantic world from 1760 to 1820. During her time at the Center, she will focus on mezzotint portraits and technical aspects of the painted surface in the work of portraitists including Joshua Reynolds, Gilbert Stuart, and John Singleton Copley.
Christian Crouch will be conducting research for her book-in-progress, Queen Victoria’s Captives: A Story of Ambition, Empire, and a Stolen Ethiopian Prince. The interdisciplinary book will explore the story of Prince Alemayu, who was taken captive by the British in the 1860s. While at the Center, Crouch will examine photographs of the Abyssinian campaign, as well as a host of sources related to visual culture of Britain and East Africa in the 1860s and 1870s.
Yu Liu will be working on a study of the way that Chinese gardens influenced English gardening practice of the eighteenth century. His project is entitled “Changing Chinese Gardening Ideas into a Native English Tradition: The Horticultural Nationalism of Horace Walpole.” While at the Center he will examine the gardening works of Horace Walpole and his contemporaries.
Gülru Çakmak will be working on a project entitled “Alfred Gilbert and the Persistence of the Paradigm of Modelling in British Sculpture,” as part of a larger project, in which she seeks to understand the emergence of direct carving as the predominant sculptural paradigm in early twentieth-century Britain. Her work at the Center will focus on Gilbert’s exploration of materiality and his attempts to take control of all steps of his artistic process by learning to cast bronze himself.
Monica Hahn will be conducting research for her dissertation, “Go-Between Portraits and the Imperial Imagination circa 1800.” Her project focuses on the ways that British conceptions of native peoples were shaped via artifacts, visual art, and theatrical performance in London. She will examine ephemera, maps, and other objects related to the visual culture of the Late Georgian theater and the British encounter of native peoples.
Caitlin Silberman’s research will focus on portrayals of birds in Victorian art. She will examine drawings and sketches in the Center’s collections, as well as a manuscript taxidermy manual, in a quest to better understand the ways Victorian artists interacted and used birds to explore the multifarious relationship between humans and animals.
Natalie Ferris will be conducting research for her thesis “Ludic Passage: Abstraction in Post-war British Literature.” It explores the complex relationship between literary and visual abstraction in postwar Britain. She will be examining the Center’s holdings of artists’ books and artist/writer collaborative projects, including work by Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, and Herbert Read.
Melissa Bennett will be conducting research related to her thesis “Picturing the West India Regiments in an Age of Unrest, Civil War and Tourism, ca. 1850–1914.” She will focus on images of Caribbean landscapes and peoples, especially military figures, as seen in the artwork of Brunias, Fawkes, and Hakewill.
Nancy Marshall will be conducting research for her book “This Horrid Grandeur”: Imagining Fire in Modern Britain, 1770–1913. Combining perspectives and interpretive tools from literary theory, visual culture, history, and the history of science, the project explores both the element of fire itself and its representation. She will examine a wide range of material in the Center’s collection, from engravings in popular newspapers to the oil paintings of John Martin.
Michela Rosso’s project investigates architectural caricature and parody, both visual and textual. She will use satirical prints to study the way that humor has been used to critique or oppose changes in the built environment from the eighteenth century to the present.
Clare Griffiths will be conducting research on the wood engravings of twentieth-century Anglo-American artist Clare Leighton. Her work at the Center will focus on archival material relating to a series of engravings of industries in New England, which she created for a set of a dozen plates manufactured by Wedgwood in 1952. In addition to casting light on Leighton’s development as an artist, she will explore the place of wood engraving in artistic and commercial cultures in the mid-twentieth century in both England and the United States.
Emily Knight will be conducting research for her thesis on posthumous portraiture in late eighteenth to early nineteenth-century Britain. She is looking specifically at the years 1760–1830, which witnessed a marked change in the way people grieved for the loss of a loved one and the way that grief was manifested in posthumous portraiture. At the Center, she will focus on posthumous portraits of children, developing a case study around George Romney’s Portrait of Ann Wilson and her Daughter Sibyl, ca. 1776–77, as well as examining other relevant objects in the collection.
Vanessa Lyon’s project examines the constitutive role of Catholic arts and life in English Gothic visual culture from 1715 to 1790. She argues that the Georgians saw both Continental art of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and medieval art as Catholic, allowing for visual explorations of notions of religious orthodoxy, Jacobitism, and cosmopolitanism through the use of both vocabularies. Exploring links between Continental baroque visual culture and British art, she will examine material at the Center related to Joseph Wright of Derby and Joshua Reynolds.
Joshua Mardell will be conducting research related to his thesis on the Buckler dynasty of Gothic Revival architects. He will particularly focus on the ways that architectural and antiquarian pursuits were effected by social phenomena during the long nineteenth century. The Center holds a substantial collection of primary source material on the Bucklers, including watercolors and drawings.
Anna Liesching’s research at the Center will involve investigating works on paper by artists whose works are represented in the Ulster Museum’s collection. This includes Andrew Nicholl, John Sell Cotman, John Robert Cozens, Myles Birket Foster, J. M. W. Turner, Robert Gibbings, Jonathan Fisher, William Russell Flint, Stanley Anderson, and James Allen, among others. Liesching also hopes to gain insights into the Center’s prospects for future collection development and to see how the Center tackles issues of storing large collections of works on paper. Like the Ulster Museum, works on paper account for the largest number of collections at the Center. The main qualitative outcome of the project will be the invaluable information needed to start digitizing the Ulster Museum’s works on paper collection and amalgamating it with the collection of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Tenure: January 19–February 13
Kasie Alt will conduct research for her dissertation, “Fabricating Ruins: Landscape Gardens and Urban Spectacle in Britain and France, 1749–1837.” This project analyzes the English landscape garden style from 1740 to 1837 in Britain and France through the concepts of ruin and spectacle. Alt’s primary focus is the design and building of follies, specifically sham ruins, within the overall garden design. She proposes that considering the garden as a site of spectacle is key to understanding these “fake” ruins. In referring to these objects, most scholars use the term “folly” or “sham ruin,” drawing from contemporary writers, such as Thomas Whately and his Observations on Modern Gardening (1770), which categorize these constructions as a subcategory of actual ruins. However, given their material construction, their placement in the garden, and the reactions of contemporary designers and viewers to these built ruins, Alt claims that this assumption must be reexamined. In the process of this reexamination, she considers the conceptual and material characteristics of the built ruins in their respective gardens, as well as how they were transformed and appropriated into an urban context. Tenure: September 29–October 24
Caroline Arscott, Professor and Head of Research, Courtauld Institute of Art, will serve as the Center’s Andrew W. Mellon Senior Visiting Scholar to work on a book provisionally titled The Substantial Cosmos. The book focuses on British art and ideas about substance and morphology emerging in biology and physics over the period of 1860 to the mid-1880s and draws on the language and ideas of Victorian science to produce insights into the fine art practice of selected artists working in Britain during this time. Andrew W. Mellon Senior Visiting Scholars are invited to spend two months at the Center, pursuing their research and participating in the intellectual life of the Center and Yale University. Tenure: September 8–November 5
Naomi Billingsley will conduct research for her dissertation, “The Visual Christology of William Blake,” which focuses on Blake’s images of and relating to Christ and examines Blake’s ideas about Christ expressed in these works in relation to his theology of art. Her central premise is that such matters must be seen in the context of the religious and visual culture of Blake’s day, considering him as a node in a network which includes theologians, popular religious writers, and painters and illustrators of religious subjects. Tenure: October 27–November 21
Samson Kambalu’s research project, “Psychogeography in William Blake and Romantic British Art,” will focus on aspects of psychogeography in Blake’s manuscripts and the works of other British artists he inspired. Blake is said to have composed his works while walking/deriving the streets of London; and Kambalu’s project will include the creation of a series of site-specific psychogeographic film clips on the Yale campus and in the vicinity of New Haven, inspired by his research. Tenure: July 3–September 30
Christina Martinez’s project, “Allan Ramsay: A Scotsman’s Taste for English Law,” will aim to examine Ramsay’s long-standing preoccupation with the law. Developing on material from her forthcoming book, Art, Law and Order: The Legal Life of Artists in Eighteenth-Century Britain, and expanding on Alastair Smart’s work on the life of the artist, as well as Mungo Campbell’s recently edited volume on Ramsay and the Enlightenment, Martinez seeks a more elaborate understanding of the painter’s legal opinions and literary life. Tenure: November 24–December 19
Helen McCormack’s project, “William Hunter and his Eighteenth-Century Cultural Worlds: The Anatomist and the Fine Arts,” relates to her current research for a monograph of the same title to be published by Ashgate in 2016. Her project incorporates three related themes. The first establishes and defines a significant position for Hunter within the closely interconnected and highly influential cultural worlds of art and science in the eighteenth century. By examining Hunter’s life and work, the second theme explains the ways in which the fine arts contributed to the production of knowledge across a broad spectrum of subjects connected to the natural sciences and natural history. The third theme accounts for the cultural significance of the public display of anatomy itself. Tenure: July 7–August 29
Every year, the Center participates in a reciprocal curatorial exchange scholar program with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London for a period of one month. This fall, the Center will welcome Tessa Murdoch, the V&A’s Deputy Keeper, Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass, who will pursue research on the patronage and collecting of Catholic families in the British Isles from the Reformation to Catholic Emancipation. Tenure: October–November 21
Rachel Newman’s dissertation, “The Optics of Sugar: Visualizing Power on the Colonial Plantation,” will be the first art historical study of the sugar plantation. Her dissertation uses visual tropes in plantation imagery from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to chronicle the conceptualization and lived history of the sugar plantation while examining its global and local presence. Some of the works and artists to be considered are George Robertson’s 1778 views of William Beckford’s Jamaican plantations, William Clark’s series Ten Views in the Island of Antigua (1823), James Hakewill’s publication A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica (1825), and William Berryman’s archive of almost three hundred watercolors and drawings made between 1808 and 1816. Tenure: July 7–August 1
Georgina Rannard’s project, “Inside the Map-Maker’s Workshop: Drawing, Engraving and Printing Techniques in the British Atlantic World 1660–1720,” will assess the relationship between mapmakers, engravers, printmakers, and artists in late seventeenth-century London in the context of increased demand for printed maps to facilitate growing transatlantic trade. The project will investigate intersections of skills across artisan trades and suggest that instruction in drawing, engraving, and printing had utility beyond creating aesthetic objects, and that it played a functional role in supporting Atlantic trade. While at the Center, Rannard’s research will focus on an analysis of these techniques, as described in a series of printed texts published in London between 1660 and 1720, in manuscript papers and in printed maps. Tenure: August 1–October 31
Leslie Reinhardt’s project proposes a new analysis of John Singleton Copley’s The Death of Major Peirson (1781–83, Tate), recontextualizing it within the period’s dynamic dialogue between classical art and modern life. Reinhardt suggests that Copley’s earlier experience in Italy (1774–75) provided a core idea for this later work and contends that the painting should be considered within the international artistic context of late eighteenth-century Rome, as well as in terms of contemporary British neoclassicism. She analyzes how Copley’s painting participated in the radical visual redefinition of masculinity in British culture of the last part of the eighteenth century, particularly as manifest in dress and male body ideals. Tenure: October 27–November 21
Paris Spies-Gans’s dissertation, “Creativity through Conflict: How Female Artists Navigated the Age of Revolutions,” explores the implications of the Revolutionary era for women. The decades of revolution following the Enlightenment were the years when women artists first entered the professional sphere in significant, unprecedented numbers. Spies-Gans’s dissertation advances debates on gender by shifting their terms, refocusing attention on women’s creative, intellectual activities in Britain and France during these pivotal years. It studies over two hundred women, tracing their careers as they used creativity to filter rapidly changing worlds. Tenure: July 7-August 1 and November 24–December 19
Damian Taylor’s project, “John Constable’s Cloud Studies and Their Synthetic Unity in Hadleigh Castle (1829),” will investigate Constable’s engagement with an image’s temporal address. The main focus of the research will be Constable’s cloud studies, examined as analytic indices of a specific time and place, and their development into a temporally complex synthesis in Hadleigh Castle. Constable’s desire to sustain absolute specificity within the general will be considered in relation to his lectures and the intellectual climate of the 1820s and 1830s. This study of Constable is part of a broader PhD focusing on Constable, Medardo Rosso, and Hercules Segers. Rosso’s theoretical writings offer a fascinating position from which to reconsider Constable’s work, from a position after impressionism, reacting to photography and analogous to contemporary developments in phenomenology. Tenure: September 15–December 14
Jacqueline Thalmann will conduct research for a new catalogue of paintings in the Christ Church Picture Gallery, including an examination of the history of the collection and its pioneering collectors. Thalmann will also study the history of the Christ Church Picture Gallery for an essay to be included in the catalogue and in preparation for three exhibitions on the benefactors of the collection. Tenure: October 27–November 21
Rachel West will study eighteenth-century portraiture and landscape painting, with a particular emphasis on Joseph Wright of Derby, who has many links with the Lunar Society at Soho. West will use her research at the Center to create new displays at the Soho House Museum. Her work also will inform the expansion of the interpretation relating to the Lunar Society in the Soho House Museum’s redeveloped exhibition Matthew Boulton: Selling What All the World Desires. Tenure: August 4–August 29
Iris Wien’s project, “The Elements of Drawing: Reflections on the Status of Graphic Marks in Visual Theory and Practice in Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Britain,” reconstructs the status of a phenomenon that Wien calls “graphic marks.” By inquiring into the referentiality of “graphic marks,” how they were conceptualized in art criticism, in contemporaneous manuals on drawing or printing techniques, and in the graphic art works themselves, her research will investigate and clarify general problems inherent in the constitution of pictorial meaning. Wien’s project concentrates on the landscape genre and she will examine the many early drawings by Turner as well as the extensive holdings of Constable’s pencil drawings in the Center’s collection. Tenure: July 7–August 29
Anya Matthews’s project, “Picturing London’s Post-Fire Livery Halls,” involves research for a PhD dissertation on the architecture of the City of London’s livery company halls in the seventeenth century, a particularly dynamic phase in the architectural development of a remarkable yet under-studied group of buildings. Her project proposal rests on a series of views of post-Fire livery halls at the Center that have not yet been digitized. These pen and ink and watercolor views by the engraver and author Samuel Ireland (1744–1800) are included in an album along with drawings of the Inns of Court and Inns of Chancery, which were presumably prepared for his Picturesque Views, with an Historical Account of the Inns of Court in London and Westminster (1800). In addition to the Ireland views, Matthews will investigate a number of other eighteenth-century depictions of the post-Fire livery halls in the Center’s collections, such as a 1799 view of the Painter-Stainers’ Hall by Charles Tomkins. Tenure: September 1–26
Julia Sienkewicz will conduct research for a book project tentatively titled Epic Landscapes: Benjamin Henry Latrobe’s Virginian Watercolors, 1795–1799. The architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764–1820) is best known for his work on the Federal buildings of Washington, DC, and the significant role that he played in the professionalization of architecture in the United States. This book, however, will consider an earlier and lesser-known moment in the architect’s career and will be the first scholarly monograph to consider Latrobe’s Virginian period. It will trace Latrobe’s re-creation of himself from reluctant émigré into a self-conceived epic hero-artist for the young nation.
Alice Insley’s project, “Dead Soldiers Live: Researching the Nineteenth-Century Afterlives of Joseph Wright of Derby’s Works in the Yale Center for British Art,” focuses on the afterlives of works by Wright of Derby in the Center’s collection in order to gain a better understanding of the various meanings and uses they had throughout the nineteenth century. Insley’s research will investigate the material at the Center relating to Wright, including paintings, works on paper, notebook and manuscripts, and the prints after his paintings, particularly the material relating to Wright’s famous painting The Dead Soldier.
Returning to the Center as a Senior Visiting Scholar, Professor Bann will be following up on his earlier work on Ian Hamilton Finlay, in connection with the concurrent exhibition of Finlay’s printed work at the Center, and the publication of his edition of Finlay’s letters (1964–1969) in summer 2014. He will also be undertaking research in the print collection, in anticipation of a summer course he will be teaching at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. Moreover, he is beginning to develop a long-term project on the impact of the English Civil War on art and culture. Senior Visiting Scholars are invited to spend one month at the Center annually for a term of three years, pursuing their research in the intellectual life of the Center and Yale University. This is Professor Bann’s third year at the Center. Tenure: April 28–May 22
Susan Bean’s research project, Modeling Cosmos and Colony: India’s Clay Sculpture in the Nineteenth Century, will constitute the first comprehensive presentation of the genre of South Asian unfired-clay sculpture and will follow the ways this popular form reflected and shaped the evolution of colonial and postcolonial culture. A key section of the book will focus on the works made for and exhibited at world’s fairs in Europe and America throughout the nineteenth century. Tenure: March 2–28
Steeve Buckridge visits the Center to conduct research for his book project to be titled, Spectacles of Grandeur and Symbols of Imperial Glory: Victorian Dress in Nineteenth-Century Colonial Jamaica. He will examine Victorian costume in Jamaica and its role as a visual representation and conveyer of class, status, and identity. The Center has an abundance of prints, paintings, illustrated periodicals, and drawings from the Victorian era and the Carribean that will form the backbone for this research project. Tenure: January 6-January 31
Alexis Cohen’s dissertation, “Lines of Utility: Outlines, Architecture, and Design in Britain, c. 1800,” studies the proliferation of the outline drawing in architectural and design publications and explores how neoclassical design discourses were shaped by notions of utility advanced in publications that privileged the outline drawing as a graphic idiom. She will be consulting materials from the Center’s rich collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architectural drawings by Robert Adam, C. R. Cockerell, A. W. N. Pugin, George Richardson, and James Wyatt, among others. Tenure: April 7-May 2
Katelyn Crawford will conduct research for her dissertation, “Transient Painters, Traveling Canvases: Portraiture and Mobility in the British Atlantic, 1750-1780.” Crawford’s project examines paintings by portraitists working within the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world in order to demonstrate the impact of mobility on artistic practice and portraiture on identity construction. She plans to consult the Center’s paintings, drawings, and prints by marine artists and portraitists whose practices further illuminate the connections between these genres and the culture of artistic mobility in the British Atlantic. The Center’s Rare Books and Manuscripts collection will also be explored for mention of itinerant portraitists in Britain and the Atlantic and discussions of travel, mobility, and portrait production. Tenure: May 5-June 27
Kathleen Davidson visits the Center to conduct research for a project titled “Cultivating Habits of Observation: Scientific Encounters in Victorian Visual Culture.” Davidson will examine the relationship between the Victorian visual arts, scientific endeavor, and imperial networks. She will be referring to a variety of materials, including museum guidebooks and catalogues from the Victorian era, as well as illustrated folios relating to the International Exhibitions of 1851 and 1862. Additionally, Davidson will consult materials from the Center relating to James Pennethorne and Alfred Stevensâincluding Stevens’s cartoons for the decoration of Dorchester House, Londonâin order to gain an overview of their approach to architecture and interior designs for the Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn Street, London. Tenure: April 7-May 30
Nele Diekmann will be in residence to pursue research for her dissertation, “ ‘There’s a great deal more to be said about these charactersâ¦’: Victorian Aesthetic Conceptions in William Henry Fox Talbot’s Work on Mesopotamian Culture & Assyrian Cuneiform.” This project considers Talbot’s Assyriological and antiquarian work, and ties in with a recent strand of research on Talbot’s scholarly pursuits outside of the natural sciences and photography. Tenure: April 7-May 2
Henrietta McBurney Ryan will carry out research for her book project titled Illuminating Natural History: The Art and Science of Mark Catesby. The book will present Catesby’s work as pioneering in a number of ways, including how it represents one of the last great pre-Linnaean enterprises. Among other things, this project will make extensive use of the Center’s unique collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century drawing manuals and related treatises in order to further a discussion of Catesby’s techniques as an artist and his place in the history of natural history illustrators. Tenure: February 3-28
Sarah Moulden will investigate materials related to her doctoral thesis, “Survival in the British Art World, 1800-1840: The Art and Career of John Sell Cotman.” The Center’s rich collection of works by Cotman will be examined with the aim of acquiring a better understanding of one of the most inventive, yet beleaguered, artists to have worked in early nineteenth-century Britain. Tenure: May 5-May 30
During her residence at the Center as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Scholar, Lesley Richardson will consult the Center’s holding of artworks and other resources relating to the artist John Frederick Lewis with the aim of gaining an understanding of the wider cultural significance of Hhareem Life, Constantinople (1857), a painting by Lewis in the Laing’s collection. Richardson’s research project at the Center will inform a larger curatorial project at the Laing examining the influence of East Asian and Middle Eastern aesthetics on British art production during the second half of the nineteenth century. Tenure: June 1-June 27
Emma Roodhouse visits the Center as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Scholar, and will examine the Center’s collection of works by John Constable. The year 2015 will be the 200th anniversary of Constable’s paintings Golding Constable’s Flower Garden and Golding Constable’s Kitchen Garden, both in the collection of Ipswich Borough Council. To mark the occasion, Colchester & Ipswich Museums are planning a major bicentennial exhibition at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich. Tenure: April 6-May 7
Eric Stryker’s project, Transitional Spaces: Figuration after the Blitz, evaluates the work of multiple artists, photographers, and filmmakers working in London in the years immediately following the end of the Second World War. The book’s central proposition is that the persistence of figuration in post-war London was motivated by the shifting social geography of a city during reconstruction. Stryker will be consulting a range of material from the Center’s collections in order to bolster the book’s fundamental claims about British visual culture in the wake of the Second World War. Tenure: January 6 - March 28
Sabitha will conduct research for her dissertation, “The Colonial Souvenir: Art and Print Culture in Nineteenth-Century Eastern India.” This project investigates the visual economy of watercolors, oils, and prints produced in Eastern India, ca. 1800–1860, with a focus on the creation and circulation of what might be termed colonial souvenirs. Materials to be consulted at the Center include works by George Chinnery, Charles D’Oyly, Samuel Davis, and Thomas and William Daniell. Tenure: June 2–June 27
Robert Wellington’s newest project titled, “A War of Visual Histories: British Appropriations of French Triumphal Imagery at Marlborough House,” provides the first in-depth account of Louis Laguerre’s cycle of paintings at Marlborough House, London, which depicts the victories of the Duke of Marlborough against the French in the War of Spanish Succession (1701–1714). Wellington will examine prints and other material in the Center’s collections that relate to Laguerre’s cycle. Tenure: January 6–January 31
Caroline Rae will conduct research on her dissertation, “Anglo-Netherlandish Workshop Practice in the 1590s and Early 1600s with a Focus on the Works of John de Critz the Elder (d.1642) and Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1561-1635).” Rae’s research at the Center will mainly involve a close technical examination of paintings by de Critz, Gheeraerts, and their contemporaries.
Elizabeth James has researched the state of book arts in Britain in the 1970s, the context for a major exhibition The Open & Closed Book held at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, in 1979, and the reception and impact of that exhibition. She has drawn from the artists’ books and private press collections of the Center, as well as its reference resources. The research contributed to a catalogue essay for a touring exhibition titled Word & Image: Art, Books and Design From the National Art Library, V&A Publications (2015) about the National Art Library, London, and its collections, which were in development during her residency at the Center, and for which James has curated the section on artists’ books.
Anna Rhodes, who is also coordinator for Enlightenment! Derbyshire, part of the Heritage Lottery funded Enlightenment Project, a partnership focused on the enhancement and interpretation of collections related to Derbyshire, visits the Center as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Scholar. She will investigate the Center’s holdings related to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Derbyshire, particularly topographical art by professional and amateur artists. Curatorial Scholars spend four weeks at the Center to advance research on their own collections or curatorial projects and to participate in the intellectual life of the Center and Yale University.
Joerg Trempler will conduct research for a project entitled “On Representations of Elemental Violence or the Invention of the Image of Catastrophe.” A range of materials from the Center’s collections which focus on the subject of catastrophes will be explored, including images and accounts of the Great Fire of London of 1666.
Sarah Cooper visits the Center as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Scholar and will investigate works in the Center’s collection by the British artist Robert Bevan, who was local to Eastbourne but is not yet represented in the Towner collection. She will examine Bevan’s connections with his contemporaries, including Walter Sickert, Edward Wadsworth, and John and Paul Nash who are well represented in the Center’s collections as well as in those at Towner. Curatorial Scholars spend four weeks at the Center to advance research on their own collections or curatorial projects and to participate in the intellectual life of the Center and Yale University.
Charlotte Keenan visits the Center as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Scholar and will conduct research into the British artist Walter Sickert for a catalogue and major exhibition of works by the artist from the National Museums Liverpool collection, planned for 2014 and tentatively titled Walter Richard Sickert: The Hand behind the Brush. Curatorial Scholars spend four weeks at the Center to advance research on their own collections or curatorial projects and to participate in the intellectual life of the Center and Yale University.
Chi-ming Yang will pursue research for her book project, “Global Chinoiserie and the Lives of Objects, 1660-1800,” which examines how Asian decorative arts shaped English discourses of racial difference in eighteenth-century literary and visual culture.
Visiting Scholar Matthew Hunter intends to study the work of Sir Joshua Reynolds, an inveterate chemical experimenter as well as the first president of Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts. Drawing upon collections and archival materials uniquely available at the Center, Hunter’s project uses Reynolds’s complex engagement with painting’s “nice chymistry” to reconsider this crucial figure in British art and the longer legacies of his practice.
William Coleman’s project “Thomas Cole’s Buildings: Architecture in Painting and Practice in the Early Republic,” studies the persistence of the idea of the English country house in the work of the Anglo-American landscape painter Thomas Cole. Although Cole is often referred to as “the father of American landscape painting,” it has not been understood that his enigmatic paintings of the houses of his patrons apply the tropes of English “house portraiture” to American political circumstances and that the artist had particularly close links with the work of John Constable. The Center’s prints and drawings collections will contribute to a fuller understanding of the visual culture of country houses in the early nineteenth century and Cole’s relationship to that tradition.
Grace Brockington’s scholarship concerns Vanessa Bell (1876-1961), an artist of international stature who operated at the forefront of the British avant-garde. Historians have failed to give an adequate account of her critical, cosmopolitan practice, accepting at face value her portrayal as a Bloomsbury bohemian on the one hand, and as a withdrawn, even inarticulate artist on the other. Brockington’s study of Bell is based on a close examination of her work and its visual references; her work is a reaction against the prevailing biographical approach and a response to Bell’s own practice of talking about art in the gallery. As a visiting scholar at the Center, Brockington will examine the collection of works by Bell (including drawings, paintings, and manuscript letters) in relation to the larger holdings of British art. She will also study the work of associated modern artists such as Duncan Grant and Walter Sickert as well as the eighteenth-century Conversation Piece, a genre which Bell reinvented in her group portraits of 1912-13 (e.g., Conversation at Asheham House, 1912).
Seaweed in the Victorian era was far more imaginatively conceptualized than it is today. By examining the representation of seaweed in the collections at the Center, from its scientific delineation to its romantic envisaging, from its intrepid collection to its decorative reinvention in art and craft, Molly Duggins intends to trace its trajectory from a botanical specimen to a malleable artistic medium employed to civilize nature and the home, the self, and society in Victorian visual culture. Building upon the exhibition Ocean Flowers: Impressions From Nature, held at the Center in 2004, as well as her own doctoral research which considers the assemblage of nature in Australian colonial albums, Duggins will explore the visual discourse on seaweed in the Center’s Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts. Her project is entitled, “From Scientific Specimen to Civilising Medium: Seaweed and the Art of Arrangement in Nineteenth-Century British Visual Culture.”
Cora Gilroy-Ware’s project, entitled “Thomas Stothard and Henry Howard: In Search of Grace and Elegance,” is part of her doctorate dissertation, “The Classical Nude in Romantic Britain.” Thomas Stothard’s nudes force an alternative definition of the classical nude: from copious literary illustrations to the design of the Wellington shelf and large-scale decorative schemes at Burleigh House and Edinburgh’s Signet Library, the “elegance” of his manner captivated the British public, and he was, for a while, the most celebrated artist of his day. The contributions of both Stothard and his contemporary Henry Howard to the idea of the “classical nude” bypass straightforward patterns of emulation and influence. At the Center, Gilroy-Ware will further examine Stothard’s contribution to the idea and the image of the classical nude, and why and how Howard’s search for that “fascinating quality in its greatest purity” led to visual ineffectuality and critical unsuccess.
Dr. Matthew Craske visits the Center as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Senior Visiting Scholar, to undertake research on the employment of images in churches in the English Protestant tradition, focusing on St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster. He will also work on his book-length project, Wright of Derby: The Art of Friendship, which is supported by a Senior Research Fellowship from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. Andrew W. Mellon Senior Visiting Scholars are invited to spend two months at the Center, pursuing their research and participating in the intellectual life of the Center and Yale University.
On the basis of previous research, Celina Fox conjectures that tours of northern Europe, which extended beyond the realms of improvement and amusement to serve professional ends, were more pragmatic in their core purpose than tours to Italy and the Mediterranean. Fox’s project will be to explore the material at the Center relating to the Northern Grand TourâBritish travellers to the Low Countries, Germany, the Habsburg Empire, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, and Scandinaviaâfrom the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Fox will spend her time at the Center studying its collection of manuscript travel journals, watercolor albums, drawings, and prints of the tourists of Northern Europe who travelled from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century. In addition, Fox will benefit from consulting resources at the Lewis Walpole Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Why did eighteenth-century British people “get up a play” wherever they went? Kathleen Wilson’s current book project provides answers to this question by examining a heretofore unstudied circuit of theatrical performance that extended from London to Jamaica, Calcutta, Fort Marlborough (Sumatra), St. Helena and Port Jackson (New South Wales), and back to metropolitan towns and cities. Less a theatrical history than a political and cultural history of Britishness and its translations in global settings, this study identifies how national and imperial community were performed, idealized and continually re-invented. Wilson will spend her time at the Center finishing the draft of her book and finding prints of plays, actors, and sites that can illuminate the role of theater and the performance of difference in provincial and colonial towns across the Atlantic and Pacific worlds.
Morna O’Neill’s project, “This Place: Attributing the Inscription of âEnglish Landscape Scenery,’” seeks to re-examine John Constable’s collaboration with David Lucas known as “English Landscape Scenery” (1830-32) in light of her discovery of the source of the Latin verse included on the frontispiece. O’Neill’s attribution of the Latin inscription to Constable’s print series prompts a reconsideration of his goals for “English Landscape Scenery,” as well as for his larger project and formation of his artistic identity. O’Neill will research the specific and broader questions raised by the allusions to William Camden’s Britannia and Alexander Neckam’s poetry using the Center’s extensive collection of Constable-related material.
Rivke Jaffe is researching the aesthetics of pollution in the context of Victorian-era sanitary reform in Kingston, Jamaica. Her project will explore how Victorian ideologies of cleanliness mapped onto the urban Caribbean, and how they articulated post-emancipation hopes and fears. Jaffe will use her time at the Center to access the historical and visual sources on pollution, disease, and sanitary reform in the British Empire, such as the Center’s extensive collection of illustrated periodicals, maps, prints, and drawings. Jaffe’s research will culminate in a chapter in the publication tentatively titled “Victorian Jamaica,” and a historical chapter in a larger monograph entiteld “Concrete Jungles: Environmentalism, Urban Space, and the Politics of Difference.”
Stephanie O’Rourke will spend her time at the Center researching for her project, “Impressed upon the Countenance: Fuseli and the Physiognomic Body.” Her project revisits the relationship between Henry Fuseli and Johann Lavater, who collaborated in the production of numerous French and English editions of Lavater’s seminal text on physiognomy, “Physiognomische Fragmente” in the 1780s. Through this project, O’Rourke seeks to contribute to contemporary scholarship and its compelling reevaluation of Fuseli’s work by revisiting the role of physiognomy in terms of the spectatorial body. O’Rourke’s work will involve a detailed examination of Lavater’s multivolume text as well as the Center’s materials on Henry Fuseli, Horace Walpole, physiognomy, and the display and reception of painting at the Royal Academy.
Caroline Good’s research project is entitled, “Two Cultures: English Writers on Art and the Making of a National School, 1658-1719.” Good intends to provide an intensively researched and historically specific perspective on the theory and early historiography of British art between 1658 and 1719 through the written accounts of English art that were produced in these years. The Center’s collection contains the rare books and manuscripts that form the backbone of her thesis, from William Sanderson’s Graphice (1658) to Jonathan Richardson’s Two Discourses (1719).
Nicole Blackwood’s project, “Painting, Portraits, and Poetry: Cornelis Ketel in England, 1573-1581,” explores the visual and literary formation of the Dutch artist Cornelis Ketel (1548-1616) during his seven-year stay in England between 1573 and 1581. This project, which consists of two separate but related articles, will be the first substantial study on Ketel’s English period and will contribute to the growing interest in understanding the role of foreign artists working in England during the late sixteenth century. Blackwood’s scholarship at the Center will focus on Ketel’s portrait of John Smyth of Ostenhanger (1578).
While in residence at the Yale Center for British Art, Crystal Lake will be working on a book project titled Curious Things: Artifacts in British Literature and Culture, 1660-1830. It takes as its central concern eighteenth-century antiquarianism (an early form of archaeology) and examines the ways writers, artists, and collectors used artifacts to imagine and encode controversial narratives about the history of Britain’s political institutions. Chapters are organized thematically around the period’s most popularly collected artifacts: coins, manuscripts, weapons, jewels, and relics. Lake plans to spend most of her time in residence studying eighteenth-century depictions of military antiquities and histories of war in order to complete her chapter on weapons.
Every year the Center hosts a curator from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, for one month, in a reciprocal exchange that sends a Center curator to the V&A. This year, our curatorial exchange scholar will be Amy Mechowski, Associate Curator of Sculpture at the V&A, who will be using the Center’s reference library to research a group of fifty wax reliefs in the V&A sculpture collection which were produced by five women artists in Britain between 1800 and 1900. Her research will lead to a feature article for the museum website and a publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal. This summer the Center sends Eleanor Hughes, Associate Curator and Head of Exhibitions and Publications, to the V&A to undertake research on Thomas Banks’s monument to Captain Westcott for an essay to be published in a volume on the British School of Sculpture, edited by Jason Edwards and Sarah Burnage.
Crystal returns to the center to complete her research on a book project titled “Curious Things: Artifacts in British Literature and Culture, 1660-1830.” It takes as its central concern eighteenth-century antiquarianism (an early form of archaeology) and examines the ways writers, artists, and collectors used artifacts to imagine and encode controversial narratives about the history of Britain’s political institutions. Chapters are organized thematically around the period’s most popularly collected artifacts: coins, manuscripts, weapons, jewels, and relics. Lake plans to spend most of her time in residence studying eighteenth-century depictions of military antiquities and histories of war in order to complete her chapter on weapons.
Professor Bann visits the Center as a Senior Visiting Scholar to pursue his research focused on the milieu of architectural history and practice in Britain in the early nineteenth century, which will form the subject of his plenary lecture at the Pugin bicentennial conference in Canterbury in July. He will also work on American/English little magazines and visual poetics in the 1960s as part of his ongoing research on the artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. Senior Visiting Scholars are invited to spend one month at the Center annually for a term of three years, pursuing their research and participating in the intellectual life of the Center and Yale University. This is Professor Bann’s first year at the Center.
The research Lucinda Lax plans to undertake at Yale will center on the three exhibition worksâknown as The Virtuous Comforted, The Profligate Punished, and The Generosity of Johnny Pearmainâthat Edward Penny produced for the Royal Academy in 1774 and 1782. Lax is particularly interested in exploring how these pieces promoted what can be described as a new mode of “genre” painting and how, as such, they departed from traditional pictorial models while still responding to and closely corresponding with the other exhibition productions on display. Apart from devoting time to studying these pieces first hand, she also intends to use her visit as an opportunity to view any additional material, such as drawings or preliminary sketches, which may relate to these works, as well as to explore the Center’s broader collection of British paintings and its eighteenth-century archive in considerable detail.
Jocelyn Anderson will be in residence to conduct research for a dissertation entitled “Remaking the Country House: Country-House Guidebooks from 1770 to 1815.” This project aims to explore how the public image of famous country houses (those which had their own guidebooks) evolved in relation to country-house tourism during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The Center’s paintings, prints, rare books (particularly the Abbey Collection) and manuscripts will be explored.
Professor Julie Codell’s project is to deploy recent studies of material culture to understand the profuse images of material objects in nineteenth-century painting when painting suddenly competed with an expanding visual culture in shops, advertising, world’s fairs, museums, photography, and exhibitions, and in sales of colonial objects flooding the market. Codell hypothesizes that artists deployed disruptive narrative strategies and temporal discontinuities to construct a criticism of popular taste in material culture spectating venues and an alternate virtual world of goods. Through this critique artists struggled to express conditions of modern life through radical representations of things, space, and time. She addresses the role of “high” culture in an age dominated by commercial venues, a mass public, and the virtual image, also relevant to our own culture of virtuality and simulacra.
Sean Willcock will conduct research for his PhD thesis, “Consolidating the Colonies: Art and Unrest in the British Empire, 1850-1900.” This project seeks to examine the visual culture of imperial unrest in the nineteenth-century British Empire. Taking the form of a series of case studies predominately relating to colonial India, it considers moments of turbulence or crisis in which the British invoked graphic and photographic practices with a degree of ideological urgency and with an eye to their military or diplomatic utility.
The Duchy of Cornwall, the most southwesterly peninsula of Britain, has been an artistic hub for well over 150 years. It is famous for the Newlyn and St. Ives “art schools” and has been home to such internationally recognized creative people as Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Sir Terry Frost, and Dame Laura Knight. Patrick Laviolette will look at the works of Cornish-based artists in the Center’s collection; he is particularly interested in examining these pieces in terms of the landscape depictions and spatial representations that occur within them. Conceptually, the idea is to consider the ways in which these artworks act as diasporic objects of identity for this peripheral rural region which has been a well-known land of labor emigration and exile.
Ada Sharpe will carry out research for a dissertation entitled “Rapture at Work: Romanticism and the Discourses of Female Accomplishment.” Her dissertation explores the relationship between the practice and production of women’s decorative or amateur arts within British middle-class culture during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and women’s literary production of this same period. At the Center, she will examine primary non-literary sources, dating from the late-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries, relating to the topic of women’s work in the decorative arts.
Geoff Belknap’s research involves the investigation of books illustrated with photographic positives between 1840 and 1880, and their concomitant use in the Victorian periodical press. In particular he will be looking at William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature (1844), a presentation copy of the Reports by the Juries of the 1851 Great Exhibition, and Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion (1887). Belknap will then look at the ways in which images from these three books moved into the American and British periodical print press. In doing so, he hopes to gain a better understanding of the ways in which different visual epistemologies were constructed dependent on the print space in which a photograph was reproduced.
Professor Matthew Reeve’s research project concerns the construction of the Gothic in England between 1624 and 1820, with a particular focus on the eighteenth century. Exploring the Gothic as a poetics of otherness rather than a formal style, he is concerned with the themes of nature, sexuality, and politics. While at the Center he will be pursuing English patrons and designers of the Gothic during the eighteenth century, particularly William Stukeley, John Carter, and Horace Walpole.
Georgina Cole’s “The Senses in Eighteenth-Century Art and Thought” is a study of the five senses in eighteenth-century French and British visual culture in the context of the science and philosophy of the period. The objects of this study will be a range of eighteenth-century paintings, prints, and architectural designs that deal with the senses and the process of sensation. Through these visual sources, Cole intends to explore how art and architecture, as peculiarly sensual forms of communication, were used as a forum to investigate sensation and to engage the viewer in a dialogue about perception, sensuality, and knowledge.
Roberto Ferrari will spend his time at the Yale Center for British Art conducting research for his doctoral dissertation on the British sculptor John Gibson (1790-1866), who based his studio in Rome. Ferrari’s dissertation is the first monographic study on the sculptor and will discuss his work in the context of contemporary issues as diverse as studio practice, reproductive media, homoeroticism, and the revival of polychrome sculpture, ultimately demonstrating how for Gibson the classical body was modern and not an outdated mode of representation. The Center’s sculpture collection includes three busts by Gibson which Ferrari will have the opportunity to study, and the library, in conjunction with other Yale libraries, holds related material on Gibson, including correspondence, information regarding the Great Exhibition of 1851, and periodicals published in Rome in the 1830s and 1840s which discuss Gibson’s life and work.
Clarissa Campbell Orr visited the Center as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Senior Visiting Scholar to pursue her research for a study of Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, and a biography of Mary Granville Delany, 1700-1788, for Yale University Press. Senior Visiting Scholars are invited to spend two months at the Center, pursuing their research and participating in the intellectual life of the Center and Yale University.
Eriko Yamaguchi’s research project at the Center focuses on Dante Gabriel Rossetti as a designer of the applied arts and examines his decorative design in relation to medievalism. Since Rossetti was not only a founding member of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co., but was perhaps the first to produce an Aesthetic or Anglo-Japanese design of the kind usually associated with Whistler and Godwin, Yamaguchi’s research further investigates the development of his interest in medieval decoration into an “aesthetic” decoration via Japonisme.
Jonny Yarker will research the attitude of British artists and critics towards copying and imitation, from the publication of Richardson’s “Essay on the Theory of Painting” in 1715 to the foundation of the painting school of the Royal Academy in 1816. He is interested in the apparent conflict between the official antipathy towards copyingâReynolds called it “a delusive kind of industry”âand the evidence of widespread copying by painters. Yarker’s work focuses on both the practice of copying Old Masters and replication of contemporary canvases and their contemporary appreciation. He is also interested in the related rise of connoisseurship in Britain.
Michael Rosenthal, Professor Emeritus, Department of the History of Art, University of Warwick, will carry out research on the numerous watercolors and drawings generated during the first fifty years of the British colonization of Australia, as part of a book project entitled “The Artless Landscape.”
Arnika Schmidt’s dissertation project, “Giovanni âNino’ Costa (1826-1903): The national and international context of a Roman landscape painter,” examines the artist’s pivotal role in translating German, French, and English landscape traditions into a nineteenth-century Italian idiom while concentrating on the aspect of intercultural exchange. At the Yale Center for British Art, Schmidt will focus on the cultural and personal background of artists associated with the Etruscan School of Painters, a circle formed by Costa and primarily British artists in the winter of 1883-84, including William Blake Richmond, Edith and Matthew Ridley Corbett, George Howard (9th Earl of Carlisle), Edgar Barclay, and Walter MacLaren. Object-based research and an in-depth analysis of the group’s cultural context will allow Schmidt to find new ways of reading the “Etruscan landscapes” and to draw her conclusions as to what constitutes the unifying elements of this transnational artistic circle.
Patricia Mainardi is in the last stages of completing a book manuscript on the beginnings of illustrated print culture in France from 1800 to the 1850s. Since the two capitals of London and Paris each intently watched what the other was doing, copied it and even plagiarized it, Mainardi will be studying contemporaneous British illustration in order to integrate her French research with British precedents during her stay at the Center. Mainardi’s book focuses on early lithographic imagery (caricature and genre prints), book illustration, the illustrated press, comic books, and popular prints.
Professor Matthew Reeve’s research project concerns the construction of the Gothic in England from 1624 to 1820, with a particular focus on the eighteenth century. Exploring the Gothic as a poetics of otherness rather than a formal style, he is concerned with the themes of nature, sexuality, and politics. While at the Center he will be pursuing English patrons and designers of the Gothic during the eighteenth century, particularly William Stukeley, John Carter, and Horace Walpole.
Working women have often been invisible to art historians. Sometimes they appear in paintings as mere staffage, as foils to set off the youth and beauty of elite women, or as a stereotypical type, such as the lazy servant. Diane Wolfthal’s research, by contrast, will examine a small group of images that reveal a strikingly different attitude towards one segment of the working poor. Wolfthal plans to explore English portraits of domestic servants by John Riley, William Sonmans, and Charles Beale II, all dating from 1680 to 1700. These paintings and drawings are quite remarkable in that, unlike most other images of servants, the name of the sitter is often known, she is represented without denigration, and, at times, even with great dignity, and we sometimes know something about the circumstances of the portrait’s production.
Geoff Snell’s thesis, “A Forest of Masts: The Image of the River Thames in the Eighteenth Century,” explores how the visual representation of the Thames evolved to reflect the changes in London as the city grew into a major port and the center of a commercial empire. In addition to the development of the river view in fine art, Snell is exploring the emergence of images of the “working” Thames below London Bridge, the alternative representation of the river in satirical prints, and the artistic interpretation of the rationalization of the river in terms of bridge and dock building. Snell’s research to date has focused primarily on the collection held at National Maritime Museum in London, and so it is his intention to spend his time at Yale undertaking a comparative study of Thames-related works by eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century artists, including topographical prints and caricatures.
Olga Zoller will visit the Yale Center for British Art to study ninety-eight drawings of the Piedmontese architect Giovanni Battista Borra (1713-1770), who accompanied Robert Wood, James Dawkins, and John Bouverie on their archaeological expedition to Asia Minor in 1750 and 1751. These drawings confirm what Robert Wood (1717-1771) had announced in his introduction to The Ruins of Balbec, published four years after the similarly successful book on The Ruins of Palmyra (1753): an edition of a third book on the “more classical part” of the journey, which, however, never appeared. It is Zoller’s ambition to publish the most relevant, instructive, and aesthetically convincing part of this widely unknown group of Borra drawings as a significant, coherent work, which will be of interest as much to art and architectural historians as to archaeologists and museum curators of relevant collections.
Dr. David Lawrence is researching urban militarism and civic military performance in provincial English towns in the period 1620 to 1642. He is exploring the formation of private military societies in eleven towns and the role military affairs played in local governance in the years leading up the War of the Three Kingdoms. His work at the Center will focus primarily on representations of militarized urban space in this period.
David Hansen will conduct research for a book project on the portraitist John Dempsey. Materials to be consulted include cartoons and caricatures in the Center’s Prints and Drawings collection, specialist reference books and sales catalogues containing portrait miniatures and silhouettes of the 1820s, and travel books, costume books, and local histories in the Abbey collection.
Claudia Hucke will conduct research for a project entitled “Restoring the Academy: British Influence on Jamaica’s Postcolonial Artistic Identity.” The resources at the Center, including the portrait paintings and the archival and manuscript materials relating to Sir Joshua Reynolds and John Constable, will be examined with the aim of investigating the relationship of Barrington Watson (born 1931) to the British portrait and history painting tradition.
Nicholas Grindle will be conducting research for a project entitled “Reconceiving Landscape Imagery in England, 1640-1730.” The Center’s collection of printed and landscape imagery from the mid- to late Stuart and early Georgian periods will be examined, with particular emphasis on groups of drawings and paintings.
Anne-FranÃ§oise Morel is conducting research for a project entitled “Cross-confessional Cultural Exchanges between England and Italy in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: religious architecture, ethics, and aesthetics.” The Center’s rich collection of early work on aesthetics, ethics, and emotions will be examined to explore their impact on the dissemination of architectural theory and building styles.
Andrew Walkling is conducting research for a project entitled “Instruments of Absolutism: Restoration Court Culture and the Epideictic Mode.” Materials to be consulted include several portraits of James II, works by portrait painter Willem Wissing, a group of allegorical prints by Gerard de Lairesse, Wenceslaus Hollar’s engraving of the statue of Charles I at Charing Cross, Sir William Jennens’s advertisement for the King’s Bath, and the plans and elevations of Monmouth House, Soho Square.
Christiane Hille conducted research for a book project entitled In Britainne’s Glorious Eye: Changing Displays of the Courtly Body in the Stuart Masque and Portrait, paying particular attention to two chapters entitled “Scopic Relations of Social Identity in Early-Modern England” and “The Duke of Buckingham and the Triumph of Painting at the Court of Charles I.”
Christopher Baker conducted research for a project entitled A Catalogue of the English and American Paintings in the Collection of the National Gallery of Scotland. A study of the Center’s resources contributed to the preparation of a systematic, scholarly catalogue of the eighty-six English and American oil paintings in the collection of the National Gallery of Scotland.
Angela McShane investigated literary and visual materials relating to a major research project on the “Material Cultures of Drinking in Early Modern Europe.” Concurrently engaged in a book project entitled Political Broadside Ballads of Seventeenth Century England. A Critical Bibliography (forthcoming, 2011), Angela also studied the significant collections of ballads held at Yale, many of which are drinking songs.
James Fox conducted research for a book project entitled Business Unusual: British Art and the First World War, 1914-1920. Materials consulted include the Cave of the Golden Calf archive; rare exhibition catalogues; and works in various media by Walter Sickert, Henri Gaudier-Brezska, Duncan Grant, Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer, Augustus John, Eric Gill, Wyndham Lewis, Edward Wadsworth, Jacob Epstein, David Bomberg, and C. R. W. Nevinson.
Steffen Egle conducted research for a project entitled “Teaching Landscape Painting in Great Britain and Germany 1760-1830: A Comparative Study.” Teaching practices and methods in Britain and Germany will be compared with the aim of acquiring a better understanding of national facets in the notion and conception of landscape painting in both countries.
David Jacques conducted research for a project entitled “Country House Portraits 1660-1740,” concentrating upon the circumstances and context of country house portraits.
Ruth Kenny conducted research for a book project entitled The Craze for Pastel: the rise and fall of a medium 1650-1800. Works by artists such as John Greenhill, Edmund Ashfield, William Faithorne, Jonathan Richardson, William Hoare, James Sharples, Robert Healy, Thomas Hickey, and Hugh Douglas Hamilton were examined to trace pastel’s trajectory over the hundred and fifty years of its greatest significance.
Peter Lindfield conducted research for a project entitled “Rococo, antiquarianism, and the medieval: reconstruction of the Gothic aesthetic in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British furniture.” The Center’s Grand Tour diaries, furniture pattern books, and drawings by cabinetmakers were consulted to examine the development of “the Gothic” as an intellectual concept and establish how advances in the understanding of its characteristics were expressed in the form and ornament of furniture during the period 1740 to 1850.
Dipti Khera conducted research for a dissertation entitled “Picturing India’s âLand of Princes’ in between the Mughal and British Empires: Topographical Imaginings of Udaipur and its Environs.” The extensive collection of topographical views of India by British artists, as well as engravings by Edward Finden and select watercolors by Thomas Stothard, were examined to illuminate the larger visual context of Captain Patrick Waugh’s artistic ambitions.
Nathaniel Stein conducted research for a project entitled “Colonial Encounter and Corporeal Vulnerability: British Masculinity and the Representation of India, 1857-1879.” Materials consulted include representations of the Indian Uprising of 1857 and the photography of Major Robert Gill.
Jennifer Ferng conducted research for a project entitled “On Stone: Constructing Architecture, Materiality, and Victorian Representations of the Geological Landscape in Nineteenth-Century Britain.” Pictorial representations of the structure of the British landscape were examined in order to explore how aesthetic knowledge about the natural world was either shared or transferred between British architects and geologists during the nineteenth century.
Denis Longchamps conducted research for a project entitled “Mary Anne Burges’s scientific and literary achievements,” based on the Center’s recently acquired five-volume set of albums of lepidoptera and flora by Mary Anne Burges (1763-1813). The contents of the albums were examined in detail, and in relation to other materials in the Center’s collections, in order to situate Burges’s work within traditions of “scientific” illustration in the late eighteenth century.
Amanda Herbert studied the spaces, cultures, and geographies of early modern British spas as part of the development of her dissertation, entitled “Female Alliances: Gender, Identity and Friendship in Britain, 1640-1714,” for publication. City plans, topographical surveys, and visual representations of the baths were examined alongside literary sources to explore female sociability and the practices of bathers in the period.
Nicholas Mayhew conducted research for an exhibition project entitled The Art of Banking. Scheduled for 2011 or 2012, this exhibition will explore the history of banking and the nature of money in the modern world.
Rebecca Stern conducted research for a book project entitled Conjugating Victorians: Meditations on Grammar, Time, and Other Living Forms. With a particular emphasis upon the relationship between material culture and narrative, the book analyzes Victorian reconceptualizations of time. A. W. N. Pugin’s architectural drawings, books, and papers, topographies in the Nathan collection, illustrations of clocks, and works by Owen Jones, Christopher Dresser, and William Morris were examined.
Jennifer Van Horn studied the Center’s collections of topographical views, maps, and English portraiture of the second half of the eighteenth century, as part of the development of her dissertation, entitled “The Object of Civility and the Art of Politeness in British America, 1740-1780,” for publication. The book will examine the ways in which elite British colonists in North America used objectsâincluding portraits, engraved city views, and dressing tablesâto create and maintain their civility.
Dame Gillian Beer visited the Center as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Senior Visiting Scholar to pursue her research on the interconnections of art and science. Senior Visiting Scholars are invited to spend one month at the Center annually for a term of three years, pursuing their research and participating in the intellectual life of the Center and the University. This was Dame Gillian’s second year at the Center.
Mark Crosby conducted research for a project entitled “William Blake’s Apprenticeship and the Engraving Studio of James Basire.” Prints originating from Basire’s studio, including the prints and other material relating to Richard Gough’s Sepulchral Monuments and Vetusta Monumenta, were examined alongside other original graphic works by Blake in the Center’s collections, such as the colored copy of Jerusalem.
Romita Ray conducted research for a book project entitled Under the Banyan Tree: Relocating the Picturesque in British India, 1700-1947. Maps, drawings, photographs, prints, paintings, rare books, letters, and memos in the Center’s collections were studied to develop two chapters in particular: “Paradise at the Taj Mahal,” which will analyze the gardens of the Taj Mahal, and “Maharajas, Nabobery and Jewels in the Crown.”
Every year the Center hosts a curator from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London, for one month, in a reciprocal exchange that sends a Center curator to the V&A. This year, our curatorial exchange scholar will be Christopher Breward, Head of Research at the V&A, who will be working on the visual culture of postwar British design for the forthcoming V&A exhibition Designing Britain 1948-2012. This spring the Center will send Elisabeth Fairman, Senior Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, to research contemporary artists’ books in the V&A’s Word and Image Department in preparation for an exhibition on the subject.
Luisa CalÃ¨ studied William Blake’s watercolor extra-illustrations of Thomas Gray’s Poems in the Center’s collection, comparing them with his extra-illustrations of Edward Young’s Night Thoughts, and setting them in the context of the visual cultures of books, exhibitions, and collecting practices in the late eighteenth century. This research will contribute to a number of publication projects, including a book entitled Blake Unbound: Collecting, Extra-illustration, Re-membering the Corpus.
William Pressly carried out research for a book project entitled Writing the Vision for a New Public Art: James Barry’s Murals at the Royal Society of Arts. Eighteenth-century books and maps in the Center’s collections were studied alongside Barry’s works, including prints and the painting Chiron and Achilles.
Zirwat Chowdhury studied works by British artists in India for a dissertation entitled “The Impossibility of India in British Art and Architecture, 1780-1836.” This project examines visual representations of India in British landscape painting, architecture, portraiture, and caricature from 1780 to 1836 in the midst of efforts to consolidate and legitimize the British Empire in India. Works by William Hodges, Thomas and William Daniell, and George Dance the Younger were of particular interest.
Margaretta Frederick conducted research for a publication and exhibition project entitled The Landscape Watercolors of George Wilson (1848-1890). With the aim of contextualizing Wilson’s work, she examined examples by Wilson’s predecessors David Cox, John Linnell, Alexander and Patrick Nasmyth; by his contemporaries Joseph Noel Paton, Alfred William Hunt, John Brett, and John William North; and by those who followed, including Joseph Crawhall, Sir James Guthrie, George Henry, and E. A. Walton.
Ralph Hyde studied and catalogued the Center’s collection of mechanical screen fans for a project entitled “Fans for the Fireplace: A Closer Look at Mechanical Screen Fans.” Protean views in the Center’s collections were also examined as part of a broader project on paper panoramas, peepshows, and other optical toys.
Francesca Vanke studied pattern and ornament books and prints, particularly with reference to Chinese design, as part of a project to develop the research and teaching resources relating to the Norwich Castle Museum’s collections and, especially, to explore the links between British and Chinese artifacts in the period 1650-1837. Relevant texts included A New Book of Chinese Designs (1755) by Jean Pillement and Chinese Architecture, Civil and Ornamental (1759) by Paul Decker.
Connie Wan studied works in the Center’s collections by John Ruskin, David Cox, John Henry Mole, and George Arthur Fripp as part of a dissertation project entitled “Along Family Lines: the Role of the Lines Family in Birmingham’s Artistic Community, 1800-1888,” which focuses on a set of drawings by the Birmingham artist Samuel Lines and his sons. The family’s drawings were compared with works on similar subjects by Ruskin, Cox, Mole, and Fripp.
Andrea Korda explored the Center’s Herkomer Archive alongside scrapbooks, portfolios, and paintings by Hubert von Herkomer for a dissertation entitled “The Graphic and Social Realism: Print Culture and Painting in Victorian London.” This project aims to interrogate the relationship between painting and print culture in the period. The Center’s holdings relating to the work of other major artists associated with the Graphic and the broader history of Social Realism in Victorian England were also examined.
Marcia Pointon visited Yale as a Senior Visiting Scholar to conduct research for a book project entitled The Persistence of Portraiture. Senior Visiting Scholars are invited to spend one month at the Center annually for a term of three years, pursuing their research and participating in the intellectual life of the Center and the University. This was Professor Pointon’s second year at the Center.
Leon Wainwright studied materials in the Center’s collections relating to transatlantic links between Britain and the Caribbean and histories of migration and diaspora, particularly works by contemporary artists such as Joy Gregory and Chris Ofili, for a book project entitled “Art and Time in the Transnational Caribbean.” This book will examine the historical development of networks of visual practice linking Britain, Asia, Africa, and the Americas during the period of the end of Empire and its aftermath.
Petrina Dacres explored the Center’s holdings on memorial sculpture in the British Empire for a project to develop her PhD dissertation on monuments in the Jamaican public-historical sphere into a book that will contextualize Jamaican commemorative monuments in terms of larger trends in British memorial sculpture. Particular attention was given to Britain’s political public sculptures and investments in statues of Queen Victoria in its colonies. The project will also investigate public sculpture in twentieth-century Britain and Jamaica.
Jay Curley carried out research on the Center’s John McHale/Independent Group archive for a book project entitled The Art that Came in from the Cold: Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, and Cold War Visuality. This book aims to tackle the political agency and ambiguity of visual images during the conflict, particularly those disseminated by the mass press throughout America and Europe. New research into the London-based Independent Group’s interests in photography and the mass media transmission of images will form the basis of a chapter that will reformulate the Cold War era debates of abstraction versus figuration via photography.
Meredith Hale studied the Center’s collection of mezzotints alongside satires and caricatures by William Hogarth and Thomas Rowlandson for a project entitled “Print Cultures and Political Satires: Anglo-Dutch Exchange and the Birth of a Modern Genre.” She investigated the nature of the exchange in printed material between the Netherlands and England in the last decades of the seventeenth century and the impact that the earliest political satires had on the work of satirists such as Hogarth and Rowlandson.
Phillip Lindley conducted research for a book entitled The Golden Age and its Destruction: Sculpture in England from the Black Death to the Reformation. Early local history books such as Dugdale’s Warwickshire and St Paul’s and Thoroton’s Nottinghamshire were studied alongside eighteenth-century works such as Drake’s Eboracum and Topham’s St. Stephens. The Center’s topographical prints, architectural drawings, and Nottingham alabaster were also examined.
Bart Thurber researched and developed a future exhibition entitled Lord Dartmouth, Robert Clements, & the Grand Tour, focusing on the Grand Tour itineraries of William Legge, Second Earl of Dartmouth (1731-1801) and Robert Clements, later First Earl of Leitrim (1732-1804). The Center’s holdings of correspondence, manuscripts and works of art relating to the Grand Tour were examined.
Chris Coltrin studied the Center’s extensive collection of works on paper, particularly watercolors, by John Martin for a dissertation entitled “Destruction or Deliverance? The Politics of Catastrophe in the Art of John Martin.” This project explores how the work of Martin and his followers, including Francis Danby, David Roberts, and Samuel Colman, might have operated politically in nineteenth-century Britain, with particular emphasis on their “apocalyptic” paintings.
Amy Von Lintel carried out research for a dissertation entitled “Surveying the Field: Popular Illustrated Art Histories in Nineteenth-Century Britain and France.” The Center’s large holdings of nineteenth-century books illustrated with wood engravings were explored. British art’s role in nineteenth-century art-historical surveys was also investigated through the study of works in the Center’s collections by artists such as David Wilkie, Richard Wilson, Thomas Lawrence, Francis Chantry, Edwin Landseer, William Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, John Constable, and J. M. W. Turner.
Julius Bryant, Keeper of Word & Image at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (V&A), as part of a special yearly curatorial exchange with the V&A. He will be undertaking research toward a major exhibition on William Kent scheduled for 2013.