Salon: Issue 402
6 March 2018
Next issue: 20 March
The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.
Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor. Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
Fellows may occasionally find they do not receive email notification of a new Salon. There are suggestions for solving this here, but failing all else there is an online archive where new editions go live at the same time as the mailing. Every Salon lists the publication date of the next edition at the top.
From the Desk of the General Secretary
"Coins and Power" (1 March Ordinary Meeting)
President, Fellows, Guests and Skiers: For those unable to make it to (a very snowy) Burlington House for last week's Ordinary Meeting, you can catch-up on Andrew Burnett FSA and Richard Simpson FSA's fantastic lecture "Coins and Power: Thomas Smith and the Rediscovery of Roman History in Elizabethan England", which has just been posted to YouTube.
Did you know that you can find recordings of all our Ordinary Meetings and Public Lectures (sorted by playlist) on the Society's YouTube channel?
Event reminder (12 March)
The Heritage of Minority Faith Buildings in the 20th Century
Co-hosted with Historic England
and organised by Dr Linda Monckton FSA
, this conference will bring together new research on Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain and Zoroastrian places of worship. The aim is to provide a platform for a discussion on issues of heritage practice and heritage discourse in the field of multiculturalism, multiple identities and the historic environment; focusing on faith groups which arrived in the UK in the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Book your place >
Dates for your diary
With spring (hopefully) just around the corner, we are looking forward to our annual Anniversary Meeting and Summer Soirée. You can find information on all forthcoming events (including those for Fellows, the public, conferences, and special events) on the Society's website >
From the Governance Officer
Online Balloting is now open
To vote online in our four upcoming Ballots, please login to the Fellows’ Area and go to the Ballots section. From here, you can read Blue Papers and cast your vote for all candidates. Simply click on the ‘Details’ option to the right of a candidates’ name, and you will automatically be taken to the voting page.
Cast your votes >
Please note, online balloting closes at noon on the day of the vote. The next vote is taking place on 15 March but you may vote online at any time until noon on the day of the ballot.
Waves Making Art
This painting by John Martin, which he called The Destruction of Pharaoh’s Host (1836), was sold in 1991 by Sotheby’s, London for £107,800, then a watercolour world auction record for the artist. Arts Minister Michael Ellis has now placed a temporary export bar on it, allowing interested parties to match the price it fetched most recently, of £1,509,102. The decision on the export licence application will be deferred until 21 May, extendable until 21 September if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made.
In true Martin style, the drawing illustrates the Biblical story (Exodus 14) of Moses, who miraculously parted the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to cross, at the point where he released the waters to drown the pursuing Egyptian army.
Reviewing Committee member Lowell Libson FSA said in a press statement:
‘Working in watercolour played a significant part in Martin’s art throughout his career, although he is now best remembered for his exhibition works in oil. The Destruction of Pharaoh’s Host not only demonstrates Martin’s mastery of the medium, but underlines how he employed it to achieve emotional and dramatic effects of a subtlety which were impossible in his larger scale oil paintings. The Destruction of Pharaoh’s Host numbers amongst the greatest of Martin’s watercolours.’
• Meanwhile Joshua Reynolds’ portrait of Omai continues to taunt a system designed to give the UK control of what art should leave the country, while seeming to hand the last say to private owners. Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, told John Wilson writing for the Observer (25 February) that in public hands, the painting could tell ‘a series of stories across a range of museums – Tate, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Natural History Museum, and even the British Museum.’ Brought to England in 1774, in Reynolds’ eyes the celebrated Polynesian man became a striking multicultural vison – or muddle, some might say – of primal humanity, his tattooed hands emerging from a Middle Eastern-cum-Indian-looking wrap as he casts his noble gaze over an European landscape with palm trees.
Tate rejected an opportunity to acquire the portrait for £5.5 million, and in 2001 it was bought by Irish businessman John Magnier for around £10 million. Refused an export licence, Magnier turned down an offer from Tate of £12.5 million and hid the work from public view. The government gave him a temporary export licence, and he took it to Ireland where it was displayed at the National Gallery. It is now in the UK, after a third temporary licence was refused (the export regulation system was in danger of ‘being undermined by repeated use of temporary licences,’ said Ed Vaizey, then arts minister, at the time). Now a fourth licence application has been successful, and Omai will feature in the Rijksmuseum’s exhibition High Society, which opens on 8 March. Picture above from Wikipedia shows a detail of the portrait.
Ancient DNA Continues to Revolutionise the Past
Around 4,500 years ago migrants entered Britain from the European continent, probably travelling from the coasts of France, Belgium or Germany, and initiated a substantial population replacement. The impact is still felt today, with only 10% of the preceding Neolithic genome remaining. The copper age in the UK truly marked the beginning of a new era.
We knew this from a Harvard University research paper published online last year ahead of peer review (‘Pots on the March’, Salon 388). Nature published the article on 21 February, allowing its authors to talk to the press. Among those who did was Mike Parker Pearson FSA (UCL). He told BBC News that the Neolithic British community had monument building ‘absolutely as its core rationale’, while the incoming makers of Beaker pottery were ‘not prepared to collaborate on enormous labour-mobilising projects; their society [was] more de-centralised.’
The context for this is Stonehenge, where our current dating suggests the main structure was built at the very end of the neolithic and shortly before the arrival of Beaker migrants – though smaller megaliths continued to be re-arranged during the Beaker era. There was no ‘violent invasion’, however. The Beaker people, said Parker Pearson, were ‘moving in very small groups or individually’. Steven Shennan FSA (also UCL) noted that ‘around 2500 BC the population [in Britain] is very low and that's precisely when the Beaker population seems to come in.’
In a press release from the University of Cambridge, Christopher Evans FSA (Executive Director of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit) said, ‘this study has been a tremendous project to be involved with. The results are truly ground-breaking and suggest that, with the influx of Continental communities, Britain’s prehistoric story needs to be rewritten in a much more dynamic manner.’ ‘Different teams had different key samples,’ said co-senior author Kristian Kristiansen FSA (University of Gothenburg), ‘and we decided to put together our resources to make possible a study that was more definitive than any of us could have achieved alone.’ The Cambridge Archaeological Unit has supplied many further samples for another Harvard study, of a thousand British Iron Age individuals.
Ian Armit FSA (University of Bradford), a co-senior author of the Beaker paper, said that ‘The pot versus people debate has been one of the most important and long-running questions in archaeology.’ A putative link between the sudden arrival of fine decorated pottery and a migrant ancient population is not unique to western Europe. Among other places, it has long been a key feature of Pacific archaeology, where Lapita pottery gave its name to a culture thought to be the common ancestor of people in contemporary Polynesia, Micronesia and parts of Melanesia. Papers from two different teams were published on 1 March in which ancient DNA from Vanuatu, at the heart of the Lapita region, was described. The teams placed different interpretations on their data.
A report from Harvard, like the European study co-led by David Reich, argues in Current Biology that Lapita people reached the area from Taiwan, bringing Austronesian languages, around 5,000 years ago. Around 2,500 years ago a new migration of Papuan ancestry almost completely replaced the earlier population, despite the absence of a corresponding language change. Hallie Buckley FSA (University of Otago, Dunedin) and Matthew Spriggs FSA (Australian National University, Canberra) are among the authors.
In the second study, in Nature Ecology & Evolution, led by Cosimo Posth of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany, scientists again argue that Papuan ancestry indicates an ‘almost complete replacement of Lapita-Austronesian’ ancestry from around 2,500 years ago. However, they see this not as the result of ‘one large-scale event’, but rather an ‘incremental and complex’ process, ‘with repeated migrations and sex-biased admixture with peoples from the Bismarck Archipelago’. Hallie Buckley, again, and Geoffrey R Clark FSA (Australian National University, Canberra) are among the authors.
The study of ancient DNA, which has been revolutionised by more efficient and cheaper technologies, is compared by David Reich in a forthcoming book (Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past) to the arrival of radiocarbon dating for its potential impact on archaeological research. The book’s blurb carries comments from Barry Cunliffe FSA (‘a truly exciting account of the way in which ancient DNA is making us rethink prehistory’) and Colin Renfrew FSA (‘In just five years the study of ancient DNA has transformed our understanding of world prehistory’).
• Photo at top shows the remains of two adolescents buried together at Trumpington, Cambridgeshire, each with a Beaker pot; DNA analysis showed them to be second-degree relatives (eg niece/uncle), and, like most post-Neolithic remains analysed from Britain, characterised by a Rib haplogroup with eastern European steppe ancestry, which is entirely absent in preceding Neolithic genomes. I took the photo of ni-Vanuatu boys.
Engaging Creatively with Russia's Past
Danila Tkachenko, a Moscow-based photographer, has been awarded for work that focuses on abandoned structures and technology as symbols of wanton progress. In 2015 the British Journal of Photography quoted him as saying that he feels ‘like I am an archaeologist encountering the traces of a past civilisation in order to understand the reasons [why we] create these objects.’ Russia offers a fruitful canvas, with towns emptied by nuclear accidents, ruins of over-ambitious space projects poking out of the snow and remote scientific settlements left to rot.
Last December he revealed a project, variously translated as Homeland or Motherland, in which he took a more active role: he burnt down wooden homes in a deserted village, having previously studied the imprint of their former inhabitants. ‘Art should agitate people,’ he said. He got his wish, immediately being accused of cultural vandalism. The Art Newspaper responded with a piece about grassroots activists campaigning to save Russia’s neglected wooden architecture (February 15).
Even conservation, however, can be destructive in Russia, as Heinrich Härke FSA read in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 19 February (‘a German newspaper,’ Härke tells Salon, ‘which is usually well informed about Russian cultural affairs’). His comments follow below, but first his translation of the story, which was headed, ‘Reported threat to Crimean Tatar palace: destruction by restoration?’
“Conservationists in the Russian-occupied Crimea are alarmed by the threat which incompetent restoration is posing to the Khan’s Palace of Bakhchissaraj. In the mosque of the 16th-century palace complex, the historical roof beams have already been removed, and the original roof tiles are planned to be replaced by new factory-produced shingles made to look old. The Crimean Tatar activist, Edem Dudakov, commented that only some of the beams needed replacing, and the same goes for the roof shingles, and those should be produced by authentic methods.
“The refurbishment project which is kept secret is carried out by the Kiramet Company of Simferopol, main contractor is the Atta Group of Moscow; neither have any experience with restoration work. The lawyer and human rights activist, Rustem Kyamilev, called on the State Prosecutor of Simferopol [capital of the Crimea] to investigate the building contracts which may lead to the complete loss of the monument. Supporting statements have been submitted to the Prosecutor’s office by the human rights activist, Lilya Gemerdshi, and by Elmira Ablyakimova, wife of the Ukrainian-Crimean Tatar politician Akhtem Tshijgos who has been sentenced in a Russian court to eight years in prison.”
‘In the Crimea,’ says Härke, ‘matters of Tatar heritage have become political issues since the 2014 occupation by Russian forces, and Bakhchissaraj Palace is the most potent monument of the Crimea’s pre-Russian history. This political angle is clearly the spin of the newspaper story translated above. A Russian colleague with Crimean contacts whom I approached for verification of the report confirmed the bare facts of the matter as “apparently true”, but put a different spin on it: possibly the museum director had some money to spend on restoration, but not enough to pay an expert firm (particularly not enough to include the usual kickbacks as well), so the contract would have gone to a cheaper firm with personal links to administrators and/or museum staff. So, rather than being a case of cultural cleansing, this may just be a “normal” case of incompetence and corruption, a combination which has become almost endemic in Russian rescue contract archaeology. But the effect would be the same: damage to a jewel of Ottoman architecture.’
Brexit by Numbers
A recent Brexit episode pitched ‘leading intellectuals’ (Tim Shipman) and ‘top academics and thinkers’ (Bryan Appleyard, both in the Sunday Times, 18 February) against Remain voters who dismiss Brexit supporters as ‘racist proles too dim to see through the lies of the Brexit campaign’.
A group of 37 prominent academics, lawyers and business people (but no Fellows) launched a website in support of Brexit under the banner Briefings for Brexit. Their letter to the Times was published on 19 February. The Letters page has disappeared from the paper’s website; the organisation has its own site online, featuring links to press coverage of the letter (‘Brainy people BACK Brexit’, Daily Mail) but not apparently the letter itself.
Still online, however, is a letter to the Times from other ‘intellectuals’ (21 February), responding from Academics for Britain in Europe. Signatories to the letter include Anne Curry FSA, Mark Horton FSA, Diarmaid MacCulloch FSA, Caroline Malone FSA and Simon Stoddart FSA, and the group claims ‘approximately 1,000 supporters’ (among those listed on its website are Hugo Blake FSA, David Blackman FSA, Averil Cameron FSA, Paul Cartledge FSA, Kate Cooper FSA, Stephen Harrison FSA, Rick Jones FSA, Peter Stewart FSA, Andrew Wilson FSA and Greg Woolf FSA).
The following weekend the Sunday Times published a short letter which read, ‘You report that “nearly 40” academics have come together in support of Brexit (“Brainy Brits come out for Brexit”, News, last week). We would like you to know that there are very many more who are of the opposite view.’ It was said to be signed by 1,406 ‘academics’. I may have missed some Fellows, but among the signatories were Greg Woolf FSA and Rebecca Sweetman FSA.
The Prime Minister is not known to have commented.
University staff have been on strike across the UK since 22 February, in protest against proposed cuts to their pensions. They happened to pick a time that included a week of exceptionally cold weather for Britain, with disruption that may well have interfered with teaching anyway. Banners and placards have been colourful. Here are a few, with thanks to @LondonStudent (UCL Institute of Archaeology above), @GabeMoshenska (UCL again, right), @DavidPetts1 (the University of York, below), @UCL_UCU for yet another UCL poster, and Zachary Small at Hyperallergic (the Courtauld Institute, bottom).
• The QS world university rankings 2018
, published on 28 February, highlight the quality of archaeology teaching in the UK. As in 2017, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and UCL take the top three spots respectively. Durham University is at 5 (down from 4) and the University of York at 12 (down from 11). Harvard University was fourth.
Alfred Maudslay's Legacy
The British Museum has an extraordinary collection of records of Mayan remains made by Alfred Maudslay FSA (1850–1931), the subject of a biography by the late Ian Graham FSA. They include notebooks, over 800 glass plate negatives and 500 paper squeezes and plaster casts. Most are in storage, but, Jago Cooper, Curator of the Americas at the BM, told the Guardian in November, they are among the world’s best preserved imagery of Mayan monuments.
In a few years the casts will be moved from west London out to a new store in Reading. It was decided to 3D scan them to make them digitally accessible, and with help from Google Arts and Culture the project expanded to take in state-of-the-art digitisation of the photos and field journals, with Street View tours and VR expeditions.
‘As Maudslay anticipated,’ writes Project Curator Kate Jarvis in a BM blog, ‘many of the original monuments from which [the casts] were taken have been looted, destroyed, or left exposed to weathering and acid rain… in a few cases, Maudslay’s casts are the only surviving record of particular monuments or inscriptions.’
Many of Maudslay’s records can be seen in Preserving Maya Heritage, with commentary by Cooper, and immersive tours of Quiriguá and Tikal. Hartwig Fischer FSA, Director of the British Museum, commented, ‘Digital, virtual and analogue, here at the museum, coming here to engage with the objects themselves, do not exclude each other, they help each other.’
Lizzie Glithero-West FSA and Loyd Grossman FSA, Chief Executive and Chairman respectively of the Heritage Alliance, and Mike Heyworth FSA, Director of the Council for British Archaeology, were among those who attended a sector round table breakfast briefing with Michael Ellis, the Heritage Minister, on 22 February. Ellis said he is keen to champion heritage throughout government, and expressed interest in how UK heritage expertise might be promoted internationally. A first step might be proper recognition of the sector’s strength.
Heritage Update highlighted two reports from the Arts Council on the impact of leaving the EU on the cultural sector. One of these judges the EU’s contribution to the arts, museums and creative industries in England to be around £40m a year. This is, says Heritage Update, ‘likely to be an underestimate’, noting that EU-derived funding for the heritage sector alone, based on a Historic England study, is at least £140m a year.
On 28 February the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) released Sector Economic Estimates for 2016. These show official statistics used to estimate the contribution of arts and sports across the UK, measured by gross value added (GVA). Mike Heyworth was not impressed.
‘Unbelievable that archaeology still does not count within @DCMS figures for the economic impact of the heritage sector as this is narrowly defined as operation of sites, monuments & visitor attractions,’ he tweeted. ‘This definition really needs to be broadened.’ ‘The figures for heritage are within the cultural sector figures,’ he added, ‘measured by employment and imports and exports of services and goods. Heritage overall is heavily under-represented and archaeology isn’t included!’
The DCMS admits there are ‘limitations' to the quality of its data. One ‘which users should be aware of’ notes that ‘The heritage sector is defined in our estimates [as …] Operation of historical sites and building [sic] and similar visitor attractions,’ meaning ‘estimates are likely to be an underestimate for the Heritage sector’. However, the problem the DCMS identifies is an issue with how that statistic is calculated, rather than having a definition of heritage which limits its impact to a component of the tourism industry (which is technically excluded from all the statistics, as ‘estimates were not available’).
The DCMS classifies ‘Museum activities’ and operation of historic sites as part of the Cultural Sector, while admitting that there is ‘no consistent, internationally agreed definition of Culture’. It distinguishes Culture from Creative Industries, the latter having ‘their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property’. Heritage, apparently, owes nothing to ‘individual creativity, skill and talent’.
If this sounds academic, the DCMS’s sector estimates for added value in 2016 may bring perspective. The UK total for the digital sector was £116.5 billion, for creative industries £91.8 billion, and for the cultural sector a politically less impressive £26.8 billion, less than telecoms’ £30 billion (albeit sport and gambling trail with a combined total of around £20 billion).
The well resourced Creative Industries Federation is aware of its power; on 28 February it hosted a much publicised speech by former Prime Minster John Major, on the subject of Brexit. The Federation describes itself as ‘the national organisation for the UK’s creative industries, cultural education and arts,’ and it knows its constituency: ‘The creative industries are the fastest growing sector of the UK economy’, it says, ‘spanning advertising and architecture to video games, performance to publishing, and all the creative disciplines recognised in official statistics – as well as associated areas such as heritage. They are worth £91.8bn GVA.’
The body does not publish a comprehensive list of members, but among charity and not-for-profit organisations it counts the Churches Conservation Trust, the Historic Houses Association, LF Conservation and Preservation, the Natural History Museum, Sandy Nairne FSA/The Clore Leadership Programme, and the Science Museum.
What do Fellows think? Is heritage culture or creative industry? Does it matter or not?
• The Heritage Alliance now shares premises with the Campaign to Protect Rural England at 5-11 Lavington St, London SE1 0NZ.
Fellows (and Friends)
Ian Roy FSA
, 17th-century historian, died in December.
Sherban Cantacuzino FSA
, architect, died in February.
Mike Baxter FSA
, statistician, died in February.
John H Bowles FSA,
church historian, has died.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains further notices on the late Michael Green FSA,
the late Ray Sutcliffe FSA
and the late Beatrice de Cardi FSA
The Ancient India and Iran Trust is holding a Bridget Allchin Memorial Event at Lee Hall, Wolfson College, Cambridge on 17 March at 5 pm. Michael Petraglia will talk about the current state of stone age archaeology in South Asia, in honour of Bridget Allchin FSA
, who died in June last year
. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or 01223 356841.
Ten new Fellows were elected on 1 March:
Joanna Banham (Victorian design especially William Morris)
Joanna Buckberry (palaeopathology)
Timothy Duke (heraldry and genealogy)
Corisande Fenwick (Antique/Islamic North African archaeology)
Margarita Gleba (archaeology of textile production)
Sophie Hay (geophysics in archaeological recording and analysis)
David Hunt (history of the defence of Somerset and region in World War II)
Graham Keevill (archaeology of English cathedrals)
Robert Lockley Turner (English legal history and heraldry)
Rachel Swallow (castle studies and landscape history)
For details see Ballot Results
. Further details can be seen in the Ballot Archive
This photo shows, from the left, Sharon Robinson-Calver (Museum of London), Francis Pryor FSA
, Free Thinking
presenter Shahidha Bari, poet Sean Borodale and Ruth Whitehouse FSA
in the studio to talk about ‘What Lies Beneath; Neanderthal Cave Art to Fatbergs’, with Paul Pettitt FSA
. The programme, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 28 February, can be heard online
. Francis Pryor is promoting his new book, Paths to the Past: Encounters with Britain's Hidden Landscapes
, taking a break in April, he says on his blog
, for lambing.
Dorian Gerhold FSA
writes to say that he has published a short book about Thomas Cromwell and his Family in Putney and Wandsworth
. He uses local and other evidence to show that the traditional account of Cromwell’s early life and dysfunctional family background was in large part invented by a Victorian writer, John Phillips. He argues that, rather than being a violent drunk and jack of all trades, Cromwell’s father Walter was a respectable and substantial businessman, running a beer brewery at Putney and then a mill at Wandsworth, and that he contributed in several ways to the son’s later career.
‘The revival of Manchester’s near dormant historic core,’ says Marcus Binney FSA
, executive president of SAVE, in a press statement, ‘is an outstanding achievement. It has depended not on flashy iconic buildings but first class local architects who have maintained the muscular grit of the city centre responding to its red brick warehouses, mills and office chambers.’ A proposal for a new flashy iconic building goes before Manchester’s planners on 8 March. The tower’s applicants claim it will bring 44 public benefits, says SAVE, arguing that they are not benefits as defined by National Planning Policy Framework and Guidance. The Victorian Society, the Twentieth Century Society and the Manchester Civic Society have objected to the scheme, and Historic England has not supported the application. More information
and a petition
On 31 January John Wilton-Ely FSA
was presented with a festschrift
at a ceremony at the Instituto Centrale per la Grafica, Palazzo Poli, Rome, in recognition of his services to scholarship on the life and works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi FSA
(elected 1757). The publication is volume 32 of the art historical journal, Studi sul Settecento Romano
(Sapienza Università di Roma), entitled Giovanni Battista Piranesi, predecessori, contemporanei e successori
: Studi in onore di John Wilton-Ely
. The papers were formally delivered in 2016 at a special conference arranged by the Royal Swedish Academy in the Royal Palace at Stockholm, which contains a significant collection of Piranesi's imaginatively restored classical antiquities, acquired by Gustav III from the artist's former museo
Mike Heyworth FSA
, Director, Council for British Archaeology, Matthew Slocombe FSA
, Secretary, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and Christopher Costelloe FSA
, Director, The Victorian Society, were among nine representatives of conservation bodies who wrote to the Times
(28 February) to protest to the Welsh Law Commission and the Welsh Assembly about changes to listed building legislation. The proposals would abolish listed building consent in Wales, and merge it with planning permission. A consultation ended on 1 March. ‘We are extremely concerned,’ wrote SAVE in its response, ‘that merging listed building consent with planning permission will result in watered down protection for designated heritage assets in Wales. In our view listing and listed building consent are inextricably linked. To end listed building consent will diminish the effectiveness of listing itself.’
On 20 February London dealer Rod Jellicoe bid for a teapot
with a missing lid and an inexpertly repaired broken handle, and successfully acquired it for the Metropolitan Museum, New York for £460,000 (£575,000 with fees). It had been bought by the vendor for £15 at an antiques fair. Clare Durham, Associate Director at Woolley and Wallis Salisbury Salerooms, thought the pot was made by John Bartlam, a Staffordshire potter who moved to South Carolina in the 1760s, and estimated it would fetch £10–20,000. David Barker FSA
and Rob Hunter FSA told Salon
that only scientific testing could prove the teapot’s suggested New World manufacture. The Met’s labs await.
Considering Creativity: Creativity, Knowledge and Practice in Bronze Age Europe
, edited by Joanna Sofaer FSA,
is a collection of papers, says the blurb, viewing Bronze Age objects through the lens of creativity to bring fresh insights into the interaction between people and the world, as well as the individual and cultural processes that lie behind creative expression. Many of the chapters began at the international conference Creativity: An Exploration Through the Bronze Age and Contemporary Responses to the Bronze Age,
held at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge in 2103 as part of the HERA-funded project Creativity and Craft Production in Middle and Late Bronze Age Europe. Contributions deal with textiles, metal and ceramics.
In Civilisation: A Sceptic’s Guide
(BBC Radio 4 26 February) David Cannadine FSA
argued ‘that history has been wrong to categorise people according to their civilisation’. He illustrated his talk with a catholic range of archive recordings, including a strong case for the need for care in assessing ancient cultures put by Magnus Magnusson FSA.
The recent incarnation of ‘the Us and Them theory of world divisions’, says Cannadine, ‘is sweeping, dangerous and wrong.’ • Civilisations
, a lavish TV production by the BBC explicitly acknowledging its inspiration in a landmark series presented by Kenneth Clark in 1969, launched with a film presented by Simon Schama. He will present four more, Mary Beard FSA
presents two (and has put her script into a book, Civilisations: How Do We Look/The Eye of Faith
) and David Olusoga two (with another book). The whole series can be watched now on iPlayer
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) will celebrating its 75th anniversary next year, and is planning a special Festival of Archaeology for the occasion. However it has announced that there will be no festival this year. In a statement, Director Mike Heyworth FSA
wrote, ‘As a result of not being able to raise sufficient additional funds for the festival following a drop in our grant income, our Trustees have decided instead to focus efforts on developing a new festival for 2019. As ever, we rely on the support of our festival partners, funders, organisers and attendees to make the festival a success and we are very grateful for all of that support. Last year 318 organisers put on over 1,000 events that around 720,000 people had the opportunity be part of. This is a great record that we want to build on as we start to put together a new fundraising strategy for the festival for 2019 and beyond.’
Ian Roy FSA
died on 23 December aged 85. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1989. A historian of 17th-century Britain, he was a founder member and later Acting Chairman of The Battlefields Trust. Les Robinson wrote an obituary for the Guardian
(25 February), from which the following is taken.
Ian Roy was born in Edinburgh. He read history at St Andrews University and gained a PhD at Magdalen College, Oxford, after national service in Malaya. He taught history in Bristol, moving to King’s College London in the 1960s, where he retired in 1996 as Senior Lecturer in History.
He will be particularly remembered, writes Robinson, for his work on the military history, especially the royalist military history, of the English Civil War. His books (‘He was not one to publish for its own sake’) include The Royalist Ordnance Papers, 1642–1646
(two vols, 1964 and 1975); The Hearth Tax Collectors’ Book for Worcester, 1678–1680
(edited with C A F Meekings and S Porter, 1983); and The Diary and Papers of Henry Townshend, 1640–1663
(with S Porter and S Roberts, 2014).
Sherban Cantacuzino FSA
died on 19 February aged 89. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1995. A London-based architect and writer, a Board Member of the Enescu Society and Founder Member and President of Pro Patrimonio Foundation (the National Trust of Romania), he was the son of George Matei Cantacuzino (1899–1960), a revered Romanian architect who served five years hard labour under the Communist regime.
Sherban Cantacuzino came to England for school (ending up at Winchester College) in 1939, and stayed after the war with his mother and sister. He studied architecture at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and became a partner in the architectural practice of Steane, Shipman and Cantacuzino. In 1973 he was appointed Executive Editor of the Architectural Review
. He was Secretary of the Royal Fine Art Commission from 1979 to 1994.
His books include New Uses for Old Buildings
(1975), Saving Old Buildings
(1980), Re/Architecture: Old Buildings/New Buildings
(1989) and What Makes a Good Building?
In 2008 he received the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award, for his ‘outstanding contribution to the welfare of Europe's cultural heritage’. ‘He has taught, published and helped shape’, reads the citation, ‘national and European policies and programmes in the field of cultural and natural heritage protection. He held functions in a large number of committees in the United Kingdom and in several international organisations. After 1989, he focussed on Central and Eastern European countries and offered his experience to organise measures to safeguard the heritage in these countries. He initiated numerous projects, particularly in Croatia and Romania.’
He was also a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and was awarded a CBE in 1988. After the fall of the Communist regime, he was made an Honorary Member of the Union of Romanian Architects and of the Commission for Historic Monuments and Sites.
In 2006 he told Ramona Mitrica
about his first return to Romania in 1971:
‘I had a wonderful visit with good weather and a woman architect, guide from the Directia Monumente Istorice. We went round in a car all over the country for ten days. She didn’t just talk about architecture. I learned a lot from her – history, language, customs, cooking … Then I came back to England and got immediately invited by Swan Hellenic to be a lecturer on their newly created tours of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. So I did that during the ‘70s several times, and got to know Romania quite well.’
Photo Romanian Cultural Institute in London.
M J (Mike) Baxter FSA
died suddenly and unexpectedly on 22 February 2018 aged 67. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 2005. His wife, Hilary Cool FSA
, has written this tribute:
‘By training Mike Baxter was a statistician, completing a first degree in Mathematical Statistics at the University of Birmingham before moving onto a PhD at the University of Edinburgh at the invitation of the external examiner of his first degree. At Birmingham he met people who spent their summers digging on excavations at North Elmham directed by Peter Wade-Martins FSA
, so he thought he’d go too. This led to a life-long involvement and fascination with the subject, and one of the last books he read was Wade-Martins’ recently published A Life in Norfolk’s Archaeology
, which reminded him of many people he had met in his youth.
‘He had a natural aptitude as a digging archaeologist and, after three summers at North Elmham, he transferred to the Norwich Survey. By the time I met him there in the summer of 1975 he had risen to the role of chief surveyor, completed his PhD and spent a year or so on the digging circuit. He always recalled the winter he spent digging on the M3 excavations in Hampshire as a particular trial.
‘He went on to work on the post-excavation of the Norwich sites at the Centre for East Anglian Studies at the University of East Anglia. He decided that post-excavation work was not his forte, but considered the eight years or so when he was actively involved with archaeology as being formative both for life generally and his later research. He was tempted back to academic life in Edinburgh becoming a Research Fellow in the Tourism and Recreation Research Unit within the Department of Geography. When intellectual fashions in geography moved away from the quantitative, he took up the post of Lecturer in Statistics in the then Nottingham Trent Polytechnic (now University) in 1981. He stayed there throughout the rest of his working life becoming a Reader, and then Professor of Statistical Archaeology. He retired in 2012.
‘He was a very good applied statistician with a flair for analysing data and a strong belief that such work should be done in partnership with other members of the team producing it. Increasingly during the 1980s his advice and help were sought by archaeological friends, acquaintances and more distant contacts. As he mentions in the foreword to the reprint of his first book, “in the late 1980s, my research had begun to focus on the use of multivariate analysis in archaeology. I was getting a lot of queries about the methodologies I was using, which is when I began to think that a book on the subject might be useful”. This was published in 1994 by the Edinburgh University Press as Exploratory Multivariate Analysis in Archaeology
(reprinted in 2015 by the Percheron Press).
A second book Statistics in Archaeology
(Arnold 2003) appeared in a series part of whose intended audience were statisticians with an interest in how their subject was applied in other disciplines. This was naturally more mathematical than the first book, but as he said in its preface, though many archaeologists struggle with statistics given the level of statistical training they receive, he believed that many “complex” statistical methods were increasingly accessible to archaeologists. The focus of his many published articles was making these “complex” methodologies such as kernel density estimates available to the archaeological community. Some referees of his papers obviously thought he succeeded too well in removing mystique, as I recall at least one comment along the lines of “he makes it seem too easy”!
‘He was always extremely generous with his time, as his many collaborators will bear witness. He had a strong belief that young scholars should be encouraged and that knowledge should be freely available. During his retirement he discovered the website academia.edu, and made a large part of his output available there, often updating articles and book chapters to take account of developments in computing technology since they were originally written. He wrote an ebook called Basic Statistical Graphics for Archaeology with R: Life beyond Excel
(2016). This was particularly trenchant about the bad practice all too often encountered in archaeological literature. He was much encouraged by the take-up of all this material, especially from countries where the original articles were not easily available.
‘A new departure during his retirement was the discovery of a branch of statistics devoted to film studies. This delighted him as he was a life-long film buff and it gave him the opportunity to buy large numbers of new films and books as “background”. Silent films were a particular passion. Needless to say he was soon working with researchers in film studies which resulted in a collaboration with the Cinemetrics project at the University of Chicago that included a Visiting Fellowship in 2014.
‘The funeral will take place at the Wilford Hill Crematorium, Nottingham at a date to be announced. Afterwards there will be a suitable reception at his local pub, the Lady Bay in West Bridgford. All friends, acquaintances and collaborators will be very welcome. Anyone needing information contact email@example.com
John H Bowles FSA
has died aged 78. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in March 1988.
John Bowles was Secretary of the Redundant Churches Fund since its foundation in 1969, where he had oversight of hundreds of buildings of architectural and historic interest (the Fund is now known as the Churches Conservation Trust). It was in that capacity that Bowles wrote to the Church Commissioners to propose that the important Anglo-Saxon church of St Peter, Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire should be taken into the care of the Department of the Environment, which it eventually was in 1976. He was also Honorary Treasurer for the Friends of Friendless Churches.
He was an authority on historic organs, of which he personally salvaged a number, and wrote ‘Organs in redundant churches of the Church of England’ for The Organ Yearbook
(1976). He had an MA Stagiaire from the University of Liège, and was a Member of the Chartered Management Institute.
The photo shows the church at Barton-upon-Humber in 1976 (Historic England).
Michael Green FSA
, who died in January
, was elected a Fellow of the Society 56 years ago, in May 1962. Michael Green FSA
, who died in January
, was elected a Fellow of the Society 56 years ago, in May 1962. Rory O'Donnell FSA
‘Simon Thurley FSA
’s perceptive tribute to Michael Green mentions his role as a Listing Inspector, describing him as a “Senior Investigator during the Heseltine resurvey”. By the time of the Department of the Environment/English Heritage Accelerated Re-survey of Listed buildings (1982–86), Investigators had become Inspectors, none of us “Senior”, although there were Principal Inspectors involved. Michael appointed me as an Assistant Inspector in 1982, the entree to a 30-year career, but never at the dizzy heights of “Senior...”’.
Greg Bailey, who researches TV archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Bristol, has written to Salon
with some memories of Ray Sutcliffe FSA
, who died in February
‘When in 2009 I invited Ray Sutcliffe to talk to our Bristol Archaeology for Screen Media MA students, I was surprised by his apparent air of concern. This was a man who, as founder member, was at the forefront of BBC’s long-running Chronicle
series in its pioneering days at a time when TV was less monetised, less managerial and far less risk-averse than today.
‘Always a daring TV producer in this then daring broadcast environment, the filmmaker – an all-rounder who, for once, deserved the much overused title – worked first as Research Assistant, then Director and Producer for Chronicle
(1966–93), later producing the BBC’s major TV series The Vikings
(1980). Through four decades he helped create public archaeology as shared TV event, a movement that would in turn impact the idea and possibility of the discipline as a whole.
‘Most notably, Ray played his part in two of the most ambitious television projects ever planned: the Silbury Hill “live dig” outside broadcast (1968) and The Great Iron Ship
(1970). The latter film, which facilitated the return of the hulk of Brunel’s great steamship the SS Great Britain
from the other side of the world off the Falklands to her original purpose-built dock in Bristol, would help generate new industry in tourism more than a century and a half after her launch.
‘After these, and his many other accomplishments not least as founder member of the Committee for Nautical Archaeology (later to become the Nautical Archaeology Society) and fellow of the Society for Nautical Research, I found Ray’s apparent anxiety at leading our small seminar quite charming if a little puzzling. Why would our handful of “media-archaeology” students not be inspired by one of the inventors of TV archaeology, and the sheer scale and ambition for both medium and subject that his work embodied? Of course, they were.
'Perhaps visitors to the imaginatively restored SS Great Britain
, now advertised as Bristol’s “No 1 Attraction”, should also pause to think about Ray Sutcliffe and his fellow voyagers who had the imagination and fortitude to first plan then fulfil the adventure that made everything possible.’
Harriet Crawford has written about Beatrice de Cardi FSA
, who died in July 2016
, in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the British Academy
XVI (2017), 109–18. De Cardi ‘achieved the remarkable feat’, opens Crawford’s essay, ‘of filling in many of the gaps in our knowledge of the archaeological record over a vast area which stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Khyber Pass… [She] never held an academic post, although she was generally acknowledged to be a talented and professional archaeologist. Unusually, she had a second parallel life, until her official retirement, as an outstanding administrator. After retirement she devoted herself solely to archaeology.’
De Cardi, says Crawford at the end of an informative memoir of her fieldwork achievements and the often challenging conditions under which she worked, ‘was a brave, determined, fiercely independent and somewhat formidable woman.’ Crawford suggests three areas for which she will be specially remembered: her work at the Council for British Archaeology, her rediscovery of the prehistory of the southern Gulf and its preservation, and her clarification of ‘the complex network of connections over an area which stretched from Arabia to the Indus valley.’
The Wisdom of Fellows
Philip Venning FSA, former Secretary, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, was inspired by reading about the late Michael Green FSA to write a note about the Society for the Protection of Ancient Building’s scholarship training programme. ‘May I add something to Simon Thurley’s tribute to Michael Green?‘ he asks. He may:
‘In 1958 Michael Green undertook the SPAB’s unique scholarship training programme, an important preparation for his later career. This little-known practical programme has been run by the SPAB for approaching 90 years, and has trained many of the UK’s conservation architects. Repairs to thousands of historic buildings from ancient churches and cathedrals to National Trust houses and historic monuments have been, and still are, undertaken by architects trained in this way. Former Scholars range from Sir Donald Insall FSA to more recent architects such as Ptolemy Dean, the Surveyor of the Fabric of Westminster Abbey.
‘The bespoke practical and intensive training programme involves visits to historic buildings under repair, to workshops and quarries, and meetings with craftsmen and specialists throughout the UK. In Michael Green’s day it lasted six months, but has since been extended to nine. It remains a puzzle to outside observers that one of the main ways of training conservation architects in the UK depends on a small charity and charitable fundraising. Beatrix Potter was one of the benefactors who stepped in with a donation when the future of the Scholarship seemed under threat before the war. Details of the Scholarship today are available on the SPAB website.’
Peter Clayton FSA, continuing correspondence about the head of Egyptologist William Petrie, preserved at the Royal College of Surgeons, recalls a conversation in Buckinghamshire:
‘I was having dinner with the late Warren Dawson FSA, OBE, at his home in Bletchley. Dawson, a broker at Lloyds and a prominent Egyptologist specialising in ancient Egyptian medicine and mummies, recounted his visit to the College shortly after the War when Petrie’s head had returned to London. Petrie had left his head to science since he considered that, with his immense intellect, his cranial cc might have been greater than the norm – it wasn’t.
‘Dawson told how he had gone to the College, made known his interest and Egyptological credentials, and asked to see the head. The “porter”, with a heavy West Country accent, agreed to fetch the head and returned carrying a large tin box of the type in which military headdresses were kept in Victorian times. He “plonked” it down before Dawson with the words: “’Ere’s the old bugger, Zuur”. Opening the box, Dawson found, under a glass dome, there indeed was the head of Sir Flinders Petrie.’
Pictured is a detail from a portrait of Petrie by Philip Alexius de László, in the UCL Art Museum.
Stella Hardy, Administrator London Gallery Quire, recently encountered a Fellow who plays the serpent in a West Gallery Quire in Hampshire (who he or she?), and who told her that the Society sometimes has a musical evening before Christmas. ‘It occurred to me,’ writes Hardy, ‘that some of your members might be interested in the music of the West Gallery period.’
‘West Gallery music is sung in town and country churches of the 18th century. The repertoire is particularly rich in Christmas carols, which were not allowed to be sung in church but were sung and played around the villages. London Gallery Quire give a concert of West Gallery music each Christmas in the German Church in Alie Street in aid of the Historic Churches Trust, but we would be happy to fit in another reason to sing the delightful West Gallery carols.
‘Having attended many of your public lectures, I am aware of how wonderfully eclectic and varied are the subjects that Fellows study. I’m not sure if the Society has a specialist on West Gallery Music, but I am sure Fellows would be interested in the work done by West Gallery music enthusiasts to reconstruct and perform work which was mainly recorded in manuscript form for individual players.’
David Taylor FSA, writing as a Trustee of Painshill Park, Surrey, hopes Fellows will support a campaign ‘to stop damage to the Grade I listed 18th century landscape garden from the proposed widening of the A3’.
According to the Painshill website, Highways England has proposed changes to the M25 and A3 roads which will impact on the grounds. ‘Highways England’s proposed preferred development’, says the site, ‘will “grab land” from Painshill, meaning areas of the landscape will be lost forever under the development of the ever increasing road network.’ As well as taking up land, the road changes would bring noise pollution, damage views and historic buildings, remove trees, destroy habitat and effect the charitable trust’s income. ‘I have, this morning,’ writes Taylor, ‘seen photographs which show stakes on the edge of the proposed road widening. It cuts right across the corner of the “Elysian Plain” very close to the Temple of Bacchus which we have just reconstructed at a cost of nearly a million pounds!’
Painshill Park Trust has set up an online petition. For information about the proposed roadworks (M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange improvement scheme), Fellows should visit the Highways England website.
Mark Blackett-Ord FSA, Barrister and Chancellor of the Diocese of Leicester, is the lead advocate for the Victorian Society which had tried to stop the Rector and PCC of Bath Abbey removing Gilbert Scott pews. ‘As you have previously reported,’ he writes, ‘the decision of the Consistory Court (held in the Abbey in October) went against us. Yesterday [2 March] we received the bad news of the refusal of the Court of Arches to give us permission to appeal to it, on the grounds that there was nothing demonstratively wrong in the decision. Very sad, and a great blow to those who try to preserve the best in ancient churches.’
‘Rupert Gunnis FSA may be best remembered in the UK for his dictionary of British sculptors,’ writes Robert Merrillees FSA, ‘but students of Cypriote history will forever be in his debt for his comprehensive work, Historic Cyprus: A Guide to its Towns and Villages, Monasteries and Castles, first published in London in 1936. Describing it as one of the formative influences on his young life, Demetrios Michaelides FSA, Professor Emeritus of Classical-Roman Archaeology from the University of Cyprus, Nicosia, called the volume he edited in 2012 Historic Nicosia, rather than something in the line of A History of Nicosia, as a tribute to Gunnis' vademecum. Dr Rita Severis, Executive Director of the Centre of Visual Arts and Research in Nicosia, has taken on the substantial and arduous task of editing and publishing Gunnis' diaries, which promise to shed much new light on this sometimes controversial personality.’
In the last Salon I mentioned that the Museum of London’s excellent Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail won the Royal Historical Society’s Museums and Exhibitions prize for 2018. I failed to note that its curator, Jackie Keily FSA, is a Fellow. Sorry.
Forthcoming Events for Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by visiting our YouTube Channel.
Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Amelia Carruthers, Communications Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Introductory Tours for Fellows
If you've never visited Burlington House or had an introduction to the Library and Collections, please join an introductory tour. You'll meet the Society's staff, learn about your Fellowship benefits, and discover more from the collections at Burlington House.
19 April: Tours are free, but booking is required >
28 June: Tours are free, but booking is required >
Forthcoming Public Events
Conferences and Seminars
Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.
Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of the building (£10) preceding the lectures above.
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
8 March: 'Feeding Anglo-Saxon England,' (Out of London Ordinary Meeting of Fellows, held in Exeter). Find out more online.
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/MvHUr
22 March: 'The Legionary Fortress at Caerleon,' (Out of London Ordinary Meeting of Fellows, held in Cardiff). Find out more online.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at email@example.com.
29 November: 'Surveying Shakespeare's Guildhall: a public building in pre-modern England' (Out of London Ordinary Meeting of Fellows, held in York). Find out more online.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/8nvxL
Other Forthcoming Heritage Events
7 March: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Michelle O’Malley (Warburg Institute) talks about Botticelli, his assistants and the business of the workshop, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
7 March: St James’s and the Birth of the West End (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the first of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks into the ingredients that went into making a court quarter there and the way it formed a blueprint for the new West End of London. Details online.
8 March: Law and the Historic Environment (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This provides an introduction for all who need to gain a broad understanding of the main legislative, regulatory and policy regimes for the historic environment, the ways in which those regimes are being applied at present, and the implications in practice for those working in the area. Details online.
10 March: Anglo-Saxon London (London)
The seventh London Anglo-Saxon Symposium (LASS) will be held in Senate House, University of London. Drawing on literary, archaeological and historical sources, we will consider how London was created as a physical and conceptual place in Anglo-Saxon England. We will then enjoy performances based on readings from Old English poems by students from Royal Holloway, University of London. We will end with a wine reception. Speakers include Susan Hirst FSA and Andrew Reynolds FSA. Details online.
19–21 March: Radiocarbon Dating and Bayesian Chronological Analysis (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is aimed at researchers using radiocarbon and other techniques, including Quaternary geologists, palaeobiologists, archaeologists and marine geoscientists. The first two days will cover radiocarbon dating including sample selection, laboratory processes and Bayesian analyses. The third day will look at the construction of Bayesian chronologies more generally, including those that rely on other techniques, with a focus on environmental records. Course Director Christopher Ramsey FSA. Details online.
21 March: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Andy Murray (Open University) talks about The Socialisation and Specialisation of Workshop Labour at the Charterhouse of Champmol, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
24 March: Peopling the Heath – Petersfield Heath and its Region in Prehistory (Petersfield)
A free conference organised by Petersfield Museum about a project exploring a local bronze age barrow cemetery. Speakers include Stuart Needham FSA (Funerary Offerings and their Significance, and Bronze Age Communities of the Rother Valley and their World), Jacqueline McKinley FSA (Diverse Rites: Mortuary Practice in Early Bronze Age Wessex), Nick Branch FSA (Bronze Age Environment and Human Impact) and David Field FSA (Barrows and Fields: the Bronze Age Landscape). Details online.
26 March: William Gladstone and the National Gallery (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Barbara Pezzini (PhD candidate, University of Manchester, and Editor-in-chief, Routledge-Taylor & Francis Journal) will speak about The Politics of Public Collecting: William Gladstone and the National Gallery. Details online.
27 March: Charles I: King and Collector (London)
Reuniting an illustrious royal art collection, the exhibition Charles I: King and Collector marks the Royal Academy of Arts 250th anniversary. In celebration of this landmark event, Martin Randall Travel, a specialist in cultural tours, is holding an exclusive Charles I study day with lectures at the Society of Antiquaries. Hear from Per Rumberg, Curator at the Royal Academy, Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, and historian Leanda de Lisle, author of the forthcoming book White King: Charles I – Traitor, Murderer, Martyr. The talks are followed by a two-course lunch at a nearby restaurant and an afternoon visit of the exhibition. Details online.
11 April: Starting in Post-Excavation (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce participants to post-excavation and the process that takes us from site record to completed report. The focus will be on report types common in professional practice and generated by development-led fieldwork. It will be ideal for archaeologists in, or moving into, supervisory roles that involve report preparation. Details online.
13 April: Historic Landscapes and Mental Wellbeing (Bournemouth)
Using historic landscapes and heritage resources to promote wellbeing represents one of the most significant advances in archaeological resource management for many years. Prompted by the HLF-funded Human Henge project, this conference at Bournemouth University provides an opportunity to hear about this and other work going on across the country and at many different scales, share experiences, and to discuss the outcomes, implications, and theoretical underpinnings of heritage-based wellbeing projects. Details online.
16–18 April: Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This aims to give participants an understanding of traditional construction and its defects, and to provide the skills to carry out balanced and informed surveys of historic buildings. Course Director Henry Russell FSA, Reading University. Details online.
18 April: The Birth of Modern Theatreland: Covent Garden and the Two Theatres Royal (London)
Simon Thurley FSA, Visiting Gresham Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, talks about London at the Museum of London. In the second of two lectures with the theme Buildings in the West End of London: Palace, Park and Square, he looks at the significance and impact of theatres on the development of London. Details online.
19 April: Advanced Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This builds on the knowledge and skills developed by an earlier course (16–19 April) and offers advanced additional guidance on a number of specialised topics such as non-destructive investigations, energy efficiency, mechanical and electrical services and wall paintings. Course Director Henry Russell FSA. Details online.
19 April: An Evening with Lambeth Palace Library Conservators (London)
An opportunity to view the Lambeth Palace Library conservation studio and discuss techniques and treatments with the Library’s conservation staff. Please note that the studio is reached by a Medieval spiral staircase. Numbers will be limited, please book in advance with firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7898 1400.
21 April: Ludlow Palmers Symposium on English Tiles (Ludlow)
A symposium at St Laurence Church, Ludlow will be followed by a visit to the Jackfield Tile Museum, Ironbridge. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Ludlow Museum Resource Centre on 20 April, to view a collection of 500 medieval floor tiles from across Shropshire. Speakers include Ian Betts, Hans van Lemmen and Lesley Durbin. Details online.
28 April: The Lived Experience of Women in Roman Cumbria and Beyond (Maryport)
A day conference at the Senhouse Roman Museum, inspired by the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, will present and discuss the lives of women at the north-western edge of the Roman Empire. Speakers include Maureen Carroll FSA, Ursula Rothe, Alex Croom FSA, Elizabeth M Greene, Tatiana Ivleva and David Breeze FSA. The conference will be chaired by Maureen Fordham. Details online.
28 April: The Lived Experience of Women in Roman Cumbria and Beyond (Maryport)
A day conference at the Senhouse Roman Museum, inspired by the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, will discuss the lives of women at the edge of the Roman Empire. Speakers include Maureen Carroll FSA, Ursula Rothe, Alex Croom FSA and David Breeze FSA. The conference will be chaired by Maureen Fordham. Details from the museum on 01900 816168 or at email@example.com.
28 April: Ancient to Modern: The Changing Landscape of Sussex (Lewes)
A day conference offering a broad overview of the changing relationship between the Sussex landscape and the people who lived there, from the earliest arrivals. The emphasis will be on how new ideas resulted in significant changes in the use of the Sussex landscape. Speakers, specialists in their periods, include Sue Berry FSA, John Manley FSA, David Martin FSA and Matt Pope FSA. Details online.
30 April: Collecting Rembrandt’s Art in Britain (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, C Tico Seifert (Senior Curator, Northern European Art, Scottish National Gallery) will speak about Rembrandt. Details online.
4 May: Stratigraphic Analysis in Archaeology (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is for those familiar with excavation and stratigraphic recording, looking to develop post-excavation skills in analysis, dating, interpretation and description. Details online.
5 May: Roman and Saxon Surrey (Ashtead)
The Surrey Archaeological Society’s major conference focuses on the period AD410–470, under the title Shining a Light on the 5th Century AD in Surrey and the South-East: How did Roman Britain Become Saxon England? ‘We feel that (historic) Surrey and adjoining counties ought to be a key area for understanding the transition from Roman to Saxon', writes David Bird FSA, 'but we are faced with the problem of having very little archaeological evidence for the period.’ Speakers include Peter Guest FSA, Sam Lucy FSA, Helena Hamerow FSA and John Hines FSA. Details online.
8 May: ‘Mysteries’ Demystified: The Making and Meaning of the Lambeth Articles (1595) (London)
Nicholas Tyacke FSA, whose books include Altars Restored: The Changing Face of English Religious Worship 1547–c 1700, will talk at the Lambeth Palace Library in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500–1800. Details online, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
9 May: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Adam Lowe (Factum Arte, Madrid) talks about Mediation and Transformation | Alchemy and New Technology: Factum Arte’s workshop practice in an age of 3D recording and printing, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects in the widest possible sense, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
9–10 May: The Setting of Heritage Assets and Places (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. In the context of official guidance and wide-ranging experience of practical casework, this explains why the setting of historic places matters, and the principles and practical skills of sound assessment and decision-making. Course Director George Lambrick FSA, with Stephen Carter, Ian Houlston, Richard Morrice FSA, Julian Munby FSA, Michael Pirie, Ken Smith FSA, Karin Taylor and David Woolley QC. Details online.
16 May: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Glyn Davies FSA (Museum of London) talks about Order from Chaos? Trying to Make Sense of Medieval Art Workshops, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects in the widest possible sense, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
17 May: A Life on the Road: the Exploits and Adventures of the 17th-Century Ottoman Traveller, Evliya Çelebi (London)
A British Institute at Ankara lecture by Caroline Finkel (Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh) at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace. In 1640, aged 29, the Ottoman courtier Evliya Çelebi left Istanbul for the first time, to visit Bursa. He spent the rest of his life journeying to the ends of the sultan’s domains and beyond, from Vienna to the Sea of Azov to far up the Nile, and wrote in detail of his experiences. His informative, entertaining and often fantastical Seyahatname or Book of Travels is considered the longest travel account in world literature. Details online.
17 May: Project Management in Archaeology: an Introduction (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is designed for those new to project management and will draw on the extensive experience of the tutors in development-led archaeology. Details online.
21 May: The Circulation of Gifts from the 1875–76 Tour of India (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Kajal Meghani (Exhibition Assistant Curator, Royal Collection Trust) will speak on 'The Prince of Wales' Indian Collection': the circulation of gifts from the 1875-6 tour of India. Details online.
5 June: New Perspectives on Seventeenth-Century Libraries (London)
This event at Lambeth Palace Library will showcase some recent research on library formation, public and private, in the 17th century. Three short talks, among them Jacqueline Glomski FSA on ‘Religion and Libraries in the Seventeenth Century’, will deal with patterns of book selection and acquisition as revealed by individual practice and in 17th-century theoretical writing on bibliography. The presentations will discuss the potential for research and the application of digital methods. In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries. Details online, or email email@example.com.
8 June: Delivering Public Benefit through Archaeology (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This looks at planning projects to deliver public benefit, how to communicate that benefit, and how to evaluate the impact. It is designed for those responsible for commissioning, specifying and/or delivering programmes of work that aim to deliver public benefit. Details online.
25 June: 'Sèvres-mania'? (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth FSA (PhD Candidate and History of Art Tutor, University of Leeds) will speak about 'Sèvres-mania'? The History of Collecting Sèvres Porcelain in Britain in the Later 19th century. Details online.
27 June: Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London)
Therese Martin FSA (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Madrid) talks about Re-opening the Treasury: Meaning in Materials at San Isidoro de León, in a lecture series at the Warburg Institute organised by Joanne Anderson and Eckart Marchand. The overall aim is to speak to an interdisciplinary audience interested in issues such as agency and the commission, production and the use of art works and objects, as well as those attuned to the theoretical implications these issues have for visual and material culture of all ages. Details online.
6 July: Churches: History, Significance and Use (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This provides a firm foundation of the history of church architecture and furnishings, and provides skills to draft statements of significance, aimed particularly at those actively involved in management of church buildings. Details online.
30 July: J C Robinson's Collection at Auction (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Elizabeth Pergam (Lecturer, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York, NY) will speak about Paris over London: Victorian Curator J C Robinson's Collection at Auction. Details online.
15 September: Deerhurst, Pershore and Westminster Abbey (Deerhurst)
The 2018 Annual Deerhurst Lecture will take place at 7.30 pm in St Mary's Church, Deerhurst and will be given by Richard Mortimer FSA (former archivist to Westminster Abbey). Details online.
19–20 September: Photographing Historic Buildings (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is aimed at those who are not professional photographers but wish to photograph historic buildings for the record using a digital camera. By the end students will be expected to know how to choose viewpoint and lighting conditions, correctly set up cameras to capture suitable images and how to post-produce images in software ready for the archive. Details online.
24 September: The Sale of Sir Peter Lely's Paintings and Prints (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Saskia van Altena (Cataloguer of prints, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) will speak on The Sale of Sir Peter Lely's Paintings and Prints: A Breaking Point in the History of Collecting in Britain? Details online.
26–28 September: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce the process of significance, show what is involved in preparing significance assessments, teach you how to read and judge such assessments, and explore ways in which they can be used. Details online.
4 October: Post-Excavation Assessment in Practice (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce recent guidance, and review the essential components of assessment and updated project design. In the afternoon we will review examples from current practice and consider how far they meet their purpose and justify funding decisions. Details online.
13 October: Castle Studies: Current Research and the Future (London)
A conference organised by the Castle Studies Group to be held at the Society of Antiquaries will honour Derek Renn FSA, author of Norman Castles in Britain (1969/1973), and launch a Festschrift, Castles: History, Archaeology, Landscape and Architecture, edited by Neil Guy FSA. Speakers include Oliver Creighton FSA, Bob Higham FSA, Brian Kerr FSA, Neil Ludlow FSA and Pamela Marshall FSA. For details contact John R Kenyon FSA, 140 Fairwater Grove East, Llandaff, Cardiff CF5 2JW, before 31 July.
24 October: Artefacts and Ecofacts in and out of the Field (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will provide expert guidance on how key artefacts and ecofacts can contribute to interpretation of archaeological sites, and good practice in sampling and collection. The course is designed for supervisors, project officers and junior managers with responsibility for running excavations, and those new to specialist artefact and ecofact roles. Details online.
29 October: The Last Great Demidoff Sale of Paintings (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Alexandre Tissot Demidoff (Independent scholar) will speak about the last great Demidoff sale. Details online.
30 October: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This informs participants about the role of desk-based assessments in managing the cultural heritage resource and provides a practical guide to their production. It will also include guidance on the use of desk-based assessments to fulfil the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Details online.
15 November: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This will introduce standard published reports produced by archaeologists, and how a report is planned. It will then focus on stratigraphic narrative and discussion, with a critical review of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements of writing in a professional and academic context. Details online.
26 November: Sir William Holburne's Display Mounts (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Catrin Jones (Curator of Decorative Arts, Holburne Museum, Bath) will speak on Piecing Together a Collection: Sir William Holburne's Display Mounts. Details online.
28–30 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is a practical workshop designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study, with training for potential witnesses. Details online.
6 December: Commissioning Archaeology (Oxford)
One of a series of short courses for the historic environment put on by Oxford University Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. This is designed for non-archaeologists who need to work with archaeology within the design and construction process, including architects, surveyors, engineers and other design professionals, planners, and project managers and developers. Details online.
10 December: The Picture Collection of Stephen Alers Hankey (London)
In the bicentenary of Richard Wallace’s birth, the Wallace Collection is focusing on collecting in London and Paris in the later 19th century. In a series of Monday History of Collecting Seminars organised by Suzanne Higgott FSA, Robert Wenley (Deputy Director, Head of Collections, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham) will speak on ‘Rare and Most Magnificent’: The Picture Collection of Stephen Alers Hankey (1809-1878). Details online.
Call for Papers
14 July: Archaeology in Hertfordshire: Recent Research (Welwyn)
The Welwyn Archaeological Society and the Rhodes Museum, Bishops Stortford are pleased to announce the third recent research conference, to be held at the Museum. We are seeking 25-minute papers on all aspects of archaeology in Hertfordshire – very broadly defined – from prehistoric to post-Medieval, including updated work on older projects. If you would like to present at the conference, please send a short abstract to Kris Lockyear at firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate if you would be willing to present a poster should your paper not be one of ten chosen. Details online.
15 September: Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 43 (2019)
The DAS journal for 2019 will celebrate cross-cultural influences between British and Continental European designers and makers of decorative art, as well as exchange with designers further afield. The Society’s remit is 1850 to the present, and typical journal articles take an object-focussed approach. The journal audience is knowledgeable and well-informed, but not necessarily academic. Authors are invited to submit proposals of around 750–1,000 words by 15 September 2018, for articles between around 2,500–6,000 words, plus notes, illustrations and captions. Send proposals to the Editor, Megan Aldrich FSA, at email@example.com.
The British Institute at Ankara has posted details of 2018 Grants and Opportunities on its website, ranging from small research grants to fully funded Fellowships based in Turkey for 12–24 months. Closing date for all applications 29 April 2018. Descripts of previously funded projects can also be seen online.
The Wealden Iron Research Group and the Early Metals Research Trust are jointly funding a second three-year PhD studentship with the Department of Archaeology at the University of Exeter, following a successful collaboration, focussing on the Romans, which began in 2015. For a suitable candidate, this is a great opportunity for career enhancement. There is the potential to combine documentary, field and laboratory studies. Supervision at Exeter will be by Gill Juleff FSA of the Department of Archaeology, with Levi Roach of the Department of History. Closing date for applications 30 April 2018. Details online.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Amelia Carruthers (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.
Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Amelia Carruthers (email@example.com), if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.