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Salon: Issue 353
16 November 2015

Next issue: 30 November 2015


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.

Send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor (if you are reading this in an email, please do not reply directly as we will not receive your message). 

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.
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Inside this issue

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Contribute to the DCMS Culture White Paper

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport have invited responses to help them create a Culture White Paper with a deadline of 9 December 2015. The four key questions on places, people, funding, and diplomacy that will be addressed in the White Paper are:

  1. What role can and should culture play in creating places that people want to live in, work in, and visit? How can our culture and heritage help to create places that are attractive and vibrant and how should support be given to places that want to use culture to drive development and regeneration?
  2. How do we ensure that everyone can benefit from culture in their individual and everyday lives? How can we improve access and participation, and use culture in wider social agendas, such as education, health and well-being?
  3. What do we need to do to build financial resilience in cultural organisations and institutions, both public and private, through new funding models and the encouragement of philanthropy, to enable them to survive and prosper in a tough economic and financial climate?
  4. How can we maximise the contribution our culture makes to the UK’s international reputation? What should we do to ensure that culture continues to support and contribute to our trade, exports, inward investment, and inbound tourism?

The Society will be putting forward a brief response based primarily on the Society’s Statement of Values, which in many areas reflect the four themes set out above. Fellows who wish to contribute to our response are asked to email responses to the Society’s Executive Assistant, Jola Zdunek, at admin@sal.org.uk. The Society’s Policy Committee will review fellows’ contributions before we put our final submission forward. The deadline for the receipt of any suggestions is Monday, 30 November.

Fellows Publish New Research on Kelmscotts's Renaissance Lisbon Cityscapes

Image of bookFellows may remember that, in 2011, we reported the discovery of two rare cityscapes of Lisbon before 1755 that are part of the collection at Kelmscott Manor.

The two paintings were acquired by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1866 and left by him at Kelmscott Manor. For many years, they were catalogued as pilgrimage scenes set in a North Spanish town. More recently, Fellow Kate Lowe and Dr Annemarie Jordan Gschwend definitively identified the location of the cityscapes as the Rue Nova dos Mercadores, the principal commercial and financial street in Renaissance Lisbon. Prof Lowe is an expert in Portuguese Renaissance art, and Dr Gschwend is an authority on the depiction of Black Africans in the art of Renaissance Europe. Dr Bruno Werz, FSA, is also a contributor to the volume.
 
The two 16th-century paintings form the starting  point for a new book edited by Lowe and Gschwend, The Global City: On the Streets of Renaissance Lisbon (Paul Holberton Publishing, 2015). The book will be launched at the Gulbenkian Foundation, London, later this week (19 November). This portrait of a global city in the early modern period focuses on unpublished objects and newly discovered documents and inventories to offer a compelling and original study of a metropolis that was had a sphere of influence spanning four continents.

Lisbon was destroyed in a devastating earthquake and tsunami in November 1755, and these paintings at Kelmscott are the only large-scale vistas of Rua Nova dos Mercadores to have survived.

Only a Few More Weeks 'Til...Our Christmas Miscellany!

Our Christmas Miscellany of Papers and festive Mulled Wine Reception is scheduled for 10 December! Fellows and guests will have the opportunity to hear about research that has taken place on the Society's collections this year during the miscellany meeting, including on update on the progress of the Kelmscott Manor 'Lost Treasures of Kelmscott'. Following the success of last year's Christmas carol singing during last year's reception, a small choir will again be leading carols at the Christmas Miscellany reception (the Society's Treasurer Stephen Johnson will conduct, and Fellow Deborah Priddy will assist). Do come along and join in! Tickets to the reception are £10.00 per person and can be booked online or by calling 020 7479 7080.

And, as we head towards the festive season, you this is your last opportunity to place an order for a William Morris Fruitcake by artisan baker Ursula Evans, of My Cottage Kitchen, who uses an original Morris family recipe from the Kelmscott Manor collections to produce this delicious cake. Each cake order supports Kelmscott Manor with £5.50 towards conservation and development. To enjoy a William Morris fruitcake with family and friends this Christmas, please place your order no later than 16 November via the My Cottage Kitchen website

Finally, don't forget that there is still time to order Christmas Cards. This year we are offering a new assorted pack of cards, featuring two stunning images from a 15th-century Book of Hours, an illuminated manuscript from our Library collection. We also still have several of our past designs available! Proceeds from the sale of Christmas cards support conservation and development of the Society's Library and Museum collections at Burlington House. You can shop online from our website or place an order by calling 020 7479 7080.


Image of Christmas Card Designs

12 November Ballot Results
 

We've elected 10 new Fellows:

  • Edward Potten, BA, MSc, MA.
  • Hajnalka Herold, DipArch, PhD.
  • David Owen Norris, MA, FRAM, FRCO.
  • Robert Parker, CB, MA.
  • Nicolas Bell, MA, MA, MPhil, PhD.
  • Keith Robert Gulvin, BA, MA.
  • Richard Havis, BA.
  • Richard Oram, BA.
  • Jennifer Scott, BA, MA.
  • Joseph Attard Tabone, PhD.

Read more at https://www.sal.org.uk/news.

Report on the Society's Inaugural Postgraduate Open Day
 

On Friday, 9 October, the Society opened its doors to more than 70 post-graduate students, sharing with them what we have to offer as an organisation. The aim was for us to publicise our collections and the services we can offer researchers, as well as to find out more about the expectations of post-graduate users and how likely they would be to use our collections and services in the future. It was also an opportunity for the Library and Museum collections staff to introduce themselves to researchers and share their knowledge of our collections.

After registration and coffee in the morning, the visitors were given a talk on the history of the Society and its collections, in the Meeting Room. This was followed by lunch and an opportunity for the visitors to network with one another. After lunch the visitors listened to talks on the various collections held at the Society, covering an introduction to 18th-century antiquarianism, the Society’s archives, a history of archaeology, incunabula, broadsides and proclamations, Civil War tracts, special collections, prints and drawings, foreign periodicals and publications and online access to catalogues.

Feedback from visitors after the event included compliments on our friendly and accessible team! Inspired by the event, many were astonished by what we have in our collections and expressed the desire to become Fellows one day. Users posted pictures from the event on Twitter, and the Society has added photos from the event to our Facebook Page.

The day has resulted in about half a dozen enquiries to do with our Library and Museum collections, and the promise from students to return to further their research using the wealth of resources available at Burlington House.

Image from Postgraduate Open Day

Kelmscott Manor Celebrates Another Successful Season
 

Kelmscott Manor welcomed 19,598 visitors during the 2015 open season with a lot of positive feedback posted on our Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor profiles. Comments included “A Gem in the Cotswolds”, “Inspiring place to visit” and “A must for William Morris enthusiasts.”
 
During the season, we raised more than £3,500 for the Homestead & the Forest Quilt (designed by May Morris) from cash donations in our new on-site donations box, which also included £600 from a volunteer-run fundraising initiative. Other season successes included a visit from the Director and Patrons of The Huntington Library from Los Angeles, who donated £1,500 to the Manor, and the five family days we organised between April and October with activities like hazel hurdle making and a calligraphy day delivered by the Magna Carter Through the Ages Education Officer Hannah Carter (which tied in with the Magna Carta exhibition at Burlington House).
 
We innovated in other areas, too, such as heritage enterprise and commercial activity, and held our first private dining event in the Manor’s Old Hall as well as a Morris & Co. / Barbour product launch event for a new range of handbags and clothing.

Image of hazel hurdle making

Rossetti at Kelmscott (Online)


In the last Salon I noted Julia Dudkiewicz’s article in The British Art Journal about D. G. Rossetti’s Old Masters at Kelmscott Manor. Dudkiewicz has uploaded a file to her Academia page so interested Fellows can read it. The charcoal drawing, reproduced in the paper, is by Hanslip Fletcher (1874–1955). It shows the Society’s painting, Views of Rua Nova dos Mercadores, hanging (in two parts) on Kelmscott's Main Staircase.
 

An Enlightenment Vision for the World





On 12 November Neil MacGregor FSA, Director of the British Museum (BM), posted a blog, The British Museum: A Museum for the World. It was a carefully worded headline.
 
‘Today’, he writes, looking back to the institution’s origins in 1753, ‘the Museum is probably the most comprehensive survey of the material culture of humanity in existence’. How we access information has also changed. ‘It is now possible to make our collection accessible, explorable and enjoyable not just for those who physically visit, but to everybody with a computer or a mobile device.’
 
Enter Google.  
 
‘Our partnership with Google allows us to further our own – extraordinary – mission: to be a Museum of and for the World, making the knowledge and culture of the whole of humanity open and available to all.’
 
‘Through technology,’ he concludes, ‘the Museum’s collection can become the private collection of the entire world. And so our great Enlightenment vision moves into a phase our founders in the 18th century couldn’t even have dreamed of.’
 
Google’s microsite (‘The British Museum presents The Museum of the World’), and the separate BM features, come from the technology company’s Cultural Institute, founded in 2011. John Wilson talked to Amit Sood, director of the Institute, on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row on 13 November.
 
‘What we realised,’ said Sood, ‘the world’s cultural information is not very well organised.’ Google, I thought for the first time, rhymes, in a McGonagallish way, with Orwell. ‘Most importantly,’ he added, ‘it’s not very accessible.’
 
Sood hopes to ‘break down barriers to access to what is perceived as high culture’, by bringing free virtual tours from anywhere in the world. What’s in it for Google, Wilson asked Sood? He got no clear answer.
 
The first quick sequence in Google’s introductory video is from inside our very own Stonehenge; further sites include the Acropolis Museum and a 2011 temporary exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. We then see art galleries around the world being quarried for a virtual online collection; a walk-through tour at the Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin; a search for stuff linked to Nelson Mandela; and so on.
 
The British Museum’s site has six Exhibits. Egypt: Faith after the Pharaohs and Celtic Life in Iron Age Britain are linked to current temporary exhibitions, as is Celebrating Ganesha, now touring the UK; others derive from earlier temporary shows. They look like illustrated catalogue pages, with a few short videos.
 
More substantially, every floor of the Museum is now on Google Street View, in Museum Views. On the ground floor you can walk virtually around the Great Court and adjacent galleries, including the Duveen Gallery which displays the Parthenon sculptures (from where, with a bit of searching, you can nip to Google’s virtual Acropolis Museum, to see what’s left of most of the other sculptures). In the Enlightenment Gallery, Fellows can look at cases illustrating the achievements of early Society representatives. Thumbnail artefact photos along the bottom of the screen bring up the relevant view and map location.
 
You can walk outside in the front courtyard at dawn, with a few staff and what looks like an entirely pixelated van near the steps – get too close, and it rather oddly obscures much of the front with a fuzzy white cloud.
 
Photography looks strangely over-Photoshopped to overcome underexposed images, and navigation works better from the (unlabelled) floor plan than the room views. Serried (and wonderful) cases of Greek vases on the Mezzanine Ground Floor suffer from image stitching errors. After a time, the complete absence of visitors or staff becomes slightly unsettling. Image resolution is insufficient to allow anything but the largest signs to be read (‘Case 5 – Antiquaries’, and then blur); wider gallery views are more successful than attempts to examine details of objects. It’s early days, but if for no more than a taster before a visit, this is an extraordinary thing. â€˜It allows [people] to come better informed,’ said MacGregor; ‘to look and not just to see.’
 
Finally, there are Items, 4,654 selected objects. You can pull up catalogue descriptions with links to the BM’s collection pages. First up is a 3.4m-long silk and paper scroll known as the Chinese Admonitions (AD 344–405), which Google is excited about as an artefact that for conservation reasons has to remain mostly unexhibited in the dark. You can double click on it to enlarge portions to a readable size, and the image is good enough to withstand the highest detail.
 
You could, and still can, look at the Admonitions Scroll on the BM’s Collection online page, where the same information and many images are available. The main difference is that the entry is much harder to use. Which begs the question, is the BM right to give the job to Google of making its websites friendly, or it should it retain control and work on improving its own resources?

That is a question that John Wilson put indirectly to Amit Sood. If Google paid it’s fair share of tax, he suggested, the country would have more money to support the Museum, and it wouldn’t need Google’s help. At first Sood tried to answer a different question. When pushed, he said he was just an engineer. What would he know?
 
It is, perhaps, a question we might ask of the Chancellor rather than the Museum. The British Museum is so named not because its contents are British, but because it is in Britain. As MacGregor has demonstrated throughout his career there, its proper philosophy is to see itself as a museum of the world, for the world. Handing online responsibilities, even for headline features, to a global megabusiness with a huge reach carries risks. What is it worth, George Osborne, to sustain funding that will allow the British Museum to fulfil its remit while resisting forces that could overwhelm it in a Google Museum? You will find Salon’s email link at the top. 

British Museum Access (Part 2) 

 
On 1 November Richard Brooks reported in The Sunday Times that ‘a senior museum source’ had told him the British Museum is considering charging commercial tour operators who bring overseas tourists.
 
The BM, said Brooks, ‘argues it has suffered more than other institutions because, unlike the Natural History, Science and Imperial War museums, it did not receive extra money in 2001 when free museum entry was introduced under Labour. In recent weeks, the directors of the top museums and galleries have written to the Chancellor to express concern after the Treasury asked them to prepare in principle for cuts over the next three years of between 25% and 40%.’
 
The BM has never charged for entry, but Brooks noted that MacGregor’s successor, Hartwig Fischer, will come from an institution which charges a €12 admission fee.
 
Two day later The Times said MacGregor had ‘denied a report that charges might be introduced for tour groups. “The trustees are not considering entrance charges of any sort,” he said.’
 
They were, however, ‘considering knocking a new entrance in its neoclassical façade after concluding that its door is too small for the number of visitors trying to get in.’
 
(Subscription needed for both websites.)
 

Professor Munakata May Return to British Museum

 
For our final look at the BM, it has been exhibiting contemporary Japanese graphic art in Manga Now: Three Generations, which closed on Sunday. Fellow Nicole Rousmaniere interviews Hoshino Yukinobu, one of the featured artists, in a blog on the Museum’s website. Research Director of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, Rousmaniere is currently seconded to the BM as IFAC Handa Curator of Japanese Art.
 
She asks Hoshino Yukinobu about Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure, a story in which his crime-fighting anthropologist saved the museum and Stonehenge from a spectacular evil plot, and which had its own show at the BM in 2009.
 
‘I made a story based on my great admiration for the British Museum,’ says the artist, ‘to introduce the Museum and its history, collections and what goes on behind the scenes, which I myself had seen and learned first hand when I visited in 2008.’
 
Will Professor Munakata come back?
 
‘When there is an opportunity someday. Both Professor Munakata and I adore the United Kingdom.’
 
Expect to see news here should that occur. The present adventure features numerous Fellows, in person (loosely disguised) – Professor Munakata’s assistant is Rousmaniere herself – and in their works, from items in the collections to an excavation by William Gowland FSA at Stonehenge in 1901. 


 

Oldest Known Tropical European Christian Church Found


Cambridge archaeologists, led by Marie Louise Stig Sørensen FSA and Christopher Evans FSA, have unearthed the earliest known European Christian church in the tropics, and the oldest formal European colonial building yet discovered in sub-Saharan Africa. The earliest remains of Nossa Senhora da Conceição date from around 1470, with a further larger construction dating from 1500.
 
The church is on one of the Cabo Verde islands, 500km off the coast of West Africa, where the Portuguese established a stronghold to start the first commerce with Africa south of the Sahara. This turned into a global trade in African slaves from the 16th century, in which Cabo Verde played a central part as a major trans-shipment centre. Extensions and a re-cladding of the church with tiles imported from Lisbon have been documented.
 
‘It’s a profound social and political story’, said Sørensen in a press release, ‘to which these new archaeological investigations are making an invaluable contribution.’ Archaeologists from the University and the Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU) have just completed the excavation and conservation of the building for public display, having been working with the Cabo Verde government and local partners on the town’s archaeology since 2007.
 
‘We’ve managed to recover the entire footprint-plan of the church, including its vestry, side-chapel and porch,’ said Evans, who is Director of the CAU. ‘It now presents a really striking monument.’
 
During the excavation several tombstones of local dignitaries were recovered. One enormous stone found in the side chapel belonged to Fernão Fiel de Lugo, a slaver and the town’s ‘treasure holder’ between 1542 and 1557.
 
‘This is a place of immense cultural and heritage value,’ said Cidade Velha’s Mayor, Dr Manuel Monteiro de Pina. ‘This excavation has revealed the tombs and graves of people that we only know from history books and always felt could be fiction.’
 
A densely packed cemetery had been dug into the floor of the church, whose remains will be of great importance for future academic investigations. It is estimated that more than 1,000 people were buried there before 1525, providing a capsule of the first 50 years of the island’s colonial life. Preliminary analysis of samples shows that about half the bodies are African, with the rest from various parts of Europe.
 
The significance of the discovery, a central feature of the Cidade Velha World Heritage Site, has been widely acknowledged. Hundreds have visited, and school groups have frequently been brought out to see the church. On his visit, the President Jorge Carlos Fonseca endorsed the project’s contribution. ‘I can see the importance the site has for Cabo Verde to understand our history and our identity,’ he said.
 
The University website has more information and a film of the project, with commentary from Evans and Sørensen.

Is there a 16th-century Latin Palaeography Expert in the House?


Will Adam, a London parish clergyman and Editor of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal, is seeking Fellows’ help with a 16th-century Latin manuscript. He sent Salon this request:
 
‘Independent researcher seeks tuition/help with learning sixteenth century secretary hand during May 2016 in order to transcribe a Latin document. Funds are available for the payment of a reasonable fee and expenses. Preferably in London. Please contact Dr Will Adam at willadam@mac.com.’
 
Curious, I asked for more detail. The document, said Adam, is a list of dispensations drawn up under the authority of the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533. ‘It has spent the last nearly four hundred years “mis-filed” in the State Papers,’ he says. ‘It took me years to find it, and many previous commentators assumed it no longer existed.’
 
It is, he continues, ‘of some interest in the development of a particular area of ecclesiastical law. I have a period of sabbatical leave coming up in order to transcribe and translate it. I would like to find someone who has some expertise in palaeography (it is, I believe, a reasonably straightforward secretary hand, but still difficult for a novice) who might be willing to spend a couple of days helping me get started on the transcription. I am very familiar with the history and law and what the contents will be. The key point for which I need assistance is actually the writing.’

Official: The Ministry of Justice Employs no Druids  


In 2008 Fellows Mike Parker Pearson, Mike Pitts and Julian Richards, as part of the Stonehenge Riverside Project investigations, re-excavated an Aubrey Hole at Stonehenge. It had first been opened by William Hawley FSA in 1920. In 1935 W. E. V. Young and Robert Newall FSA re-opened it so as to rebury all that survived of the cremated human remains from Hawley’s extensive excavations. In his diary (the only significant record of the event), Young described laying down three sandbags’ full of fragmentary bone. Estimates for the number of cremation burials these might represent range from 150 to 240. On this evidence, Stonehenge may well have been the largest ancient cremation cemetery in Britain.
 
The 2008 dig was designed to recover the remains, which had never been studied, to see what analysis by Christie Willis and Jacqueline McKinley FSA could reveal, and to enable sampling for radiocarbon dating – a substantial research project from a small dig. By an accident of timing, the licence to excavate the remains was issued by the Ministry of Justice during a short period when it required all human remains to be reburied after immediate analysis, regardless of antiquity or scientific significance (a requirement since dropped except in certain specified cases). It was understood from the start, as this requirement was already being challenged, that the Stonehenge licence could be amended to allow museum retention of the important remains.
 
In the meantime, a group of protestors, most visibly in the person of King Arthur Pendragon – unfashionably dressed middle aged male academics were no match for the bearded Druid in flowing white robes, brandishing ornate regalia and a huge sword, and appealing to human decency – lobbied for the remains’ (re-)reburial at Stonehenge. Never one to miss a trick, Pendragon (seen above outside the London High Court, where he had unsuccessfully taken the issue) spoke to the BBC on 31 October. This was the day the extended excavation licence was due to expire – and by which the remains should technically have been returned to the ground (though quite where was an open question, Stonehenge not today being licenced for human burials).
 
‘All they are is cremated human remains,’ said Pendragon, ‘they're little shards of burnt bones, I saw them when they took them out in 2008. There is absolutely no reason to put them on show.’ (The archaeologists’ concern had been retention, not exhibition, which was a distraction.)
 
As the years had passed, the archaeologists had been working hard to persuade the Government to change the licence, on one occasion receiving the comforting written assurance that “no Druids work at the Ministry of Justice”. Salon can reveal the efforts paid off. On Friday 30 October (the last working day of the licence’s effect) Parker Pearson was phoned by Marcia Williams, of the Coroners, Burials, Cremations and Inquiries Team, to be told that Ministers had decided to grant his application to amend further the licence originally granted in 2008. At the day’s end he received a letter. ‘The remains shall no later than 30 April 2016’, it reads, ‘be deposited at Salisbury Museum, Wiltshire.’ In the meantime they shall be kept safely, privately and decently at UCL Institute of Archaeology, where Parker Pearson is a Professor.
 
The first peer-reviewed report on analysis of the 'little shards of burnt bones' is due early in the new year. Now we can say with confidence that the research it will describe need not be the last and, almost certainly, will in fact be the first of many to examine this iconic evidence.
 

Artists' Roll Call 


Across the yard from the Society’s rooms at the Royal Academy (RA), archivists have found the institution's charter papers from its earliest incarnation as the Society of Artists of Great Britain, founded in 1756, just five years after the Society of Antiquaries of London received its Royal Charter (having been founded in 1707). Last documented in 1918 and thought destroyed, the roll lists the Society of Artist’s 112 members, who included Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and Johann Zoffany.
 
‘These are the definitive documents,’ said Charles Saumarez Smith FSA, the RA’s Secretary and Chief Executive. ‘The charter is interesting because it shows the extent to which the Royal Academy modelled its operation on the previous society, but most exciting visually is the roll with the names of artists who seceded scratched out. It is such a visible manifestation of the tensions and feuds of the artists at the time.’
 

Historic Mural Hidden to Improve ‘Student Employability’ 


Allan Sorrell (1904–74) will be known to many Fellows as an artist and illustrator of archaeological reconstructions. His work was much used for guidebooks and postcards, and hangs in many museums. Not all his oeuvre was archaeological, however, and among his other creations is a series of murals.
 
Of these, one of the most important is the 16m-long The Four Seasons (above, seen in 2013), painted in 1953 in the entrance hall of a new Secondary Modern, Oken School (now Myton School), in Warwick. Worked in oil directly onto plaster, it features a complex and dynamic sequence of peopled landscapes, in which Alan Powers (who describes Sorrell's murals in Alan Sorrell: The Life and Works of an English Neo-Romantic Artist, edited by Sacha Llewellyn and Richard Sorrell, Sansom 2013) sees a mood inspired by Breughel.
 
This wonderful, rare work was boarded over by the school in the summer holidays (see below), in favour of what it describes (I wish I was making this up, but I'm not) as ‘relevant and up-to-date displays which fit with our strategy for developing the key learning habits for employability for our students now and in their future.’
 
Cllr Martin Ashford, after the cover-up was discussed at a meeting of Warwick Town Council, said, ‘A work of art is being hidden away unnecessarily when it could be part of the artistic treasures of Warwick. I think it is a disgrace, and that it is behind boards is potentially damaging. Alan Sorrell has work in the Tate and this painting is possibly worth over a million pounds. It should be on display for people to enjoy.’
 
The school, however, thought that could wait.
 
‘We appreciate we have some wonderful artwork in our school,’ it said in a statement, ‘some of which we may decide to replace, rotate or protect as we adapt our educational environment. This in no way precludes other artwork being on display in the future.’
 
Julia Sorrell tells me she is hoping, along with the 20th Century Society and Alan Powers, that Historic England will list the mural.
 

Lives Remembered 

 
An obituary by Victor Gray FSA for John Blatchly FSA, who died in September, was published in The Guardian on 5 November. ‘Each part of John’s life experience’, writes Gray, ‘was brought to bear on his historical activities. His pursuit and testing of a historical answer were conducted with the scientific rigour of a chemist; in his constant encouragement and nurturing of others’ interests, he showed all the empathy and tact of a good schoolteacher; in his determination to make things happen he used the tactical skills and firmness of vision of a successful headmaster. He had, moreover, an enviable memory, able to recognise an individual topographer’s hand from the briefest of inscriptions and summon up a mental pedigree on demand. His unflagging energy and output left all around him wondering how he had time to eat or sleep.’
 
Please note we were given the wrong time for the funeral: it will be at noon (not 10.30am as stated in Salon), on 21 November, at St Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich.
 
The Telegraph published an obituary for Ronald Brunskill FSA, who died in October aged 86, on 9 November. It emphasises the wide influence of his work:
 
‘His MA course at Manchester University on “Conservation and Repair of Historic Buildings” acquired a considerable reputation and attracted many talented students who went on to spread his message through journalism, publishing, planning and professional practice. As a writer his books reached a wide audience among both practitioners and the general public. His An Illustrated Handbook of Vernacular Architecture (1971, now in its fourth edition) remained the principal textbook for students of the subject for more than 40 years.’
 
Radio Poland announced that Andrew Ciechanowiecki FSA, art historian, antique dealer and philanthropist, had died on 2 November aged 91. Having left Poland in 1958, he lived in Germany, Britain, the United States and Portugal, before settling in London in 1961.
 
The son of a diplomat and noble, Ciechanowiecki fought in the underground Home Army during the doomed Warsaw Rising of 1944. He was sentenced to ten years in prison in 1952 for allegedly helping Anglo-Saxon and Vatican spies. Released in 1956, he continued his studies and worked at the Wawel Castle, Kraków and the Castle Museum, Lańcut. Poland awarded him the Order of the White Eagle in 1998.
 
In the West he organised exhibitions, owned galleries, worked as an art dealer, lectured on the history of Polish culture, published in scholarly magazines and supported Polish charities. He donated over 3,000 items of furniture, paintings, sculptures and jewels to the Royal Castle in Warsaw. (Portrait from Wikimedia.)
 
James Brown, partner of David Starkey FSA and designer of a number of the Society’s recent publications (including the Henry VIII inventory series, the Roman Mosaics corpus and the Heraldic Badges monograph), died on 28 October aged 43. His funeral will be in Rochester Cathedral at noon on Monday, 23 November. Notices appeared in The Times (subscription needed) and Guardian. There will be a tribute in a future Salon.
 
Peter Woodhead FSA died on 29 October of a heart attack following a severe fall. He was 86. Robert H. Thompson FSA writes:
 
‘Peter joined the British Numismatic Society in April 1952 and was President from 1976 to 1980. He was elected an honorary member in June 1999. He was the author most notably of three volumes on the gold coins in the Herbert Schneider Collection, in the British Academy’s Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles series; Part III (2011) covered Anglo-Gallic, Flemish and Brabantine Gold Coins 1330–1794.
 
‘Peter's funeral will be at his local church, the Saxon edifice by the name of the Church of the Holy Rood, in Daglingworth, near Cirencester, on Wednesday 11 November, at 2pm. The service will be followed by a reception in the village.
 
‘The funeral is being co-ordinated by Peter's executor, Marion Cooch. All are welcome to attend but if you plan on coming, please advise her in advance – marion.cooch@hotmail.co.uk – so that you can be accommodated, both in terms of seating at the service and at the venue after the service. Please feel free to pass these details on to anyone who you think may be interested in attending.’

News of Fellows

 
Matthew Spriggs FSA, ARC Laureate Fellow at the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, The Australian National University, writes from Canberra:
 
‘Late October/Early November is always anxiously awaited by Australian Fellows as that is when the results of the major Australian Research Council Grant Schemes, particularly the Discovery research grants, are anticipated. Australian SAL archaeological Fellows did well this year, with major grants to Geoffrey Clark FSA, Rainer Grün FSA, Peter Hiscock FSA, Susan Lawrence FSA, Matthew Spriggs and Paul Taçon FSA. Along with their (non-Fellow) colleagues on their grants they garnered a staggering AUD$2,683,077 in five large Discovery grants to look at subjects as varied as warfare in the ancient Tongan state, archaeogeochemistry in the Iberian Peninsula and Pacific Islands, language and archaeology in Australia, historic goldmining in Victoria, and Australian rock art. Spriggs was also successful in securing a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship at Cambridge University for three months each in 2016 and 2017, to research the history of Pacific archaeology.
 
‘In New Zealand Atholl Anderson FSA was awarded the Aronui Humanities Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand for 2015, to honour his contributions to archaeology and New Zealand history.’

Cambridge University Press is publishing the third edition of African Civilizations: An Archaeological Perspective by Graham Connah FSA, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of New England, Australia, and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. The title has been in print, Connah tells Salon, since 1987, ‘but it took me five years to complete’ this edition. Unlike previous ones, the new book is not confined to tropical Africa but considers the whole continent, focussing on the archaeological research of two key aspects of complexity – urbanism and state formation – in ten areas. The main concern is to review evidence in its varied environments, and to consider possible explanations.

Alan Garner FSA (described by Philip Pullman, says The Guardian, as ‘the most important British writer of fantasy since Tolkien’) reads his new short story, The Common Dean, on the paper’s website. The reading is accompanied by sound recordings taken from the wood near his home in Cheshire, where the story is set:
 
‘Coppices were shielded from the wild, and though the deer were gone, the ditch and bank that kept them out remained… The railway boundary was a relic line of ash, with hedges running from it to the brook…’
 
The story is one of a series sponsored by The Woodland Trust.

Peter Stone FSA, Head of the School of Arts and Cultures at Newcastle University, is to be appointed UNESCO Professor in Cultural Property Protection and Peace. UNESCO invited Newcastle to join its universities network and establish the first chair of its kind. Stone has been a specialist advisor to the UK Government on the identification and protection of the cultural heritage in Iraq, and is Chair of the UK Committee for the Blue Shield, the cultural heritage equivalent of the Red Cross. Through the new chair, said Stone, ‘Newcastle University will work with governments, the armed forces, the heritage sector and the public to foster a better understanding of the value of cultural property.’
 
Lorna Watts/Rahtz FSA comments that investigation of a Mesolithic site at Downton, Wiltshire, noted in the last Salon, was associated with Fellows. Excavated and reported by Eric Higgs in 1957 and 1959 respectively, it had been discovered by Philip Rahtz FSA during excavations for the Ministry of Works ahead of house building. Ian Longworth FSA and Brian Fagan FSA, then Cambridge students, helped at the dig, the latter also with analysis of flint artefacts. Rahtz reported separately on his own excavation of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age remains at the same site.
 
Fellows Richard Bryant, Carolyn Heighway and David Smith, together with Jill Barlow and Chris Jeens, have written Edward II: His Last Months and his Monument (Past Historic). The book focuses on previously unpublished sources for the last year of the king’s life. Extracts from Berkeley Castle archives are reproduced in facsimile with translations and commentaries. Its central part is a meticulous description of Edward’s monument in Gloucester Cathedral, supported by more than 60 illustrations including measured drawings, historical images and photographs (photo right from Wikipedia).

A letter to The Times by Norman Hammond FSA was enjoyed on social media. Julian Fellowes, creator of the TV drama series Downton Abbey, had appeared to say that only those with a university education could understand Shakespeare’s plays; he was defending his rewriting of dialogue for a film of Romeo and Juliet, to benefit those ‘who have not been trained in Shakespeare’s language choices’.
 
‘Julian Fellowes’, wrote Hammond, ‘says that only those who have been to university can comprehend Shakespeare’s plays. That would exclude Shakespeare, then.’

On 4 November in Cambridge, Peter Addyman FSA gave the UK’s First Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture in Archaeology in Honour of Professor Norman Hammond, with the title Creating Heritage: Vikings, Jorvik and Public Interest Archaeology.

Alastair McCapra FSA, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, is to be the new Chair of the National Heritage Science Forum (NHSF); he will succeed current Co-Chairs Nancy Bell and May Cassar FSA on 16 December. The NHSF addresses the recommendations of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee Inquiry on Science and Heritage, and implements the objectives of the National Heritage Science Strategy. Forum members together address the research and practice needs of institutions interested in or engaged with heritage science.
 
‘The Forum plays a critical role in advancing research and public engagement', said McCapra in a press release, 'and that agenda has probably never been as important as it is now. We live in very challenging times, and the Forum must provide the leadership we need to make sure that UK heritage science remains a world leader.’

George Geddes and Angela Gannon FSA spent over nine months living and working on St Kilda as part of an eight-year project to research its history. Their book, St Kilda: The Last and Outmost Isle (Historic Environment Scotland), combines the results of the most detailed archaeological survey of the islands, with rare and previously unpublished images. People lived there for thousands of years, making use of almost every corner of the archipelago. On Boreray archaeologists found evidence for medieval agriculture on a steep land mass less than two square kilometres in size. Remains of six small stone chapels were found sited throughout the island chain. St Kilda is one of 27 locations to have been awarded dual World Heritage Status by UNESCO in recognition of both natural and cultural significance. The last inhabitants were evacuated In 1930, at their own request. (Photo National Trust for Scotland.)

‘There are increasingly few younger art historians’, Brian Allen FSA tells Dalya Alberge in The Observer on 15 November, ‘who are comfortable at being asked to make attributional statements. Rather than studying Canaletto, a student is more likely to focus on some aspect of the sociology of view painting in 18th-century Europe.’ He is increasingly alarmed, says Alberge, by young art historians who look ‘perplexed’ if faced with a questionable picture. ‘It’s an area they haven’t really been schooled to do. There’s an element of fear.’ Tate no longer has any ‘real experts’ on British art. Universities are not training historians to tell their William Hogarth from their Francis Hayman, says Allen, former director of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery.

Memorials to Fellows

 
Norman Hammond FSA writes about a Fellow who died young in the First World War, ‘a joint contribution’, he says, ‘from Jean Wilson and myself’:
 
‘In St. Laurence, Ludlow, Shropshire, is an alabaster mural tablet to Lieut. John Harley FSA, MA Oxon, who died at Gallipoli on June 4 1915, aged 35. He “fell in the Battle of Krithia at Kereves Dere”. This bare information is followed by an eight-line verse supplied, and perhaps composed, by his father, which first appeared in The Bond of Sacrifice obituary book in 1915. At the top is the Harley family crest, ‘a castle triple-towered argent, out of the middle tower a demi- lion rampant gules’, with the motto Virtute et fide.
 
‘Harley had joined the Artists’ Rifles in September 1914, and was then assigned as a Temporary Lieutenant to the 4th Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment, in the 29th Division. On the day of his death in the third Battle of Krithia, he had been seconded to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. His Commanding Officer told his parents that “after gallantly leading his men out of the trenches he was not able to live in the very heavy fire that was brought to bear. His body was buried, probably near where he fell”. His name is listed along with thousands of other British casualties of Gallipoli, on the Helles memorial overlooking the Dardanelles.
 
‘In England, apart from the Ludlow memorial – the only one that to my knowledge mentions his Fellowship – he is also commemorated at Charterhouse, where he was at school, at Trinity College, Oxford, and on the war memorial at Pulborough Parish Church in Sussex, where his family lived (his father, Dr John Harley, was a prosperous Mayfair physician who built the medieval-style Beedings Castle at Pulborough in the late 19th century). He had been called to the Bar, but not practised, instead working for the Historical Manuscript Commission at the Record Office. He married May Sheppee of Bracknell, Berks on 8 May 1915, two days before he left for the front; he is not mentioned on the Bracknell war memorial, which does not list the names of the fallen, but there is a small brass at a location unknown to me, saying that Lieutenant Harley “fell leading his men at the Battle of Krithia on the Gallipoli Peninsula”.
 
‘Harley was elected FSA on 4 March 1915, and was thus a Fellow for just three months. He was proposed by the noted historian Charles Lethbridge Kingsford FSA (1862–1926), later Vice-President (1920–23; FBA 1924), and eight other Fellows. (Kingsford’s father, the Rev. Sampson Kingsford, had been headmaster of the grammar school at Ludlow, a connection which may explain the presence of this monument in a town where Harley neither lived nor had family.)
 
‘The grounds for his election were his work for the Historical Manuscripts Commission on the Hastings family archive from AD 1100–1600. According to the online source theoriginalrecord.com, “Harley had been invited by Reginald Rawdon Hastings to examine his family's extensive archives at the Manor House, Ashby de la Zouche, in Leicestershire. Harley produced a detailed calendar, the first volume of which was eventually published in 1928”. The Bond of Sacrifice Vol. 2 (1915), says that “he sent off the last proofs of the work on which he was engaged while on his way to the front”.’
 

Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings of Fellows


Unless stated otherwise, tea is served from 16.15 and meetings start at 17.00. Guests are welcome if accompanied by a Fellow. Details of forthcoming meetings and events can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

19 November 2015: ‘Disaster Recovery: New Evidence for the Impact of the Black Death’, by Carenza Lewis FSA.*
*Please note: A ballot is scheduled for this meeting (login required for online voting).

26 November 2015 (15:45): ‘Presentation of the Statutory Report and Accounts, 2014-’15’, by Treasurer Stephen Johnson.

26 November 2015: ‘From Cyriacus of Ancona to Louis-Francois-Sebastien Fauvel: Via Egnatia Rediscovered’, by Eurydice Georganteli FSA.

3 December 2015 (14:00): ‘Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society’*
*Please note: Advanced booking is required.

3 December 2015: ‘The King's Chocolate Kitchen at Hampton Court Palace’, by Mark Meltonville.

10 December 2015: ‘Miscellany of Papers’. Fellows and guests will have the opportunity to hear about research that has taken place on the Society's collections this year during the miscellany meeting, including on update on the progress of the Kelmscott Manor 'Lost Treasures of Kelmscott'.

10 December 2015: ‘Mulled Wine Reception’. Following the success of last year's Christmas carol singing during last year's reception, a small choir will again be leading carols at the Christmas Miscellany reception (the Society's Treasurer Stephen Johnson will conduct, and Fellow Deborah Priddy will assist). Do come along and join in! Tickets to the reception are £10.00 per person and can be booked online or by calling 020 7479 7080.
 

Forthcoming Public Lectures

Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.

24 November 2015: ‘Folk Carols of England’, by Yvette Staelens FSA
Unfortunately, this lecture is now fully booked. But we hope to post a recording after the event!

19 January 2016: ‘The Waddeson Bequest at the British Museum, A New Look’, by Dora Thornton FSA, and Tom Fotheringham. Unfortunately, this lecture is now fully booked. But we hope to post a recording after the event!

There will also be a public tour of Burlington House on this day (booking required).

23 February 2016: 'The Camera and the King: Photographing the Excavation of Tutankhamun's Tomb', by Christina Riggs FSA. A few places are still available! Book now!

There will also be a public tour of Burlington House on this day (booking required).

Click here for the full programme of public lectures 2015-2016.
 

Society Dates to Remember

 

Forthcoming Closures

The Society's apartments (including the Library and Fellows' Room) will be closed to Fellows and visitors on Friday, 18 December for a staff training and development day.

The Society will be completely closed for the Christmas holidays from 24 December 2015 to 1 January 2016 (inclusive).
 

Introductory Tours of Burlington House for Fellows

The next in the Society’s regular series of introductory tours will take place on 28 January 2016. Additional tour dates include 24 March and 23 June.

Tours are free, but limited to 25 people, so places should be booked in advance. Please contact the Society’s Executive Assistant (call 020 7479 7080 or email admin@sal.org.uk). Tours start at 11.00, and coffee is served from 10.45. Lunch is available at the end of the tour for £5, but must be ordered in advance. There will be further tours scheduled in the autumn.
 

Other Forthcoming Heritage Events


19 November: Archaeologists and Language: Communication and Miscommunication on 19th-Century Digs in the Middle East (London)
In one of a series of talks arranged by Amara Thornton FSA, Rachel Mairs (University of Reading), explores the engagement – or not – of 19th and early 20th century archaeologists in Egypt and Mesopotamia with the Arabic language, from Flinders Petrie, who believed that anyone who couldn't pick up Arabic simply wasn't trying hard enough, to Max Mallowan FSA, who had to deal with a junior colleague's excuse that he had 'lost his Arabic book'. At the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, 5.15-6.15 pm.
 
21 November: Talking to the Gods: New Research from Roman Britain (Southampton)
The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies is holding its research day on Roman religion at the University of Southampton, presenting the results of some of the most significant new research and discoveries, pulling this material together for the first time. Speakers include Andrew Birley FSA, Ian Haynes FSA and John Pearce FSA, and Dougie Killock, Zena Kamash, Alexander Smith and Louise Revell. For further information email lifelonglearning@southampton.ac.uk.

28 November: Solent-Thames Research Framework for the Historic Environment (Reading)
Oxford Archaeology and Historic England are holding a Launch and Day Conference to celebrate the publication of this Research Framework, and provide an opportunity to learn about its application and impact across the region. The speakers are Mike Fulford FSA, Alistair Barclay FSA, Dan Miles FSA and Gill Hey FSA, and Sandy Kidd, Eliza Alqassar, Gareth Chaffey, Steve Clark, Andy Manning, Garry Momber, Alex Smith and Chris Hayden. The event is free, and display space is available at the venue. For more information see Oxford Archaeology website.
 
30 November: Seminars in the History of Collecting (London)
Nicolas P. Baptiste, Doct-chercheur, Université Savoie, Chambéry will talk on ‘Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, the Comte de Nieuwerkerke, and the Arms and Armour Collection of the Emperor Napoléon III: A Short Note on Collecting in Paris at the End of the Nineteenth Century’, at The Wallace Collection at 5.30 pm. This is one in a series of seminars.

http://oxfordarchaeology.com/community/events
30 November: James Beck Memorial Lecture (London)
Please note that Elizabeth Simpson, who will give this talk as described in the previous Salon, is from the Bard Graduate Center, New York (not School, as we had been told). Apologies.
 
2 December: 'Top Secret’: Spying on Childe (London)
A talk by Katie Meheux (UCL) on 'Gordon Childe’s Security Service Files 1917-1955'. Gordon Childe FSA is one of the most fascinating and influential figures of 20th century archaeology. His early career as a labour activist in Australia and the influence of Marxist thought on his work is widely recognised, but his political life outside archaeology remains enigmatic. Evidence from the British Security Service KV2 files kept on Childe and the archives of the Communist Party of Great Britain reveal that he was a dynamic and opportunistic left-wing political activist. How dangerous was he? Did he and his contemporaries deliberately write his political activities out of his archaeological legacy? At UCL Institute of Archaeology, 5.15-6.15 pm.

23 January 2016: Janet Arnold Study Day (London)
Presentations and demonstrations focusing on an early 17th century velvet gown in the Victoria and Albert Museum Collection, including new research and discoveries, covering the four elements of dress – Content, Cut, Construction and Context. Speakers include Karen Hearn FSA and Lisa Monnas FSA, and Melanie Braun, Gil Dye, Susan North, Johannes Pietsch and Jenny Tiramani. At the Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, 10 am–5 pm.
 

Vacancies

 

Libraries Curator, National Trust
As a member of the team of National Specialists in Collections & Interpretation, you will be the Trust’s authority on curatorship of historic libraries, combining this with sound knowledge of cataloguing and interpreting rare book collections. We want you to share your expertise and learning, deepen our understanding of our holdings, develop exhibitions, and research new techniques and technologies for making our libraries accessible to our visitors as well as to scholars at a distance. For further details see National Trust Jobs, IRC29301. Closing date Sunday 22 November 2015.
 

Propose a Lecture or Seminar

Please email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer 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). When proposing a lecture, it is helpful to provide a working title, a few sentences about the topic and its significance, and how you will make it relevant and accessible to the entirety of the diverse Fellowship. We welcome papers based on new research on 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 email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.

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