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Salon: Issue 345
28 June 2015

Next issue: 13 July 2015

The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of news from the heritage sector. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contribution that the Society's Fellows make to public life. Like the intellectual salons of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it aims to amuse and to stimulate debate as well as to inform. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.

Please note: News, comment and feedback for publication in
Salon are welcomed. Please send to the editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor.
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Inside this issue

Will the UK Finally Ratify the 1954 Hague Convention?

I am delighted, for my first Salon, to be able to report what seems like progress on an issue that has long concerned many Fellows, and ultimately affects everyone around the world. On 21 June John Whittingdale, the new Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, announced that, ‘at the first opportunity’, his department would ‘bring forward new legislation to ratify the Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict’.
The 1954 Hague Convention, created after the appalling destruction of the Second World War, seeks to help protect local heritage at scenes of armed conflict. Parties to the Convention are required to respect cultural property situated within the territory of other Parties by not attacking it, and to respect cultural property within their own territory by not using it for purposes likely to expose it to destruction or damage. For reasons that all of us who work in the heritage sector have found difficult to understand, despite repeated pledges to do so going back over a decade, the UK government has yet to ratify the convention – alone among permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Those who have been lobbying the Government to ratify the convention are understandably cautious. Colin Renfrew FSA, the Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, tells Salon that he had set down a Question for Written Answer on the topic in the House only the week before. The promise to ratify ‘is indeed good news,’ he says, adding that ‘It seems extraordinary that it has in fact been official policy to do so since the year 2004 “as soon as parliamentary time allows”, and that nothing at all has happened since. But seeing is believing. We shall now be able to judge by observing when “parliamentary time” delivers the expected outcome.’
Peter Stone FSA, chair of the UK Blue Shield, the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross which has mounted a new campaign for ratification (see Salon 343), is similarly wary. ‘Our concern from this’, he tells Salon, ‘was that there is no timetable and nothing re the protocols.’ He is referring here in particular to the Second Protocol (as he noted in a brief interview with the BBC World Service), which defines certain types of cultural destruction as war crimes.
Yet there are, perhaps, reasons to be cautiously optimistic. Firstly, as Renfrew says, ‘The recent announcement must reflect the interest of the new Secretary of State at DCMS, John Whittingdale, which is much to be welcomed.’ Whittingdale was greeted excitedly by press enemies of the BBC (a strong lobby group), who anticipated a rapid taking down of its current funding system. It seems however they were misguided in this, and others welcomed him as a defender of press freedom and a sympathetic and understanding voice in the worlds of arts and tourism. His words and his delivery in the House of Commons, reacting to the news of Sepp Blatter’s recent re-election to a disgraced FIFA, were strikingly uncompromising in their criticism and plain analysis.
The relentless and cynical destruction of heritage by Islamic State, including at World Heritage Sites such as Nimrud, Hatra and Palmyra, is new, as is the extent to which stolen artefacts are funding conflict. This is reflected in Whittingdale’s statement (which refers to IS attacks on heritage), making it clear his concern extends beyond ratification. Having said he plans to legislate on the issue, he continues:
‘The Government will be developing a new cultural protection fund that will support the protection of cultural heritage and the recovery from acts of cultural destruction. Through this fund, we hope to help safeguard the heritage of countries affected by conflict or at risk of coming under attack for ideological reasons.’
This would include supporting a new project at the British Museum, led by Jonathan Tubb FSA, that seeks to train Iraqi heritage professionals in England, and then mentor them back in Iraq as fully skilled rescue archaeologists (Tubb talks about this in the current edition of British Archaeology).
Whittingdale then adds:
‘This summer I will bring together a summit of senior Government colleagues, cultural leaders from the British Museum, V&A and British Council and other key organisations, such as UNESCO and the Red Cross, to advise on the proposed new legislation and shape the delivery of a new cultural protection fund.’
On top of this, his press release contained strong, supportive comments from no less than Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Neil MacGregor FSA, Director of the British Museum.
We’ve been promised ratification of the Hague Convention before. This may now, however, be more than just words.

From the Desk of the General Secretary

Public recognition of our work is important to securing our future

Magna Carta Through the Ages is not only our first major public exhibition in Burlington House in over 50 years, it’s proving to be a major success. Thanks to the brilliant work by our staff, Fellows and volunteers, we are giving free public lectures, providing education workshops to school – and last week we averaged 500 visitors a day (with more than 5,000 visitors in the first fours!).
We want to share our extraordinary collections so that more people can find out about what we do. It only takes 30 seconds to help the Society share its collections!
As a registered charity that does not receive public funds, we need help to put on our next public exhibition programme. All donations – of any amount – are valuable and can make our historic resources more widely known.

Give any amount online:
Text/SMS: 'TSAL001' to 70790 to give £5

26 May – 31 July: Magna Carta Through the Ages

The exhibition is free and open to all (Monday to Friday). For opening hours and other details, visit To shop for Magna Carta merchandise and other Society souvenirs, visit Fellows get a 20% discount for purchases (in-store only).

Old Gold

David Dawson FSA reports that a rare Chalcolithic ‘sun-disc’, from Monkton Farleigh in Wiltshire, is now on display in Wiltshire Museum, where he is Director. The sheet-gold disc was found in 1947 in excavations by Guy Underwood in a barrow at Monkton Farleigh, 20 miles from Stonehenge, with a pottery Beaker, flint arrowheads and remains of an adult male. It was not seen by archaeologists, however, until the launch of the museum’s new Prehistory Galleries in 2013, when the landowner Denis Whitehead brought it in. Cleaned by the Wiltshire Council Conservation Service, it has been displayed in Whitehead’s memory.

A pair of similar discs (from a barrow near Avebury) is described in a monumental new book by Ann Woodward FSA and John Hunter FSA, with major contributions from Stuart Needham FSA and Alison Sheridan FSA among others. Ritual in Early Bronze Age Grave Goods (Oxbow April 2015) is an outcome of a long research project investigating Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age artefacts (once ascribed to a ‘Wessex Culture’) in relation to their possible uses as dress accessories or equipment employed in rituals and ceremonies. Detailed discussions accompany an extensive, and intensively illustrated, overview of a large proportion of the grave goods from English burial sites.

George Gilbert Scott

Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811–78) was a busy man, with many architectural projects on the go. On one occasion his office staff arrived at work to find he had already reached a Midland station with time enough to send a telegram, asking, ‘Why am I here?’ On another, he noticed a church being built as he passed by and asked his companion who the architect was? The reply, of course, was Sir Gilbert Scott. These anecdotes can be found at, which Anthony Quiney FSA commends to anyone with an interest in Victorian architecture, ecclesiology or archaeology. ‘As a prominent founder of the Royal Archaeological Institute,’ writes Quiney, ‘and the one-time bugbear of the Society of Antiquaries, Scott became more than a (and perhaps the) leading architect of his day. Research into the original manuscript of what in revised form became his Recollections, undertaken by the late Ian Toplis, has now been put online in a valuable and comprehensive website detailing his vast career.’ The site includes a gazetteer of his works arranged by counties and towns, and year by year listing of projects in hand (though, so far, only one picture).

HLF Major Projects

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) launched a survey of the impact of its 173 Major Grants (£5m and over) at the Association of Independent Museums Conference on 19 June. HLF’s chief executive, Carole Souter FSA, said, ‘Thanks to National Lottery players over £1.6bn of HLF money has been invested in truly life-changing major projects.’ These include the Mary Rose Museum, the Imperial War Museum Duxford and Bletchley Park. ‘What makes these projects stand out’, she said, ‘is a strong vision, robust leadership and an ability to successfully navigate organisational change.’ Seven of England’s 10 most popular visitor attractions were supported by a Major Grant, all in London, from the British Museum to Somerset House. Projects reviewed in the report include Glasgow’s Riverside Transport Museum, the Kennet and Avon Canal, the Natural History Museum’s Darwin Centre, Stonehenge, Big Pit National Mining Museum of Wales, The Whitworth in Manchester and SS Great Britain, Bristol.

Barbara Hepworth and Jacquetta Hawkes

On 24 June Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World opened at Tate Britain in London (until 25 October 2015). A major exhibition, it brings together in one place many rarely seen pieces. You can see the artist’s life-work grow and achieve a triumphant peace with the world. The collection has a beauty that reveals Hepworth a peer of Henry Moore, who long overshadowed what we can now see as a quite different genius.
In the midst of this is an installation than will interest many Fellows, the screening of an 18-minute colour film made in 1953 by Dudley Shaw Ashton (a 5-minute clip can be seen on the British Film Institute’s website). We see Hepworth at work in her Cornish garden, and her carvings taken out to archetypal Cornish locations (cliffs, sea, moorland), with music by Priaulx Rainier. The script, read by Cecil Day Lewis, was written by archaeologist Jacquetta Hawkes FSA (1910–96).
The film, an apparent collusion between Shaw Ashton and Hawkes, firmly identifies Hepworth as a Cornish artist, inspired by the local landscape and its antiquities. Several phrases could have come straight from Hawkes’ book, A Land, published four years before. ‘The wind and the sea carve the rocks… beyond the reach of clocks… Man came at last; he set up stones… Stones for dancing, and stones for dying.’ The film shows megaliths, not least, of course, the group at Men-an-Tol, which has the only such stone in the country with a hole through the middle. ‘Death and rebirth,’ intones Day Lewis. ‘In and out.’
Spreads of the original script, complete with pasted on photos of standing stones, add to the interest. In 1953, perhaps, this film may almost have been ahead of its time, for Hepworth became judged as the ultimate Cornish artist. Yet the exhibition makes clear that was wrong. Her carvings, many of which do look superficially megalithic, were inspired not by prehistory, but the living human form and spirit. She may have enjoyed the Cornish light, but her art was not local. Inga Fraser, Assistant Curator, Modern British Art 1890–1945 at Tate, told me that Hepworth was not happy with the film. Could it be that, by reading her own vision into the sculptures, Jacquetta Hawkes contributed to a generation of misunderstanding about one of Britain's great recent artists?
• Ice Without, Fire Within: A Life of Jacquetta Hawkes, written by Christine Finn FSA, has at last found a publisher with the Société Jersiaise. ‘If any Fellows have memories or thoughts to share on JH’, Finn tells Salon, ‘I'd be pleased to hear from them.’ Finn rescued Hawkes’ papers the summer of her death, leading to a 20-year literary excavation. ‘Jacquetta's take on the personal past, so long out of fashion,’ she says, ‘is now being appreciated by a new generation of archaeologists.’ Ice Without, Fire Within will be published in 2016.

Historic Stone Theft

Leeds City Council has replaced £50,000-worth of York stone lifted from pavements. Gravestones have been taken from a listed chapel at Thornton, Bradford, where the Bronte sisters were baptised. Such has been the scale of stone theft in Huddersfield, on June 22 Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney led a House of Commons debate on tackling the problem. ‘Stone theft in my beautiful part of West Yorkshire’, he said, ‘has reached epidemic proportions. Roof tiles, topping stones on dry stone walls, York stone path slabs and many other types of stone are being systematically stolen. Some are clearly being sold on. Others are being used by rogue builders so that they do not have the expense of sourcing their own materials.’ He sought a dedicated stone theft taskforce, comparable to one successfully set up to tackle metal theft in 2011, a national and regional awareness campaign, and greater punishments for those caught at it.
Speaking to the press, Mark Harrison FSA, National Policing and Crime Adviser for Historic England, said the loss of historic stone is irreversible. ‘For the past few years, Historic England has been working with the police and local authorities all over the country to improve crime prevention for historic places, and ensure that law enforcement for heritage crimes matches the seriousness of the offences.'

Heritage Leads

On 25 June the Department for Culture Media & Sport released Taking Part, its annual statistics about public engagement with arts and heritage in England. In the year ended March 2015, the number of adults visiting at least one heritage site remained stable at 73%. However, that figure hides significant regional rises. In the North East and North West (possible clue: Hadrian’s Wall) attendance increased from 69% and 68% respectively in 2005/06, to 77% and 73%. In the West Midlands (Staffordshire Hoard?), the equivalent figures are 66% and 71%. Fewer people visit museums and galleries, with 52% of adults seeing at least one in the year, maintaining a new high set in 2013/14. Visits to archives and record offices continue to fall.

Trouble with Boys

Francis Pryor FSA has written to Salon to ask about women. ‘Following the furore generated by Sir Tim Hunt's recent ill-chosen words about female scientists,’ he says, ‘I thought it might be instructive if you could provide a break-down of the male/female composition of our Fellows. And have the proportions changed before and after, say, the year 2000?’
Hunt’s attempt at a joke at a conference in South Korea led to him being pilloried on social media for his ‘Victorian” and “chauvinistic” attitudes to women. These were enough for UCL to accept the resignation of a Nobel prize-winning biochemist from an honorary professorial post. He was defended by prominent scientists, leading the originator of the story, Connie St Louis (director of the Science Journalism MA at City University, London), to write in the Guardian, ‘It’s about sexism in science. Royal Society take heed. Now is the time for radical change and action. Women have had enough!’
When I considered these issues in 2010, I found a significant contrast between generations: 55–60% of UK archaeology students were women, while only about 40% of working archaeologists were. Yet even allowing for that, the contents of our two archaeology magazines, British Archaeology and Current Archaeology, were disproportionally written by men (male only names, for example, headed 75% and 84% of the features respectively).
What of the Society of Antiquaries? The Society’s record system does not easily allow an instant and full analysis, but I extracted a sizeable sample for a quick look. This shows a striking change, as Pryor was perhaps anticipating. Before 2000, exactly 75% (of 293 Fellows) were male, and 25% female. From 2000 to the present 68% (of 224) have been male and 32% female. From a quarter to a third is an impressive rise – but still far from a balanced gender representation.

A Leading Artist Works with Human Remains

The Royal Academy has announced first details of what it describes as a landmark exhibition of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, featuring works made between 1993 (the year he returned to China from New York) and 2015. There will be some ‘site-specific installations’, which, because Ai’s passport was taken from him in 2011, will have been created by workers in Burlington House under instructions from his home.
The show runs from 19 September to 13 December 2015. Because the Royal Academy is next door to the Society of Antiquaries, staff and visiting Fellows will unavoidably see some of it – there will be the usual large installation outside in the courtyard. But indoors there will be exhibits that even less artistically inclined Fellows might wish to see – or perhaps to avoid at all costs. For Ai likes to work with antiques and antiquities, sawing up precious furniture, or painting (and on one notorious occasion smashing) complete neolithic and historic pottery vessels. This is only one way, if the most obvious, in which Ai’s work is deeply archaeological.

A new piece that will come to the Royal Academy (RA) is titled Remains (pictured, photo courtesy RA, © Ai Weiwei). It consists of 13 bones or bone fragments, immaculately modelled in porcelain. It looks uncannily like the washed contents of an archaeological finds tray, perhaps at the excavation of a disturbed cemetery, for the bones could be human. According to the RA, that is exactly what they (or the originals) are. The latter were recovered at a “clandestine archaeological excavation” in north-west China, being “the remains of an unknown intellectual who perished… in a labour camp.” I was told that the excavation had to be abandoned, as the diggers were interrupted by the authorities.
But are they really human? I showed the photo to Jacqueline McKinley FSA, who told me yes, they are – except for two, I can reveal first to Salon readers, which are probably animal. McKinley was also able to identify two pelvic bones as coming from an adult over 25 years old, probably male, which may (or may not) fit the expectations of the finders.
All being well, we will be able to see Remains in the autumn, and judge whether it is as beautiful and thought-provoking as it appears, or merely provocative. If you do go, and you have expertise in early Chinese ceramics, I would love to hear from you. The painted and broken pots confuse art critics and curators, not just archaeologists. Yet I know of no concerted attempt to establish where the vessels come from, how Ai obtains them, or to what extent they are ‘genuine’, ‘copies’, or ‘fakes’. Descriptions keep to simple labels such as neolithic or Han Dynasty. A job for Fellows.

Onshore Windfarm Cuts

On 18 June the media reported that new onshore windfarms will be excluded from a national subsidy scheme from 1 April 2016, a year earlier than expected. Some commentators were puzzled that having made an election promise to hold down bills while increasing renewable energy, what is now the Conservative government was taking a swipe at the most cost-effective form of such energy. In a separate case, Richard Drax MP told Parliament that an offshore windfarm in Dorset was a threat to the heritage of future generations – on the same day, the Daily Mail reported, that a 43 hectare solar farm on his own Dorset estate was approved. The Express revelled in another case, involving the Prime Minister’s father-in-law: the latter is due to open the second subsidised windfarm on his land in Lincolnshire in 2016. For commercial archaeologists, a move away from onshore wind energy will mean loss of opportunity, as farm construction often requires advance evaluation, sometimes with good effect for understanding the past.  

Another New Angle on Stonehenge

An estimated 23,000 celebrants (or at least those of the crowd who were looking in the right direction) saw the sun rise into the centre of Stonehenge on 21 June. After filling the sky with colour, the orange disc promptly disappeared behind cloud. Tim Daw, however, had his eyes on the sunset. A Stonehenge steward, he had earlier published an article called ‘The twisted trilithon: Stone 56 and its skew’ (Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine 108, 2015). He argues there that the site’s largest megalith had been deliberately angled to line up with the midwinter sunrise, and midsummer sunset. As he had predicted (and indeed, as he had already observed in 2014), the setting sun duly aligned on Stones 56 and 93. He kindly supplied Salon with this photo.  

Fellows' Bookplates

The previous Salon initiated a Fellows’ bookplates feature, proposed by Paul Belford FSA (to spell his name correctly, my apologies on behalf of the Society) and Dan Hicks FSA. Anthony Davis FSA responds with this, from his own collection. It belonged to a Lincolnshire Fellow called John Fardell (1784–1854). ‘It is not so elaborately antiquarian like the super one that you produced to kick us off,’ writes Davis, referring to the grand design of John Evans FSA, ‘but he did like books - you can see one on the “bend”, and the lion in the crest is reading one.’ The carrier is also interesting, Davis continues, ‘as it is an Anthem book from the Chapel Royal in St James dated 1736 with the arms of George II on the cover. There are quite a few of these anthem books around from the 18C – printed at different dates, there are at least four different stamps of the arms. This may be a copy that John Fardell had for personal use, as he has written his name in it.’

John Titford FSA, genealogist and antiquarian bookseller, writes to say that he is compiling a book for The Bookplate Society on plates used by former members of St John's College, Cambridge. ‘There are scores of “Johnians” who were Fellows of the Society!’ he says. Starting at the beginning of the alphabet, the first he came across was George Ashby FSA, another 18th century antiquary (1724–1808). He was apparently ‘a very able scholar, and lively and talkative to a degree; but immensely vain and fond of admiration'. He surprised everyone at Cambridge by casting off his wig, and appearing in ‘natural grey locks’. After which, perhaps, he retired to his library.

News of Fellows

At least six Fellows (I expect to hear if there were more) appeared in the Queen’s Birthday Honours lists published on 12 June. They are, with the annotations:
Loyd Grossman FSA, for services to heritage.
Gillian Mary Darley FSA, historian and architectural campaigner, for services to the built environment and its conservation.
Philippa Jane Glanville FSA, for services to the decorative arts and arts heritage.
David Charles Parker, FSA, Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology, University of Birmingham, for services to higher education.
Louis John Frederick Ashdown-Hill FSA, historian, for services to historical research and the exhumation and identification of richard III.
Marilyn Palmer FSA, for services to industrial archaeology and heritage.

The Society has been informed that Ralph Hyde FSA, a former Curator of Prints and Drawings at Guildhall Library and an expert in the history of London, died suddenly at his home on 5 June. His funeral was held in Blackheath on 25 June. 

On 17 June The Times published an obituary of David Peacock FSA (see Salon 339). Describing him as “Archaeological scientist whose excavations of quarries and analysis of pottery led to greater understanding of the Roman economy”, the obituary highlighted his work on Roman stone in Egypt. “Political turmoil was no barrier to the Peacocks,’ it noted. ‘They drove to Greece through Romania and Bulgaria, where both petrol and food were scarce, and lawless conditions prevailed, to avoid fighting in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. On one occasion, their son, Andrew, then aged 13 or 14, and speaking Romanian, persuaded several lorry drivers to siphon off diesel to fill their tank.’

On 1 May the British Museum (BM) relocated the Treasure team and the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) to the Department of Learning, Volunteers and Audiences; the PAS database has transferred to the museum’s new Digital and Publishing Department. Roger Bland FSA, who as head of the Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory was now deprived of the responsibilities that have so long occupied him, announced he would resign on 1 July. ‘While I hadn't expected to go at this point,’ Bland tells Salon, ‘I am glad that I will be able to catch up with a lot of research that I hadn't had time for, including the AHRC-funded project on Hoards and Hoarding in Iron Age and Roman Britain, with the University of Leicester; I'm very grateful to the university for giving me a Visiting Professorship.’ The BM says the moves are to benefit staff at a time of declining funding. ‘After nearly 20 years of battling for funding for PAS,’ adds Bland, ‘I am relieved that it will no longer be my fight. I just hope that the BM does continue to ensure that PAS is adequately funded in the difficult times ahead, because I know how easily the whole structure could collapse.’ 

Some Fellows apparently had trouble accessing the Early Modern British Painters resource mentioned in the previous Salon. This is a detailed listing of painters of any sort working in England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland between 1500 and 1640, compiled by Robert Tittler FSA. The web link was correct and does seem to work, so I repeat it here on the chance that it had somehow become corrupted in the previous mailing, and will now work for all.

Memorials to Fellows

Here’s a nice shiny plaque. Fixed to a pier in Leicester Cathedral and designed by artist and metalworker Thomas S Elgood (1845–1912), it’s for Thomas North FSA (1830–84). Both men were members of the Leicestershire Architectural and Archaeological Society, as the current Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society called itself until 1914. North was the society’s honorary secretary, says the memorial, for 23 years, and a historian of St Martin's church, which became a cathedral only in 1927. It is now transformed beyond anything North could have imagined as a consequence of the discovery of Richard III’s grave in 2012.

Forthcoming Heritage Events

30 June–5 July 2015: Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2015 (London)
Two of 22 exhibits at the Royal Society’s science festival feature the work of archaeologists. Stonehenge Underground tells the story of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, an extensive geophysics study run by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology (Austria) with universities at Bradford, Nottingham Ningbo (China), Birmingham, St Andrews and Ghent. Richard’s Remains features the work of scientists, historians, archaeologists and engineers at the University of Leicester who excavated and identified Richard III's grave, and will include a 3D-printed replica of the king’s skeleton using CT scans of the original remains undertaken by the University of Leicester’s Department of Engineering.

3 Jul 2015: Crisis Through the Ages (British Museum)
To mark its 150-year anniversary, the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) is holding a one-day free conference at the British Museum, in association with the Middle East Department, supported by the Wellcome Trust and Maney Publishing. Speakers include PEF President 
Jonathan Tubb FSA (The Philistines: Bringers of crisis or agents of change?), David Kennedy FSA (Losing the rural landscape of Graeco-Roman Philadelphia) and Colin Renfrew FSA (The archaeology of crisis: Material and cognitive dimensions). Free PEF lectures continue at the BM later in the year, with one a month between September and December. The photo, taken by Francis Bedford in 1862, shows the Christian Quarter in Damascus.

24 Jul 2015: Day of Archaeology (online)
The Day of Archaeology is an annual online event where archaeologists around the world tell everyone else about what they are doing and thinking.  After the first in 2011, this year’s will be on Friday 24 July. Archaeologists are asked to document their day – with writing, filming, recording or photography – and send the result for publication on the Day of Archaeology website. Contributions can also be delivered up to a week before or after the day itself. Email
Until 25 July: The New Vic’s Hoard Festival (Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire)
The New Vic Theatre, supported by an Exceptional Award from the Arts Council of England and developed in partnership with the National Theatre Studio, is presenting a five-week festival of shows inspired by the Staffordshire Hoard, including 19 new commissions. This large-scale event will tell many stories about the hoard, some of imagination, some of history and fact, some of provocations. The opening double bill consists of two plays, Unearthed by Theresa Heskins, and The Gift by Jemma Kennedy.

24–26 July 2015: Seminar for Arabian Studies (British Museum)
Visit the seminar's website and send registration form to

Until 16 August: Breadalbane Bling: Power Dressing in Medieval Glenlyon and Beyond (Perth Museum & Gallery)
Details at

Until 25 September: An Exhibition of the Wintour Vestments (Douai Abbey, Berkshire)

Until 11 October 2015: Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1852–1860 (Part of the V&A India Festival)
Captain Linnaeus Tripe (1822–1902) was a pioneer photographer who created an outstanding body of work depicting the landscape and architecture of India and what is now Myanmar in the 1850s. This major presentation of Tripe’s photographs includes more than 60 of his most striking views, which include architectural sites and monuments, ancient and contemporary religious and secular buildings, roads, bridges, moats, landscapes and geological formations. Photo shows a carved doorway at Shwe Zeegong Pagoda (1855).

16–18 October 2015: Ships and Shore-lines: Maritime Archaeology for the 21st Century (University of Southampton)
A conference organised by the Royal Archaeological Institute, in association with the University of Southampton Lifelong Learning Programme and the Centre for Maritime Archaeology, features British maritime archaeology. Speakers include David Parham FSA (The Swash Channel, Dorset, 16th century wreck), Dominic Tweddle FSA (Work of the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth, on HMS Victory and two World War 1 vessels, HMS Caroline and M33), Fraser Sturt FSA (The isles of the British Isles: Reconstructing sea-level changes), Christopher Dobbs FSA and Alex Hildred FSA (The Mary Rose: Not just a project of the 1970s and 1980s), Peter Clark FSA (The Dover Bronze Age boat), Gustav Milne FSA (Community archaeology on the foreshore: CITiZAN and the Thames Discovery Programme) and Nigel Nayling FSA (The Newport ship). Contact David Hinton FSA, Archaeology, University of Southampton, SO17 1BF,

24 October 2015: Second Annual Conference (Norwich Historic Churches Trust)
For details contact Stella Eglinton at

For short entries see earlier editions of Salon.


Editor, The William Morris Society newsletter
The WMS is looking for a new editor for its quarterly newsletter, with a passion to communicate all aspects of Morris’s life and works, and a proven knowledge of publishing in both traditional and electronic media. Working closely with the designer and printers, the editor is also responsible for the publication of the annual report and all other mailings. This is an unpaid post, but travel and subsistence costs to attend committee meetings and other out-of-pocket expenses are reimbursed. For informal discussion email, and send applications to

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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