Salon: Issue 406
8 May 2018
Next issue: 22 May
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
Anniversary Meeting (26 April 2018)
Thank you very much to everyone that joined us for the Society's Anniversary Meeting and Reception, which took place on 26 April. President Gill Andrews provided a fantastic overview of the Society's work over the past year, including exhibitions and open days (at both Burlington House and Kelmscott Manor), support for research and conservation, public outreach, and even the odd Lego figurine.
None of this would be possible without the constant support and participation of Fellows, volunteers and staff, to whom sincere thanks was extended. The Meeting and subsequent Reception also marked the end of Gill Andrews four years as President of the Society. If you were unable to join us, you can watch the full address here:
Watch now >
4th Annual Postgraduate Open Day 2018
The Society is planning our 4th annual postgraduate open day, to help young researchers discover the wealth of resources in our Library. The event will take place on Friday 19 October 2018, and we would like to ask for Fellows' help in spreading the word about this enormously worthwhile event to potential postgraduate students or to colleagues working with early career researchers. Not only will the day allows participants to learn about our outstanding library, collections and resources, but they will also hear from the Fellows, as well as network with other students and researchers.
Find out more >
Arts Minister Hopes to Keep Sensual Nymph in Britain
There are two versions of this painting by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–97), known as An Academy by Lamplight. One is at the Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, acquired by Paul Mellon in 1964. The other (above) was sold by Sotheby’s, London in December last year to an overseas buyer for £6.3 million (£7.26 million with commission). Arts Minister Michael Ellis has now placed a temporary export bar on it. It will stay in the UK if £7,456,440 can be raised by 31 July, extendable until 31 January 2019 if a serious intention can be shown to raise funds for the purchase.
There was great interest when the painting came up for auction, as a beautiful and highly significant work that still remained in private hands. Wright shows would-be artists learning to draw around a copy of a Hellenistic sculpture, Nymph with a Shell, in the collection of the Louvre. Sotheby’s sought to draw some buyers to the lot through a striking video re-enactment of the scene, which, shall we say, enlarged on the theme, in the words of Sotheby’s pre-sale essay, of ‘the sensual Nymph at the centre around whose exposed nipple the composition pivots.’
Philippa Glanville FSA, a former member of the export reviewing committee (the Wright was almost her last case, she tells Salon, which she chaired), said in a statement, ‘Educating and enlightening young people was a constant theme in Wright’s paintings; in this vivid depiction of a drawing class, he has captured the varied responses of boys and youths to a female statue, typically bathed in light. Accurate observation and recording was an essential life skill, both for artisans and for privileged children, as these silk-clad youths appear to be. Wright, or his as yet unidentified patron, may have opted for this informal and youthful assemblage, in contrast to the newly formed Royal Academy, with its strict rules and age restrictions.’
To an archaeologist such as myself the evidence seems slim, but art historians say the London work is the original, painted in 1769, and the second version is in New Haven, created in 1769 (Yale) or 1770/71 (Sotheby’s). The painting is said to have been in the possession of the Crossley family, whose great wealth was built on carpets, since some time after 1845; the first record of it being seen in one of their houses dates from 1955, where it had been ‘by the time of Sir Savile Crossley, 2nd Bt (1857–1935)’. The 18th-century frame in which the oil was auctioned was available for extra (price on application).
• An Academy by Lamplight was first exhibited by the artist with his Philosopher by Lamplight, which is now among the Derby Museum and Art Gallery’s wonderful collection of Wrights. The pair of works were hung in 1769 at the Society of Artists at Spring Gardens, Charing Cross, as a supposedly forward-looking rebuff to the Royal Academy (formally launched that year) and Joshua Reynolds, who had left the SA and was President of the RA ('Candidates for Fame': The Society of Artists of Great Britain, 1760–1791 (2005), by Matthew Hargraves).
Derby Museum currently has an exhibition, The Art Of Industry: From Joseph Wright To The 21st Century (until 17 June), which looks at industrial buildings in sublime landscapes, dark satanic mills and changing technology through works by Wright (including An Iron Forge loaned by Tate, above, returning to Derby for the first time since the 18th century) and others such as Ford Madox Brown, L S Lowry, Graham Sutherland and Edwardo Paolozzi.
New Website Features Stylish Art Talks
HENI Talks, a library of videos about art, launched on 25 April. Produced by HENI, a London arts publisher and service company, the non-profit website sets out to counter what it perceives as a failure in education to engage everyone with art. Munira Mirza, one-time Deputy Mayor for Culture and Education in the Mayor of London’s Office, is Talks Director. ‘HENI Talks aims to inspire people with the power of art and visual culture,’ she said in a statement, ‘reaching millions who use digital media every day as their primary platform for communication. This is content that is aimed at a wide general audience, people who are interested in learning about art and artists and how they affect our world.’
Between around seven to 15 minutes long, the stylish videos are presented by specialists in the arts world, including high-profile artists, academics, curators and writers. In the opening offer of 25 films, topics covered include the Mona Lisa, Paul Nash, and Fleet Street and the architecture of newspapers; Damien Hirst and Peter Blake are seen in conversation in Blake’s studio. Two of the talks are written by Fellows.
Paul Binski FSA Professor of the History of Medieval Art at Cambridge University (above), presents Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel, ‘the psychology behind Ely’s splendour, and the idea that art can be so powerful as to provoke violence – something we still see in headlines today.’ Art & Soul at St Paul’s Cathedral: How does art ‘wake up the soul’? is the subject of Sandy Nairne FSA, former Director of the National Portrait Gallery, who ‘walks through the architecture of Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece, pointing out how artists have responded to the sanctity of this historic space.’ A list of promised talks names Julia Farley FSA and Bettany Hughes FSA.
The Ever Fascinating Mystery of Handaxes
The dating in the 1980s of butchered animal remains and stone tools at Boxgrove, West Sussex, to 500,000 years ago, was highly controversial. Though the technology was present in Africa from well over a million years ago, Acheulean-style handaxes had not previously been found in Europe at anything like that age. And the Boxgrove flint axes, made not by modern humans or even Neanderthals but by an earlier species, possibly Homo heidelbergensis, are among the finest in the world. The issue had implications for the earliest colonisation of Europe by humans, and the evolution of a modern intelligence.
The dating was watertight, however, and even as the case was being made, European competition to find yet older sites was under way. They soon turned up in Spain, and later elsewhere, dating back to at least a million years ago, and remains of greater age have been claimed across Europe. Some of the best candidates for very early Acheulean sites were also from Spain, not least in the open air at Solana del Zamborino and in a rock-shelter called Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar.
As with several such claims, however, some archaeologists questioned the dating of these sites. Radiocarbon cannot reach this far back, leaving two principle methods to age remains: a geological technique of fitting the magnetic polarity of buried rocks to a known pattern of reversals in global history, and a faunal process of identifying particular eras from evolving groups of animals identified and dated geologically at other sites. In 2011 it was argued on the basis of such evidence that the Cueva Negra was not really as old as had been said; and that an incorrect case had been built on selective identifications and publication of associated animal species.
Meanwhile other archaeologists argued for the presence of fire-use at the rock shelter, which at that age was itself controversial. One of the proponents of the case was Michael J Walker FSA, Hon Emeritus Professor at Murcia University, who has now co-authored a new paper which sets out to strengthen the site’s claimed age, using small-mammal teeth (Historical Biology, April). Fauna and magnetic stratigraphy both support an age between 780,000 and 990,000 years ago. Cueva Negra, Walker tells Salon, now has ‘the oldest Acheulean handaxe and evidence of fire at any European Palaeolithic site.’
Handaxes are the subject of two other new articles, which address one of the perennial questions challenging archaeologists: the flint tools look lovely, but why were they so carefully made – and what does that tell us about intelligence and behaviour?
Paula García-Medrano, Andreu Ollé, Nick Ashton FSA and Mark Roberts look at axes from Boxgrove (Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, April), an additionally helpful study as the original excavations have still not been fully published. The shape of such tools, say Ashton and colleagues, is traditionally accounted for by variations in raw material and the amount of time and effort spent making them. Considering both finished and unfinished handaxes (over 450 from a single trench) and manufacturing experiments (photo at top), they conclude that knapping strategies were flexible – ‘there is no clear relationship between initial nodule or blank morphology and final handaxe shape.’ Variations in style between one site and another at different times, they suggest, was more about who was doing the making – locally established groups being forced out by climate change, followed by ‘the regular introduction of new expressions of the underlying suite of technologies’ with returning migrations.
From another camp, Mark White FSA and Frederick Foulds ask why handaxes are so symmetric from side to side (Antiquity, April). They study over 1,400 axes from 22 different British sites (including, inevitably, Boxgrove). First, they find that highly symmetrical handaxes were surprisingly common – most in their UK sample were so, ‘or better’ – and that this became even commoner as millennia passed. Second, they conclude that this was intentional, not accidental – 'hominins were mindful of symmetry’. This leads them to suggest that early humans got a mental buzz out of making handaxes: the tools were ‘more than just supports for sharp edges, but physically resonated with social value and non-primary rewards … their makers derived pleasure from crafting them.’ The drawing, say the authors (right), shows an axe where accidental irregularities down one side were deliberately mirrored down the other.
Stonehenge Consultation: the Response
A consultation about proposed roadworks in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS) closed on 23 April (having been extended after snow cut off information events), and a variety of responses were published, among them that of the Society. This second public consultation was over Highways England’s chosen option, ‘the preferred route’, which includes a 2.9 kilometre tunnel passing south of Stonehenge. The normal process is now for HE to publish a consultation report, and to submit a Development Consent Order (DCO) to the Planning Inspectorate for detailed examination. The Inspectorate reports within six months to the Secretary of State for Transport with recommendations, who takes a final decision.
Most of those who have to date chosen to publish their responses are strongly opposed to anything to do with the road proposals. It’s impossible, however, to know how representative any of these views are of a wider public, though we might note that in cases where organisations have consulted their members, responses have been supportive (the National Trust) or more nuanced (the Society, the Council for British Archaeology and the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society).
The Society’s 2,500 word response can be read online. It welcomes a number of changes in the plans since the first consultation, including arrangements at both tunnel portals, but concludes that ‘the details of how the scheme will actually be delivered need a great deal more careful thought. We do not think that the DCO should be applied for until a detailed assessment of the archaeological significance of all areas that would be affected by the works, within the WHS as well as its setting, is in the public domain for scrutiny, and a method statement on all of these matters has been satisfactorily completed and tested.’
Of special concern, says the Society’s response, is the area surrounding the current A303/A360 junction on the western border of the WHS. This is proposed as the site of a major road junction, landscaped to be largely below modern ground level, much of which will be in previously undisturbed fields immediately outside the WHS. Surveys and test excavations have revealed the place to have been ‘of particular importance’ in the neolithic and bronze age, but the nature of the activity is not yet well understood.
ICOMOS-UK also placed online what it calls its response to the consultation (though perhaps its actual response to the questionnaire was more detailed, as the four page document takes the form of a letter from Peter Marsden Chair, ICOMOS-UK World Heritage Committee). ‘In our view,’ writes Marsden, ‘the overall preferred route project is severely flawed and its impacts cannot be readily mitigated; it is essential that the whole project be re-assessed and a wider range of routes and construction options explored before a public consultation by the Government is recommended.’
The Stonehenge Alliance objected to the consultation process as well as the road proposals, saying that ‘Key information is still lacking upon which informed judgements can be made.’ It claims that ‘Misleading and inaccurate information has repeatedly appeared in Highways England’s public documents and press statements,’ giving as its first example, a HE statement that ‘Our proposal is to build a 1.8 mile (2.9 kilometre) tunnel under the World Heritage Site’ (which, it has to be said, by any definition can only be described as accurate). ‘We strongly disagree with the proposed scheme in its entirety,’ adds the Alliance, ‘since it would severely and irreparably damage the WHS and its setting.’
The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) South West, and RESCUE (the Trust for British Archaeology), took similar lines to the Stonehenge Alliance on both consultation and proposals. ‘We find it hard to believe,’ wrote the CPRE, ‘that this Government wishes to develop a road scheme that will damage “forever” what is one of the most important, iconic, special and loved places within the UK and worldwide.’ ‘In view of UNESCO’s advice,’ said RESCUE, ‘we are surprised that this scheme is being progressed.’
Campaign for Better Transport asked for ‘the current proposals to be abandoned', claiming that ‘Highways England has ignored the vast majority of respondents to the previous consultation who wanted there to be no further damage to the World Heritage Site.’ Gemma Allerton wrote on behalf of archaeologists working at the Mesolithic site of Blick Mead (including David Jacques FSA, Nick Branch FSA, Vincent Gaffney FSA and Peter Rowley-Conwy FSA), saying ‘the very idea of placing tunnel portals and new sections of road within the World Heritage Site is misconceived’; they want a longer tunnel.
A Stonehenge Alliance video published on YouTube three days before the end of the consultation showed historian Tom Holland outside the Society’s premises with a small group of protestors (right, filmed on the day HE held a ‘public drop-in event’ in Burlington House). Mike Parker Pearson FSA, tweeted Holland on 23 April, ‘and 21 fellow specialists in the archaeology of the Stonehenge landscape [today] issued a point-by-point condemnation of the plans for the #StonehengeTunnel. Forensically, coolly, academically, they are objecting to a potential national scandal.’ Holland showed text images apparently from this statement, which included this: ‘The creation of new sections of dual carriageway and slip roads (and temporary roads during works) beyond the tunnel but still within the boundary of the WHS would entail large-scale destructive development within this WHS, potentially threatening its status and integrity and setting a dangerous precedent.’
In a shorter statement put online by the 22 archaeologists themselves (who also include Mike Allen FSA, Nick Branch FSA, Christopher Chippindale FSA, David Field FSA, Vince Gaffney FSA, David Jacques FSA, Joshua Pollard FSA, Peter Rowley-Conwy FSA, Clive Ruggles FSA and Julian Thomas FSA), they say, ‘We believe that this short-tunnel scheme … would place the UK government in breach of its obligations under the 1972 World Heritage Convention, failing in its duty to protect our cultural heritage for future generations.’
The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society said ‘the tunnel should be extended beyond the boundaries of the WHS … it is especially important that the western tunnel portal is located outside the WHS,’ but welcomed several changes made since the first consultation. It also drew attention to a museum storage backlog in the county: ‘It is imperative that the archiving of the archaeological finds from all aspects of the investigations … are considered and appropriate resources made available. We are disappointed that no discussions on this issue have taken place.’
An apparently minor but significant point was raised at a Wiltshire Council Cabinet meeting at which its consultation response was briefly discussed on 24 April. Attention was drawn to the County’s decision not to oppose the motion to a prohibition of driving order by Highways England on Byways 11 and 12. This would be in line with the WHS management plan objectives; HE wants to connect these two grass routes, close to Stonehenge, if the present A303 road is removed, while stopping their current use by road vehicles.
‘There seems to be an assumption that Stonehenge belongs to archaeologists and to English Heritage,’ wrote Simon Jenkins FSA to the Times (30 April), which was reported in the Telegraph (left). ‘Most people who enjoy the stones do so from vehicles on the A303. The stones look magnificent from this distance. They have no need of close inspection. They can be appreciated at a glimpse, without need of visitor centres, car parks, coaches and multimillion-pound tunnels.’
In tweets the Stonehenge Alliance, pointing out that when Jenkins chaired the National Trust (2008–14) the Trust supported the road tunnel (as it does now), asked people ‘to write to Jenkins’ successor & new Director General explaining that the view from the road is valued by more passing motorists than visitors to the monument.’
‘Highways England hits back at Stonehenge tunnel critics,’ headlined the New Civil Engineer (24 April). ‘The suggestion [by the Stonehenge Alliance] that Highways England’s survey work will destroy layers of archaeology is alarmist and untrue,’ said David Bullock, HE Project Manager for the Stonehenge scheme. ‘The works are being undertaken in a highly professional manner with due care being exercised at all times. No destruction of archaeological layers has occurred.’
In a thoughtful blog commenting on the ‘22 senior academics who have collectively objected to the tunnel plans,’ Jonathan Last, an archaeologist, wrote that ‘One of the least edifying aspects of the recent debate about the Stonehenge tunnel has been the implicit (and in some cases explicit) denigration of the standards of development-led excavation.’ These academics, he says, ‘stated that “Even if excavations were conducted to the highest standards … this represents an unacceptable loss”. Yet the same academics have all carried out their own fieldwork within the World Heritage Site, which presumably did not represent “an unacceptable loss”. So why is commercial fieldwork forced to play by different rules to academic research projects?’ I have also commented on this divide between academic and development-led excavation, in the British Archaeology feature I noted in the last Salon and in a long blog a year ago.
Peter Saunders FSA, Curator Emeritus, Salisbury Museum, wrote in a letter to the Times (30 April) that a bypass to the south outside the WHS (supported by ICOMOS-UK and the 22 archaeologists) ‘would take a longer route, damage unspoilt land … and be challenged by archaeological sites that possibly proved to be of no less significance.’ ‘Let there not be further interminable delay,’ he concluded, ‘chasing the chimera of a perfect solution.’
Also in the Times (28 April) I wrote that an ICOMOS-UK claim that Stonehenge sits in “an almost intact sacred landscape” was misleading. ‘There never was an “intact” landscape … The land around [Stonehenge] was ever a living thing, as one generation’s monuments wiped out another’s, and farming levelled settlements and rearranged land boundaries. This process continued into the 20th century, when … an intrusive dual carriageway was built.’ The proposed changes ‘would result in substantially less dual carriageway at the east end than now exists in a deep cutting, and the removal of nearly 3km of road from the centre of the world heritage site. Why ignore such benefits?’
The Royal Academy: Building on 250 Years of History
The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) opens its major redevelopment on 19 May, with an exhibition by Tacita Dean. In the Times on 28 April Richard Morrison talked to Charles Saumarez Smith FSA, Secretary and Chief Executive of the RA, about the project. David Chipperfield won the architecture competition in 2008. ‘He went back to the original plans for Burlington Gardens,’ says Saumarez Smith, ‘realised that the building had housed a triple-height day-lit lecture theatre, and proposed reinstating that concept. Everybody thought that was a wonderful idea. It fitted so well with the RA’s mission for teaching.’
‘If lots of people in the building don’t have confidence in you,’ he says of his previous job as Director of the National Gallery (where he succeeded Neil MacGregor FSA), ‘it can get very dispiriting.’ Given his age, he says, and 'since I wasn’t approached to be director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York,’ it’s ‘extremely likely’ the RA will be his last job. Photo from the Times.
Robin Simon FSA has edited, with MaryAnne Stevens, The Royal Academy of Arts: History and Collections. The book was begun in 2009, Simon tells Salon, but ‘as new things kept turning up in the course of research and during the upheaval of the building works of the last few years, so the text had sometimes to be swiftly revised’. Given that, publication is remarkably timely. ‘Discoveries in 2015,’ says Simon, ‘included a 30-foot-wide painting on a rolled-up canvas by Charles Sims RA of 1916, which the artist himself went to the grave believing had been lost. Two others were the Royal Charter and Roll of Obligation of the Society of Artists of 1765, rebellious members of which founded the Royal Academy in 1768. On the Roll, the names of Foundation Members such as Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and Richard Wilson are furiously struck through and marked “expelled”. They were found in a box in the basement of the Academy and marked “Artists' Memorabilia”, which, in a way, I suppose they are.’
In the book, the RA’s story is told through an unprecedented study of its collections, illuminating the history of art in Britain over the past 250 years. Thousands of paintings, sculptures, drawings and engravings, as well as silver, furniture, medals and historic photos, make up ‘this monumental collection’, says the blurb. The art complements an archive of 600,000 documents and the first library in Britain dedicated to fine art. The history reveals the central role of the RA in 19th-century British national life, and turmoil in the 20th century, as it sought to defy or come to terms with modernism and changing ideas of history.
Contributors include Caroline Dakers FSA, Katherine Eustace FSA, Philippa Glanville FSA, Robert Harding FSA, Simon Jervis Hon VPSA, Caroline Knight FSA, Martin Postle FSA, Charles Saumarez Smith FSA, Nicholas Savage FSA and William Vaughan FSA. ‘Quite a strong showing!’ notes Simon.
Fellows (and Friends)
Brian Cook FSA
, British Museum Keeper, died in December 2017.
Iain Bain FSA
, publisher and authority on Thomas Bewick, died in April.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below.
Alan Bell FSA
died on 24 April, aged 75. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in October 1995. He wrote Sydney Smith
(1980) and Thomas Carlyle, 1795–1881
(1981), and edited Scott Bicentenary Essays: Selected Papers Read at the Sir Walter Scott Bicentenary Conference
(1971), Lord Cockburn: A Bicentenary Commemoration, 1779–1979
(1979) and The Scottish Antiquarian Tradition: Essays to Mark the Bicentenary of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and its Museum, 1780–1980
An invitation from
the family of
William Drummond FSA
who died in April
John Hunter FSA
has sent this obituary of someone who was not a Fellow, but will have been known to many:
‘Barrie Simpson, who died aged 72 on Easter Monday, was a former Detective Superintendent and Head of the Murder Squad in West Midlands Police. With a life-long interest in history and archaeology, Barrie graduated with a degree in History before taking an MSc in Forensic Archaeology on retirement, and then played a major role in establishing the discipline as an essential part of criminal investigation.
‘He helped found the Forensic Search Advisory Group and later helped set up CIfA’s Special Interest Group, becoming a member of the Expert Panel which receives its recognition from the Home Office’s Forensic Regulator. He was very much a “hands on” fieldworker, rarely mentioning his police background and preferring to be judged on his abilities in the field.
‘He worked on cases for police forces throughout the UK and regularly made appearances in Court presenting archaeological evidence, but his forte was in his selfless work abroad, in the mass burials of Bosnia and Kosovo, in the recovery of bodies from the Tsunami in Thailand and in locating the evidence for genocide for the Coalition Provisional Authority in war-torn Iraq.
‘Barrie was a “people person”, at his best with families of victims, in helping students and in working with colleagues. He co-authored a book on forensic archaeology [Forensic Approaches to Buried Remains
(2013), with Hunter and Caroline Sturdy Colls], contributed to devising and presenting courses, and dedicated himself to developing the subject. He could always be called on to give advice or support. His forensic experience was monumental, and he will be sorely missed by those he worked with, and by those whom he befriended on his non-stop journey through life.’
Michael Ellis, Minister for Art, Heritage and Tourism, has announced that a new Heritage Council
will have its first meeting in early May. The idea of the Council is to strengthen links between the country’s heritage and the wider work of government, and to help government best support the heritage sector. ‘Heritage is an important part of our communities,’ said Ellis in a statement. ‘It helps us to make sense of our past and shape the places we live, work and visit. The sector provides employment for hundreds and thousands of people and is an economic driver in our economy. Our history and heritage are part of what make our country an attractive place to live and visit and I am committed to ensuring that we continue to be a world-leader in the protection and preservation of our historic sites so that we remain a go-to destination.’ Four government department are represented on the Council, and six outside organisations, including Historic England (Duncan Wilson FSA
, Chief Executive) and Historic Houses (Ben Cowell FSA
, Director General). Natural England is represented, but no group specifically representing archaeology.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Industrial Heritage, with advice from John Cattell FSA
and Neil Cossons FSA
among others, has published a substantial Report on the Challenges Facing the Industrial Heritage Sector
. The Group’s Chair is Nick Thomas-Symonds MP (pictured), whose home town is Blaenavon where its iron and coal-mining landscape is now one of the UK’s ten industrial World Heritage Sites. ‘Whilst many of the challenges faced in industrial heritage are fiscal,’ says the report, ‘other challenges to be conquered include improving the inclusivity of industrial heritage to different age, ethnic and gendered demographics.’ The Group makes three recommendations: develop skills training, improve inclusivity, and promote industry collaboration with a view to implementing a national conservation strategy in collaboration with the Government.
Kenny Brophy FSA
has written about the extraordinary Cochno Stone, an unusually large area in Faifley, West Dunbartonshire, decorated with prehistoric rings and other marks. The stone itself is remarkable, but its recent story adds much to its interest. Recorded in the 19th century, it was painted on by Ludovic Mann in the 1930s, who added his own interpretation, mapping out an astronomical and mathematical scheme. This attracted so many people that in 1965 the entire thing was buried to protect its already damaged surface. Recently Factum Arte approached Brophy with a view to uncovering the stone and creating an exact replica from their digital record. This happened in 2016 with great success – and huge community interest. Brophy’s article is published by the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework
, and a talk he gave about the project last year can be seen here
Foragers and Farmers: 10,000 Years of History at Hengrove Farm, Staines. Excavations between 1997 and 2012
, by Rob Poulton FSA
, Graham Hayman & Nick Marples, reports on fieldwork at a sand and gravel quarry between 1997 and 2012 across over 20 ha. Several Mesolithic activity areas were identified, and two locations of Neolithic occupation, with waterholes, pits and tree-throws (from fallen trees). Around 1500 BC rectilinear fields covered most of the site, probably worked from three Middle Bronze Age settlements. Later Bronze Age activity was more dispersed, but by the Middle Iron Age occupation had become concentrated in one part of the site. The settlement continued to develop until just before or soon after the Roman conquest of AD 43, when stock management enclosures were set out within the old framework of Bronze Age fields. Abandoned in the fourth century, the place was re-occupied in Middle Saxon times.
The Government is reviewing university fees, with a report expected in 2019. There is concern that degrees might be rated, and their fees set accordingly, by factors that include employment prospects and potential earnings. Sam Gyimah, the Universities Minister, said in March that ‘Prospective students deserve to know which courses deliver great teaching and great outcomes.’ The Council for the Defence of British Universities wrote to the Sunday Times
(29 April) to protest. ‘Of course universities should be accountable to the public,’ said Alan Bennett, Andrew Motion, Melvyn Bragg and others, including Gordon Campbell FSA
, but the teaching excellence framework ‘provides a hastily constructed and unvalidated metric with considerable potential to do harm to our world-class institutions … Attempts to rank courses in a similar fashion are doomed to compound the mistakes already made in the university-level ratings.’ ‘No one is joining the dots to see the complete picture,’ David Cannadine FSA
, president of the British Academy, told the paper.
This reliquary, a bone in a red and gold wax-sealed case inscribed EX OSS S. CLEMENTIS P.M. (‘from the bones of St Clement, Pontifex Maximus’), is said to be a relic of Pope Clement I, who died c AD 99. It was found in a waste company’s warehouse after it had carried out building clearances in London. Diarmaid MacCulloch FSA
told the Times
that ‘relics proliferated in the 16th century … it was either picked up in a tourist shop in the Napoleonic era by some English aristo or a slightly less organised loot from the First or Second World War.’ ‘It probably is a piece of an early Christian,’ he added. Envirowaste.co.uk
is asking people to suggest where it should go.
Percy Steven, actor, director and drama teacher, died on 12 April. He was the life-long partner and eventually husband of Roger Lockyer FSA
, who died in October
. ‘Their cultured social circle,’ says the Times obituary
, ‘reads like a Who’s Who of Britain’s gay underground.’ When in 2005 they formed one of the first civil partnerships, ‘Photographs of the elegant couple in sharp suits popping a magnum of champagne on the steps of Westminster Registry Office were beamed across the globe. “After Elton John, we felt like the most famous gay men in the world,” Lockyer recalled.’
Alan Wilkins FSA
has written Roman Imperial Artillery
. It began as a booklet, but in this new edition it’s become a fat A4 book with 140 illustrations. It describes research by the author and Eric Marsden into his own translations of Greek and Latin texts, relief sculptures and archaeological finds of catapult parts and projectiles, and experiments with full-scale working reconstructions (and dressing up as Roman soldiers). Many of the book’s sections cover the Roman army’s use of artillery in Britain, from Caesar with slingshot, arrows and catapults on the beach in 55 BC to Vespasian assaulting Maiden Castle and Hod Hill in Dorset with bolt-shooting catapults in AD 43 (Wilkins was a field assistant to Ian Richmond FSA
, who excavated at Hod Hill). But he also travels to Masada (Israel), the Nile fortress of Qasr Ibrim and Hatra (Iraq), among other places.
The Museum of Islamic Art is planning an exhibition to open in Doha in November, called Syria Matters
. It will explore the country’s cultural heritage ‘against the backdrop of the raging conflict that has seen the destruction of six Unesco world heritage sites under President Bashar al-Assad,’ reports the Art Newspaper
(24 April). The curators, says Colin Renfrew FSA
, ‘have made the notable decision of featuring the pre-Islamic art of Syria along with the Islamic period.’
English Heritage may be challenged in court over plans for Clifford’s Tower. Fellows
have previously expressed concerns about EH’s proposals for new facilities at the 13th-century castle keep, largely rebuilt in the 1640s, atop a Norman motte. On 27 April Dalya Alberge reported in the Guardian
that freedom of information requests had revealed significant details that were not submitted in the planning applications or last year’s judicial review. In a ‘formal statement for the legal case’ Mike Heyworth FSA
, Director of the Council for British Archaeology, which is based in York, said, ‘It is now clear from additional documents which were not submitted as part of the planning application that the proposed visitor centre will impact on the archaeological interest of the scheduled ancient monument. In particular, the proposed construction of a basement for staff accommodation and storage will lead to substantial harm to the monument. Why didn’t they draw more attention within the planning application,’ he added, ‘to the fact that there was going to be this substantial excavation underneath the visitor centre?’ EH denies that any archaeology will be harmed.
Sue Anderson FSA
writes: ‘A new project, funded by Historic England, aims to create an Anglo-Saxon and Medieval pottery type-series initially for Suffolk, to be followed by Norfolk on successful completion of the first phase. This will help standardise recording and reporting of the region’s pottery by providing an online resource for specialists, students, local archaeological societies and others with an interest in the subject. The Suffolk Pot Project (for short) is being run by myself (Spoilheap Archaeology) in conjunction with Suffolk CC. Archaeological Service (led by Faye Minter FSA
) and Suffolk Archaeology CIC. A Facebook page will provide updates on progress: @SuffolkMedPot. Initially, I will be visiting museums and archives in the region to collect samples of fabrics, look at typologies of vessels, and arrange for their illustration, photography and scientific analysis (petrology and ICPMS). If there are any private collections of kiln material or other large assemblages from the region, I would be very interested to hear about them. Please make contact via the Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
.‘ The photo shows imported pottery from Walberswick, on the Suffolk coast.
The University of Liverpool is running the HistBEKE project
, ‘to develop a national knowledge exchange framework for the built historic environment in England,’ with funding from Historic England. Last year they conducted a survey and held focus group workshops, out of which have come recommendations for the structure of the HistBEKE framework, which building types to prioritise for knowledge enhancement, and other ideas. HistBEKE would like to hear from anyone with views on these suggestions, which will form their recommendations to Historic England. A questionnaire to this end can be found online
Geology for Archaeologists: A Short Introduction
is by J R L Allen FSA
aims to give archaeologists a grounding in the principles, materials, and methods of geology, says the blurb. Sections cover main rock-forming minerals and classes of rocks, geological maps and structures, elements of geological stratigraphy and dating, fluvial and coastal environments, and sediments and topography. Stone for building, implement-making, tool-making, and making mortar are all discussed, with an introduction to clays and ceramics. A final chapter introduces metallurgical landscapes: metalliferous ores, mining and smelting, and metal-making industries.
Nine talks given at a conference held on the occasion of an exhibition at the Royal Academy, Charles I: King and Collector
, can be watched online
, among them Karen Hearn FSA
on small-scale full-length portraits in the collection of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, and Lucy Whitaker FSA
on the Restoration and the legacy of Charles I's collection. The conference was co-organised by the RA and the Paul Mellon Centre and held at the Society of Antiquaries’ premises on 12 April. The exhibition closed on 15 April.
Brian Cook FSA
died on 6 December 2017, aged 84. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in January 1971. Ian Jenkins FSA
, Senior Curator in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum, has kindly sent Salon
this obituary of a man who spent over two decades with the museum’s glorious collection of classical antiquities:
‘Brian Cook FSA
was Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum from 1976 until his retirement in 1993. The job, with its arcane title, dates back to the time of the pioneering classical archaeologist Charles Newton for whom it was created in 1861. Newton had recently returned to England from a three-year expedition to western Turkey that brought great quantities of monumental sculpture to the Museum, including those of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Cook developed a lasting interest in the Mausoleum and its sculpture. He inherited from a former Keeper, Bernard Ashmole, a project to publish all the Mausoleum's carved friezes. The book was completed in his retirement: Relief Sculptures from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
‘Brian joined the staff of the British Museum in the late sixties. That decade’s great explosion of new trends in popular culture was felt even in the normally slow-to-change permanent galleries of the British Museum, which saw a radical programme of renewal and redisplay overseen by Brian’s predecessor as Keeper, Denys Haynes. Most of the ground floor gallery renovations had already been achieved before Brian joined the Museum. It fell to him, however, to write their story. His book Greek and Roman Art in the British Museum
was published in 1976.
‘Behind the scenes, Brian spent long hours researching and compiling inventories of Greek and Roman objects acquired by the Museum decades and even centuries earlier. Before the advent of digital catalogues, the Museum's collections were recorded in handwritten registers. Brian's work on the early collections brought him closer to the collectors who assembled them and he began to research two in particular, Thomas Bruce, Seventh Earl of Elgin and Charles Townley FSA
. His book The Elgin Marbles
was first published in 1984, while The Townley Marbles
appeared in 1985. In the first Brian made the point that the Parthenon sculptures were part of Elgin's much larger collection of sculpture, architectural fragments, pottery, bronzes, drawings and even a giant granite scarab beetle made in Egypt but acquired in Istanbul.
‘Elgin was a grandee whose collecting was played out on a public stage of international politics. Townley was a collector of a very different kind. Excluded from public office by his Catholic religion, this Lancashire squire occupied himself by putting together a magnificent collection of Roman sculpture. This he acquired on three trips to Italy, and through his continuing to correspond with dealers he met there, on his return to England. The sculpture came to the British Museum when Townley died in 1805, and in 1814 from his kinsman Peregrine Towneley
the Museum gathered in the other antiquities along with a great collection of drawings of ancient objects from Townley and other collectors.
'Just before his retirement in 1993, Brian secured the Museum’s purchase of Charles Townley's personal archive of letters, auction catalogues, diaries and other documents. This, added to the earlier acquisitions, made the Townley collection the most complete and best documented of any comparable Grand Tour assemblage. In retirement Brian finished his catalogue of Townley's sculpture collection, incorporating the primary evidence contained in Townley's papers. The book was, in the modern way of catalogues, published online. Completion of the project was celebrated with a party on his 80th birthday, attended by many friends and former colleagues.
‘Brian Francis Cook was born in 1933, the youngest son of working class parents from West Yorkshire. The family was Catholic, and he attended St Bede's Catholic Grammar School in Bradford. Brian was always proud of and thankful for his Grammar School education. His lifelong regret was that his own father, Harry, had been obliged by circumstances to give up the Grammar School place he had won. A scholarship took Brian to Manchester University, where he graduated with a first in Classics in 1954. He did his national service 1956–58 driving tanks in the Queen's Royal Lancers, following which he moved to Cambridge and Downing College, where he completed a masters degree and laid the foundations of a PhD in the study of Greek painted pottery. In 1961 his studies were interrupted by an invitation to join the Department of Greece and Rome at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. There he worked closely with Dietrich von Bothmer, an expert in the style and imagery of Greek painted pottery. Brian greatly admired von Bothmer’s scholarship.
‘In 1969 he returned to Britain to take up the post of Assistant Keeper in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, and in 1976 he succeeded Haynes to become Keeper. Now that the ground floor galleries had been renovated, Brian made it a priority of his Keepership to renew the Greek and Roman galleries on the upper floor. The displays were old fashioned, rooms filled with Greek vases, bronzes or terracottas arranged by date and place of manufacture. Under Brian's supervision, they were transformed into exhibitions about the people and cultures that had created and used the objects, including such topics as Greek and Roman Life
, Rome: City and Empire
, The Cultures of Pre-Roman Italy
, and The Greeks of Southern Italy
‘He appointed a new generation of curators to research and redisplay the Greek and Roman collections. These young scholars went on to take up senior positions within the British Museum or at museums at home and abroad. His management style was “light touch”, but his supervision of his staff's written work was total and exacting. He would not accept language that was designed to impress, but insisted on simple sentence construction and clarity of thought. Brian believed the Museum had a duty of service to the public, often referring to the needs of “the man on the Clapham Omnibus”. He set the standard with his own writing, which was unpretentious, clear and elegant. The same was true of his lecturing style. Brian never lost his Yorkshire way of speaking and was proud of his vowels as he was of his northern roots. A mutual love of the northern landscape brought him together with fellow member of the Bradford Ramblers Society, Veronica, whom he married in 1962.
‘Although he made a living out of the past, Brian never lived in it. He was, for example, one of the first Museum staff members to embrace the digital age by acquiring a personal computer. He brought from New York to London an understanding of the American system of fundraising whereby a private benefactor might support a public institution. With the help of collector Lawrence A Fleischman he brought together a group of largely American supporters of the Greek and Roman Department at the British Museum who became known as Caryatids. For the first time in its history they provided the Department with a source of independent funding for gallery refurbishment, book production, foreign travel and the like.
‘Brian enjoyed a long and happy retirement in north London. He retained his enviably powerful memory, which had served him well in his early studies and later as a teller of amusing stories. He had a particular liking for the musical duo Flanders and Swan and seemed able to recite their entire songbook from memory. He is survived by Veronica, his wife.’
Iain Bain FSA
died on 20 April in his 80s. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 1988.
St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he graduated in 1955, describes him
as ‘a distinguished scholar, an expert on printing techniques, and a world authority on the engravings of Thomas Bewick.’ He was Head of Publications at the Tate Gallery from 1972 to retirement in 1994, having started in publishing as Productions Manager at The Bodley Head.
His research and expertise also embraced the history of copperplate printing, as a printer himself taking part in the discovery and use of original woodblocks and plates of artists such as Blake, Stubbs, Gainsborough and Bewick. He was President of the Printing Historical Society.
He curated The Genius of Thomas Bewick
exhibition in 1978 (in Newcastle, where it was opened by David Attenborough FSA
, and Yale), and was President of the Bewick Society. The Cherryburn Times 6.4
, the latter society’s journal for winter 2013–14, was ‘A Celebration for a Bewick Scholar’ on his 80th birthday. ‘In the two centuries since his lifetime,’ the journal opened (under the photo at top), ‘no-one has contributed as much to the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Thomas Bewick as our Society’s President, Iain Bain. In addition to his own many distinguished writings about Bewick, Iain has been immensely generous in designing and typesetting the works of others … and has been unfailingly helpful in providing information and advice based on his experience, his years of research and his collections of Bewick letters and other manuscript material. Virtually every Bewick enterprise in the last 50 years has depended directly or indirectly on Iain’s expertise and kindness.’
There are articles by Jenny Uglow (on printing), Peter Quinn (on the 1978 exhibition), Hugh Dixon FSA
(on the paper of a book printed in 1895) and Anne Moore (Northumbrian music – Bain played the pipes), among others, with a ‘provisional bibliography’ of Bain’s works on Bewick, which ranges from 1963 to 2004 (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entries), and Nigel Tattersfield’s Thomas Bewick: The Complete Illustrative W
ork (2011) which Bain designed and typeset.
His books include Thomas Bewick: An Illustrated Record of His Life and Work
(1979), The Watercolours and Drawings of Thomas Bewick and His Workshop Apprentices
(1981) and Thomas Bewick's Birds: Watercolours and Engravings
(1981). He was also a Fellow of the Wordsworth Trust and of the Royal Society of Authors, and a past President of the Private Libraries Association. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law by Northumbria University in 2003.
The Wisdom of Fellows
Sue Powell FSA ‘was struck by these two sentences in Salon’:
“In 2012, when Home Secretary, Theresa May wrote of an aim ‘to create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration’. In such an atmosphere, in 2010 the Home Office destroyed landing card slips recording the arrival of immigrants on the ship HMT Empire Windrush.”
‘The chronology seems very odd,’ says Powell. ‘TM said something in 2012 – in the same spirit something was done two years earlier. In fact, TM said in the Commons that the records were destroyed during the previous Labour government, which I assume was Gordon Brown's (2010). Rather slippery thinking here.’
In defence this was mostly about not being able to find a better reference (as distinct from unsourced claims) in limited time, but I can’t disagree with the accusation of odd chronology. Since I wrote, Channel 4 News has researched a helpful analysis that seems to clear this up. In summary:
Landing cards – or ‘registry slips’ – were listed for destruction in 2009 when the UK Border Agency approved the business case for disposing of 'millions of paper records', because of what it saw as obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 (Labour government, Alan Johnson Home Secretary).
Registry slips disposed of in October 2010 (Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition government, Theresa May Home Secretary).
Theresa May says ‘the aim is to create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration,’ May 2012 (Coalition government).
‘It seems likely,’ concludes Channel 4 News, ‘that the destruction of the landing cards would not be a significant problem for the Windrush generation if the “hostile environment” policy hadn’t been introduced.’ There seems also to be the implication that more records of potential historical value, aside from any other issues, may also have been destroyed.
A Fellow has pointed out that he could not read an article in the Times after clicking on a link in Salon.
Many press articles can be read online for free (notably from the Guardian and the Mail Online, which are entirely free), but others have to be paid for. Increasingly common is a system operated, for example, by the New York Times, where web visitors have free access to a limited number of articles every month, after which they have to pay. In the UK the Times is entirely and the Telegraph is mostly behind a paywall. If you search for a news story in Google, it does not knowingly offer links to the Times – Google’s business model depends on other people paying for and doing the work, and then giving it away.
I prefer not to clutter up Salon with repeated notes saying you must be a subscriber if you wish to read more of a story, and I will continue to summarise pieces you may not be able to read partly for the very reason that you may also not otherwise find them. If you are in London, the Society has a digital subscription to the Times and you can read it on the computer in the Fellows Room (and access its historical index, which is excellent for half a century ago but next to useless for the previous few weeks).
If, like me, you have no institutional affiliation, you will be painfully aware that the same principles apply to peer-reviewed research: you can be asked for the equivalent of a tankful of petrol to access a single article, and you could easily get through 20 in a day’s work. But that is another issue.
I noted in the last Salon how the Times had incorrectly honoured the Society’s President ‘with a baronetcy’. Not so, writes Neil Guthrie FSA. Gill Andrews FSA was, if briefly, credited with something higher, a barony: a baronetcy is a hereditary knighthood, says Guthrie, not a peerage. I expect Fellows to put me right on all such future blunders.
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 (email@example.com).
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.
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
Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.
- 15 May 2018: "Lapis Lazuli from the kiln; iconography and analysis" - Andrew Shortland FSA; followed by "Reconstructing trajectories in ceramic mass production in Punic and Roman North Africa", by Dennis Braekmans.
- 17 May 2018: The Archaeology of Early Mediaeval Floodplains in the Czech Republic: Methods and Discoveries by Jiří Macháček.
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
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any events or receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 23 June 2018: 'Neath Abbey and the Ironworks' - a one day visit, led by Bill Zajac FSA with David Robinson FSA also in attendance at the Abbey. Lunch will be in-between visits at the Miners Arms.
- July (Date TBC): An opportunity to visit the new excavations at Cosmeston by John Hinds FSA
- 19 October 2018: Weekend visit to the Hereford area, staying in the Three Counties Hotel in Hereford and visiting places of historical and archaeological interest in the area.
- 18 January 2019: The Davies Family of Llandinam with its Burry Dock connection, by David Jenkins FSA
- 11-13 October 2019: Weekend visit to the Pembrokeshire area. Programme to be arranged.
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
- 26 June 2018: 'Writing Yorkshire' by Professor Richard Morris - discussing his recent highly acclaimed book Yorkshire. Please email email@example.com if you'd like to attend.
- 29 November 2018: '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.
Other Forthcoming Heritage Events
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.
10 May: My Fifty Years in Silver (London)
How do British museums and historic houses acquire silver, and how are items stopped from export or accepted in lieu of tax? Philippa Glanville FSA, former Chief Curator of the Metal, Silver and Jewellery Department at the V&A and adviser to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art, addresses such questions in her talk at the Wallace Collection, one of a series held by the Art Fund with the support of the Silver Society. Details online.
11–13 May: English Architecture 1690-1750: To Be or Not To Be Palladian (Oxford)
A weekend at Rewley House exploring the other traditions – among them different varieties of Classical architecture, Baroque and Gothic – which continued alongside those of the Palladian revolution, with a walk to relevant buildings in central Oxford. Speakers include Peter Lindfield FSA and Geoffrey Tyack FSA is Course Director. 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.
31 May: A Chain of Silver Collectors (London)
At the Wallace Collection, Charles Sebag-Montefiore FSA, Trustee of the National Gallery, describes eight major items of silver, silver-gilt and gold from the Gilbert Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and speaks about their provenance, including the life histories of the families who previously owned them. One of a series of meetings held by the Art Fund with the support of the Silver Society. 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.
7 June: In Conversation: Contemporary Collecting and Making (London)
Adrian Sassoon, gallery director and Trustee of the Silver Trust, talks to Junko Mori, one of the UK’s leading silversmiths, at the Wallace Collection. Originally trained as a blacksmith in Japan, Mori distils observations of the natural world and works with the repetition of multiple silver units, creating pieces of great complexity. One of a series of meetings held by the Art Fund with the support of the Silver Society. Details online.
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.
12 June: The Silver Caesars: A Renaissance Mystery (Aylesbury)
A Study Visit to the exhibition at Waddesdon Manor, organised by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which brings together for the first time in more than 150 years some of the most extraordinary and enigmatic treasures of the Renaissance, a set of 12 European silver-gilt standing cups known as the ‘Aldobrandini Tazze’. Each tazza includes a portrait of one of the Caesars, with four episodes from his life on the supporting dish. The day will consist of three short presentations, and opportunities to view the exhibition with its curator, Julia Siemon, and the rest of the Manor. Speakers include James Rothwell FSA and Dora Thornton FSA. Contact Waddesdon Booking Office 01296 820414.
14 June: In Conversation: Fashioning Silver – Past and Present (London)
In a meeting at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tessa Murdoch FSA, Head of Metalwork at the V&A, introduces a selection of silver from the national collection, ranging from Medieval to present day. She discusses its potential to inspire contemporary British silversmiths with Juliette Bigley and Miriam Hanid, whose work has recently been acquired by the museum, and Eric Turner, curator of 20th-century and contemporary metalwork. One of a series of events held by the Art Fund, with the support of the Silver Society. Details online.
20 June: The Works of Decimus Burton (London)
Philip Whitbourn FSA will give a lecture on the works of Decimus Burton (1800–81) at the Dissenter's Chapel at Kensal Green Cemetery, where Burton is buried in a tapering sarcophagus of grey Cornish granite. One of the foremost 19th-century architects and a leading exponent of the Greek Revival, Regency and Classical styles of his time, Burton designed the Athenaeum Club in Pall Mall, the Arch and Screen at Hyde Park Corner, the Hothouse (Palm) in Kew Gardens and buildings in St Leonards-on-Sea. 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.
28 June: Annual Ecclesiastical History Colloquium (Oxford)
The 2018 Ecclesiastical History Colloquium will be held at the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History in association with BYU London Centre & BYU Wheatley Institution, at Oxford Brookes University with speakers from Brigham Young University, University of California, Berkeley, Ohio University and Oxford Brookes. There is no charge, but confirm attendance by 1 June to the Administrator of the OCMCH, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01865 488455. See online for location.
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.
17–20 July: Performance, Ceremony and Display in Late Medieval Britain (Harlaxton)
The 2018 Harlaxton Medieval Symposium in Grantham, Lincolnshire, aims to explore many dimensions of performance. As well as talks on musical and dramatic performance, it will include papers on aspects of display and associated ceremonies and rituals, on oral performance in a variety of ecclesiastical and social contexts, and on the performative potential of spaces, and of manuscripts and other physical objects. Speakers include Jerome Bertram FSA, Clive Burgess FSA, Pamela King FSA, Nicholas Orme FSA, Matthew Payne FSA, Ellie Pridgeon FSA, Nigel Ramsay FSA and Anne F Sutton FSA. There will be an excursion to St Mary’s church, Higham Ferrers and to St Peter’s church at Raunds. 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.
6–9 September: Recent Archaeological Research in the Channel Islands and nearby France (St Helier, Jersey)
Building on the successful Channel Islands History Conference of 2016, this event hosted by the Société Jersiaise Archaeology Section showcases the best and up-to-date archaeological research. Speakers include Chantel Conneller FSA, Barry Cunliffe FSA, Heather Sebire FSA and Robert Waterhouse FSA. On the fourth day, if there is sufficient interest, it is proposed to run two minibus trips to significant archaeological sites in Jersey. Details online.
11–15 September: Understanding Historic Buildings (Oxford)
Historic England is running a four-day course at St Anne’s College, which will teach key skills in building investigation, interpretation and recording. Tutors Adam Menuge FSA and Allan Adams FSA will demonstrate how to observe, analyse, hand-measure, draw and photograph historic buildings. Details online.
14-16 September: The Monuments of Hereford and Herefordshire (Hereford)
The Church Monuments Society Bi-Annual Symposium 2018 will be held at the Green Dragon Hotel opposite the cathedral. The focus will be on monuments in the cathedral and surrounding Herefordshire countryside, with an optional visit to the Cathedral’s Mappa Mundi, chained library and after evening dinner lecture on the Mappa Mundi. Speakers include Tobias Capwell FSA, Jerome Bertram FSA, Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA and Moira Gittos FSA, David Lepine FSA, Jon Bayliss FSA, Holly Trusted FSA and Roger Bowdler FSA. 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council of the Church Monuments Society offers a biennial prize of £250 called the Church Monuments Essay Prize, to be awarded with a certificate for the best essay submitted in the relevant year. The aim of the competition is to stimulate people, particularly those who may be writing on church monuments for the first time, to submit material for the peer-reviewed international CMS journal Church Monuments. Therefore, the competition is open only to those who have not previously published an article in Church Monuments. Closing date for applications 31 December 2018. Details online.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Amelia Carruthers (email@example.com), 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.