Upcoming Events

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Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist’

Wednesday 18 September from 5.30pm
The Art Workers’ Guild
6 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AT

Dr Elizabeth Goldring introduces her new biography of Nicholas Hilliard (c. 1547-1619), whose portrait miniatures defined his age. Hilliard’s sitters included Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and James VI and I; royal favourites the earls of Essex and Leicester; Shakespeare’s patron the earl of Southampton; and explorers Francis Drake and Sir Walter Ralegh. Poets such as John Donne sang Hilliard’s praises, while other writers of the day hailed Hilliard as the founding father of British art. On the Continent Hilliard counted the Medici, the Valois and the Habsburgs among his many admirers. This illustrated talk brings to life the man as well as his art, tracing the Exeter-born Hilliard’s rise to fame, his personal struggles and quest to become the social equal of his sitters, and his role as teacher to the next generation of British painters. It also considers the ways in which Hilliard’s miniatures were displayed, experienced and collected – both during his lifetime and in the years immediately following his death.

Dr Elizabeth Goldring (MA, MPhil, PhD Yale) is an Honorary Associate Professor in the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, University of Warwick, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Areas of particular interest include 16th- and 17th-century court culture, England and the Continental Renaissance, portraiture and biography, and the reception of Elizabethan art and literature from the 17th century to the present. Her most recent book is Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist (YUP, 2019), published earlier this year to mark the 400th anniversary of Hilliard’s death. Other books include Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the World of Elizabethan Art (YUP, 2014), which won the Bainton Prize for Art History, and, as General Editor, John Nichols’s The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth I: A New Edition of the Early Modern Sources (OUP, 2014), which won the Bainton Prize for Reference, the MLA Prize for a Scholarly Edition, and was named a TLS ‘Book of the Year’.

The AGM will start at 5.30 pm. The lecture will begin at 6.30 pm and be followed by a drinks reception.


Stefano Bardini and the Madonna Pazzi Puzzle

A talk by Lynn Catterson

Wednesday 31 October, 2019
 Room 349, Senate House, Malet St. London WC1E 7HU

Using as a case study the famous Madonna relief, attributed to Donatello, and now in the Bode Museum in Berlin, this talk examines techniques for provenance manufacturing, as well as the wheeling and dealing, and double-dealing, which took place during the transaction of the relief from Bardini to Wilhelm von Bode, the museum’s agent.  

Lynn Catterson (Columbia Univ., Ph.D., 2002) began with an interest in Italian Renaissance sculpture with a focus on the marketplace and how 15C sculptors satisfied consumer demand for antiquities.  Lately, she is working on the art market in 19C Florence from the point of view of production and social network via its preeminent dealer, Stefano Bardini, drawing upon material in the state archive of the Bardini family and business.  The main goal of the Bardini project is to create a digital research platform to unite the material in Florence with corresponding archival material from individuals and institutions with whom Bardini transacted art.


Celebrating the Bicentenary of Prince Albert and his role as a collector

Wednesday 4 December 4-8pm
The Court Room, Senate House, Malet St London WC 1 7HU

This special seminar will explore Prince Albert’s significance to the cultural life of Victorian Britain, from his collecting practices to his role in creating the V&A.

Jana Riedel, PhD student Queen Mary University of London
Prince Albert’s Collecting Practices

Oliver Walton, Curator, Royal Collection Trust
Sentiment and statecraft: Prince Albert’s collecting activities in Britain and Germany

Julius Bryant, Keeper at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Creating the V&A : Victoria and Albert’s Museum (1851-1861)

This event forms part of a series of UK events celebrating the Bicentenary of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria in 2019.  Click here to learn more.

The Society for the History of Collecting 

at College Art Association, Chicago, February 2020

Session Announcement

Session 1: The Institution as Collector, Thursday, February 13: 4:00-5:30pm

Session 2: The Collector and the Institution, Thursday, February 13, 6:00-7:30pm

To read more about the sessions and papers to be presented click here

If you have any questions, please contact: info@societyhistorycollecting.org