History seminars at the IHR

Collecting & Display (100BC to AD1700)

Convenors: Dr Andrea Galdy, Susan Bracken, Adriana Turpin

Venue: Torrington Room, 104, Senate House, South block, first floor, unless otherwise stated.

Time: Monday, 6.00pm

Summer Term 2014
DateSeminar details
2 June Edith Beatty's Collection of French Decorative Arts at Baroda House, Kensington Palace Gardens: A Case Study of Collecting and Display in Britain During the First Half of the Twentieth Century

Natalie Voorheis

This seminar will examine the French eighteenth century decorative arts collection of Edith Beatty (1888-1952). In 1913, Edith married Chester Beatty, an American mining millionaire. The couple lived at Baroda House, Kensington Palace Gardens and they each formed collections. This seminar will describe Edith's decorative arts collection and trace her collecting habits. The influence of the art market on this collection and the resulting acquisition of objects with real and invented French Royal provenance will be discussed. The display of Edith's decorative arts collection will be examined, placing these objects in the context of the couple's collection as a whole. Edith and Chester have been described as the most important collectors of Van Gogh in Britain in the 1930s.  At Baroda House, Van Gogh's Still Life: Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers (Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art) hung above eighteenth century seat furniture and was flanked by a pair of celadon vases with gilt-bronze mounts now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Chester Beatty formed a remarkable collection, which included important manuscripts, books and textiles, as well as decorative objects, and paintings of the French Barbizon and Realist schools. Edith collected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, French eighteenth-century furniture, Sèvres and gilt-bronze mounted Chinese porcelain. Unlike Chester, she died intestateand her collections were dispersed; consequently, her collection is not widely known.  Much of the collection remains in private hands.
Natalie studied Art History and English at University College Dublin and holds an MA in Decorative Arts and Historic Interiors from The University of Buckingham and The Wallace Collection, London. She has worked at The National Gallery of Ireland and is currently the Curatorial Intern inDecorative Arts at The Royal Collection Trust.

16 June The Buccleuch Collection of Portrait Miniatures: aspects of Victorian and Edwardian antiquarianism, emulation and display at Montagu House, Whitehall

Dr. Stephen Lloyd

After the Royal Collection, the portrait miniatures in the Buccleuch collection can be considered as one of the two most important aristocratic collections to have remained mostly intact in Britain. Building on a core of around 150 miniatures inherited from his Scott (Buccleuch) and Montagu ancestors, Walter Francis, 5th Duke of Buccleuch and 7th Duke of Queensberry (1806-1884), acquired another 600 miniatures, with a number of other important examples being acquired by his son William, 6th Duke of Buccleuch (1831-1914). Using the London printsellers and art dealers P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., the collection was built-up systematically over a period of 60 years, alongside a substantial assemblage of prints, both historical portraits (i.e. Reynolds), those by old masters (Rembrandt) and others by contemporary artists (Wilkie and Landseer). The collection of miniatures is well-known for its outstanding group of Tudor and Stuart works by artists such as Holbein, Horenbout, Hilliard, Isaac and Peter Oliver, John Hoskins and Samuel Cooper (the famous unfinished portrait of Oliver Cromwell). While antiquarianism and the continuance of dynastic memory were significant aspects in the development of the collection, this paper will argue that emulation of other prestigious collections, such as those formed by Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill and by Queen Victoria was an important factor in the lavish displays of framed groups of miniatures shown in the Gallery and other private spaces of the Buccleuch family's London residence in Whitehall.
Stephen Lloyd has been Curator of the Derby Collection at Knowsley Hall, Merseyside since 2012 and is a former Senior Curator at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. After studying at the University of Cambridge and the Warburg Institute, he received his doctorate from the University of Oxford for his thesis on the Regency artists, Richard Cosway (1742-1821) and Maria Cosway (1760-1838). The Cosways were the subject of an international loan exhibition he curated at the SNPG and NPG in London (1995-6). At the SNPG he curated many exhibitions - accompanied by catalogues - on portrait miniatures including selections from the Buccleuch Collection (1996-7 ), the National Galleries of Scotland (2004) and Scottish private collections (2006). Together with Kim Sloan, in 2008-9 he co-curated  a major exhibition at the SNPG and British Museum, The Intimate Portrait: Drawings, Miniatures and Pastels from Ramsay to Lawrence. In 2012 Edinburgh University Press published Henry Raeburn: Context, Reception and Reputation, a multi-authored volume that he co-edited with Viccy Coltman. From 2004 to 2010 Stephen was President of ICOM's international committee of museums and collections of fine art. He is a Fellow of both the Society of Antiquaries of London and of Scotland.

1 July A two-day workshop at the Institute of Historical Research and The Wallace Collection

The Collector and his Circle

Tuesday 1 July at the Institute of Historical Research
The Senate Room
The Institute of Historical Research,
Senate House,
Malet Street,
London WC1E 7HU


Wednesday 2 July at the Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection,
Hertford House,
Manchester Square,
London W1U 3BN


To book please go to the following link:http://www.wallacecollection.org/whatson