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*ONLINE* Robert & James Adam: The Grand Tour Correspondence and Writings

Event type
Architectural History
Event dates
, 5:00PM - 6:30PM
Online- via Zoom
Adriano Aymonino (University of Buckingham), Colin Thom (UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture)
020 7862 8740

Join us for the second of our virtual Architectural History Seminars in association with the Institute of Historic Research. Colin Thom and Adriano Aymonino will share insights into their fascinating digital research project on the Adam brothers’ Grand Tour experiences – you can visit the project website here. Questions and a discussion will follow Colin and Adriano’s presentation.

The aim of this project is to produce a critical edition of the letters and journals written by the architects Robert and James Adam during their Grand Tours between 1754 and 1763. The edition will be presented as an online, open-access facility, and will be hosted on the website of Sir John Soane’s Museum, with publication scheduled for 2022­–23.

This material constitutes one of the last great collections of unpublished 18th-century documents, capturing a seminal moment of transformation in European art and architecture, and offering a wealth of information on Britain’s most prominent Georgian architects. Replete with references to the artists and theorists they encountered – including Clérisseau, Piranesi, Winckelmann, Mengs, Cavaceppi, Hamilton and Ramsay – the Adam brothers’ correspondence is also rich in information on the Roman political and cultural milieu of the time, from the Papal courts of Benedict XIV and Clement XIII to the that of the exiled Stuarts.

This is a collaborative venture between UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture and Buckingham University’s Department of History and Art History, It has the support of a Digital Project Grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and is also supported by the National Records of Scotland, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Institute of British Architects and London Metropolitan Archives/City of London.

Adriano Aymonino is senior lecturer and director of undergraduate programmes in the Department of History and Art History at the University of Buckingham. His main interest is the reception of the classical tradition in the Early Modern period. He has curated several exhibitions, indlucing Drawn from the Antique: Artists and the Classical Ideal (Sir John Soane’s Museum, 2015). He is currently working on his book on the patronage of the 1st Duke and Duchess of Northumberland (Yale); a revised edition of Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny’s Taste and the Antique (Brepols); and a book on Pier Leone Ghezzi’s Studio di Molte Pietre (MIT Press).

Colin Thom is a Senior Research Associate with the Survey of London at UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture. He co-edited the Survey’s recent South-East Marylebone volumes (Yale 2017), which won the SAHGB’s Colvin Prize for 2018. He studied Robert Adam’s architecture at Glasgow University under the acclaimed Adam scholar A.A. Tait and recently published a new multi-author book on Adam, Robert Adam and his Brothers (Historic England 2019), now available via Liverpool University Press.

For the foreseeable future the IHR-SAHGB Seminars will be virtual events via Zoom. We will circulate joining instructions via email. Please complete the form on the SAHGB website.