If I said I was writing about W.G. Sebald’s ‘The Rings of Saturn’ because of his use of Early Modern English collector Thomas Browne, I would not be lying, exactly. There’s lots of good writing about the nature of collection, and Browne himself, that I could highlight here. Sebald’s academic claims about Browne aren’t central to the book anyway, at least in the sense that everything he touches is somehow both central and peripheral at once.
Kate Nichols: ‘Greece and Rome at the Crystal Palace: Classical Sculpture and Modern Britain, 1854-1936’
During the last twenty years there has been a strong shift in attitude towards the presentation, preservation and study of plaster cast collections. Long neglected they find themselves now the object of increasing attention among curators, conservators and researchers alike. Kate Nichols contributes to this development with an analytical monograph on a lost and nearly forgotten collection, bringing to the fore the complexity of its historical reception.
In March 1948, only a few days before his death, Fritz Saxl spoke in London in front of students of Royal Holloway College. Throughout his professional life, he had been devoted to issues of teaching art history as well as employing art for the purpose of public education. It is in this context that the lecture poses the programmatic question: ‘Why art history?’