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ENCOUNTERING BEAUTY THROUGH THE MATERIAL WORLD

Our 2021 programme invites you to uncover and explore the history of art through the world of materials.

Join our guest speakers for podcasts, videos, panel discussions and more, as they focus on a different material each month and unravel its varied interpretations across time, cultures and disciplines.

Curated in response to the limitations of the past year, the programme provides a welcome reminder of the inherent joy that comes from direct connection with works of art.

Object of the Month: A rabbit as big as life

Selected by Meredith Chilton, C.M., Curator Emerita, Gardiner Museum, Toronto. Rabbit Tureen England, Chelsea, c. 1755–1756 Soft-paste porcelain with overglaze enamels (L: 14 in; W: 9 ½ in; H: 9 in) Mark: Anchor and 20 in red enamel Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Canada. G94.2.1. Purchased with a gift from Dr. Walter S. Bloom and Carol Bloom Koffler in memory of their mother, Adele S. Bloom, a collector and connoisseur of English porcelain; with a grant from the Government of Canada, Ministry of Com
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Object of the month: Fired Up: Large dish with painted fish, Iran c. 1300

Selected by Luke Syson, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum. Fritware coated in white glaze painted in lustre and brown paint 12 cm (h) x 45.7 cm (w) Bequeathed by Oscar C.  Raphael  in 1946. Currently on public display in Gallery 33 of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Fired Up. As we emerge from this time of emergency, a global pandemic and the almost miraculously rapid production of vaccines, I’ve been pondering what other, more unexpected, more benign factors in our lives spurs scientific
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Object of the Month: A Dutch gold snuffbox with Rebecca at the well

My name is Alice Minter and I am the Curator of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection, on loan to the Victoria & Albert Museum since 2008.   The Gilbert Collection comprises one of the largest collection of snuffboxes built by a private collector, with illustrious 18th and 19th centuries examples from the most eminent centres of production in Europe, as well as Russia. As we recently updated their permanent display at the museum, I was able to handle and study one of my favourite examples
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Object of the Month: The Annunciation

Selected by Emerson Bowyer, Searle Associate Curator, Painting and Sculpture of Europe, Art Institute of Chicago. Alessandro Vittoria (Italian, 1525-1608) The Annunciation, c. 1583 Bronze, 97.8 × 61.6 cm (38 1/2 × 24 1/4 in.) Art Institute of Chicago, Edward E. Ayer Endowment in memory of Charles L. Hutchinson, 1942.249 How can metal possibly contend with the extraordinary atmospheric and coloristic effects of 16th-century Venetian paintings? One would assume it to be an impossible task, given
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Object of the Month: Looking up at the Configuration from Heaven

My name is Tao Wang and I am Pritzker Chair of Asian Art and curator of Chinese Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Three weeks ago, we opened an exhibition “Cosmoscapes: Ink Paintings by Tai Xaingzhou” that includes 13 works by the contemporary Chinese artist Tai Xiangzhou (b.1968). The exhibition runs until September 20, 2021. One of the works is a large painting that consists of four panels (each 100 X 200 cm) painted in Chinese ink on silk, titled “Yang guan chui xiang” or “Looking up at t
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OBJECT OF THE MONTH: DAYDREAMING ABOUT ICE-FISHING

FROM THE ROYAL BANK OF CANADA ART COLLECTION.  Selected by Corrie Jackson, Senior Curator, Royal Bank of Canada, Darcie Bernhardt, Daydreaming about Ice-Fishing, 2019 Oil on canvas 142 cm x 127 cm Darcie Bernhardt’s Daydreaming about ice fishing is a piece whose colour and composition are truly transporting. The abstracted colours are a reminder of not only the dimensional colour and light held in ice and snow, but the crisp lines and patterning remind one of the sounds of stepping across a
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Object of the Month: Still Life with a Cup of Water and a Rose

Selected by Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director, The National Gallery At the National Gallery, where I am Director, there is an ebb and flow of which works are my favourites. There is an embarrassment of riches of course, but Zurbarán’s Still Life with a Cup of Water and a Rose painted in Seville in the 1630s, often comes to my mind. It is unassuming in size and subject matter but I find it achingly beautiful. It carries with it an aura of profound seriousness and it invites slow looking and reflecti
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Object of the Month: Two leaves are part of a sixteenth-century book of hours of the Flemish School

My name is Sue Palmer and I am the Archivist and Head of Library Services at Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. These two leaves are part of a sixteenth-century book of hours of the Flemish School. Working with a collection as eclectic and wide-ranging as that of Sir John Soane (1753-1837) it is almost impossible to select a single favourite object, but this is one which particularly resonates with me. A small volume (measuring 209 x 142 mm) with a red velvet binding with decorative metal corn
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Object of the Month: Three Holy Women at the Tomb

My name is Elyse Nelson, and I am an assistant curator in the department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where I oversee the collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European sculpture.   When one thinks of figurative sculpture carved from wood, the first works that often come to mind are the medieval limewood sculptures found in Gothic churches, or the saintly figures in splendid polychrome from the Spanish Renaissance. Rarely do
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Object of the Month: Table, c. 1781

My name is Mia Jackson and I am Curator of Decorative Arts at Waddesdon Manor. This small table was made in around 1781 for the personal use of Queen Marie-Antoinette of France by her favoured cabinetmaker Jean-Henri Riesener. I am fickle on the subject of my favourite object in Waddesdon’s Collections, but this table’s minute perfection, its superlative craftsmanship and the romance of its provenance mean it is an object to which I often return, and that I always point out.   It is a small bu
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Object of the Month: Monument to Lady Elizabeth Nightingale

My name is Susan Jenkins, I am the Curator of Westminster Abbey and it is my great pleasure to introduce you to one of my favourite objects here, the marble funerary monument to Lady Elizabeth Nightingale (1704-31) and her husband John (1696-1752). It was made in 1761 by the sculptor Louis François Roubiliac (1702-62) and was one of his last creations before his death in 1762. Of course, Westminster Abbey is the national home of around 600 amazing works of monumental sculpture and we are curren
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Object of the Month: The Return from Market

The Return from Market, Mario Montelatici, pietre dure, Florence, 1928. Selected by Tessa Murdoch, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Research Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum. I am reminded of a snowy scene which used to adorn the walls of that Florida home and now forms part of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This Tuscan landscape contrasts with the lavish dining room, modelled on a 17th century room in the Chigi Palace, Rome, then the residence of
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Object of the Month: Lady Sennuwy

My name is Rita Freed, and I am the John F. Cogan, Jr. and Mary L. Cornille Chair Emerita, Art of Ancient Egypt, Nubia and the Near East at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  You know, of course, that asking a curator to choose a favorite piece of art in his or her collection is no different from being asked to choose a favorite child. So I have chosen a sculpture that to me embodies many of the things I like so much about Egyptian art in general. The piece is Lady Sennuwy, a nearly 4,000 year-o
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Masterpiece Conversations | Ancient Art

Pic: Charles Ede, London. Adam M. Levine is the Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey Director of the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA), Ohio. He was previously Director and CEO of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida, before which he worked in a senior management role at TMA, where he was responsible for all curatorial activities relating to ancient art. Charis Tyndall is Director of Charles Ede, London, one of the world’s leading dealerships for works of ancient art from
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Charleston | House Museums and their Collections

As Vanessa Bell’s son Quentin so aptly described Charleston, ‘It is not so much a house as a phenomenon’. The 16th-century farmhouse, nestled in the Firle Estate, East Sussex, was ‘discovered’ by Virginia Woolf in 1916, when her sister Vanessa was looking for a house to let in the country for herself and Duncan Grant, as well as for her two children and Grant’s lover David Garnett. As conscientious objectors, Grant and Garnett needed to find work on the land to avoid going to prison; they took e
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Masterpiece Collecting Stories | Sigrid Kirk

Sigrid Kirk is co-founder of the Association of Women in the Arts (AWITA), an organisation that brings together inspirational women in the arts world to encourage networking, mentoring and collaboration; she is also co-founder of Arts Co, a cultural production company that creates content, advises on strategy, and produces events across fashion, art, design, film and theatre. Kirk is a committed supporter of arts institutions, including as a trustee of the Drawing Room, a member of the Advisory
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Musée Jacquemart-André | House Museums and their Collections

By Laura Freeman Of all the museums that visitors return to over and again, house museums are perhaps those that elicit the strongest loyalties. Whether these are the homes of literary or historical figures, such as the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth, West Yorkshire, or complete historical collections housed in their original buildings, as at the Frick Collection in New York, the domestic setting and its unique atmosphere or genius loci draws people on pilgrimages that they cannot but repea
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Masterpiece Collecting Stories | George Loudon

George Loudon’s collection of 19th-century life science objects has been exhibited at the Manchester Museum and at the Intermediatheque, the museum of  the University of Tokyo, as well as at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, where the material was displayed alongside specially commissioned videos, ceramics and prints by the Italian artist Salvatore Arancio. Loudon is the author of Object Lessons: The Visualisation of Nineteenth-Century Life Sciences (Ridinghouse), in which he discusses many of th
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Masterpiece Conversations | Modern & Contemporary Art

Ben Hunter in collaboration with Blue Projects, Terracotta at Blue Projects, Installation view. Photography by Damian Griffiths   Simon Martin is director of Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, where he has curated exhibitions on John Minton, Edward Burra, Eduardo Paolozzi and many others. He is also a trustee of the Charleston Trust. Ben Hunter is the founder of the eponymous gallery in Duke Street, St James’s, specialising in 20th-century and contemporary art. You both work with modern and co
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Hillwood | House Museums and their Collections

By Eve M. Kahn Of all the museums that visitors return to over and again, house museums are perhaps those that elicit the strongest loyalties. Whether these are the homes of literary or historical figures, such as the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth, West Yorkshire, or complete historical collections housed in their original buildings, as at the Frick Collection in New York, the domestic setting and its unique atmosphere or genius loci draws people on pilgrimages that they cannot but repeat
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Ca’ d’Zan | House Museums and their Collections

By Eve M. Kahn Of all the museums that visitors return to over and again, house museums are perhaps those that elicit the strongest loyalties. Whether these are the homes of literary or historical figures, such as the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth, West Yorkshire, or complete historical collections housed in their original buildings, as at the Frick Collection in New York, the domestic setting and its unique atmosphere or genius loci draws people on pilgrimages that they cannot but repeat
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Exhibitor List | Masterpiece Online 2020

Masterpiece's exhibitors span all eras and disciplines and include many of the world's most distinguished art dealerships. Browse our exhibitors from Masterpiece Online 2020. 3812 Gallery A Lighthouse Called Kanata  Adrian Sassoon Afridi Gallery Alan Wheatley Art Alessandra Di Castro Annely Juda Fine Art Apter Fredericks  ArtAncient Axel Vervoordt Gallery BAILLY GALLERY Beaux Arts London Ben Hunter Boghossian Bowman Sculpture Butchoff Carter Marsh & Co Charles Ede Chatila Christopher Kingzett F
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