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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. It is a hopeful precursor to an inspiring reunion at Masterpiece London this coming June.

Through the Eyes of the Maker: Wycliffe Stutchbury

Artist Wycliffe Stutchbury discusses the versatility of different woods and the indelible impression the landscape leaves on each of his artworks. Wycliffe Stutchbury is represented by Masterpiece exhibitor Sarah Myerscough.
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Material Visions: Wood | Intarsia panel, Raffaello da Brescia, c. 1513

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The Narrative Beauty of Wood

PANEL DISCUSSION: THE NARRATIVE BEAUTY OF WOOD Thursday 18th March, 5pm Speakers: Richard Coles, Antique Dealer and Masterpiece London exhibitor Sarah Myerscough, Gallerist and Masterpiece London exhibitor Tom Palmer, Director & Head of Furniture & Projects, Plowden & Smith Ada de Wit, Curator of Works of Art and Sculpture, The Wallace Collection Moderator: Dr Megan Aldrich, Independent Scholar and Editor of the journal Furniture History Click here to register
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Material Visions: Wood | Adoration of the Magi, Adam Dircksz, 1500

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Encountering Beauty: Wood

Today we’ll be talking about wood – a material that is in a sense very ordinary but which has been made extraordinary by artists from many different cultures, and for thousands of years. It has been carved and turned, joined and inlaid, polished and painted – and in many cases, its endurance against the odds has lent it a fragile preciousness that only adds to the sense of wonder that it inspires. Featuring Patrick Mestdagh, whose gallery in Brussels presents objects from outside Europe – fro
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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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Material Visions: Wood | The Mothers, Kathe Kollwitz, 1922

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Material Visions: Wood | Untitled, Doris Salcedo, 2003, Istanbul

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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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The Resonance of Stone

Whether they are aware of it or not,  when scholars dismiss the use of precious marbles and stones to decorate a building as merely a desire to show off the status of the patron, they are expressing a moralising Marxist interpretation of art history. Fabio Barry, author of a very exciting but deeply scholarly book, Painting in Stone: Architecture and the Poetics of Marble from Antiquity to the Enlightenment (YUP 2020), debunks this by revealing what it actually meant, from ancient Mesopotamia to
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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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Through the Eyes of the Maker: Emily Young

Artist and stone-carver Emily Young discusses the hidden life within the stones she selects to work with, revealing the two-way relationship between artist and material. Emily Young's work is available through Masterpiece exhibitor Bowman Sculpture.
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