History Group Papers: 1999

Read an outline of the talks and papers from the National Gallery History Group in 1999:

Meeting One: 25 May 1999

  • ‘The Early Years of the National Gallery’ – Jacqui McComish, National Gallery
    The National Gallery Archive does not hold a copy of this paper.
  • ‘Amity and Animosity: relations between Henry Cole of the South Kensington Museum and officials at the National Gallery’ – Susanna Avery-Quash, National Gallery
    A paper or related publication is available for consultation in the National Gallery Archive.

Meeting Two: 7 September 1999

  • ‘The Origins and Purpose of the National Gallery of British Art’ Angela Summerfield, formerly Design Museum
    A paper or related publication is available for consultation in the National Gallery Archive.
  • ‘The National Collection of British Art during the Early Years of the Tate’ Alison Smith, Sotheby’s Institute
    The National Gallery Archive does not hold a copy of this paper.

Meeting Three: 7 December 1999

‘The Life and Times of Ralph Nicholson Wornum’ – David Carter, National Gallery
The National Gallery Archive does not hold a copy of this paper.

The National Gallery Archive holds the papers of Ralph Nicholson Wornum, Keeper and Secretary of the National Gallery from 1855 to 1877.

Wornum was a noted art critic who served under three different directors of the Gallery: Sir Charles Eastlake, Sir William Boxall and Sir Frederic Burton. He worked closely with John Ruskin on the arrangement and display of the Turner bequest.

The papers include personal and professional correspondence as well as journals and travel accounts, which complement the official public records of Wornum’s work for the National Gallery. The cataloguing of the papers also led to a greater understanding of Wornum’s role in the Gallery, revealing the inspiration, ideas and experiences that affected him.

The talk provided an introduction to the papers and their relevance for social and cultural historians. It explored Wornum’s many activities and sought to explain the influences and motivations behind these activities. This set his official position at the Gallery in context in order to assess the impact of his life on his times.

‘Inside Story: Five National Gallery Acquisitions’ Nicholas Penny, National Gallery
The National Gallery Archive does not hold a copy of this paper.

This talk investigated five cases that demonstrated the different ways in which paintings were acquired by the National Gallery in its first century.

It examined the particular needs and circumstances reflected in each of the transactions, which varied from the purchase of collections en bloc abroad to the saving of heritage items in country houses at home.

Read further papers from the National Gallery History Group

 
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