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Private Collecting, Exhibitions and the Shaping of Art History in London: the Burlington Fine Arts Club

Pierson, Stacey (2017) Private Collecting, Exhibitions and the Shaping of Art History in London: the Burlington Fine Arts Club. New York: Routledge; Taylor and Francis. (Histories of Material Culture and Collecting 1700-1950; Vol. 14)

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Abstract

he Burlington Fine Arts Club was founded in London in 1866 as a gentlemen’s club with a singular remit – to exhibit members’ art collections. Exhibitions were proposed, organized and furnished by a group of prominent members of British society who included aristocrats, artists, bankers, politicians, and museum curators. Exhibitions at their grand house in Mayfair brought many private collections and collectors to light, using members’ social connections to draw upon the finest and most diverse objects available. Through their unique mode of presentation, which brought museum-style display and interpretation to a grand domestic-style gallery space, they also brought two forms of curatorial and art-historical practice together in one unusual setting, enabling an unrestricted form of connoisseurship, where new categories of art were defined and old ones expanded. The history of this remarkable group of people has yet to be presented and is explored here for the first time. Through a framework of exhibition themes ranging from Florentine painting to Ancient Egyptian art, a study of lenders, objects, and their interpretation paints a picture of private collecting activities, connoisseurship and art world practice that is surprisingly diverse and interconnected.

Item Type: Authored Books
Keywords: collecting, exhibitions, art history, London
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History of Art and Archaeology
ISBN: 9781138232624
Depositing User: Stacey Pierson
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2016 10:08
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/23285

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