2007/2008 ARCHIVE


Photograph of Sir Robert Witt in a cutting from the Illustrated London News (7 January 1922)
Sir Robert Witt in 1922 (Witt Archive)

In December 2007, five Research Associates were appointed to the Witt Library and the Photographic Survey Department project entitled: Collecting and the Courtauld Collections; the theme continued that of the previous year. Supervised by Dr Jane Cunningham and Barbara Thompson, the Associates examined different topics, within the overall project, using materials from the Witt Library and the Photographic Survey Department, and explored the following areas:

1. Sir Robert Witt and his involvement in the development of the study of art history prior to the foundation of the Courtauld Institute. (Using the volumes of news cuttings from 1896-1928 in the Witt Library Archive and the Duveen Archive on microfilm).

2. The relationship between the building and collection at both Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire and Drayton House, Northamptonshire. (Using inventories and other documents held in the Photographic Survey Department and photographs from the Witt Library).

Research associates presented their preliminary findings at a lunchtime seminar in the Spring 2008 term at the Research Forum, providing insights into the Witt Library Archive and what it reveals about the art milieu of the first decades of the twentieth century. Associates also discussed the significance of the iconography and specific location of some paintings in the collections at Drayton House and Grimsthorpe Castle. Final reports were given at a lunchtime seminar in June 2008, with both seminars provoking a wider discussion around the findings of the individual researchers.

Claire’s Brisby Presentation:

Three Druid pictures at Drayton House

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Claire’s Brisby Presentation:

Three battle pictures at Grimsthorpe Castle

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Robin Chung’s presentation:

Sir Robert Witt: Ambassador for the Arts

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Zachary Stewart’s presentation:

Art for the Nation: Sir Robert Witt and the War Years

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Ashley Siple’s presentation:

Discussed the collecting of photographs by national institutions during the second half of the nineteenth century.