Lecture Programme 2010
Susan La Niece
Status and Style: the Jewellery Collections of the British Museum
The British Museum, unlike the V&A, has its jewellery integrated with all the other artefacts of each geographical/cultural area, so it is a daunting task for the jewellery specialist to attempt to see the full range in a single visit. This lecture will aim to give an overview of the world wide collections, from the earliest prehistoric personal ornaments to the recent collections.
AGM followed by
A bad time to buy: The Lehman Collection of "Renaissance" goldsmiths' work
The Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, contains about fifty pieces of jewellery and gold-mounted hardstones, predominantly in the Renaissance taste. The collection was formed from the 1930s to the 1950s before a thorough evaluation of this class of object had been undertaken. New research has demonstrated how this lack of knowledge made the period such a minefield for collectors.
A closer look at the Chalcis Treasure
The Chalcis Treasure was discovered in the 1860s in the town of Chalcis on the island of Euboea, Greece, and comprises over 300 pieces of jewellery and small items of personal adornment. The collection is now divided between the British Museum and the Ashmolean Museum. It is thought the Treasure was hidden prior to the 1470 Turkish invasion of the island, then known as Negroponte and one of the most significant trading ports in the Venetian maritime empire. The Treasure contains objects of varying dates, ranging from the 13th to the 15th centuries, and of such different stylistic affinities as the Byzantine Empire and contemporary Western Europe.
Riches beyond compare: gold jewellery from an ancient Scythian burial in Siberia
In 2000-2003 an undisturbed 'royal' burial of a man and woman in the Tuva Republic, Siberia, was excavated by a joint German-Russian research team. Thousands of gold articles decorated in the Scythian animal style, dated to the late 7th century BC, were discovered. This lecture will describe the gold, which is extraordinary not only for its sheer quantity, beauty and workmanship, but also for the variety of techniques employed, and for the different methods used to decorate the clothing of the man and the woman.
Jewels for the King of the World - Representations in painting at the Mughal court
The emperor Shah Jahan, whose title means ‘King of the World’, ruled from 1628 to 1658. During this time, he commissioned legendary monuments such as the Taj Mahal that may still be seen, but his equally legendary artefacts have disappeared, or have been irrevocably altered. His jewelled throne, known later as the ‘Peacock Throne’ was destroyed, and the Koh-i nur diamond was recut in the West. However, the splendour of the court is apparent from the paintings of his reign. These depict the jewellery and jewelled weapons worn by the emperor, his family and nobles, and the jewelled furnishings of the court, all of which are described in contemporary histories and in the accounts of foreign visitors
Gillie Hoyte Byrom
Fired with Enthusiasm - a personal journey creating enamel portrait miniatures
Gillie Hoyte Byrom is one of the few established artists in the world creating traditional portrait miniatures in vitreous enamel. Painting techniques involve fusing glass to metal in thin successive layers using a kiln. Gillie has worked to commission for over thirty years for an international clientele. She will chart her “Enameller’s Progress” by illustrating early work with her paintings on copper through to innovative techniques on 18ct gold, resulting in award-winning pieces. Along her journey she has learnt as much from studying miniatures in museum collections as from contemporary enamellers both in the U.K. and abroad.
The creative journey
Susan Cross lives and works in Edinburgh. Since graduating in 1986 from Middlesex Polytechnic, London, she has paralleled her practise with teaching and has taught part-time at Edinburgh College of Art since 1989. Susan’s career to date has taken her on many travels across the world: Finland, India, Japan, Switzerland, New Zealand and most recently South Korea, inspiring journeys that fuel and inspire her jewellery. Creative Journey will chart the development of her highly individual work with silver and gold wire, more recently sheet, exploring texture through linear construction often borrowed from textiles.
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