Lecture by Michael Suarez, S. J. University Professor and Director of Rare Book School, University of Virginia
The Book beyond the Library:
Sir William Hamilton’s Cabinet and the Eighteenth-Century Decorative Arts Revolution
With its striking ocher and black hand-painted illustrations of Greek vases, Pierre-François Hughes D’Hancarville’s Complete Collection of Antiquities from the Cabinet of Sir William Hamilton in four large folio volumes (Naples, 1766 ) is a monumental textual artifact. This lecture will explore this seminal work in its contemporary contexts, and consider the manifold ways in which the representation of ancient artifacts in its pages occasioned a series of subsequent material representations — with remarkable cultural consequence. How does the material text, itself a collectible artifact, both depict and distort the historical object? What versions of antiquity ensue, and how do their embodiments shape the activities of both museum and marketplace? With the rise of antiquaries and the exhibition of their collections, how are the library and the museum united in the accumulation and display of artifacts — and in the knowledge that comes from reading historical collections with the book in hand?
Michael F. Suarez, S.J. is University Professor and Director of Rare Book School at UVA, the world’s premier institute for teaching the history stewardship of manuscripts, books, and digital materials. He is a Distinguished Presidential Fellow of the Council on Library and Information Resources in Washington, DC, and was nominated by President Obama to the National Council on the Humanities. Since 2008, three of Suarez’s publications have been named Books of the Year by the Times Literary Supplement.
The SundayTelegraph (London) said his Oxford Companion to the Book was “colossal… a paradise for book lovers”, while the Wall Street Journal called it “a fount of knowledge where the Internet is but a slot machine.”
The holder of research fellowships from The American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Michael is also a Jesuit priest, a lifetime trustee of Yale University’s Lewis Walpole Library, and Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Scholarly Editions Online, one of the most comprehensive digital projects in the humanities today.
WHEN: Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 4:30pm
WHERE: Class of 1941 Room, Morris Library
Janis A. Tomlinson, Ph.D.
Director, Special Collections and Museums
Professor, Department of Art History