William MB Berger Prize for British Art History 2019

2019 winner

The prize of £5000 for the best book in the field published in 2018 was presented by Rachel Campbell Johnston to Nicholas Savage
Rachel Campbell Johnston presenting the prize to Nicholas Savage

 

WINNER

The prize of £5000 for the best book in the field published in 2018 was presented by Rachel Campbell Johnston to Nicholas Savage for:

Burlington House: Home of the Royal Academy of Arts

Published by the Royal Academy of Arts

ISBN 9781910350805 pp368 hb £60 bw col 

 

The assessors commented:

Nicholas Savage writes brilliantly, and this book is a entertaining as any novel in its account of what is an archetypal instance of a much-abused London landmark. It is rare indeed to find someone who can distil so much complex material into such limpid prose and with such wit. The book is beautifully produced, with a most original sense of design, and is a model of exemplary and complex research presented with lucidity in all respects. 

 

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The assessors commented of the other five books on the Short List:

 

Adrian Clark

Fighting on All Fronts: John Rothenstein in the art world

Unicorn, distributed by University of Chicago Press

ISBN 9781910787823 pp264 hb £20 bw 60

 

This is an absorbing and intelligent account of a now-dim figure who none the less looms large in many notorious episodes – and we discover the truth about him in an expert account. Rothenstein had an extraordinary knack, for someone with no understanding of how to deal with people, of moving from one important management post to another – before the walking-stick came out, yet again, from the wings. Can you separate the biography from the career? On this evidence – no.

 

Martin Gayford

Modernists & Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters

Published by Thames & Hudson

ISBN 9780500239773 pp392 hb £24.95 bw 37 col 77

 

This brilliant and readable book, often written from first-hand knowledge, is almost a Vasari-like account of the times in question. The author knows exactly how to capture his audience and keep them reading. He is especially good on such things as Hockney’s self-invention and he also has a good stab at the rehabilitation of Kitaj. It is such a valuable source that, in future, when reference is made to the subject, it will be in these terms: ‘As Gayford says…’

 

Suzanne Higgott

‘The most fortunate man of his day’. Sir Richard Wallace: Connoisseur, collector and philanthropist

Published by The Wallace Collection and Pallas Athene Books

ISBN 9780995486133  pp428 pb £45 bw col

 

This is perhaps the most welcome book of the year. Richard Wallace has always been a mystery. True, Lord Hertford remains invisible, but we learn a vast amount about Wallace. We discover a secret democrat with a determined conviction of the role of art in education. The book does not flinch from tackling the vexed question of Wallace’s relation to Hertford and makes as much convincing sense of it as is ever likely to emerge. The story simply bounces along.

 

Andrew Moore, Nathan Flis & Francesca Vanke, eds

The Paston Treasure: Microcosm of the Known World

Published by Yale University Press

ISBN 9780300232905 pp590 hb £60 bw col 470

 

This is an invaluable book that, among many other things, offers a template for how technical information can inform curatorial work. It is deeply researched: art history at its best, and above all – fun. It is a catalogue of an exhibition and a catalogue of the Paston collection: two books for the price of one.  This dazzling account ‘deconstructs’ a single painting and shows what looking at one picture can do, bringing the closed world of the Pastons to life.

 

Toby Treves

Peter Lanyon. Catalogue raisonné of the Oil Paintings and Three-dimensional Works

Published by Modern Art Press

ISBN 978-09568007-4-9 hb pp688 bw 74 col 615

 

This is the heaviest book on the short list, but it is worth every ounce, an absolutely model catalogue raisonné. Lanyon, this book shows, got into his stride from the very start.  The research is formidable and exhaustive. It rightly makes Lanyon appear world class and he is treated here in a grand and appropriate manner. The design is excellent, an unbelievably handsome presentation of Lanyon’s art, a triumph for author and all concerned in the publication.

The assessors were: 

Kathleen Stuart, Berger Collection, Denver Art Museum; Robin Simon, Editor, The British Art JournalKate Heard, Royal Collection; James HamiltonJonny YarkerJohn Wilson

Katherine Berger, daughter of William MB Berger and a Trustee of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, was in attendance.

Long List

Hors concours

• Robin Simon ed (with MaryAnne Stevens)

The Royal Academy of Arts, History and Collections

Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in association with the Royal Academy of Arts

ISBN 9780300232073 pp680 hb £75 col 550

_____

Elizabeth Athens, Brandon K Ruud & Martha Tedeschi

Coming Away: Winslow Homer and England

Yale University Press

ISBN 9780300229905 pp168 hb £30 bw col 100

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Morna O’Neill

Hugh Lane: The Art Market and the Art Museum

Yale University Press

ISBN 9780300236583 pp284 hb £40 bw 10 col 95

--

Christopher Long

Looking at Linlithgow

Linlithgow Civic Trust

ISBN 9780953704750 pp142 pb £20 bw 25 col 123 

--

Mungo Campbell, Nathan Flis & María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui

William Hunter and the Anatomy of The Modern Museum

Yale University Press

ISBN 9780300236651 pp440 hb £50 bw col 275

--

Toby Treves

Peter Lanyon. Catalogue raisonné of the Oil Paintings and Three-dimensional Works

Modern Art Press

ISBN 978-09568007-4-9 hb pp688 bw 74 col 615

--

Olivia Fryman, Sebastian Edwards, Joanna Marshner, Deidre Murphy & Lee Prosser

Kensington Palace: Art, Architecture and Society

Yale University Press

ISBN 9780300236538 pp392 hb £55 bw col 440

--

Adrian Clark

Fighting on All Fronts: John Rothenstein in the art world

Unicorn, distr University of Chicago Press)

ISBN 9781910787823 pp264 hb £20 bw 60 

--

Sarah Turner

Percy Moore Turner: Connoisseur, Impresario and Art Dealer

Unicorn

ISBN 9781910787809 pp208 hb £20 bw 28 col 27

--

Noelle Gallagher

Itch, Clap, Pox Venereal Disease in the Eighteenth-Century Imagination

Yale University Press

ISBN 9780300217056  pp288 hb £55 bw 40 

--

Jessica Douglas-Home

William Simmonds: The Silent Heart of the Arts and Crafts Movement

Unicorn

ISBN 9781911604754 pp350 hb £20 bw col 40

--

Anna Marie Roos

Martin Lister and his Remarkable Daughters

The Bodleian Library

ISBN 9781851244898 pp224 hb £25 bw 33 col 46

--

Caroline Dakers

Fonthill Recovered: A Cultural History

UCL Press

ISBN 9781787350465 pp428 hb £60 bw col 193

ISBN 9781787350472 pb £40 

--

Martin Gayford

Modernists & Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters

Thames & Hudson

ISBN 9780500239773 pp392 hb £24.95 bw 37 col 77

--

Guy St-Denis

The True Face of Sir Isaac Brock

University of Calgary Press

ISBN 9781773850207 pp338 pb $34.99 CAD / $34.99 USD bw 83 col 27 

--

John Massey Stewart

Thomas, Lucy & Alatau: The Atkinsons’ Adventures in Siberia and the Kazakh Steppe

Unicorn

ISBN 9781911604304

pp344 hb £25 bw 47 col 15

--

Spike Bucklow

The Anatomy of Riches: Sir Robert Paston’s Treasure

Reaktion Books

ISBN 9781780239798 pp288 hb £20 bw 9 col 17

--

Tim Barringer, Gillian Forrester & Jennifer Raab

Picturesque and Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance

Yale University Press

ISBN 9780300233537 pp192 pb £20 bw col 120

--

Sarah Harkness

Nelly Erichsen: A Hidden Life

Encanta Publishing

ISBN 9781999607807 pp6240 hb £14.99 bw 25 col 20

--

Suzanne Higgott

‘The most fortunate man of his day’. Sir Richard Wallace: Connoisseur, collector and philanthropist

The Wallace Collection

ISBN 9780995486133  pp428 pb £45 bw col  

--

Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Tim Barringer, Dorothy Mason, Christopher Riopelle & Shannon Vittoria

Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings

Metropolitan Museum of Art, distr Yale University Press 

ISBN 9781588396402 pp288 hb £50 bw col 254 

--

William Hauptman, ed

De Turner à Whistler: La Peinture Anglaise 1830–1900

La Bibliothèque des Arts

ISBN 978288453221 pp15 hb €49 bw 30 col 90

--

David H Solkin, Ann Bermingham & Susan Sloman

Gainsborough’s Family Album

National Portrait Gallery

ISBN 9781855147904 pp192 hb £29.95 bw col over 50 

--

Mark Bills & Rica Jones

Early Gainsborough: From the Obscurity of a Country Town

Gainsborough’s House Society

ISBN 9780946511648 pp132 pb £14.99 bw 41 col 88

--

Introduction by Peyton Skipwith, captions by James Russell 

Are you sitting comfortably? The book jackets of Edward Bawden

The Mainstone Press

ISBN 9780957666542 pp176 hb £35 bw 118 col 235

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RBG Kew

Marianne North, The Kew Collection

Kew Publishing

ISBN 9781842466650 pp304 hb £40 bw col 848

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Katherine Hoins & Christopher Vogther, eds, on behalf of the Hamburger Kunsthalle

Thomas Gainsborough: The Modern Landscape 

Hirmer Verlag

ISBN 9783777429977 pp224 hb £39.95 bw col 148

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Susan Thomson

The Life & Works of Annie Louisa Swynnerton

Manchester Art Press Ltd

ISBN 9780955461934 pp90 pb £14.50 bw 17 col 33

--

Andrew Moore, Nathan Flis & Francesca Vanke, eds

The Paston Treasure: Microcosm of the Known World

Yale University Press

ISBN 9780300232905 pp590 hb £60 bw col 470 

--

Alan Powers

Enid Marx: The Pleasures of Pattern

Lund Humphries

ISBN 9781848222526 pp176 hb $79.99 bw 34 col 146

--

Desmond Shaw-Taylor & Per Rumberg, eds

Charles I: King and Collector

Royal Academy of Arts

ISBN 9781910350676 pp272 hb £40 bw col 200

--

Peter TJ Rumley

William Coldstream: Catalogue Raisonné

Sansom & Co

ISBN 9781908326799 pp304 hb £45 bw 40 col 211

--

Colleen Younger & Mitchell Merling

A Sporting Vision: The Paul Mellon Collection of British Sporting Arts from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

ISBN 9781934351123 pp88 hb $30 USD bw col 

--

Richard Stephens and Jonny Yarker  

The Spirit & Force of Art: Drawing in Britain 1600–1750 

Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd 

ISBN 9781999978310  pp 208 pb £20 bw col 183

--

Nicholas Savage

Burlington House: Home of the Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy of Arts

ISBN 9781910350805 pp368 hb £60 bw col 

--

Jane Stevenson

Baroque Between the Wars: Alternative style in the arts 1918–1939

Oxford University Press

ISBN 978-0-19-880877-0 £36.99 pp336 bw 37

--

Geoffrey Bell

Colin Hunter of the Holland Park Circle. His Life and Melbury Park Home.

Including the largest known catalogue of his works

Unicorn

ISBN 978-1-911604-54-9 pp296 hb £30 bw col 200+

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Peter Forsaith

Image, Identity and John Wesley. A Study in Portraiture

Routledge Methodist Studies

ISBN 978-1-138-20789-9 hb £110 pp228 col 58

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Jocelyn Anderson

Touring and Publicizing England's Country Houses in the Long Eighteenth Century

Bloomsbury

978-1-5013-3497-9 hb £86.40 pp256 bw 40 col 8

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William MB Berger Prize for British Art History 2018 Winner

David Hansen

Dempsey’s People: A Folio of British Street Portraits 1824–1844

National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Canberra

ISBN 978-0-9953975-1-4 hb AUS $64.95 pp261 bw col

The prize was presented to David Hansen at a reception in central London on the evening of Thursday 29 November 2018 by Dr Bendor Grosvenor. The assessors commented:

The book is beautifully written. An astonishing collection of watercolour portraits of the individuals to be seen on the streets of Britain in the first half of the nineteenth century had found its way to the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery where they were discovered twenty years ago by David Hansen in a drawer marked ‘U’ for ‘Unknown’. The fifty-one portraits were made by the little-known John Dempsey, who has likewise been rescued from undeserved obscurity. David Hansen has given his sitters, many of whom he has identified from inscriptions and local record offices, the dignity of the most refined kind of art history. It is an extraordinarily interesting subject, a compelling contribution to 19th-century scholarship. Dempsey’s outstanding portraits are matched by an authorial act of empathy that brings to life the forgotten people who actually made up Britain and yet whom we never meet in histories. The reproductions of Dempsey’s superb paintings are pinpoint perfect and the whole design and production, the work of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia under its director Angus Trumble, is as original and striking as anything we have seen.

David Hansen is Associate Professor with the Centre for Art History and Art Theory at the Australian National University, Canberra

The assessors were: 

Timothy Standring, Berger Collection, Denver Art Museum; Robin Simon, Editor, The British Art JournalKate Heard, Royal Collection; James HamiltonJonny YarkerJohn Wilson, Trustee, Berger Collection Educational Trust

Katherine Berger, daughter of William MB Berger and a Trustee of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, was in attendance.

 

 

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