Society of Antiquaries of London
It is based at Burlington House, London, and is a registered charity. Members of the Society are known as Fellows and are entitled to use the post-nominal letters FSA after their names, the Society retains a highly selective election procedure, in comparison with many other learned societies. Elections occur by anonymous ballot, and a candidate must achieve a ratio of two votes for every ‘no vote cast by Fellows participating in the ballot to be elected as a Fellow. Fellowship is thus regarded as recognition of significant achievement in the fields of archaeology, history, the first secretary for the society was William Stukeley. The Society has grown to more than 2,900 Fellows, a precursor organisation, the College of Antiquaries, was founded c. 1586 and functioned largely as a debating society until it was forbidden to do so by King James I in 1614. The first informal meeting of the modern Society of Antiquaries occurred at the Bear Tavern on The Strand on 5 December 1707, the proposal for the society was to be advanced by Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, but his dismissal from government caused it to become idle.
The formalisation of proceedings occurred in 1717, the first minutes at the Mitre Tavern and those attending these meetings examined objects, gave talks, and discussed theories of historical sites. Reports on the dilapidation of significant buildings were produced, the society was concerned with the topics of heraldry and historical documents. In 1751, an application for a charter of incorporation was sought by its long-serving vice president Joseph Ayloffe. The Society began to gather large collections of manuscripts, the acquisition of a large group of important paintings in 1828 preceded the establishment of the National Portrait Gallery by some 30 years. A gift of Thomas Kenwich, which included portraits of Edward IV, Mary Tudor, among other finds, they discovered the previously unknown London citadel in the northwest corner of the London Wall. The findings were summarized in 1968 by W. F, in 2007, the Society celebrated its tercentennial year with an exhibition at the Royal Academy entitled Making History, Antiquaries in Britain 1707-2007.
The Societys Library is the archaeological research library in the UK. Having acquired material since the early 18th century, the Librarys present holdings number more than 100,000 books, the catalogue include rare drawings and manuscripts, such as the inventory of all Henry VIIIs possessions at the time of his death. The series continued to appear on a basis until 1906. The papers were published in a format, and were notable for the inclusion of finely engraved views. A fellow of the society, Richard Gough, sought to expand and improve publication of the societys research, the first of these with a reproduction of a 16th-century oil painting of the historic scene at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. The paper for this series required a larger size than was available, the manufacturer James Whatman was instructed to create a sheet 31 in ×53 in, the engraving of the plate, measuring 4 ft 1 in by 2 ft 3 in, required two years to complete
The Benin Bronzes are a group of more than a thousand commemorative metal plaques and sculptures that decorated the royal palace of the Benin Kingdom in modern-day Nigeria. In 1897, most of the plaques and other objects were removed by the British during an expedition to the area as imperial control was being consolidated in Southern Nigeria. Two hundred of the pieces were taken to the British Museum, today, a large number are held by the British Museum. Other notable collections are in Germany and the United States, the Benin Bronzes led to a greater appreciation in Europe of African culture and art. Initially and naively, it appeared incredible to the discoverers that people supposedly so primitive, some even concluded that Benin knowledge of metallurgy came from the Portuguese traders who were in contact with Benin in the early modern period. Today, it is clear that the bronzes were made in Benin from an indigenous culture, many of these dramatic sculptures date to the thirteenth century, centuries before contact with Portuguese traders, and a large part of the collection dates to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
It is believed that two golden ages in Benin metal workmanship occurred during the reigns of Esigie and of Eresoyen, while the collection is known as the Benin Bronzes, like most West African bronzes the pieces are mostly made of brass of variable composition. There are made of mixtures of bronze and brass, of wood, of ceramic. The metal pieces were made using lost-wax casting and are considered among the best sculptures made using this technique and ivory objects had a variety of functions in the ritual and courtly life of the Kingdom of Benin. They were used principally to decorate the palace, which contained many bronze works. They were hung on the pillars of the palace by nails punched directly through them, as a courtly art, their principal objective was to glorify the Oba—the divine king—and the history of his imperial power or to honor the queen mother. Art in the Kingdom of Benin took many forms, of bronze and brass reliefs. In tropical Africa of the center, the technique of lost-wax casting was developed early.
When a king died, his successor would order that a head be made of his predecessor. Approximately 170 of these sculptures exist, and the oldest date from the twelfth century, the Oba, or king, monopolized the materials that were most difficult to obtain, such as gold, elephant tusks, and bronze. These kings made possible the creation of the splendid Benin bronzes, thus, in 1939, heads very similar to those of the Benin Empire were discovered in Ife, the holy city of the Yoruba, which dated to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. This discovery supported an earlier tradition holding that it was artists from Ife who had taught Benin the techniques of bronze metalworking, recognition of the antiquity of the technology in Benin advanced when these sculptures were dated definitively to that era. Few examples of African art had been collected by Europeans in the eighteenth century and this attitude changed after the Benin Expedition of 1897
Towneley Park is owned and managed by Burnley Borough Council and is the largest and most popular park in Burnley, England. The main entrance to the park is within a mile of the town centre, at the southern end of the park is Towneley Hall, Burnleys art gallery and museum. To the north are golf courses and playing fields and to the south 24 acres of broadleaved woodland, on the southern boundary is a working farm called Towneley Farm with pastures and plantations extending eastwards into Cliviger. The main entrance to the park is at Todmorden Road, the River Calder flows through the grounds. In order to provide a vehicular access into the new school. Deer Pond in Towneley Park is a Local Nature Reserve, the Towneley family were an important Catholic family and once owned extensive estates in and around Burnley, the West Riding of Yorkshire, and County Durham. Towneley Hall not only contains the 15th-century Whalley Abbey vestments, the hall was the home of the Towneley family for more than 500 years.
The male line of the died out in 1878 and in 1901 one of the daughters, Lady OHagan. The family departed in March 1902, leaving behind a building almost completely empty except for a couple of tables and a few pictures in the chapel. The park was opened to the public in June 1902, and in May 1903 the Great Hall, the art gallery includes a large collection of paintings, focusing on romantic Victorian and pre-Raphaelite art, with some earlier paintings. Of note are the gallerys Waterhouse paintings, works by Poynter and Zoffany, in July 2005 the Heritage Lottery Fund granted £2 million to help fund a major programme of restoration of the Park that is still on-going. A previous Heritage Lottery Fund helped to build a shop, lecture theatre. This new building was opened in 2002, many annual events in Burnley are held at Towneley Park owing to its size and central location, including a Balloon Festival and a classic cars show. According to folklore, the hall was said to have been haunted by a boggart and this spirit appeared once every seven years, just prior to the death of one of the residents.
The boggart was linked to Sir John Towneley, who in life supposedly oppressed the poor of the district, according to writer Daniel Codd, there are stories of a strange ghostly white apparition that appears by the River Calder. Fiona Bruces Britain - Towneley Hall
Hoa Hakananaia is a moai housed in the British Museum in London. It was taken from ‘Orongo, Rapa Nui in November 1868 by the crew of the British ship HMS Topaze, and arrived in England in August 1869. Though relatively small, it is considered to be typical of the island’s statue form and it has been described as a masterpiece, without a doubt, the finest example of Easter Island sculpture. The statue was identified as Hoa Hakananaia by islanders at the time it was removed, when recorded in 1868, Hoa Hakananaia was standing erect, part buried inside a freestone ceremonial house in the ‘Orongo village at the south-western tip of the island. It faced towards an extinct volcanic crater known as Rano Kau and it may have been made for this location, or first erected elsewhere before being moved to where it was found. Most statues on Rapa Nui are of a reddish tuff, though commonly described as basalt, quarried near to where the statue was found, there is no record of petrological analysis to confirm this.
It stands 2.42 metres high, is 96 cm across, the base of the statue, now concealed in a modern plinth, may originally have been flat, and subsequently narrowed, or was rough and tapering from the start. A line around the base of the neck is interpreted as representing the clavicles, there is a semi-circular hollow for the suprasternal notch. In its original form, the back is thought to have plain, apart from a maro, a belt or girdle. Near the base are slight indications of buttocks, the top of the head is smooth and flat, and could originally have supported a pukao, a cylindrical stone hat. A flat round stone found near the site of the statue may have such a hat, or, if the base was flat. No Easter Island statues have been dated, but statue making in general is said to have begun by at least 1000 CE. Manufacture is said to have ended by 1600 CE, when began to topple them. Episode 70 of the 2010 BBC Radio 4 series A History of the World in 100 Objects describes the statue as being from 1000-1200 CE, the Y on the chin and the clavicles are rare on Easter Island statues, and said to be late innovations.
The back of the statue, between the maro and the top of the head, is covered with relief carvings added at a time after the statue was made. They are similar in style to petroglyphs on the rock around the ‘Orongo village. Either side and above the ring on the maro are two facing birdmen, stylised human figures with beaked heads said to represent frigate birds, above these, in the centre of the statue’s head, is a smaller bird said to be a sooty tern. Either side of this is a ceremonial dance paddle, a symbol of male power and prestige
Bronze Head from Ife
The Bronze Head from Ife, or Ife Head, is one of eighteen copper alloy sculptures that were unearthed in 1938 at Ife in Nigeria, the religious and former royal centre of the Yoruba people. It is believed to represent a king and it was probably made in the thirteenth-fourteenth century C. E. before any European contact had taken place with the local population. The realism and sophisticated craftsmanship of the objects challenged Western conceptions of African art at the time, a year after its finding, the Ife Head was taken to the British Museum. Like most West African bronzes the piece is made of copper and various alloys. Modern practice in museums and archaeology is increasingly to avoid such as bronze or brass for historical objects in favour of the all-embracing copper alloy. The head is made using the lost wax technique and is approximately three-quarters life-size, the artist designed the head in a very naturalistic style. The face is covered with incised striations, but the lips are unmarked, the headdress suggests a crown of complex construction, composed of different layers of tube shaped beads and tassels.
This decoration is typical of the heads from Ife. The crown is topped by a crest, with a rosette, the crowns surface includes the remains of both red and black paint. An excavation in Igbo-Ukwu in 1959 provided scientific evidence of a metal working culture. The Ife Head was found in 1938 at the Wunmonije Compound, Ife and it was found among sixteen other brass and copper heads and the upper half of a brass figure. Most of the found in the Wunmonije Compound and neighbouring areas ended up in the National Museum of Ife. The discovery of the sculptures was the spur for the government to control the export of antiquities from Nigeria, before this was achieved, this head made its way to London via Paris and another two were sent to America. Attempts to prevent further exports, prompted by Leo Frobenius, were successfully promulgated in 1938, Frobenius was a German ethnologist and archaeologist who was one of the first European scholars to take a serious interest in African art, especially that of the Yoruba.
The Ife head is thought to be a portrait of a known as an Ooni or Oni. It was likely made under the patronage of King Obalufon II whose famous naturalistic life size face mask in copper shares stylistic features with this work, today among the Yoruba, Obalufon is identified as the patron deity of brass casters. The period in which the work was made was an age of prosperity for the Yoruba civilisation, Ife is regarded by the Yoruba people as the place where their deities created humans. These bronze heads are evidence of trade since Ife-made glass beads have been found widely in West Africa
Crosby Garrett Helmet
The Crosby Garrett Helmet is a copper alloy Roman cavalry helmet dating from the late 2nd or early 3rd century AD. It was found by a metal detectorist near Crosby Garrett in Cumbria, England. Later investigations found that a Romano-British farming settlement had occupied the site where the helmet was discovered, which was located a few miles away from a Roman road and it is possible that the owner of the helmet was a local inhabitant who had served with the Roman cavalry. The helmet appears to have been folded up and deposited in an artificial stone structure. It is thought to have used for ceremonial occasions rather than for combat. Its design may allude to the Trojans, whose exploits the Romans re-enacted in cavalry tournaments, Dr Ralph Jackson, Senior Curator of Romano-British Collections at the British Museum, has described the helmet as. An immensely interesting and outstandingly important find and its face mask is both extremely finely wrought and chillingly striking, but it is as an ensemble that the helmet is so exceptional and, in its specifics, unparalleled.
It is a find of the greatest national significance, on 7 October 2010, the helmet was sold at Christies for £2.3 million to an undisclosed private buyer. Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle sought to purchase the helmet, the helmet has so far been publicly displayed twice, once in a 2012 exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, and again at Tullie House in 2013–14. The Crosby Garrett helmet is an almost complete example of a two-piece Roman cavalry helmet, the visor portrays the face of a youthful, clean-shaven male with curly hair. The headpiece is in the shape of a Phrygian cap, on the crest of which is a griffin that stands with one raised foot resting on an amphora. The helmet would have held in place using a leather strap attached from the wearers neck to a decorated rivet on either side of the helmet. Wear marks caused by opening and closing the visor are still visible, only two other Roman helmets complete with visors have been found in Britain – the Newstead Helmet and Ribchester Helmet.
The helmet and visor were cast from an alloy consisting of an average of 82% copper, 10% zinc and this alloy was probably derived from melted-down scrap brass with a low zinc content, with which some tin had been added to improve the quality of the casting. Some of the fragments show traces of a metal coating, indicating that the visor would originally have been tinned to give the appearance of silver. The griffin was cast separately from a different alloy consisting of 68% copper, 4% zinc, 18% tin, the visor would originally have been a silver hue and the helmet would have had a coppery yellow appearance. The helmets creation can be dated to the late 2nd or early 3rd century from the use of a type of decorated rivet as well as some of its design features. There has been debate about the symbolic meaning of the helmets design
A sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion. In Greek tradition, it has the head of a human, the haunches of a lion and it is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer its riddle suffer a fate typical in such stories, as they are killed. This deadly version of a sphinx appears in the myth and drama of Oedipus, unlike the Greek sphinx, which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man. In European decorative art, the sphinx enjoyed a revival during the Renaissance. Sphinxes are generally associated with structures such as royal tombs or religious temples. The oldest known sphinx was found near Gobekli Tepe at another site, Nevali Çori, or possibly 120 miles to the east at Kortik Tepe and was dated to 9,500 BCE. The largest and most famous sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Giza, situated on the Giza Plateau adjacent to the Great Pyramids of Giza on the west bank of the Nile River, the sphinx is located southeast of the pyramids.
Although the date of its construction is uncertain, the head of the Great Sphinx now is believed to be that of the pharaoh Khafra, what names their builders gave to these statues is not known. At the Great Sphinx site, a 1400 BCE inscription on a stele belonging to the 18th dynasty pharaoh Thutmose IV lists the names of three aspects of the sun deity of that period, Khepera–Rê–Atum. The theme was expanded to form great avenues of guardian sphinxes lining the approaches to tombs, nine hundred with ram heads, representing Amon, were built in Thebes, where his cult was strongest. Perhaps the first sphinx in Egypt was one depicting Queen Hetepheres II and she was one of the longest-lived members of the royal family of that dynasty. The Great Sphinx has become an emblem of Egypt, frequently appearing on its stamps, from the Bronze Age, the Hellenes had trade and cultural contacts with Egypt. Before the time that Alexander the Great occupied Egypt, the Greek name, the historians and geographers of Greece wrote extensively about Egyptian culture.
Herodotus called the ram-headed sphinxes Criosphinxes and called the hawk-headed ones Hieracosphinxes, the word sphinx comes from the Greek Σφίγξ, apparently from the verb σφίγγω, meaning to squeeze, to tighten up. This name may be derived from the fact that the hunters for a pride of lions are the lionesses, There was a single sphinx in Greek mythology, a unique demon of destruction and bad luck. According to Hesiod, she was a daughter of Orthrus and either Echidna or the Chimera, or perhaps even Ceto, according to others, she was a daughter of Echidna and Typhon. All of these are figures from the earliest of Greek myths
The Towneley or Townley family are an English recusant family whose ancestry can be traced back to Norman England. Towneley Hall in Burnley, was the seat until its sale together with its estate to the corporation of Burnley in 1901. Towneley Hall is now a Grade I listed building and a museum within Towneley Park. Richard de Towneley was born circa 1323, by 1345 he had married Ellen. Richard served as the High Sheriff of Lancashire from 1374 to 1377 and he was selected as the member of parliament for Lancashire in 1361 and 1371. He died on 16 April 1381, married Isabella de Rishton, probably in 1382. Man-at-arms at the battle of Agincourt, married three times however only had children with his second wife Isabel Sherburne Son of John and Isabel. Knighted at Hutton Field in 1482, during Richard Duke of Gloucesters Scottish Campaign that captured Berwick-upon-Tweed, Son of Sir Richard and Joanna. Was knighted on 30 September 1497 by the Earl of Surrey, probably at Ayton when the peace treaty was signed with Scotland after the Perkin Warbeck skirmishes.
Established the 1100 acre, Hapton Park making it the second largest in Lancashire after Knowsley, High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1532. She married Christopher Lawrence Smith on 3 May 1624, Burnley Parish, England Son of Sir John and Isabel, married Francis Wimbishe around 1536, sister of Thomas Wymbishe, who inherited his Nocton estate in Lincolnshire on his death in 1553. Knighted in 1547, possibly at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, only one daughter, Mary survived to adulthood. Son of Sir John’s second son Charles and Elizabeth Kaye, half brother through his mother to Alexander Nowell, and Lawrence Nowell. Often known as John Towneley of Grays Inn because he was a Lawyer, acquired Towneley by his marriage in 1557 to 16-year-old Mary, his first cousin once removed, him being a grandchild and her a great-grandchild of Sir John. Fined and imprisoned several times between 1573 and 1594 for recusancy and giving shelter to Catholic priests during the reign of Elizabeth I, built a large extension on the north side of the hall that was finished about 1626.
I believe he was first married to Mary Stanfield b.1568 in the year 1580, a reference for the Richard Townley/Mary Stanfield marriage is and http, //www. lan-opc. org. uk/ Son of Richard and Jane. Attended St. Omers College and Louvain in Belgium and the English College in Rome between 1614 and 1624, Inherited the estate in 1635 upon the death of his brother Richard. Killed leading a small Infantry regiment for the Royalists at the Battle of Marston Moor during the English Civil War, recovered the Lancashire estates from the Parliamentary Sequestration Committee
The Vindolanda tablets were, at the time of their discovery, the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain. They are a source of information about life on the northern frontier of Roman Britain. Written on fragments of thin, post-card sized wooden leaf-tablets with carbon-based ink, the documents record official military matters as well as personal messages to and from members of the garrison of Vindolanda, their families, and their slaves. Highlights of the include a invitation to a birthday party held in about 100 AD. Held at the British Museum, the texts of 752 tablets have been transcribed and published as of 2010, Tablets continue to be found at Vindolanda. The wood tablets found at Vindolanda were the first known surviving examples of the use of ink letters in the Roman period, the tablets are 0. 25–3 mm thick with a typical size being 20 cm ×8 cm. They were scored down the middle and folded to form diptychs with ink writing on the inner faces, nearly 500 tablets were excavated in the 1970s and 1980s.
First discovered in March 1973, the tablets were initially thought to be wood shavings until one of the excavators found two stuck together and peeled them apart to discover writing on the inside. They were taken to the epigraphist Richard Wright, but rapid oxygenation of the wood meant that they were black and they were sent to Alison Rutherford at Newcastle University Medical School for multi-spectrum photography, which led to infra-red photographs showing the scripts for researchers for the first time. The results were disappointing as the scripts were undecipherable. However, Alan Bowman at Manchester University and David Thomas at Durham University analysed the previously unknown form of script and were able to produce transcriptions. Vindolanda fort was garrisoned before the construction of Hadrians Wall and most of the tablets are slightly older than the Wall, the original director of excavations Robin Birley identified five periods of occupation and expansion, c. AD 120–130, the period when Hadrians Wall was constructed The tablets were produced in periods 2 and 3 and they were used for official notes about the Vindolanda camp business and personal affairs of the officers and households.
The largest group is correspondence of Flavius Cerialis, prefect of the cohort of Batavians. The best-known document is perhaps Tablet 291, written around AD100 from Claudia Severa, the invitation is one of the earliest known examples of writing in Latin by a woman. There are two handwriting styles in the tablet, with the majority of the written in a professional hand. The tablets are written in Roman cursive script and throw light on the extent of literacy in Roman Britain, one of the tablets confirms that Roman soldiers wore underpants, and testifies to a high degree of literacy in the Roman army. There are only scant references to the indigenous Britons, until the discovery of the tablets, historians could only speculate on whether the Romans had a nickname for the Britons
Time Team is a British television series that originally aired on Channel 4 from 16 January 1994 to 7 September 2014. The specialists changed throughout the series, although it consistently included professional archaeologists such as Mick Aston, Carenza Lewis, Francis Pryor, the sites excavated ranged in date from the Palaeolithic to the Second World War. In October 2012, Channel 4 announced that the series would be broadcast in 2013. Series 20 was screened from January–March 2013 and nine specials were screened between May 2013 and September 2014, a team of archaeologists, usually led by Mick Aston or Francis Pryor, including field archaeologist Phil Harding, congregate at a site, usually in Britain. Time Team uncover as much as they can of the archaeology and he tries to ensure that everything is comprehensible to the archaeologically uninitiated. Excavations are not just carried out to entertain viewers, Time Team developed from an earlier Channel 4 series, Time Signs, first broadcast in 1991.
Produced by Taylor, Time Signs had featured Aston and Harding, following that shows cancellation, Taylor went on to develop a more attractive format, producing the idea for Time Team, which Channel 4 picked up, broadcasting the first series in 1994. Time Team has had many shows during its run, including Time Team Extra, History Hunters and Time Team Digs. The series features special episodes, often documentaries on history or archaeology, Time Team America, a US version of the programme, was broadcast on PBS in 2009 and co-produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Videotext/C4i. The programme has been exported to 35 other countries, in February 2012, it was announced that Aston had quit the show due to format changes. The disputed changes included hiring a model as a co-presenter, dispensing with other archaeologists. The time had come to leave, I never made any money out of it, but a lot of my soul went into it. I feel really, really angry about it, Time Team producer Tim Taylor released a statement in response to the news reports saying His concerns are of great importance to me.
We have addressed some of them and that you’ve not heard the last of Mick on Time Team, robin Bush, historian was a regular in the first nine series, having been involved with the programme through his long friendship with Mick Aston. In 2005, Carenza Lewis left to other interests. She was replaced by Helen Geake, Anglo-Saxon specialist, architectural historian Beric Morley featured in ten episodes between 1995 and 2002. The team is supplemented by experts appropriate for the period and type of site, guy de la Bédoyère has often been present for Roman digs, as well as those involving the Second World War such as D-Day and aircraft. Architectural historian Jonathan Foyle has appeared in episodes relating to excavations of country estates, Paul Blinkhorn, Mark Corney, Danielle Wootton and Jackie McKinley have appeared from time to time
Johan Joseph Zoffany, RA was a German neoclassical painter, active mainly in England. His works appear in many prominent British National galleries such as the National Gallery and his name is sometimes spelled Zoffani or Zauffelij. Of Bohemian origin, Johan Zoffany was born in Frankfurt on 13 March 1733 and he undertook an initial period of study in a sculptors workshop in Ellwangen in the 1740s and at Regensburg with the artist Martin Speer. In 1750, he travelled to Rome, entering the studio of Agostino Masucci, in autumn 1760 he arrived in England, initially finding work with the clockmaker Stephen Rimbault, painting vignettes for his clocks. He was popular with the Austrian Imperial family and in 1776 was created Baron by the Empress Maria Theresa, Johan Zoffany was a Freemason and was initiated into the Craft on 19 December 1763 at The Old Kings Lodge No 28. He was a master of what has called the theatrical conversation piece. Zoffany has been described by one critic as the real creator, in the part of his life, Zoffany was especially known for producing huge paintings with large casts of people and works of art, all readily recognizable by their contemporaries.
Though Zoffany made several visits to continental Europe and India in his lifetime, he remained in Britain and he is buried in the churchyard of St Annes Church, Kew. The painter Thomas Gainsborough was, by that artists own request, in the comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, by Gilbert and Sullivan, the Major-General brags of being able to distinguish works by Raphael from works by Gerard Dou and Zoffany. Zoffany lived in Lucknow for a time, during his return to England, the survivors held a lottery in which the loser was eaten. William Dalrymple thus describes Zoffany as having been the first and last Royal Academician to have become a cannibal. Despite the high profile the artist enjoyed in his day, as painter in London and Vienna, Zoffany has, until very recently. In 1920 Lady Victoria Manners and Dr. G. C. Williamson published John Zoffany, R. A. his life and works. 1735–1810 – the first in-depth study of the artist and his work, privately printed, presumably at some cost and this was followed by Johan Zoffany, 1733–1810, Mary Websters short but authoritative illustrated guide for the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
In December 2009, the first full biography was published, Johan Zoffany, Artist, in 2011 Mary Webster published her long-awaited monograph on the artist, Johan Zoffany 1733–1810. A2014 book by David Wilson describes Zoffany’s relationship with Robert Sayer, in this way he helped to secure Zoffany’s international reputation. Sayer and the artist became longstanding friends as well as business associates, in 1781 Zoffany painted Robert Sayer in an important ‘conversation piece’. The Sayer Family of Richmond depicts Robert Sayer, his son, from his first marriage, on Sayer’s death in 1794 the house was to become the residence of a future king of Great Britain
British Museum Reading Room
The British Museum Reading Room, situated in the centre of the Great Court of the British Museum, used to be the main reading room of the British Library. In 1997, this moved to the new British Library building at St Pancras, London. Designed by Sydney Smirke and opened in 1857, the Reading Room was in use until its temporary closure for renovation in 1997. It was reopened in 2000, and from 2007 to 2014 it was used to temporary exhibitions. It has since been closed while its use remains under discussion. The building was designed by Sydney Smirke and was constructed between 1854 and 1857, the building used cast iron, concrete and the latest technology in ventilation and heating. Book stacks built around the room were made of iron to take the huge weight. There were forty kilometres of shelving in the prior to the librarys relocation to the new site. The Reading Room was officially opened on 2 May 1857 with a breakfast laid out on the catalogue desks, a public viewing was held between 8 and 16 May which attracted over 62,000 visitors.
Tickets to it included a plan of the library, regular users had to apply in writing and be issued a readers ticket by the Principal Librarian. G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in 1997 the British Library moved to its own specially constructed building next to St Pancras Station and all the books and shelving were removed. The Reading Room was reopened in 2000, allowing all visitors and it held a collection of 25,000 books focusing on the cultures represented in the museum along with an information centre and the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Centre. In 2007 the books and facilities installed in 2000 were removed, the general library for visitors moved to a room accessible through nearby Room 2, but closed permanently on 13 August 2011. This is a library that has had distinguished users, including Thomas Babington Macaulay, William Thackeray, Robert Browning, Giuseppe Mazzini, Charles Darwin. In 2014, the British Museum opened its new World Conservation, the museum has been consulting on the future of the Reading Room, but as of June 2014, its future is still undecided.
The British Museum Reading Room has become iconic and it is the subject of an eponymous poem, The British Museum Reading Room, by Louis MacNeice. Much of the action of David Lodges 1965 novel The British Museum Is Falling Down takes place in the old Reading Room, the Glass Ceiling of Anabel Donalds 1994 novel is the ceiling of the Reading Room, where the denouement is set. Alfred Hitchcock used the Reading Room and the dome of the British Museum as a location for the climax of his first sound film Blackmail