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Chivalry Reimagined: Collecting and Displaying Renaissance Armour in the Late 19th Century

May 22, 2017
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Faculty of History, Cambridge

Seminar Room
The Fitzwilliam Museum
Trumpington St CB2 1RB
United Kingdom

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"Chivalry Reimagined: Collecting and Displaying Renaissance Armour in the Late 19th Century"

When: Monday, 22 May 2017, 9:00-4:30pm
Where: Museum Seminar Room, Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
Who: Open to all, £25 registration fee (includes lunch and tea/coffee)

In nineteenth-century Britain and the United States, a strong affinity for the medieval period permeated contemporary art, literature, and architecture. This interest was mirrored in the art market, and fine and decorative art collectors sought rare objects that romanticized centuries past. Armour was particularly prized among male collectors, as it embodied the knightly virtues of honour, chivalry, and martial ability.

At this Armour Study Day, historians and curators from some of Europe's most prominent museums will speak about collecting and display practices of Renaissance armour in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Who were the men that collected these objects, what qualities were considered favourable, and how did collectors and museums choose to display this armour once acquired? Lunch and tea/coffee will be provided. The day will also include a handling session, giving attendees the opportunity to handle pieces of fifteenth and sixteenth century armour. 

Programme:

9:00-9:30am: Registration (via Courtyard Entrance)

9:30-9:45am: Welcome, Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum

9:45-10:00am: Introductory remarks, Prof. Peter Mandler (University of Cambridge)

10:00-10:45am: Keynote speaker, Angus Patterson (Victoria & Albert Museum), “Ministrations to the Improvement of Society”: Electrotypes of Armour, 1850-1914

10:45-11:15am: Tea/coffee break (Courtyard)

11:15-12:00pm: Victoria Avery (Fitzwilliam Museum), Cambridge Connections and Collections: Arms and Armour at the Fitz

12:00-12:45pm: Stefan Krause (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), The Imperial Collection of Arms and Armour in Vienna in the 19th and Early 20th Century

12:45-1:45pm: LUNCH (Courtyard)

1:45-2:15pm: Armour-handling session for attendees with Technician Andrew Maloney (Fitzwilliam Museum)

2:15-3:00pm: Victoria Bartels (University of Cambridge), The Courtship of a Collection: William H. Riggs and The Metropolitan Museum of Art

3:00-3:45pm: Tobias Capwell (Wallace Collection), A Museum of a Museum: The Past, Present and Future of the Galleries of Arms and Armour at the Wallace Collection, ca. 1880-2020

3:45-4:00pm: Closing remarks, Prof. Ulinka Rublack (University of Cambridge)

4:00-4:30pm: Afternoon Tea reception (Courtyard)

4:30pm: Delegates and speakers leave (via Courtyard Entrance)

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May 18, 2017, 10:00am BST

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