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UAL Research Online

A Casket to Enclose Pictorial Gems, James Morrison, John Buonarotti Papworth and Basildon Park

Dakers, Caroline (2004) A Casket to Enclose Pictorial Gems, James Morrison, John Buonarotti Papworth and Basildon Park. Apollo. pp. 29-35. ISSN 00036536

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Dakers, Caroline

My essay examines the complicated relationship between the art collector, merchant and landowner James Morrison (1789-1857) and his architect for 20 years J.B.Papworth, focusing on Morrison’s principal country residence Basildon Park (now owned by the National Trust). It is the first publication to emerge from my research, using the considerable family archive of unpublished letters, diaries bills etc, to which I have been given exclusive access.

Morrison has not previously been noticed as a major collector and patron in the second quarter of the 19th century, but archive material and the surviving art collection reveal his right to be placed alongside both major collectors of contemporary art (Sheepshanks, Vernon) and the cosmopolitans George IV and William Beckford. My research should be seen as complementary but also additional (and in some cases contradictory) to the major Beckford catalogue and exhibition (ed. Ostergard) and the work of the late Clive Wainwright ('The Romantic Interior'). It also offers completely new material for the under-researched area of ‘middle-class’ art patronage which preceded the period covered by Macleod’s 'Art and the Victorian Middle Class'.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

Caroline Dakers

Research Interests

19th and early 20th century British cultural history, particularly art, architecture, design, literature and social history.

Current Research

The main focus of my research and publications continue to be in the area of British cultural history, particularly 19th and early 20th century. I am completing a book commissioned by Yale University Press, The Morrisons of Fore Street: making money in 19th century Britain. Through examining the rise of a family of millionaire merchants I explore patronage of the arts, taste, the textile trade, British investment in the USA, banking and land management.

I continue to publish material and give papers relating to this research, for example a paper on the early 19th century architect J.B.Papworth (Bloomsbury project, Wellcome Trust and University College London) to be published in 2010 on-line; a paper on the interiors of Basildon House and 57 Harley Street (National Trust), to be published in 2010 in ‘Furniture’. Some of my research has again been used by Christies for relevant catalogues.

I continue to research the relation between artists and their studios (including the architecture of art colleges), and am giving papers at Compton Verney and for the Attingham Trust as well as exploring the possibility of creating a database of surviving studios and art college buildings in London and beyond. I have also been exploring the history of London’s cultural quarters, within the context of Central Saint Martins move to a new/old building in Kings Cross.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 1 April 2004
Funders: Scouloudi Foundation, Paul Mellon, AHRB, National Trust
Related Websites: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PAL/is_506_159/ai_n6150857/pg_1
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Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2009 12:54
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2010 12:56
Item ID: 1092
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1092

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