BSR News Spring 2018

As we move towards the summer months we are beginning to implement a raft of changes agreed by the BSR Council in March. We believe these changes will help us meet the challenges ahead in a resolute and creative manner. The importance of undertaking these reforms has recently been highlighted by the government's decision to move the Comprehensive Spending Review forward a year to 2019. Equally significant was the launch in April of UKRI, the new governmental body which will oversee the distribution of the UK's £6 billion of research and innovation funding. The BSR was invited to submit its new Research Strategy as part of its participation in UKRI's innovation infrastructure roadmap survey, which will help determine where that funding is best spent. 
It is my belief that the BSR is ideally placed to add value to the government's strategic priorities in research and the creative sector, as discussed in the recently published Creative Industries Sector Deal, which was jointly authored by BEIS and DCMS. Our aim has always been to act as a catalyst for academic research and creative practice through engagement with Mediterranean, Italian and Rome-based international agencies, cultivating partnerships for UK and Commonwealth researchers and artists. In the months ahead, we are looking to strengthen existing relationships and build further capacity within a European and international framework.

The BSR already acts as a major research node in the UK's overseas research infrastructure, but we can do more. To this end we recently advertised three new residential Assistant Director posts to add muscle to the generation of our own research and innovation activities in Rome and beyond. In addition to our Assistant Director in Humanities and Social Sciences, we will welcome two new Assistant Directors in September, in Archaeology and Archaeological Science, and in Art, Architecture and the Creative Industries. I look forward to working together with the new team in the years ahead as we further strengthen the BSR's reputation for excellence in research and the creative industries.

Stephen Milner

Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Programme

Currently serving three universities and due to expand to encompass a further four, the Northern Bridge doctoral training consortium (NBDTC) embarked this year on a new initiative.  Sixteen doctoral students, drawn from across the arts and humanities, spent a week at the BSR including valuable time at Keats Shelley House.  

The aim was for the students to engage with a series of case studies in advanced research, and to be enriched by that most powerful of things, time in the BSR's interdisciplinary environment to chew over ideas with one another and the BSR's award-holders in residence.

Library and Archives
A remarkable gift to the Library from Mark Getty, Chair of BSR Trustees
On 3 April a delivery of four large boxes arrived from Sotheby's in Milan for the BSR Library.  

They contained 109 volumes, purchased by Mark to enrich our Rare Book Collection, that were part of the Sergio Rossetti Library auctioned on 20 February 2018. 

A display of a selection of the volumes can be seen in the BSR's entrance hall, and a forthcoming blog will describe the gift in more detail. 

The image above is  Palazzi di Roma de più celebri architetti disegnati da Pietro Ferrerio pittore et architetto  by  Pietro Ferrerio (active in the 17th century)  with contributions by Giovanni Battista Falda who engraved this image of the Campidoglio.

Following in Ashby's footsteps on the 
via Flaminia 
The publications on Roman roads by the BSR's third Director, Thomas Ashby, still remain largely definitive, a testament to his scholarly meticulousness and personal passion for Roman topography. 

As part of her research project here at the BSR, Macquarie Gale Rome Scholar Janet Wade is following in Ashby's footsteps (albeit with the addition of modern scholarship and technology) by walking (and cycling!) the entire length of the Via Flaminia, in order to document its state a century on from Ashby.

The project has required many hours in the BSR Archives pouring over maps, notes and scrawls from the Ashby Collection. This material has revealed much about the collaboration between Ashby and BSR Scholars of the time, and how the BSR changed post World War I.  Read Janet's blog to find out more.

Brave New World Architecture Programme opens

We are pleased to announce the opening of our 2018-19 Architecture Programme Brave New World: New Visions in Architecture.

Brave New World aims to investigate the nature of some of the changes that are being brought about by the younger generation of architects and designers. Common to a number of young architects and artists is the feeling that the present system of designing the built environment is not addressing the economic and social needs of their generation.

All the architects in this programme seek to venture beyond the traditional role of the architect. They often initiate social enterprises that aim to compensate for the demising role of the state. Many predict that such digital natives will have a revolutionary effect on architecture and urban planning and on the way in which we experience space and that, in turn, will affect how we work, play and socialise.

Fine Arts
Introducing the Felicity Powell and 
Robin Hambro Lectures
In February, artist and former BSR Sainsbury Scholar in Painting and Sculpture Nicholas Hatfull gave the third Felicity Powell Lecture, following on from last year's talks by Padraig Timoney and Marc Camille Chaimowicz. Taking the 1973 drawing by Andrea Pazienza,  The True Italian Pop-Art as a jumping-off point, Nick embarked on a picaresque hopscotch, connecting reflections on artefacts ancient and recent with novelistic vignettes from his time in Italy. His lecture was followed by a conversation with Marco Palmieri, and you can hear more from both of them here.

In May we held the inaugural Robin Hambro Lecture by artist Allison Katz in which she used the legacy of the Grand Tour (with its obsession for originals and copies) and her own Italian travels to inform her reflections on the manner in which content is generated and how form gets born.  We are grateful for the generosity of BSR Ashby Patron Robin Hambro which has made this lecture possible.

Awards and exhibitions of our current artists in residence
Not long into her BSR residency  inaugural BSR Wallace New Zealand Resident Deborah Rundle found out that she had won the 2018 Molly Morpeth Canaday Award 3D for her work Employee of the Month.

Arts Council of Northern Ireland Fellow John Rainey was a participating artist in Ireland's biennial of contemporary art. Going to ruin (you) (pictured) refers to the 18th century landscaping tradition of building Greek and Roman ruins in wealthy gardens across Europe, and as part of his research John has been looking closely at ideas of conservation as intervention. Documentation for the project was exhibited at the March Mostra, and you can read more about all of our artists' work on our blog.

The work of Abbey Fellow Gabriel Hartley caught the eye of Rome gallerist Sara Zanin at this year's March Mostra, and we are pleased to report that Gabriel will be returning to Rome in June for a solo show at the gallery - watch this space!

UK events and archaeology 
The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy
On 6 March, the BSR welcomed a full house of Members and former award-holders to the British Academy for Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn's (York) lecture on Modern painters,
Old Masters: the Pre-Raphaelites and Italy. In this  BSR at the British Academy lecture, the audience was transported back to 1848 and the establishment of the 'Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood'. With colours and nature-inspired images abound, Elizabeth emphasised the Brotherhood's elevation of contemporary art to new heights through the emulation of Italian art from the past.

If you were not able to join us for this lecture, you can view it on our YouTube channel here and you can read about our Members visit to the London Mithraeum on our blog.

Simon Keay elected to scientific committee for the Parco Acheologico di Ostia Antica
In January this year Professor Simon Keay, BSR Research Professor in Archaeology and recently elected member of the Council of Trustees, was nominated by the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo to the newly formed scientific committee for the Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica. The appointment reflects Simon's long contribution to the study of Portus, which this year celebrates 20 years since the first geophysical survey.

This spring, work has focused upon the area of the northern mole of the Claudian harbour (led by Stephen Kay, BSR Archaeology Officer) as part of the ERC funded Rome's Mediterranean Ports Project. Research will continue in the summer with an international field school that will focus upon the northern façade of the Grandi Magazzini di Settimio Severo. The BSR will also support the new work of the Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica for the reopening of the Museo della Navi at Fiumicino airport in 2019.

In the news...

Image acknowledgements 
BSR Director Stephen Milner: Antonio Palmieri. Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Programme: Antonio Palmieri. Pietro Ferrerio, Palazzi di Roma de più celebri architetti disegnati da Pietro Ferrerio pittore et architetto. Nicole and Janet walking on the via Flaminia in Carsulae: Jeff Moffatt. Nicholas Hatfull, The True Italian Pop-Art.  John Rainey, Going to ruin (you), 2018, CAD visualisation, courtesy of the artist. Elizabeth Prettejohn gives her BSR at the British Academy lecture: Steve Wells. Grandi magazzini di Settimio Severo: Stephen Kay. Marie-Claire Blais, Materia dei molti racconti, 2018, pigments on juta, 100 x 105 cm