Art history talks at London Art Week

London Art Week will host the Spring edition of its Art History in Focus talk series from Tuesday, 21st to Friday, 31st March 2023. The programme includes online and live talks, continuing an initiative devised by LAW during lockdown in 2020. Art History in Focus provides a platform for dealers, curators and collectors to share some of their passions and art world interests with an international audience.

The programme starts with Art and Legacy: Managing Artists Estates on Tuesday, 21st March at 5pm. David Messum, Chairman of Messum’s Fine Art, will be talking to David Boyd Haycock about his exhibition In Her Own Voice: The Art of Lucy Kemp-Welch (1 April – 1 October 2023) at the museum and art gallery, Russell-Cotes House in Bournemouth, his new biography on Kemp-Welch (to be launched in March), and the artist herself. Lucy Kemp-Welch was once the most celebrated equine artist in Britain, finding fame amongst the Victorian art world elite at the Royal Academy, as well as by the general public through her illustrations for Black Beauty, Anna Sewell’s classic novel.

Saint Francis, Glazed terracotta
Moretti: Benedetto Buglioni (Florence, 1459/60 – 1521), Saint Francis, Glazed terracotta

The second event in the AHIF series is a live talk at Moretti Fine Art on Wednesday, 22nd March at 5pm. To coincide with the first major exhibition in the UK dedicated to the Italian Renaissance sculptor Donatello, Moretti Fine Art is staging its own exhibition entitled In Donatello’s Shadow: At Home in the Renaissance (7–31 March), which explores the burst of creativity in Renaissance Florence through various art forms. Luke Syson (Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge) will be in conversation with Tommaso Mozzati, (Professor at the Università degli Studi di Perugia) and Laura Llewellyn (Curator of Italian Paintings before 1500 at The National Gallery). Spaces for this are limited and require pre-booking.

Broadening horizons this year, LAW welcomes leading rare book dealers to its roster of participants. On Thursday, 23rd March, Dr Philip Errington, specialist at Peter Harrington Ltd., will introduce and discuss The Kelmscott Chaucer and its importance within the oeuvre of William Morris with Martin Levy, director of H. Blairman & Sons Ltd and Chairman of the Kelmscott Campaign Group. The Kelmscott Chaucer was the result of close collaboration between Morris and Burne-Jones over four years. Completed just before Morris’s death, Burne-Jones called it “a pocket cathedral it is so full of design”, and “the finest book ever printed; if W.M. had done nothing else it would be enough.” Both the Kelmscott Chaucer and a fine example of a Morris fabric will be on view in the respective galleries during Art History in Focus.

London Art Week prides itself in supporting young dealers. Hiding in Plain Sight, an online talk on Monday, 27th March, explores how young dealers help the traditional art market move away from ‘sleepers’ – Will Elliott (Elliott Fine Art), Dominic Sanchez-Cabello (Dominic Fine Art), Alesa Boyle (Stephen Ongpin Fine Art) and Ellie Smith (Philip Mould & Company) share some of their latest discoveries and shed some light on how their research identifies overlooked artists.

Closing this Spring’s AHIF series on Thursday, 30th March is Medieval Chronicles:
Modern Journeys of Monastic Art which coincides with an exhibition at Sam Fogg, Those Who Pray, opening in April 2023. Dr. Jana Gajdošová (Medieval Specialist, Sam Fogg) and Dr. Michael Carter (Senior Historian, English Heritage) will explore the visual culture of the communities that lived in Medieval monasteries, nunneries and organised religious groups. Their talk will encompass how religious artworks were commissioned or acquired, and also how these pieces eventually found their way on to the art market in the wake of revolutions and dissolutions.