CfP: George Scharf and the emergence of the museum professional in nineteenth-century Britain

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

A one-day participatory workshop concerning the emergence of the museum professional in the nineteenth-century, to be held at the National Portrait Gallery, London, on Tuesday the 21st April 2015.

Current research focusing on the career of Sir George Scharf, the Gallery’s first Secretary and Director (1857-95), aims to establish his approach museum practice, the nature of his professional networks and the extent to which he collaborated with figures in the museum and wider art world.  As custodian of the national portraits, Scharf oversaw the acquisition, display, interpretation and conservation of the early collection.  He was also responsible for the establishment of a research library of engraved portraits, periodicals, books and documents.  This, coupled with his diligent research into works in numerous private collections, served as a vital resource for authenticating potential portrait acquisitions for the Gallery.  In recording what he saw by means of densely annotated sketches and detailed…

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