The Sixth Fairfax House Symposium in Georgian Studies

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Rethinking the Genius of Grinling Gibbons

The sixth Fairfax House Symposium in Georgian Studies has announced it’s programme of speakers.

The symposium, held in conjunction with the exhibition ‘The Genius of Grinling Gibbons’ at Fairfax House, and in partnership with the History of Art department at the University of York, aims to stimulate new thinking and new perspectives on the life, work, legacy, and significance of Grinling Gibbons, master carver of Restoration England.


The programme of speakers will include:

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Ada de Witt, The Wallace Collection

English and Dutch woodcarving in the age of Grinling Gibbons

GUEST SPEAKER: David Luard, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Woodwork Conservator and specialist in the carving of Grinling Gibbons

Grinling Gibbons: Observations of a Conservator



Elin Bornemann, Collections Officer, Abingdon County Hall Museum

The Grinling Gibbons mirror at Abingdon Museum – what we know and what we don’t know


Dr Lucy Cutler, Independent researcher and art historian

Gibbons and Dutch Still Life Painting


Charlotte Davis, PhD candidate, History of Art, The University of York

Rediscovering the ‘inventor et sculpsit’ of Restoration carved art


Amy Harris, PhD candidate at The University of York and Tate Britain

Carving After Gibbons: Francis Chantrey’s Holkham Woodcocks, 1829


Dr Claudine van Hensbergen, Senior Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century English Literature at Northumbria University

‘That Matchless Statue of His Majesty’: Gibbons’ statue of Charles II for the Royal Exchange, London (1684)


Dr Sally Jeffery, Independent architectural and garden historian

Grinling Gibbons’s chimneypiece commissions for the Duchess of Buccleuch


Harriet Lewars, City & Guilds of London Art School

The colour and discolouring of wood carving


Emelia Quinn, DPhil candidate, University of Oxford

Still Life and Still Live: Grinling Gibbons’s Struggling Birds


Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein, Reader, University of York

‘Subject’ and ‘ornament’ in the work of Grinling Gibbons and 16th-century German sculptors


Dr Frances Sands, Curator of Drawings and Books, Sir John Soane’s Museum

Grinling Gibbons as a master of two dimensions


Dr Greg Sullivan, Curator, British Art 1750–1830, Tate Britain


Tony Webb, Retired Master Carver of St Paul’s Cathedral

The last of the big studio workshops


Dr Cordula van Wyhe, Senior Lecturer in History of Art, The University of York

Dead Meat in Focus: Gibbon’s garland in the drawing room at Sudbury Hall, Staffordshire

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