“C’est mon plaisir” – Isabella Stewart Gardner and her collection

Isabella Stewart Gardner by John Singer Sargent, 1888, oil on canvas (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum P30WI) Above the central portal to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum is her motto: “C’est mon plaisir” (“it is my pleasure”) This sums up perfectly the collection housed at Fenway Court: a unique and beautiful museum created by a unique…

Collector, Traveller and the Life and Soul of the Party: Elizabeth Percy, 1st Duchess of Northumberland

Happy International Women’s Day! Seeing all the amazing articles and tweets flying around today about pioneering women the whole world over has really inspired me to think about the women in history who I really admire. I research women’s history, so today is really important in terms of reflecting on how far we’ve come as…

Michelangelo and Sebastiano: A Renaissance Friendship

The general perception of Michelangelo is of a highly introspective, tortured and cantankerous genius who worked independently to produce some of the most famous works in Western Art. So it may seem slightly incongruous that the National Gallery’s latest exhibition, Michelangelo & Sebastiano, is actually a celebration of the friendship Michelangelo forged with the Venetian…

Girls in the Lead! The Girlguiding Movement

Today is International Women’s Day and I thought this was a perfect chance to talk about one of the biggest women’s movements across the world – Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Present in 146 countries worldwide, reaching ten million girls and young women, it is an incredibly dynamic movement and one which is close to…

Michelangelo and Lines of Thought 

I couldn't miss a chance to write a blog post about Michelangelo for his birthday (good luck fitting 542 candles on a cake!) but also because we had the fortune to have two Michelangelo drawings on campus as part of the Lines of Thought British Museum travelling exhibition, which is now on its way to…