Book Launch: The Ince Blundell Collection of Classical Sculpture – Volume 3

Book Launch: The Ince Blundell Collection of Classical Sculpture – Volume 3

By: Jo Chamberlain, Collections Development Officer

A special event was held at The Atkinson on Saturday to mark the launch of the latest edition of the volumes relating to the Ince Blundell collection of sculpture.

The book investigates the important antiquities collection formed by Henry Blundell of Ince Blundell Hall outside Liverpool in the late eighteenth century. Consisting of more than 500 ancient marbles—the UK’s largest collection of Roman sculptures after that of the British Museum—the collection was assembled primarily in Italy during Blundell’s various “Grand Tour” visits.  These are currently on display in The Atkinson’s exhibition Pantheon: Roman Art Treasures from the Ince Blundell Collection (open until Sunday 12 March).

Dr Gina Muskett, whom once curated the collection during her time as curator at National Museums Liverpool, opened the event with a fantastic overview and background of the collection. An interview with her discussing the collection can be found here.

This was followed by a talk by stone conservator, Kieron Elliott, who had worked on the objects prior to their display. The talk was fascinating and looked at how the sculpture where originally worked (did you know that marble is soft when first exposed and then hardens later?). In most cases the statues were reformed later and sold on by dealers. Many of the Ince Blundell items came via people such as Bartolomeo Cavaceppi in the late 18th early 19th centuries. Some of the sculptures are made up of hundreds of separate parts and not all from the original pieces or from contemporary time periods. Kieron’s talk certainly made everybody look at the sculpture in a completely new light.

The latest book was written by Elizabeth Bartman who was President of the Archaeological Institute of America between 2011-2014 and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London, as well as a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. You can purchase the latest volume along with the earlier works at The Atkinson’s gift Shop.

Posted on 15 February 2017 under Exhibitions

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