But of course I am here to research and network, and that I have been doing. I've met a number of people and have been surprised to discover that the YCBA is bigger than I thought, but they all seem to know one another. I attended a lecture given by visiting senior scholar Clarissa Campell Orr, a well-published historian who is writing a biography about Mary Delany (1700-1788), maker of fascinating paper cut-out botanical collages, about which the YCBA recently did an exhibition. I have a computer work station in the library and have already worked in the Rare Book Room, plus I have access to resources in other libraries on campus. I've also had the opportunity to examine more closely the John Gibson busts in the collection, and they've now actually brought 2 of them out for the public to see, which is great (one of them being the unknown young woman about whom I blogged).
Royal Academy). I thought it would be interesting to share one of Horner's encounters with Gibson. On this occasion they visited the Vatican Museum, much like you or I have done in the past, traipsing through the same corridors she mentions as well. The only difference then was that there was no electricity, just natural light and maybe gas lanterns or candles for evening visits. Their particular visit together took place on April 10, 1848--exactly 122 years before I was born.
At three we called for Mr Gibson at his studio. He showed us a beautiful drawing he is making, and also some engravings from his works, very well executed; he then accompanied us to the Vatican, where Charles and Frances walked through the Gallery together, and Mr Gibson showed me its wonders. The galleries are very beautiful and very rich, and as we walked along, he stopped me at the most remarkable among its treasures. We entered the Braccio Nuovo which has been added of late years. Mr Gibson pointed out to me the statue of Minerva as the best time of Greek art. ... As Mr Gibson is occupied making a drawing for a bas relief of Hyppolitus, he examined these well, and satisfied himself as to the legitimacy of adding ears or horns to his creatures. I asked him, why it was necessary to confine himself to an imitation of the ancients, to which he replied, that when treating a Greek subject, it ought to be treated as a Greek artist would have conceived it, whereas, in Christian subjects the master is free to use what models he may please. (fol. 51v-52r)