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A Patron's Taste: The 3rd Marquess of Bute, William Burges and the Gothic Revival

Thursday, May 4, 2017; 6:15 P.M.

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) is pleased to partner with the Royal Oak Foundation to present A Patron’s Taste: The 3rd Marquess of Bute, William Burges and the Gothic Revival with Matthew Williams, Chief Curator of Cardiff Castle.

The Marquesses of Bute—Crichton-Stuarts – are a Scottish family who rose to prominence during the 18th century. The foundations of the family’s fortunes were laid by the 3rd Earl of Bute, Prime Minister to King George III, who married an heiress and attained great political prominence. Judicious marriages brought further wealth to his descendants and by 1860 industrial enterprise including the development of Cardiff had made them one of the richest families in Britain. The scholarly 3rd Marquess (1847-1900) was one of the greatest patrons of art and architecture during the Victorian era. Many of building commissions —including fantastical Cardiff Castle and two National Trust properties: Knightshayes Court and St Mary’s Studley Royal —were designed in medieval Gothic Revival style by his architect, the eccentric designer William Burges (1827-81). Burges also filled Crichton-Stuart’s properties with his fanciful designs for metalwork, sculpture, jewellery, furniture and stained glass. The Marquess’ fascination with the Gothic Revival style recurred again in Crichton-Stuart’s patronage of chapels, castles, abbeys, universities and palaces. Later he worked in collaboration with many of Burges’ followers including H. W. Lonsdale and John Kinross. This lecture examines Bute’s fascinating with revival style in both opulent and intensely personal buildings, and shows how his taste for the medieval was shared by both Ludwig II of Bavaria and Napoleon III of France.

This lecture examines Bute’s fascination with revival style in both opulent and intensely personal buildings, and shows how his taste for the medieval was shared by both Ludwig II of Bavaria and Napoleon III of France.

Matthew Williams is an art and architectural historian. He received his degree in Art History from The University of Nottingham and post-graduate qualification at The University of Manchester. Mr. Williams served as Keeper of Collections of Cardiff Castle in 1990 and became Curator in 1998. He has since become a recognized expert on Gothic revival architect William Burges and has extensively written and lectured on the subject of Victorian design. He has written guides to Cardiff Castle, Insole Court and a Pitkin guide on William Burges, as well as articles in The Decorative Arts Society Journal, Country Life and Architectural History. Mr. Williams is currently completing a book on the history of Cardiff Castle and its association with the Marquesses of Bute. He has been awarded scholarships by The Attingham Trust in 2000 and 2003, as well as a Jonathan Ruffer travelling scholarship by The Art Fund in 2013.

Location: The General Society Library, 20 West 44th Street
Cost/Reservations: $30 members of the ICAA and the Royal Oak Foundation; $40 non-members. To register, click here.