Dominika, a PhD student at the Institute of Art History, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, spent a month based at the Trust’s Highgate house.
In June 2019 I had the opportunity to visit London for one month as a guest of The Robert Anderson Charitable Trust. The scholarship allowed me to carry out doctoral research in the field of History of Art, especially in modern English prints and architecture. I was accommodated at the Trust’s house in the beautiful Highgate Village.
For my PhD dissertation I am analysing the reception of 18th-century English mezzotints in Europe. The Robert Anderson Trust scholarship enabled me to make more detailed inquiries into the reproduction of prints and the engraver’s environment in modern times in England. I was a guest of the Prints & Drawings Study Room in the Victoria & Albert Museum and also of the British Library’s Department of Prints and Drawings. I also pursued further research in the British Library, the Perry Library of South Bank University and the National Art Library. These explorations allowed me to collect several dozen articles and books which I could not find in Polish institutions. The stay in London also enabled me to make a photographic documentation of Manresa House/Bessborough House in the location of Roehampton University.
Apart from these inquiries and related research, the scholarship allowed me to visit exhibitions in the National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery, British Museum and Sir John Soane’s Museum. As a historian of art, to see these exhibitions and to have exceptional exposure to the Rembrandt van Rijn prints in the British Museum was really amazing and helpful. In the course of my academic research I found new information about engravers in Italy, France and Netherlands, whilst research in the Royal Academy Archive led to the discovery of unknown drawings and letters of the 18th-century English engraver William Pether (1738-1821), on whose life and oeuvre I had written my MA dissertation. These documents were an important supplement to my previous research. I was also able to visit Oxford, especially the Ashmolean Museum and Department of Western Art, as well as the Fitzwilliam Museum and Department of Paintings, Drawings and Prints in Cambridge.
The Robert Anderson Charitable Trust allowed me to be a part of their London life and invited me to Jack Wong’s summer concert at one of the Trust’s properties in Kensington. In my host, Mr Howard Davies, I met a most kind and helpful man. The possibility to ask his advice on many matters was unforgettable for me. The house and garden are also distinctly beautiful and hold many wonderful memories. I would really like to thank the Trust and Mr Howard Davies for a warm and kindly time.