News in the Field: 2017


New Access to Thornhill’s Painted Ceiling Inside Greenwich Royal Naval Hospital

  • As restoration of Sir James Thornhill’s painted ceiling inside the dining hall of the Greenwich Royal Naval Hospital continues, a lift will allow visitors unprecedented close access to the ceiling.  For more details, click here.

Eighteenth-Century St. Paul’s Chapel in New York Restored

  • On the occasion of its 250th anniversary, the mid-eighteenth-century St. Paul’s Chapel on lower Manhattan has been restored.  For more details, click here.

16th-Century Firbeck Hall to be Restored

  • 16th-century Firbeck Hall in South Yorkshire will be restored after years of neglect into a block of apartments.  For more details, click here.


English Heritage to Open Sites for Google Arts and Culture

  • English Heritage will open 29 properties to the online platform of Google Arts and Culture so that detailed views of exteriors and interiors will become newly available.  For more details, click here.

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Acquires 18th-Century View of Charleston

  • The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has acquired a 1776 print of Charleston (South Carolina, USA) that includes a rare view of its waterfront.  For more details, click here.

“Venice Time Machine” Research Project

  • A new research project entitled “Venice Time Machine” seeks to scan a wide range of documents, from maps to manuscripts, in the city’s archives in order to map social networks as well as networks of trade and knowledge across the city.  For more information, click here.


Renovation of Baroque Summer Palace in Prague’s Stromovka Park

  • Restoration has begun on a Baroque summer palace, now the Šlechtova restuarace (Šlechta restaurant), in Prague’s Stromovka Park; the palace will become a cultural center.  For more details, click here.

Tuscan Palazzo Doria Pamphilij Reopened to the Public

  • The Palazzo Doria Pamphilij, located in S. Martino al Cimino (Tuscany), has now reopened to the public.  For more details, click here.

18th-Century Bowling Alley Discovered at Marble Hill House, Twickenham

  • Recent excavations have uncovered an 18th-century bowling alley at Marble Hill House in Twickenham, outside of London.  For more details, click here.


National Gallery (London) Purchases Bellotto’s The Fortress of Königstein from the North

  • By gathering funding from a range of private and public sources, the National Gallery in London has been able to purchase an eighteenth-century view painting by Bernardo Bellotto (the nephew of Canaletto) of the sixteenth-century German fortress of Königstein.  For more details, click here.

Early Eighteenth-Century Log Cabin Discovered in Pennsylvania

  • A resident of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (USA) discovered one of the oldest houses in the state when he purchased and repaired a property.  For more details, click here.

British Painter J.M.W. Turner’s House Restored and Open

  • Sandycombe House, the residence designed by renowned nineteenth-century British painter J.M.W. Turner for himself, has been restored and opened to the public.  For more details, click here.


Remains of Tudor Palace Discovered in Greenwich

  • The brick cellars of Henry VII’s and Henry VIII’s royal house at Greenwich have been discovered beneath the Painted Hall of the Royal Naval Hospital.  For more details, click here.

Eighteenth-Century View of Basque City of Bermeo Acquired by Bilbao Fine Arts Museum 

  • The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum has acquired a late eighteenth-century painting of the Basque city of Bermeo by Madrid artist Luis Paret y Alcázar.  For more details, click here.

Two Allegorical Female Figures in the Vatican’s Sala di Costantino Attributed to Raphael

  • During restoration of the Vatican’s Sala di Costantino, restorers have uncovered the painting techniques for executing the allegorical figures of Amicizia and Giustizia to confirm that they were executed by Raphael.  For more details, click here.


Obituary:  Hilary Ballon

  • Hilary Ballon, renowned early modern and modern architectural historian as well as deputy vice chancellor of New York University Abu Dhabi, passed away earlier this month.  For a detailed obituary and links to other obituaries, click here.

Neo-Palladian Marble Hill House to be Restored

  • Marble Hill House, an early eighteenth-century Neo-Palladian villa on the outskirts of London, has received £4.08 million pounds for restoration of its exterior and for reconstruction of its gardens.  For  details, click here.

Andrea Palladio’s Villa Cornaro For Sale

  • Andrea Palladio’s Villa Cornaro is now for sale from an American couple.  For more details and its recent history, click here.


University of Pennsylvania Architecture Professor Creates 3-D Virtual Images of Baroque Church Interiors

  • By assembling numerous scans for single Baroque church interiors, architecture professor Andrew Saunders at the University of Pennsylvania has been able to create revolutionary 3-D renderings of these spaces.  For more details, click here.

Gardens of the Château de Chambord Reopened to the Public After 14 Years of Research

  • After 14 years of research and subsequent renovation, the gardens of the Château de Chambord are open to the public.  For more details, click here.

Lanciani Archive of Images Documenting the History of Rome Digitalized

  • The archive of images documenting the history of Rome assembled by the 19th-century archaeologist Rodolfo Lanciani and currently held at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome has now been digitized with the collaboration of Stanford University, University of Oregon, Dartmouth College, and the Italian government.  For more details, click here.


New Online Project Reconstructs Sounds of 17th-Century New York City

  • “Calling Thunder,” a new online project, reconstructs the sounds of natural life on 17th-century Manhattan. For more details, click here.

Photographs of 18th-Century Polish Synagogue Discovered

  • Rare photographs from around World War I have been discovered of an eighteenth-century wooden synagogue in Poland that has since burned down.  For more details, click here.

Home of Sir John Vanbrugh For Sale

  • Vanbrugh Castle, the home of Sir John Vanbrugh in Greenwich, England, is now for sale.  For more details and photos, click here.


Manor House in Slovakia Designed by Fischer von Erlach Now Open to the Public

  • Bernolákovo, an early eighteenth-century manor house built to the designs of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, has been restored and is now open to the public.  For more details, click here.

Guarini’s Cappella della SS. Sindone to Re-open in Late 2017/Early 2018

  • 20 years after fire gutted the interior of Guarino Guarini’s Cappella della SS. Sindone in Turin, restoration of the chapel is nearly complete, and it will re-open later this year or early in 2018.  For more details, click here.

Chatsworth Purchases Bird’s Eye View of its Estate

  • Chatsworth has purchased an early eighteenth-century bird’s eye view painting of its estate by Jan Siberechts; the painting will be on display for visitors.  For more details, click here.


Digital Reconstruction of 16th-Century Edinburgh

  • Using a 1544 drawing, researchers at the University of St. Andrews have reconstructed digitally the appearance of mid-16th-century Edinburgh.  For more details and the reconstruction, click here.

British Scholars Seek to Recover Early Modern Interiors Bought by American Billionaires

  • Leading British art and architectural historians Sir Roy Strong and John Harris are calling for a return of early modern UK furnishings and interiors bought by William Randolph Hearst and other late nineteenth- and early 20th-century American billionaires.  For more details, click here.

Upcoming Digital Reconstruction of 16th- and 17th-Century Versailles

  • A team of scholars and students at the French ETIS laboratory have been working for three years to reconstruct Versailles digitally from 16th- and 17th-century drawings at the Archives nationales and are about to complete their reconstruction.  For more details, click here.


Digital Reconstruction of Heidelberg Castle

  • Julian Hanschke (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) has reconstructed digitally the now destroyed Heidelberg Castle as it would have appeared in 1683.  For more details, click here.

Rebuilding of Georgian Temple of Bacchus at Painshill Landscape Garden

  • Painshill, a renowned English 18th-century garden visited by Thomas Jefferson and others, will have its Temple of Bacchus rebuilt by July 2017.  For more details, click here.

3-D Digital Reconstruction of the Huygenshuis

  • The now destroyed Huygenshuis, designed by Jacob van Campen for the poet and composer Constantijn Huygens in the Hague, has been reconstructed digitally in three dimensions.  For images, click here.


Obituary of James S. Ackerman

  • James S. Ackerman, the renowned American architectural historian, passed away in late December.  For an obituary, click here.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry to Move or Close in London

  • Dating back to the 15th century and still occupying its 18th-century building in London, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry will either vacate its building or close this coming May.  For more details, click here.

New Illumination for S. Maria presso S. Satiro in Milan

  • New lighting has been installed in S. Maria presso S. Satiro, the Milanese church containing Donato Bramante’s perspectivally illusionistic apse.  For more details, click here.