2018 Annual Lecture & Awards Ceremony

“The Re-cycling of buildings and materials in Early Modern Europe”

Professor Maurice Howard
Monday 5th November 2018, 5.30 for 6.00 p.m.
The Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE

This year’s annual lecture was given by the SAHGB’s former president, Professor Maurice Howard. Professor Howard considered the architectural impact of the Reformation, and especially the way that reformed countries made use of the legacy of buildings and materials left behind by the dispossessed Catholic Church. This phenomenon has long been recognised in an English context, where the dissolution of the monasteries was followed by a great re-cycling. This is sometimes held to have taken place alongside a great rebuilding, the concept of which caused so much debate after A.G. Hoskins’s emphatic statement of the issue more than sixty years ago. The process of re-cycling was prompted by the sudden enactment of statutory legislation; but after this it was largely left to the free market to experiment and extemporise as it saw fit. In reformed countries elsewhere in Europe, however, re-use was sometimes determined by pro-active rulers and local representative assemblies. Adaptation was certainly creative of new uses and new types of building, but equally through dedications, through the naming of streets and areas of towns and cities, adapted structures played a vital role in underlining the role of memories of the past as nation states sought to invent their histories. Professor Howard’s lecture traced these varied processes of recycling, and so reveal the complex layers of meaning concealed in the architecture of this period of dramatic religious, political and cultural change.

The event took place in The Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE. Drinks (wine and soft drinks) were served from 5:30pm, with the lecture and awards ceremony commenced at 6pm. Tickets were £12.50 for regular places and £7 for students and early career professionals (within five years of graduation).

Maurice Howard is Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Sussex. His publications have mainly concentrated on 16th and 17th century British architecture and applied arts but many decades of travel and conferences with European colleagues have challenged him to consider the European context of dissolution and upheaval amongst the buildings of Reformation Europe.

For briefs on the awards, please see the SAHGB Awards page.