Working at the time of fracture of the sciences from classical studies, poetry and religion, Ruskin was one of the last great truly interdisciplinary thinkers. This new seminar series will pair speakers from across the arts, humanities and sciences to debate how Ruskin’s works challenged perception, language and perspective, and anticipated modes of thinking today.
“The World in a Cottage”: St George’s Museum and John Ruskin’s Reconstructive Intelligence
Dr Marcus Waithe (University of Cambridge, English Department) and Professor
Jeffrey Richards (Lancaster University, History Department)
Thursday 10th May, Bowland North, SR2 at 4.15-6.00pm
Modern conceptions of architectural preservation owe a great deal to John Ruskin’s opposition to fashionable practices
of ‘restoration’. He was concerned about modes of antiquarian rebuilding that overlaid the canvas of the original work
with ‘models’ of a supposedly superlative past. Dr Marcus Waithe, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of English, and a Fellow
and College Librarian at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, pursues these questions as they relate to ‘Ruskin
at Walkley: Reconstructing the St George’s Museum’ (https://www.ruskinatwalkley.org), a digital project that applies
principles of imaginative visualisation to the cottage museum itself. Dr Waithe will make the case that Ruskin possessed
an unusually developed reconstructive intelligence, distinguished by an approach to preservation that was active and
imaginative rather than conservative.
In response, Professor Jeffrey Richards, Emeritus Professor of Cultural History at Lancaster University and President of
the Ruskin Society, will be speaking on Ruskin’s attitude to theatre as a form of education.
Ruskin Library and Research Centre for Culture, Landscape and the Environment
For more information, please contact us on 01524 593587 or email@example.com