2020 Berger Prize - watch the video below

The life and work of Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 1788) was explored during a free, online event celebrating  Thomas Gainsborough. The Portraits, Fancy Pictures and Copies after Old Masters by Hugh Belsey winning the 18th annual William MB Berger Prize for British Art History.

The event was broadcast live from Lowell Libson and Jonny Yarker Gallery in London. Hosted by Jonny Yarker, the event centred on an ‘in conversation’ between Professor Robin Simon, Editor of The British Art Journal, and Hugh Belsey.

Contributors included Mark Bills (Director of Gainsborough’s House) with an update on its ongoing transformation into a major regional centre.
There was an opportunity for viewers to ask questions.
The annual prize created to recognize excellence in the field of British art history was created in 2001 by the Berger Collection Educational Trust (BCET) and The British Art Journal, in honour of the late American collector and patron William MB Berger. Since its inception, the Berger Prize has come to be recognized as the most respected in the field.
Usually the winner is announced at an event in London during December, but the global pandemic means that is not possible in 2020, and so this year the Berger Prize has gone online.
Katherine MB Berger, daughter of William MB Berger and Trustee of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, said before the event,

Although it is disappointing we cannot hold a physical prizegiving this year, our online event means we can take a much deeper look at our winning title and share this experience with anyone globally. It’s an exciting chance to connect even more people with the Berger Prize and the work of Gainsborough.

BAJ 4-2cover?

The British Art Journal was launched at a reception given at the Thomas Coram Foundation (now the Foundling Museum), 40 Brunswick Square WC1 on 1 July 1999. Two issues were published in the first year, and three issues have been published every year since.

The British Art Journal publishes original research on British art of all periods, and actively encourages the work of younger scholars. Articles cover most fields of art-historical research, including painting and the graphic arts, books and publishing, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, and the history of dress.
Submissions are invited from scholars.
Main articles are usually 3,000 – 7,500 words, but it is a policy of the journal to consider longer articles up to 20,000 words; shorter articles up to 3,000 words.
Suggestions for reviews of books and exhibitions are welcomed. 
Contact the Editor, 
The British Art Journal, 
46 Grove Lane, 
email: editor@britishartjournal.co.uk

All research articles are refereed.



A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–1797), 1766 (detail).
Oil on canvas, 147.3 x 203.2 cm.
Derby Museum and Art Gallery.
See review of Matthew Craske, Joseph Wright of Derby, Painter of Darkness, on p. 87 and this issues Featured Article



2 | The William MB Berger Prize 2020


3 | Ian Thomson
Refugee blues
The life of Maret Haugas (1934–2006) and the kindness of Carel Weight (1908–1997)

16 | Alexander S Gourlay & Robert LS Cowley
In the beginning
The trade card of William Hogarth (1697–1764), a first attempt at copper-plate engraving

28 | Bob Crowther
Josefina de Vasconcellos (1904–2005) Sculpting for peace and reconciliation

38 | Mathew Norman
Drawings of lions by Sir Edwin Landseer (1802–1873) and the Trafalgar Square monument

46 | Rodney Griffiths
The works of Arthur Devis (1712–1787) with a supplement to his catalogue

54 | Edward Corp
The recently discovered portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart by Rosalba Carriera (1673–1757)

60 | Hugh Brigstocke
The Revd Walter Stevenson Halliday (1794–1872)
Grand Tour Journal, France through Switzerland to Italy  1814–1816

66 |Geoffrey Munn
Richard Dadd (1817–1886) and Edmund Yates (1831–1894) New light on the painter and his press

71 | Daniel Hadden & Alistair Lexden
Solving a Mrs Thatcher mystery
A painting by Alfred Reginald Thomson RA (1894–1979)

74 | Hilary Maddicott
Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599–1641, Margaret Lemon (c1614–1643) and Wenceslas Hollar (1607–1677)
The creation of a historical myth?

78 | Lyrica Taylor
A rediscovered altarpiece by John Francis Rigaud  (1742–1810)


87 | Jonathan Yarker
Matthew Craske
Joseph Wright of Derby: Painter of Darkness


92 | Robert Weinberg
‘Not Without My Ghosts: The Artist As Medium’
Drawing Room, London, 10 September–1 November 2020 
Millennium Gallery, Museums
Sheffield, 19 November 2020 –7 March 2021 
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, 20 March–13 June 2021 
Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, dates to be confirmed


95 | Stephen Conrad
Hugh Belsey
Thomas Gainsborough: The Portraits, Fancy Pictures and Copies after Old Masters