We are delighted to announce Dr. Myles Campbell of Trinity College, Dublin, as the winner of the biennial George B Clarke memorial prize for 2016. The biennial prize of £2,000 has been launched by the Hall Bequest Trust in association with The Georgian Group in recognition of the great contribution that George Clarke has made to Stowe in Buckinghamshire. In the course of over sixty years, the historian and champion of Stowe was a Chairman of the Hall Bequest Trust, which aims to support Stowe through acquisitions and education. The prize is awarded for original research pertinent to Stowe within the fields of architecture, architectural history, the material arts or landscape design.
Dr. Campbell will examine the work of the Italian artist Vincenzo Waldré in terms of his transition between two major schemes of decorative painting and remodelling carried out by him at Stowe House and Dublin Castle in the 1780s. Both of these schemes were executed under the aegis of Waldré’s influential patron, George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham. It had previously been held that the cessation of Waldré’s work at Stowe and his arrival at Dublin Castle, the seat of the Irish viceregal court, coincided with the appointment of the Marquess of Buckingham as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in November 1787. However, Dr. Campbell’s research demonstrates that Waldré’s move from Stowe to Dublin took place almost a year later.
This new picture of Waldré’s movements and those of apparent assistants who have yet to be identified, has implications for our understanding of the Marquess of Buckingham’s ambitious works both at Dublin Castle and at Stowe, not least in terms of the timeline of their completion. Prompted by the need for a re-assessment of that timeline and of the connections between both projects, Dr. Campbell’s research proposal seeks to explore the works at Stowe and Dublin Castle in a bid to better understand their duration, nature and extent.