CFP: SAHGB Symposium – The Tercentenary of Vitruvius Britannicus: Architectural Books in Eighteenth Century Britain (16 May 2015)

Submission deadline: 31 October 2014
The 2015 SAHGB annual symposium will mark the Tercentenary of the publication of volume I of Vitruvius Britannicus: a formative text in the history of British Architecture which went on to inspire authors and architects at home and abroad for many years. Although Colen Campbell authored volumes one to three (1715, 1717 and 1725) the legacy continued long after his death with further volumes from Badeslade and Roque in 1739, and Woolfe and Gandon in 1767 and 1771. Further to this, George Richardson’s New Vitruvius Britannica appeared almost one hundred years later (1802-8) to continue the legacy. 

This dynasty spanned almost a century, but the effect of these books has been far reaching and hugely influential both at home and abroad. This symposium will allow a re-evaluation of the publication and its reception and legacy through the themes of architectural history, drawing scholarship, and architectural publishing.  

Papers might consider but need not be limited to:

  • Vitruvius Britannicus and the architecture of the eighteenth century, either built or proposed
  • The relationship between Vitruvius Britannicus and other architectural publications/authors such as James Gibbs, William Chambers and Robert Adam
  • Architectural drawings, prints and publications in the eighteenth century
  • Vitruvius Britannicus and stylistic movements in eighteenth century architecture
  • Baroque/Palladianism reconsidered
  • The Relationship between Vitruvius Britannicus and earlier British and European architectural texts
  • Vitruvius Britannicus’s role in the formation of architectural taste
  • The historiography of Vitruvius Britannicus and its place in British architectural history
  • Questions of readership and subscription
  • Vitruvius Britannicus and British and European print culture
  • Eighteenth Century architectural practice and self-promotion of architects through publishing

Proposals of no more than 300 words for papers of twenty minutes should be sent to Dr Joanne O’Hara by email ( or by post: Flat 1, 9 Louisa Terrace, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 2AQ. 

Submissions must be received by 31 October 2014, and notices of acceptance or rejection will be sent out shortly after. Papers should present original research containing material not already presented apart from to a small local audience. It should be borne in mind that publication of the proceedings is anticipated either in print or online. In addition, speakers may be asked to supply full drafts of papers prior to the event. It is the expectation of the Society that speakers will be able to obtain independent financial support for their travel and accommodation. 

The symposium will take place on the 16th May 2015 in London, and the venue will be confirmed with the notice of acceptance. 

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