Friday, May 10, 2013

The Wonderful World of Disney

This lecture will explore the background to the donation of the "Disney collection" to the University of Cambridge, and the establishment of the Disney chair of archaeology. It will place the benefaction of Thomas Brand Hollis to the Reverend John Disney in the context of religious dissent in the late eighteenth century. The bequest included sculptures collected on the Grand Tour by Brand Hollis and his friend Thomas Hollis (a benefactor of Harvard and supporter of republican values).

John Disney, the son of the Reverend John Disney, was president of the Chelmsford Philosophical Society that embraced archaeological investigations in Essex. Disney's collection included material discovered in the Roman cemeteries on the west side of the colonia at Colchester during the construction of the County Hospital. Disney was also instrumental in helping the establishment of the Essex Archaeological Society, along with the Reverend John H. Marsden, the first Disney professor of archaeology.

Disney was involved with political reform and stood as a candidate in three parliamentary elections. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and supported some of the first demonstrations of photography in Essex.

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3 comments:

kyri said...

hi david,what a great debt we owe to the collectors of the past.without their thousands of bequests ,donations, gifts,many museums and archaeological institutions may not even exist.i wonder how these people would be viewd if they were collecting now.
kyri.

Toes said...

Hi David! Are you releasing details on the lecture yet? (I.e., time/place/date?)

David Gill said...

The lecture has now been given - but thank you for the interest!

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