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Dr Frank Salmon MA (Cantab. and London), PhD, LittD, FSA

Dr Frank Salmon, MA (Cantab. and London), PhD, LittD, FSA

University Senior Lecturer in the History of Art

Fellow of St John's College (President 2015-2019)

Director of Studies for St John's, Downing and Sidney Sussex Colleges

Undergraduate Admissions Convenor


Office Phone: 01223 339366

Research Interests

Frank Salmon specialises in the history of post-medieval British architecture in its European contexts. His first book, Building on Ruins: The Rediscovery of Rome and English Architecture (2000) jointly won the 2001 Whitfield Prize of the Royal Historical Society and the 2002 Spiro Kostof Prize of the American Society of Architectural Historians. In 2006 he edited a volume for Yale University Press, Summerson and Hitchcock: Centenary Essays on Architectural Historiography. Subsequently he worked on Greek archaeology and antiquarianism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, publishing major essays in S. Weber Soros, ed., James 'Athenian' Stuart (Yale University Press, 2006) and on C.R. Cockerell and the discovery of the entasis of the Parthenon in The Persistence of the Classical (2009), a book that he also edited. 

Dr Salmon's substantial reassessment of William Kent's public architecture, including unbuilt designs for new Houses of Parliament, appeared in William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain (Yale University Press, 2013), the book that accompanied the major Kent exhibition held at the Bard Center, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2014. Films in which Dr Salmon describes this work can be viewed on the BBC website www.historyextra.com/news/revealed-houses-parliament-never-came-be (short version) and at www.vimeo.com/74823694 (full version). He is currently preparing a book on Italianate architecture in Victorian Britain.

Educated at Cambridge and at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Frank Salmon lectured at the University of Manchester from 1989 to 2002 and was Assistant Director for Academic Activities at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London and adjunct Associate Professor of the History of Art at the Mellon Centre's mother institution, Yale University, prior to his return to Cambridge in 2006. He served as Head of Department from 2009 to 2012.  From 2012 to 2018 he was a member of the national Historic England Advisory Committee, advising the Government's statutory body on major cases involving listed buildings and scheduled monuments, and he continues as a member of the Historic England Expert Advisory Group. In 2020 he became a Trustee of Sir John Soane's Museum in London.

 

Key Publications

Publications 1987-2020

Books and Articles/Chapters:

‘Stuart and Kent at Bard Graduate Center’, in Bard Graduate Center at 25: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture (Bard Graduate Center/Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2019), pp. 295-301

‘The design of New Court at St John’s College, Cambridge, The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 160, October 2018, pp. 840-49

‘The peer’s “smooth piers”: William Kent and Thomas Coke at work designing Holkham Hall in 1733-34’, The Georgian Group Journal, Vol. 26, 2018, pp. 41-56

‘The Ideal and the Real in British Hellenomania, 1751-1851’, in K. Harloe, N. Momigliano and A. Farnoux (eds.), Hellenomania (Routledge, London, 2018), pp. 73-99

‘Piranesi and the Accademia di San Luca in Rome’, Studi sul Settecento Romano, Vol. 32, 2016, pp. 141-78 (special volume: Giovanni Battista Piranesi: predecessori, contemporanei e successor – Studi in Onore di John Wilton Ely)

‘The Horns of a Dilemma’, The Eagle, Vol. 98, 2016, pp. 19-23 [on the restoration of heraldic sculptures on the eighteenth-century Kitchen Bridge at St John’s College, Cambridge]

‘The ‘ordinary Italian’ in Nineteenth-Century British Architecture’, in A. Bruschetti and S. Frommel (eds.), Renaissance italienne et architecture au XIXe siècle: Interprétations et restitutions (Campisano Editore, Rome), 2015, pp. 233-42 and Figs. 142-50

‘Thomas Coke and Holkham from 1718 to 1734: The Early History’, The Georgian Group Journal, Vol. 23, 2015, pp. 29-46 [a reworked and extended version of the below, in English]

‘Thomas Coke e Holkham’, essay and 3 catalogue entries in P. Bruschetti et al (eds.), Seduzione Etrusca: Dai segreti di Holkham Hall alle meraviglie del British Museum (Skira, Milan), 2014, pp. 255-75 [in Italian]

‘The Battle of the Styles Continued’, The Victorian Society in Manchester: Summer Newsletter 2014, pp. 1-3

‘James “Athenian” Stuart and the Geometry of Setting Out’, co-authored essay with David Yeomans and Jason Kelly, in Anthony Gerbino (ed.), Geometrical Objects: Architecture and the Mathematical Sciences 1400-1800 (Springer, Cham, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht and London), 2014, pp. 281-312

‘The Conversion of Divinity’, The Eagle, Vol. 95, 2013, pp. 34-44 [on the £7m refurbishment of the Old Divinity School at St John’s College, Cambridge]

‘Howard Colvin’s Unbuilt Oxford and the “Might-Have-Beens” of Architectural History’, essay in Malcolm Airs and William Whyte (eds.), Architectural History After Colvin (Shaun Tyas, Donington) 2013, pp. 25-41 

‘“Our Great Master Kent” and the Design of Holkham Hall: A Reassessment’, Architectural History, Vol. 56, 2013, pp. 63-96

‘Public Commissions’, 30,000-word essay in Susan Weber (ed.), William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain (Yale University Press, for the Bard Center, New York, and Victoria and Albert Museum), 2013, pp. 314-63

‘The Forgotten Athenian: Drawings by Willey Reveley’, in Windows on that World: Essays on British Art Presented to Brian Allen (printed by Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London), 2012, pp. 143-81

‘The Westmorland and Architecture’, essay and 11 catalogue entries in Maria Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui and Scott Wilcox (eds.), The English Prize: The Capture of the Westmorland – An Episode of the Grand Tour (Yale University Press, for the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and the Yale Center for British Art), 2012, pp. 126-36; 194-96, 230-39

‘“Those damned Victorians!” John Summerson’s changing vision of the Victorians’, in Victorians Revalued: What the twentieth century thought of nineteenth-century architecture: The Victorian Society: Studies in Victorian Architecture and Design, Vol. 2 [2010], pp. 74-89 

‘From York to Westminster: The Dilemma of Palladian Public Architecture’, York Georgian Society: Annual Report 2009, 2009, pp. 22-25 

‘The Superior Condition of British Taste’, The Georgian, Issue 2, 2008, pp. 16-20 

The Persistence of the Classical: Essays on Architecture Presented to David Watkin (Philip Wilson Publishers, London 2008), 15 essays commissioned and edited by Frank Salmon, with authored essay ‘C.R. Cockerell and the Discovery of Entasis in the Columns of the Parthenon’, pp. 106-23 

Summerson and Hitchcock: Centenary Essays on Architectural Historiography (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art/Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2006), 19 essays commissioned, edited and with introductory essay by Frank Salmon, pp. xi-xxx 

‘Stuart as Antiquary and Archaeologist in Italy and Greece’, 30,000-word essay in James ‘Athenian’ Stuart (1713-1788): The Rediscovery of Antiquity (Yale University Press, for the Bard Center, New York), 2006, pp. 102-145

‘Charles Heathcote Tatham in Italy, 1794-96: Letters, Drawings and Fragments, and Part of an Autobiography’ (with Susan Pearce), in The Walpole Society, Vol. LXVII, 2005, pp. 1-91 

‘Perspectival Restoration Drawings in Roman Archaeology and Architectural History’, The Antiquaries’ Journal, Vol. 83, 2003, pp. 397-424 

‘R.W. Brunskill and the Study of Vernacular Buildings at the University of Manchester School of Architecture’, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society, Vol. 46 (2002), pp. 11-24 

‘John Arthur Newman: A Bibliography of Books, Papers, Selected Reviews and Miscellanea’, Architectural History, Vol. 44, 2001, pp. 7-12 

Building on Ruins: The Rediscovery of Rome and English Architecture, Ashgate Publishing Limited, Aldershot, 2000, 29 colour plates and 175 black and white figures [Joint Winner of 2001 Whitfield Prize of Royal Historical Society and Winner of 2002 Spiro Kostof Prize of Society of Architectural Historians (USA)] 

‘The Impact of the Archaeology of Rome on British Architects and their Work, c. 1750-1840’, in C. Hornsby (ed.), The Impact of Italy: The Grand Tour and Beyond, The British School at Rome, London, 2000, pp. 219-43, 5 plates

‘The South Front of St George’s Hall, Liverpool’ (with Peter de Figueiredo), Architectural History, Vol. 43, 2000, pp. 195-218, 19 plates 

Gothic and the Gothic Revival: Papers from the 26th Annual Symposium of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, 1997, 10 papers edited and introduced by Frank Salmon, 1998, pp. 1-4

‘Charles Heathcote Tatham and the Accademia di S. Luca, Rome’, The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 140/1139, February 1998, pp. 85-92, 6 plates, and letter ‘Joseph Bonomi’s membership of Italian academies’ in Vol. 140/1149, December 1998, p. 832

Entries on 12 architects in J. Ingamells (ed.) A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1997, pp. 155, 174-175, 273-274, 387-389, 467-468, 600, 693-696, 706-707, 807-808, 813-814, 927-928 

‘British Architects, Italian Fine Arts Academies and the Foundation of the RIBA, 1816-43’, Architectural History, Vol. 39, 1996, pp. 77-113, 9 plates and 1 table

‘“Heretical and Presumptuous”: British Architects visiting Palladio's Villas in the Later Georgian Period’, in The Georgian Villa, ed. D. Arnold, Alan Sutton, Stroud, 1996 (revised for 2nd ed. 1998), pp. 61-74 and 162-166, 6 plates  

‘Eighteenth-Century Alterations to Palladio's Villa Rotonda’, Annali di Architettura (Rivista del Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio), Vol. 7, 1995, pp. 177-181, 6 plates

‘“Storming the Campo Vaccino”: British Architects and the Antique Buildings of Rome after Waterloo’, Architectural History, Vol. 38, 1995, pp. 146-175, 17 plates

‘An Unaccountable Enemy: Joseph Michael Gandy and the Accademia di San Luca in Rome’, The Georgian Group Journal, Vol. 5, 1995, pp. 25-36 and 130-132, 10 plates

‘Charles Cameron and Nero's Domus Aurea: “una piccola esplorazione”’, Architectural History, Vol. 36, 1993, pp. 69-93, 12 plates

‘The Architect and the Carpenter’, Royal Institute of British Architects Journal, Vol. 99/4, April 1992, pp. 26-29, 9 plates

‘Sources for Carpentry: Architects travelling Abroad’, in D.T. Yeomans, The Architect and the Carpenter, RIBA, London 1992, pp. 28-36, 11 plates

‘Alexander Pope and Circe's Sacred Dome’, The Review of English Studies, New Series, Vol. 42/168, November 1991, pp. 523-531, 1 plate

‘Guy Head's “Oedipus” in the Academy at Parma’, The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 133/1061, August 1991, pp. 514-517, 2 plates [a version of this article appeared in Italian translation in the Gazzetta di Parma, 16th September 1991] 

‘British Architects and the Florentine Academy, 1753-1794’, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz, Vol. 34/1-2, 1990, pp. 199-214

‘The Site of Michelangelo's Laurentian Library’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 49/4, December 1990, pp. 407-429, 27 plates, and ensuing correspondence with Professor Howard Saalman in Vol. 50/3, September 1991, pp. 343-344 [article reprinted in William E. Wallace (ed.), Michelangelo: Selected Scholarship in English, 5 vols., Vol. 3 (Garland, New York and London, 1995), pp. 395-417]

Entries on William Morris and his works in I. Ousby (ed.) The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, Cambridge University Press 1988, pp. 291, 687-689, 714, 915-916, 1059-1060

‘“Praedatrix praeda fit ipsa suae”: Mary Magdalen, Federico Borromeo and Henry Constable's “Spirituall Sonnettes”’, Recusant History, Vol. 18/3, May 1987, pp. 227-236

 

Research presentation online:

‘William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain’, Bard Center, New York, and Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2013-14, member of advisory board for the exhibition and creator of associated films for the University of Cambridge and BBC History Extra websites:

https://vimeo.com/74823694 (24 minutes)

http://www.historyextra.com/news/revealed-houses-parliament-never-came-be 

(10 minutes)

  

Position and Review Articles:

Obituary: ‘David Watkin (1941-2018)’, architectural historian, The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 161 (March 2019), pp. 267-68

‘Lost and Found: Piranesi’s neglected prose, between Enlightenment and Modernity – and heralding the Postmodern’, article on Heather Hyde Minor, Piranesi’s Lost Words, in The Times Literary Supplement, 6 May 2016, p. 25

‘Magnificence of the Fallen’, article on J. Pinto, Speaking Ruins: Piranesi, Architects, and Antiquity in Eighteenth-Century Rome, in The Times Literary Supplement, 21 June 2013, p. 21

Architectural History in Time: An Abridgement of the Plenary Address given to the 59th Annual Meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians at Savannah, Georgia, 2006’, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter, 95, Autumn 2008, pp. 1-4 

Annual Lecture Review, ‘An Italian Architect in London: The case of Alessandro Galilei (1691-1737)’ by Elisabeth Kieven, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter, 93, Spring 2008, pp. 15-16  

‘The Society at 50’, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter, 87, Spring 2006, pp. 1-3

‘The Society and the Discipline: Where Next?’, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter, 81, Winter 2003/4, pp. 1-3 

Annual Lecture Review, ‘Piranesi and the Case of the Missing Corso’ by Joseph Connors, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter, 79, Spring 2003, pp. 8-9 

‘The Cult of the Ruin’, 1998 Georgian Group Symposium, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter, 67, Summer 1999, pp. 10-11  

History in Schools of Architecture Annual Conference [1994], Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter, 53, Autumn 1994, pp. 9-10 

 

Book and Exhibition Reviews: 

‘Robert Adam’s London’, Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, 2017, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 76/4, December 2017, pp. 571-72 

‘The Topham Collection, Eton College’ [‘Paper Palaces: The Topham Collection as a Source of British Neo-Classicism’, Eton College, 2013], The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 155/1328, November 2013, pp. 788-89  

‘Soane’s Magician: The Tragic Genius of Joseph Michael Gandy’, Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, 2006, and ‘Joseph Gandy: Visionary Architect’, Richard Feigen & Co., New York, 2006, in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 66/1, March 2007, pp. 126-128 

J. Lever, with a contribution by S. Jeffery, Catalogue of the Drawings of George Dance the Younger (1741-1825) and of George Dance the Elder (1695-1768) from the Collection of Sir John Soane’s Museum, in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 64/4, December 2005, pp. 572-74 

‘“Bob the Roman”: Heroic Antiquity & the Architecture of Robert Adam’, Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, 2003, in Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter, 81, Winter 2003- 4, pp. 14-15 

J. Wilton-Ely, Piranesi, Paestum & Soane (2002), in The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 145, November 2003, pp. 801-2 

C. Hartwell, Manchester (Pevsner Architectural Guides) (2001), in The Journal of Architecture, Vol. 8/1, Spring 2003, pp. 153-56 

B. Frischer and I. Gordon Brown (eds.), Allan Ramsay and the Search for Horace’s Villa (2001), in The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 145/1200, March 2003, p. 227 

‘Italia Antiqua: Envois de Rome des architectes français en Italie et dans le mode méditerranéen aux XIXe et XXe siècles’, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and Villa Medici, Rome, 2002, in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 62/2, June 2003, pp. 259-61 

G. Darley, John Soane: An Accidental Romantic (1999), in Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter, 73, Autumn 2001 

D. Watkin, Sir John Soane: Enlightenment Thought and the Royal Academy Lectures (1996), in Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter, 60, Spring 1997, pp. 11-12. 

C. Parslow, Rediscovering Antiquity: Karl Weber and the Excavation of Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Stabiae (1995), in The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 138/1125, December 1996, p. 835. 

J. Carré, Lord Burlington (1694-1753): le connaisseur, le mécène, l'architecte (1993), in The Review of English Studies, New Series, Vol. 47/187, 1996, pp. 423-24 

D. Britt, trans., The Genius of Architecture; or, the Analogy of that Art with our Sensations.  By Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières (1992), in French History, Vol. 8/1, 1994, pp. 93-96 

F. McCormick, Sir John Vanbrugh: the Playwright as Architect (1991), in The Review of English Studies, New Series, Vol. 45/179, August 1994, pp. 423-24 

 

Introduced Books:

Birmingham Town Hall: An Architectural History, by Anthony Peers, Lund Humphries, 2012, foreword by Frank Salmon, pp.vi-vii 

The Fusion of Neo-Classical Principles, edited by Lynda Mulvin (Wordwell, Dublin, 2012), preface by Frank Salmon, pp. vii-viii 

The Antiquities of Athens, Measured and Delineated by James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, Painters and Architects [1762/3-1794], facsimile edition by Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2008, with scholarly introduction by Frank Salmon pp. v-xvii

 

The Forgotten 'Athenian': Drawings by Willey Reveley - Frank Salmon (pdf download)

C.R. Cockerell and the Discovery of Entasis in the Columns of the Parthenon - Frank Salmon (pdf download)

The Battle of the Styles Continued (pdf download)

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