London – across from the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square I am not usually interested in this kind of photo, but I couldn’t resist this one.
Yesterday The Revs Program was at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – one of the greatest car shows in the world [Link] Some of our students attended the show as judges to award The Revs Prize for the most historically significant car in the show – a 1963 Porsche 901 prototype belonging to Don and Diane […]
At Disneyland there is no present, only the past, the future, and fantasy … Is this the future of the combustion engine?
In my talk a couple of weeks ago at the HVA (Historic vehicle Association of America) summit on automotive heritage I warned of some of the political tensions in the field of heritage [Link] Just whose heritage is to be cherished? Are governments going to regulate and how? We considered how the treatment of historic […]
Last May I delivered the Reinwardt Memorial Lecture at Amsterdam School of the Arts – [Link] This week it was published as an illustrated booklet – Let me tell you about Hadrian’s Wall: Heritage, Performance, Design The 2012 Reinwardt Lecture. Amsterdam School of Arts, 2013 Background: phases in the growth of the heritage industry this […]
This week I was in Washington DC for a meeting organized by the HVA (Historic Vehicle Association of America) [Link] with the Department of the Interior, National Parks Service. The purpose – to plan a new registry of historic vehicles. Why? To help promote awareness of automotive heritage in the United States. Go to the […]
I am back from an extraordinary symposium at Miles Collier’s Revs Institute in Florida, exploring the world of collectable cars at this end of an era. The engine note, the feedback through steering wheel from rubber tyre grip, the scent of warm motor oil, the conversation by the gas station on the road trip, will be history […]
A decade after our book Theatre/Archaeology (Routledge – [Link]), Mike Pearson and I have started a new series of collaborative works. Here is a prospectus: Pearson|Shanks – theatre|archaeology – return and prospect Twenty years ago Mike Pearson, performance artist, and Michael Shanks, archaeologist, opened a dialogue and collaboration through the theatre company Brith Gof, of […]
A couple of months ago Road&Track were about to throw out their old office collection of back issues, photographs, notes, books, promotional literature sent them by car companies, and all manner of paperwork reaching back to the late 1940s when the magazine, one of the most famous and respected in the automotive world, was founded. […]
The Revs Program at Stanford is developing a dynamic archive of automotive history using the cutting edge skills and technology of Stanford Libraries. It will offer online access to an exceptional library of resources plus powerful facilities for anyone in the automotive past to collect, annotate, upload and share their interests and knowledge – a […]
On Wednesday evenings this quarter I have been hosting a series of conversations with colleagues at Stanford and beyond about the world of cars – past, present and future. Sponsorship has come from our Revs Program and Stanford Continuing Studies [Link] With a very sharp and expert audience we covered a tremendous amount of ground, […]
The Revs Program series of conversations about the past, present, and future of the automobile [Link] and [Link] ended yesterday with a session at VAIL, the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory. David Russell brought his 2CV, Neil Pering his 1966 Lancia and Dick Tuttle his Peel Trident (the futuristic bubble car made on the Isle of […]
I am hearing a lot about Alan Bennett’s new play “People”, currently running at the National Theatre in London [Link] The setting is where he grew up – south Yorkshire UK, in a run down country house facing an uncertain future. What are it’s upper crust owners going to do to make ends meet? Sell […]
Fred Simeone’s new book about the conservation and preservation of cars is out today, launched at Bonhams’s “Preserving the Automobile” auction at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, Philadelphia, – [Link]. Fred is prompting a reevaluation of car collecting with his support for sensitive preservation rather than restoration. There have been two preservation classes of cars […]
More confirmation of the spread of that contemporary and popular sensibility attuned to the resonances of pasts-in-the-present. English Heritage, the government agency, has put up nearly half a million dollars for a weekend of 4500 heritage open houses. This is the biggest heritage event in the UK this year. Peter Saunders in his re-creation of […]
I was immersed last week in the world of automotive heritage – learning more about those who care, sometimes obsessively, about the automobile as an artifact. Yesterday was the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – [Link] [Link] [Link] More photographs of the week’s events at archaeographer.com – [Link]
London – the opening of the 30th Olympiad A bucolic pastoral green and pleasant land succumbing to dark satanic mills, in William Blake’s vision, homage also to Tolkein’s pitting of Hobbiton against Isengard’s tower; Shakespeare’s Tempest declaimed by Brunel on the slopes of a druidic oak-toppped Glastonbury Tor; dreams of Peter Pan and Mary Poppins; […]
Palo Alto Concours d’Elegance – . Taking a tour with Jon Summers. What are the values and principles that govern the collection of cars? Just what are the values applied to these extraordinary artifacts? Age, elegance, finish, rarity, historical significance, market value … These are questions of automotive connoisseurship.
Visited the Louwman collection of automobilia today with Riemer Knoop – [Link] One of the oldest and most spectacular in the world. Housed in a remarkable new building (architect – Michael Graves) in Den Haag, Netherlands.
The way things used to be? Talking heritage with Rob van der Laase [Link] – the way the past is cleaned up, filtered, extraneous matter removed – that we might more appreciate a clear narrative – that this did indeed happen here. Here – a remarkable untouched remnant of a meeting place, famously associated with […]
I am in Amsterdam delivering the Reinwardt Memorial Lecture at the Reinwardt Academy for Cultural Heritage in the Amsterdam School of the Arts [Link] [Link] This annual event commemorates the birthday of Caspar Georg Carl Reinwardt (3 June 1773 – 6 March 1854), after whom the Reinwardt Academy is named. The Academy is the foremost […]
My argument [Link] that heritage is a matter of creativity and design – work done with, typically, remains of the past (tangible and intangible) – involves an argument that heritage should not be conceived as cultural property. I made this point, though rather weakly, in my entry on cultural property for The Oxford Companion to […]
To continue the argument from my previous posts – [Link] [Link] – that heritage, the (legacy) of the past in the present, is best conceived as a process of working on the past in the present – as a process of design. I have just returned from a trip to Göteborg, that most wonderfully open […]