Selections from Connoisseurs, a project by Karen Knorr that explores the “received ideas of beauty and taste in British high culture”.
About the project:
Travel in the 18th century practiced by the privileged few was ameans to an end which often took the form of a collection of object (souvenirs) which found their way to the great houses and museums of Britain. Rooms in private galleries ( the Dulwich Picture Gallery ) museums ( the Elgin Room in the British Museum) were built specifically to house and commemorate a search for authenticity and beauty. This cultural capital consolidated and celebrated the status of the owner be it the aristocracy, gentry or merchant classes. The existence of individuals endowed with taste is not peculiar to the 18th century. The remnants of these views may still be voiced in the value judhgements of the contemporary critic and collector. Today’s connoisseur is yesterday’s man of taste.