is a curator, writer and lecturer, who entered the University of Manchester to read Mechanical Engineering, and emerged with a degree in History of Art.
This radical change in direction has, thirty years later, distilled itself into a cycle of three books which look from a variety of angles at the society of art and science in London in the first half of the nineteenth century
‘James Hamilton is an outstanding biographer. He reveals Turner’s
world for all its wild contradictions and, like Turner, brings to life
what the eye cannot see.’
‘James Hamilton is a wonderfully energetic writer who in London
Lights has found a perfect subject in the story of the men and
women who invented modern London. The book is a revelation’
VOLCANO – Nature and Culture, by James Hamilton has been published by Reaktion Books in their 'Earth' series. The book grew out of the exhibition Volcano – from Turner to Warhol, curated by Hamilton at Compton Verney, Warwickshire in 2010.
“An arresting collage of mythology, philosophy, literature and spectacular works of visual art inspired by nature's most exuberant phenomenon – Hamilton's unique and imaginative miscellany and cultural geography of volcanoes and volcanology is a veritable treasure trove.”
“James Hamilton elegantly conjures up the imagery and impact of volcanic events around the world, through centuries and across continents, mastering this complex topic with an observant eye, an incisive mind and a fluent pen; it’s a book to read and then keep coming back to, again and again.”
“A fascinating read, the text covers all types of volcanoes across the world, and relates them to the paintings, wood engravings and a fresco from Pompeii. The linking of history, mythology and geological fact is flawless, providing fascinating insights into different cultures, the progress of Christianity and also the technique of painting.”
James Hamilton has contributed an essay to the exhibition catalogue Turner and the Elements accompanying the exhibition at the Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg (2 June-11 Sept 2011), the National Museum, Krakow (11 Oct-8 Jan 2012) and Turner Contemporary, Margate (28 Jan-13 May 2012).
As a curator James Hamilton has organised dozens of exhibitions since the 1970s including Wilhelm Lehmbruck (Portsmouth City Museum, 1974), Arthur Rackham (Sheffield, Bristol and the V&A, 1979-80), The Danish Show – Contemporary Paintings (1986-87), Turner’s Britain (Birmingham, 2003), Turner and Italy (Ferrara, Edinburgh and Budapest) and Volcano – from Turner to Warhol (Compton Verney, 2010) Please go to Exhibitions for more details. He has written widely on nineteenth and twentieth century art, and in the Spectator, The Independent and the Financial Times. His writing on painting and printmaking explores in particular artists whose work crosses the boundaries which tend to separate art, literature and science.
He is University Curator and Honorary Reader at the University of Birmingham, and was the Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, 1998/99.
He has lectured across the United Kingdom and in Italy, Hungary, Poland and the USA on Turner, Faraday, and the culture of Victorian Britain, and has contributed to programmes on BBC Radio 3 and 4 on the art of J M W Turner.
Turner's suns: Inspired by science?
|© James Hamilton 2010
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