Janet Snowman


Research Programmes - Bicentenary Research Fellow

Bicentenary Research Fellow

Janet was from 2001 curator of art and iconography at the Academy prior to being appointed, in September 2016, the Academy’s Bicentenary Research Fellow. Recent projects have also included that of researcher and co-curator of the Academy’s Museum exhibitions ‘Charles Dickens and Music’ and ‘War Music’ (Notes from the First World War).
Publications include articles in The Dickensian, notably ‘John Orlando Parry and Charles Dickens: some connections’ (2014), and an illustrated privately-published book, again about that popular Victorian baritone, entertainer and artist, titled John Orlando Parry and the Theatre of London (2010). ‘The left and right hands of the eighteenth-century British musical prodigies, William Crotch and Samuel Wesley’ was published in Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 2010, as was, in the same issue, with Professor Chris McManus (UCL), ‘A left handed compliment: A newly-discovered, early 19th-century lithograph by J. Lewis Marks’.  A research report on the first Australian made-for-television musical, ‘Pardon Miss Westcott’, appeared in the University of Bristol Music Department’s CHOMBEC News, 2009/10; ‘That Wondrous Child: William Crotch, the musical phaenomenon’ was published in the exhibition catalogue Hogarth’s Children, Foundling Museum, 2007; ‘King and Country: the coronation medals of George III’ (newly-discovered drawings for their design) was published in The Medal, 2005, and ‘A portrait of Henry Purcell’ appeared in Purcell Studies, edited by Professor Sir Curtis Price, CUP, 1995. Conference participation in recent years include a poster presentation on The Early Victorian Wall and the Street at the Association of Art Historians Annual Conference 2012; and, with baritone Thomas Barnard and pianist Chris Gould, a paper titled John Orlando Parry and the Theatre of London presented at the Seventh Biennial Conference on Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain held at the University of Bristol, 2009.
Recent talks include an event for the Friends of Highgate Cemetery relating to British infant prodigies, including the famous early nineteenth-century child actor William Henry West Betty (1791-1874) who was buried in the East Cemetery. In February 2016 Janet and Olivia Sham presented an exploration of William Sterndale Bennett (1816–1875) at the Academy, together with WSB’s great-great-grandson, Barry Sterndale-Bennett. In 2017 with pianist Daniel-Ben Pienaar and harpsichordist Nathaniel Mander, she presented a session on British musical prodigies c. 1750-1830 illustrated with an exploration of an extracts from the children's own compositions. In 2018 she gave a talk on Dickens and Music in Canterbury. In October another will follow at the Academy, again with Daniel-Ben Pienaar, on music, musicians and artists in London c.1836-55.
As well as researching aspects of the history of the Academy, she continues working on a book of children’s portraiture and British musical and theatrical prodigies c.1750-1840 (paintings, drawings, medallic art and popular prints), and the artists who depicted them, for publication in 2019.

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