Woodhall Park Print Room, Hertfordshire

Online lectures

A fashion much in use: the vogue for print rooms in the late eighteenth century

  • Monday 12 April 2021
    (5-6pm --- NB: Booking closes 48 hours before the event.)
  • Lecturer: Kate Retford

Professor Kate Retford will be introducing some new research she is currently working on – namely, late eighteenth-/early nineteenth- century print rooms – the fashion for pasting prints directly onto the walls of a room, often adding printed paper borders and decorative elements such as festoons. Such engraved images ranged from portraits, through scenes from Piranesi’s ‘Vedute di Roma’, to contemporary satires and could number 20-50 and sometimes even 200-300 prints. There are now fewer than a dozen such rooms surviving.


Kate Retford joined Birkbeck in 2003. Her research focuses on eighteenth-century British art, especially portraiture, issues of gender and the country house. Kate’s most recent monograph The Conversation Piece – making modern art in Eighteenth-Century Britain was published in 2017. In 2020, she recorded a podcast Marketing the British Country House as Home and contributed an essay to the Paul Mellon Centre’s online publication Art and the British Country House.

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