Fernie, Eric (Campbell) 1939-
FERNIE, Eric (Campbell) 1939-
PERSONAL: Born June 9, 1939, in Edinburgh, Scotland; son of Sidney Robert (an engineer) and Catherine (Reid) Fernie; married Margaret Lorraine French (a sculptor), November 28, 1964; children: Lyndall Kathleen, Jessica Ann, Ivan Robert. Education: University of the Witwatersrand, B.A. (with honors), 1960; University of London, postgraduate diploma in History of Art, 1963.
ADDRESSES: Home—Flat 10, 8 Northburgh St., London EC1V 0AY, England.
CAREER: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, lecturer in art history, 1964-67; University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, 1967-84, began as lecturer, became senior lecturer in art history and dean of school of Fine Art and Music; University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, Watson Gordon Professor of Fine Art, 1984-95, and dean of faculty, 1989-92; University of London, London, England, director of Courtauld Institute of Art, 1995—. Chair, Ancient Monuments Board, Scotland, 1989-95. Trustee of National Galleries of Scotland, 1991-97, Scotland Inheritance Fund, 1992—, and Samuel Courtauld Trust, 1995—.
MEMBER: Association of Art Historians, Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, British Archaeological Association, Royal Archaeological Institute, Society for Medieval Archaeology, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society, Society of Antiquaries of London (vice president, 1992-95).
AWARDS, HONORS: Named Commander of the British Empire, 1995.
The Architecture of the Anglo-Saxons, Batsford (London, England), 1983.
(Editor, with Paul Crossley) Medieval Architecture and Its Intellectual Context: Studies in Honor of Peter Kidson, Hambledon Press (London, England), 1990.
(Author of selection and commentary) Art History and Its Methods: A Critical Anthology, Phaidon Press (London, England), 1995.
(Editor, with others) Norwich Cathedral: Church, City and Diocese, 1096-1996, Hambledon Press (London, England), 1996.
Contributor to art and archaeology journals.
SIDELIGHTS: Art historian Eric Fernie writes on the architecture of Anglo-Saxon and medieval times. His study The Architecture of Norman England ties the design elements of the post-Norman Conquest to the period's "social and political agendas," according to Simon Pepper in the Times Literary Supplement. Indeed, Pepper continued, "Norman architecture was highly political. . . . The Romanesque style that developed in the Duchy of Normandy was closely identified with the French-influenced modernizing policies of the newly established Norse regime." Many buildings took on the dual roles of "residence and fortress," said Pepper, and Fernie "takes the discussion a stage further by asking whether the military elements—thick walls, narrow windows. . .—were primarily for military purposes or primarily for display."
A millennium's worth of history is included in Norwich Cathedral: Church, City and Diocese, 1096-1996. Fernie coedited this work, whose theme is the cathedral's "uneasy relationship with the laity," in the words of Journal of Ecclesiastical History contributor Diarmaid MacCulloch. "With so many lavishly endowed baronial monastic houses throughout the diocese, Norwich enjoyed little major patronage from the secular nobility." Few laypersons chose Norwich as a burial site, the reviewer added; the monument was also the object of a struggle "between city and cathedral over jurisdiction," leading to damage during a 1272 riot. Norwich's fall from secular grace ended in the twentieth century, when the cathedral "really [came] into its own in the affections of the diocese," as MacCulloch commented. The historic structure today runs under the auspices of the Friends of the Cathedral organization, "a happy climax for a story of a magnificent building, here magnificently told."
For a more general readership, Fernie produced Art History and Its Methods: A Critical Anthology. The book takes a chronological approach to its subject, beginning with the Renaissance and wrapping up with Oguibe, an artist born in 1964. Choice critic P. Emison found that "each selection is equipped with a pungent but not propagandistic introduction by Fernie." Library Journal reviewer Joan Levin praised the author for his "insightful comments . . . and helpful glossary [providing] a substantial framework for the erudite writings."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Antiquaries Journal, winter, 1990, review of Medieval Architecture and Its Intellectual Context: Studies in Honor of Peter Kidson, p. 158.
Burlington, August, 1994, review of An Architectural History of Norwich Cathedral, p. 556; September, 1993, review of Medieval Architecture and Its Intellectual Context, p. 643.
Choice, February, 1996, P. Emison, review of Art History and Its Methods: A Critical Anthology, p. 940.
Contemporary Review, March, 2001, review of The Architecture of Norman England, p. 184.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, July, 1997, Diarmaid MacCulloch, review of Norwich Cathedral: Church, City and Diocese, 1096-1996, p. 545.
Library Journal, December, 1995, Joan Levin, review of Art History and Its Methods, p. 98.
Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, January, 1995, Lawrence Hoey, review of An Architectural History of Norwich Cathedral, p. 139; April, 1998, Lisa Reilly, review of Norwich Cathedral, p. 458.
Times Literary Supplement, October 5, 2001, Simon Pepper, review of The Architecture of Norman England, p. 21.*