Hamilton, James 1948–
Hamilton, James 1948–
PERSONAL: Born 1948, in Cambridge, England.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Felicity Bryan Agency, 2A North Parade, Banbury Rd., Oxford OX2 6LX, England. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Curator and writer. Curator for University of Manchester, Manchester, England, 1966–72, Portsmouth Museums, 1972–74, Wakefield Art Gallery, 1974–78, Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, England, 1978–84, and Yorkshire Contemporary Arts Group, Leeds, England, 1984–89. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, university curator and honorary reader at Barber Institute of Fine Arts; Tate Gallery, London, England, Turner fellow, 1996–98; St. Anthony's College, Oxford, Alistair Horne fellow, 1998–99. Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA, and Birmingham Art Gallery, Birmingham, guest curator, 2001–03.
William Heath Robinson, Pavilion (London, England), 1992.
The Sculpture of Austin Wright, Henry Moore Foundation/Lund Humphries (London, England), 1994.
Wood Engraving and the Woodcut in Britain, c. 1890–1990, Barrie & Jenkins (London, England), 1994.
Turner: A Life, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1997, published as Turner, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.
Turner and the Scientists, Tate Gallery (London, England), 1998.
(Editor) Fields of Influence: Conjunctions of Artists and Scientists, 1815–1860, University of Birmingham Press (Birmingham, England), 2001.
A Life of Discovery: Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution, Random House (New York, NY), 2002, published as Faraday: The Life, HarperCollins (London, England), 2002.
Hughie O'Donoghue: Painting, Memory, Myth, Merrell (New York, NY), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS: London Lights, a book on the "common ground between art and science in nineteenth-century England," for John Murray, expected 2007.
SIDELIGHTS: James Hamilton is the author of several books and exhibition catalogues on artists and art history, in particular biographies of the painter J. M. W. Turner and English scientist Michael Faraday. A Life of Discovery: Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution is, according to a Science News contributor, "unusual" in that it delves into the achievements of Faraday not only in terms of their scientific impact but also the collective impact that thes achievements had "as a cultural force in Britain." Hamilton describes Faraday's struggle to rise above his early poverty and menial apprenticeship to a bookbinder. He ultimately established himself as a brilliant scientist who uncovered the laws of electromagnetism and made numerous other contributions to science, even though he had little formal education. Faraday, who had a profound Christian faith, became a popular lecturer with a wide range of influence and friendships that included artists, writers, and religious leaders.
Writing in Booklist, Bryce Christensen called A Life of Discovery a "complete portrait, restoring full humanity to a scientific icon." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that while the biography does not provide a "deep understanding of Faraday's scientific discoveries" it does evoke "an appreciation of what broader intellectual life was like during this critical period." Sara Rutter, writing in the Library Journal, commented that by "employing fictional techniques to compelling effect, Hamilton has crafted an intriguing portrait."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 1, 2004, Bryce Christensen, review of A Life of Discovery: Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution, p. 631.
Kirkus Reviews, May, 2003, review of Turner: A Life.
Library Journal, January 1, 2005, Sara Rutter, review of A Life of Discovery, p. 142.
New York Review of Books, December 18, 2003, Richard Dorment, review of Turner.
New York Times, March 13, 2005, Timothy Ferris, review of A Life of Discovery,
Publishers Weekly, May, 2003, review of Turner; November 29, 2004, review of A Life of Discovery, p. 33.
Science News, January 15, 2005, review of A Life of Discovery, p. 47.
Seattle Times, June 8, 2003, Matthew Kangas, review of Turner.
University of Birmingham Web site, http://www.homepage.bham.ac.uk/ (May 5, 2005), "James Hamilton."