Talk by Antonia Laurence Allen: Dundee, Jute and the Sharp Family
Wednesday, 1st November 2023 - 17.00
Crail Community Hall
The Sharps were a prominent family who made their fortune as jute merchants in Dundee. The family's firm, John Sharp & Sons, enjoyed considerable success in the 1800s under the management of John Sharp and later his son, also John Sharp. The firm continued to blossom and, soon, John Sharp Jnr. enrolled his four sons into the company as business partners. Two of them, John and Frederick, married into the White family line, marrying Eleanor and Beatrice White respectively. The Sharps lived in various properties in Fern Hill, West Ferry, the Balmuir estate and Hill of Tarvit.
Antonia Laurence Allen's talk focuses on the Sharp's time at Hill of Tarvit and will introduce you to the estate, which is a story that brings together the industry of Dundee, the Fife hunt, and a fine collection of Dutch paintings. - A thoroughly modern estate and how sport, leisure and art defined Hill of Tarvit.
Antonia is Regional Curator for Edinburgh and East, responsible for leading and advising on research, interpretation planning and engagement strategy for the collections and interiors of fourteen NTS properties, including Hill of Tarvit in Fife. Antonia has 30 years of experience in history and heritage, including running an education department for an art gallery in Canada, starting a community arts business in Kirkcaldy, and curating exhibitions with the NTS’ painting and photography collections. With a PhD in the history of photography from the University of St Andrews, she is a specialist in Scottish photographic history and the visual culture of 18th and 19th century Britain. Antonia is on the Board of Trustees for Edinburgh’s Stills Gallery, Scotland’s Centre for Photography, and a distinguished Alumni for the Herron School of Art at Indiana University. She represents the National Trust for Scotland on a number of research networks and her most recent publication examines the culture of display on Edinburgh’s Lawn market in the late 17th century.