By Grace Toma, in Calvin Chimes, November 1, 2021
Running since 2009, his website presents information about the period’s art, architecture, fashion and more. Primarily an aggregating site, Hanson condenses and organizes news, opportunities and information in a convenient way that earns his 10,000 monthly hits.
The name “Enfilade” stems from the French use of the word. It refers to the 17th-century palatial design concept that eliminated hallways by directly aligning the doors of rooms, often in a hierarchical procession. Hanson said he found this concept to be useful for organizing information and so chose to apply the architectural design in his blog. His posts are ordered chronologically in a continual thread of information, imitating the enfilade concept of “stringing together.”
Hanson originally started the blog as a substitute for the newsletter printouts of the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture, of which he’s a member. However, he realized he was servicing a greater community when he discovered that the 100 HECAA members only made up twenty percent of the blog’s total readership.
“Enfilade” stood out as a novel approach to an academic field. Hanson was reaching a targeted audience of 18th-century art history experts such as academics and the staff of museums and auction houses predominantly in the West. Graduate students looking to break into the field and familiarize themselves with the community also found it a great research tool.
Craig Hanson is professor of art history and associate director of the honors and collegiate scholars program at Calvin University.