Call for Papers | SEASECS 2021, Ft. Myers

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 4, 2020

The Luminary & Co. Hotel, part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, is a new hotel, scheduled to open summer 2020.

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SEASECS 2021 — Oceans Rise, Empires Fall: Tidal Shifts in the Eighteenth Century
The Luminary & Co. Hotel, Ft. Myers, Florida, 18–20 February 2021

Session Proposals due by 15 June 2020
Individual Papers and Fully-formed Panels due by 15 October 2020

The 47th meeting of The Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (SEASECS) will take place 18–20 February 2021 in Ft. Myers, Florida, a historically rich, culturally vibrant city also known as a winter getaway for its warm temperatures, tropical scenery, and beautiful shorelines. Situated on the gulf coast and the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, Ft. Myers has a distinct history informed by its relationship with land and water, which inspires our theme: “Oceans Rise, Empires Fall: Tidal Shifts in the Eighteenth Century.” At this time, we invite session proposals related to this theme or any aspect of the long eighteenth century. We welcome proposals for traditional panel and roundtable topics as well as innovative session formats.

Please send your session proposal including title, short description of the session format and topic, and your contact information, to Mary Crone-Romanovski at mromanovski@fgcu.edu by 15 June 2020. Submitted panel topics will be included on the general CFP for SEASECS 2021. Fully-formed panels and individual paper proposals will be due by 15 October 2020.

Decorative Arts Trust Awards 13 Research Grants

Posted in fellowships, graduate students by Editor on June 4, 2020

Grant recipient Isabella Rosner will research Quaker makers of shell and wax work boxes. Mary Morrison, wax and shellwork shadow box, 1769, Philadelphia (Chester County Historical Society).  

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Press release (27 May 2020) from the Decorative Arts Trust:

The Decorative Arts Trust is pleased to announce the thirteen recipients of their 2020 Summer Research Grants, representing diverse cultures, materials, time periods, and geographies. Each year the Trust awards research grants to graduate students working on a Master’s thesis or PhD dissertation in a field related to the decorative arts. The Trust encourages projects that advance diversity in the study of American decorative arts. The word ‘summer’ may be a misnomer this year, as the Trust extended the terms of the grants to include travel through spring of 2021 due to potential restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trust also partners with other organizations to offer grants sponsored by the Marie & John Zimmermann Fund, the Decorative Arts Society of Orange County, and the Center for American Art.

The deadline to apply for Decorative Arts Trust Summer Research Grants is April 30 annually. For more information, visit decorativeartstrust.org or email thetrust@decorativeartstrust.org.

Kayle R. Avery
Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, Winterthur, University of Delaware
Avery will examine the digitization of modernist American concepts through the incorporation of Art Deco aesthetics in the BioShock video game franchise. His plans to study collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the New-York Historical Society’s Print Ephemera Collection.

Elizabeth S. Browne
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Browne will travel to examine the archives of the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres in France to study 18th-century French sculptor Clodion (Claude Michel) and the Sèvres’ serialization called the ‘Vases Clodion’.

Christina L. De León
Bard Graduate Center 
De León will study the reinterpretation of the butaca by 20th-century designers Josef Albers and Clara Porset at the Albers Foundation in Bethany, Connecticut. Marie Zimmerman Grant.

Catherine Doucette
The Courtauld Institute of Art
Doucette will continue her study of a 19th-century tilt-top table, veneered with Jamaican woods and bearing images of the British Empire, made in Jamaica by the colony’s leading craftsman, Ralph Turnbull by visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Yale Center for British Art.

Lamar Gayles
University of Illinois Chicago
Gayles will research the fabrication techniques and material mnemonics in the work of 20th-century Black American craftspersons by visiting collections in Alabama, Georgia, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

Robert Gordon-Fogelson
University of Southern California
Gordon-Fogelson plans to research the work of mid-century designers Dave Chapman, George Nelson, and Walter Dorwin Teague as well as the Industrial Designers Society of America at the Research and Design Institute at Syracuse University’s Special Collections Research Center.

Cecilia Gunzburger
University of Virginia
Gunzburger will continue her study of the traditions and ornamental function of 16th-century European lace and related textiles at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Cynthia Kok
Yale University
Kok will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore to research snuffboxes made of mother-of-pearl, shell, and imitative materials and decorative styles.

Kayli Rideout
Boston University
Rideout will visit Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia to study ecclesiastical windows that Tiffany Studios was commissioned to create in memory of the Confederacy in the years between 1889 and 1925.

Isabella Rosner
King’s College London
Rosner will visit several collections in the Philadelphia region to understand more about Quaker women who made shell and wax work boxes.

Cambra Sklarz
University of California, Riverside
Sklarz will travel to Winterthur to examine ways that artists from approximately 1750 to 1860 incorporated waste or discarded goods into their decorative arts and practices. DARTS Grant.

Paige Weaver
University of South Carolina
Weaver will explore The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute and American Wing to evaluate a wide range of clothing, silver, and metalwork from the Reconstruction Era.

Xiaoyi D. Yang
Bard Graduate Center
Yang aims to continue her investigation of the circulation and consumption of Zhangzhou porcelains in Tokugawa-era commercial and cultural centers by visiting ceramic collections in Tokyo and Kyoto.

New Book | Beyond Aesthetics

Posted in books by Editor on June 3, 2020

From Yale UP:

Wole Soyinka, Beyond Aesthetics: Use, Abuse, and Dissonance in African Art Traditions (New Haven: Yale University Press in association with the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, 2020), 160 pages, ISBN: 978-0300247626, $25.

An intimate reflection on culture and tradition, creativity and power, that draws on a lifetime’s commitment to aesthetic encounter.

The playwright, poet, essayist, novelist, and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka is also a longtime art collector. This book of essays offers a glimpse into the motivations of the collector, as well as a highly personal look at the politics of aesthetics and collecting. Detailing moments of first encounter with objects that drew him in and continue to affect him, Soyinka describes a world of mortals, muses, and deities that imbue the artworks with history and meaning.

Beyond Aesthetics is a passionate discussion of the role of identity, tradition, and originality in making, collecting, and exhibiting African art today. Soyinka considers objects that have stirred controversy, and he decries dogmatic efforts—whether colonial or religious—to suppress Africa’s artistic traditions. By turns poetic, provocative, and humorous, Soyinka affirms the power of collecting to reclaim tradition. He urges African artists, filmmakers, collectors, and curators to engage with their aesthetic and cultural histories.

Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright, poet, and political activist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. His many publications include You Must Set Forth at Dawn and Of Africa.

Blackout Tuesday

Posted in Uncategorized by Editor on June 2, 2020

Call for Articles | Art Institute Review

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 28, 2020

The Art Institute of Chicago is launching a new digital journal, Art Institute Review:

Art Institute Review, Fall 2021: Instability
Issue edited by Delinda Collier and Robyn Farrell

Proposals due by 15 July  2020

Instability is the hallmark of our present moment—ways of living, working, and relating have been dramatically altered over the course of mere weeks. What if the current state of flux is but an expression of the mutable nature of reality? Encounters between cultures through colonization, migration, trade, and war have, through the instability they wrought, regularly propelled change. Technology in particular has a fraught relationship with instability, capable of exacerbating and ameliorating it simultaneously. How might we take this moment to understand instability and its effects, past and present, in radically different ways?

In the art world, instability is both catalyst and consequence. It is legible as a force that has shaped—and is actively reshaping—museum collections. It exists in the toppling of received art-historical hierarchies and the rewriting of dominant narratives, through means as diverse as academic scholarship and grassroots movements like Decolonize This Place. Artists of past centuries could not have foreseen that their work would be subject to the forces of instability, evolving over decades as its materials degrade. Conservators negotiate instability daily, paying attention to materials and environments in order to forecast and forestall deterioration. Some contemporary artists, meanwhile, deliberately flirt with instability as a creative force, experimenting with frailty, precariousness, organic materials, and viewer participation as ways of ceding control of their work.

The inaugural issue of the Art Institute Review invites you to interrogate instability in any of the multifarious ways it manifests in art objects, art history, and the art world. We seek proposals that critically engage instability in relation to technology, materiality, and making; narratives and identity; interpretive methodologies; museological concerns; and epistemologies of the field; and the intersection of these dimensions with social justice and equity. How has instability been not only a force to intervene against but also one that has fostered new, beneficial states or ways of being? In what ways is instability shaping new ways of practicing criticality, structuring our temporalities, or reframing our perceptions of conflict or compassion? Proposals may address art of any time or place. We especially welcome proposals focused on historically underrepresented objects or narratives and proposals from emerging scholars.

This issue is coedited by Delinda Collier, Associate Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Robyn Farrell, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute of Chicago.

To respond to the call for papers, please email a Word document to journal@artic.edu. Your proposal should contain the following:

• your name, email, and (if you wish) a link to your website
• which of the following formats your submission falls into: scholarly essay (4,000–6,000 words); conversation or dialogue (2,000–3,000 words); visual, textual, or sound art; other (please explain)
• working title
• a one- or two-sentence précis encapsulating the central idea of your contribution
• an abstract (no more than 250 words; see “What we’re looking for” at artic.edu/journal for more guidance)
• a brief description (no more than 100 words) of the ways, if any, in which your contribution will leverage the capabilities of digital presentation. Does your proposal require any features beyond text and individual static images?

Visit artic.edu/journal for further details on the journal and the submission process.

Call for Articles and Notes | Metropolitan Museum Journal

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 26, 2020

Metropolitan Museum Journal 56 (2021)
Submissions due by 15 September 2020

The Editorial Board of the Metropolitan Museum Journal invites submissions of original research on works of art in the Museum’s collection. The Journal publishes Articles and Research Notes. All texts must take works of art in the collection as the point of departure. Articles contribute extensive and thoroughly argued scholarship, whereas research notes are often smaller in scope, focusing on a specific aspect of new research or presenting a significant finding from technical analysis. The maximum length for articles is 8,000 words (including endnotes) and 10–12 images, and for research notes 4,000 words with 4–6 images.

The process of peer review is double-blind. Manuscripts are reviewed by the Journal Editorial Board, composed of members of the curatorial, conserva­tion, and scientific departments, as well as external scholars. Articles and Research Notes in the Journal appear both in print and online, and are accessible via MetPublications and the Journal‘s home page at the University of Chicago Press. The deadline for submissions for volume 56 (2021) is 15 September 2020.

Inspiration from The Met.

Submission guidelines are available here.

Please send materials to journalsubmissions@metmuseum.org.

New Book | The Classical Body in Romantic Britain

Posted in books by Editor on May 25, 2020

Distributed by Yale UP:

Cora Gilroy-Ware, The Classical Body in Romantic Britain (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art , 2020), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1913107062, $50.

For many, the term ‘neoclassicism’ has come to imply discipline, order, restraint, and a certain myopia. Leaving the term behind, this book radically challenges enduring assumptions about the art produced from the late 18th century to the early Victorian period, casting new light on appropriations of the classical body by British artists. It is the first to foreground the intersections of gender, race, and class in discussions of British visual classicism, laying bare artists’ alternately politicizing and emphatically sensual engagements with Greco-Roman art. Rather than rely exclusively on subsequent scholarship, the book takes up the poet John Keats (1795–1821) as a theoretical framework. Eschewing the ‘Golden Age’ narrative, which sees J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) as the pinnacle of the period’s artistic achievement, the book examines overlooked artists, such as Henry Howard (1769–1847) and John Graham Lough (1798–1876). The result is a fresh account of underappreciated works of British painting and sculpture.

Cora Gilroy-Ware is a scholar, artist, and curator currently working with Isaac Julien CBE RA.

Open Digital Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2020

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on May 20, 2020

ODSECS presents live seminars with Q&A opportunities (advance registration required for participation). Recordings remain available after the fact. I would particularly note Freya Gowrley’s talk in July on “Anna Seward and the Poetics of Exchange,” with registration details here. CH

Open Digital Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies
Launched April 2020, ongoing

The Open Digital Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies brings together researchers in eighteenth-century literature and culture from across the globe for conversation, debate, and sociability. It aims to make the best new research available to the widest possible audience, and to facilitate a diverse and inclusive research culture.

ODSECS seminars take place live and are also recorded to ensure maximum accessibility. In each seminar, a twenty-minute paper delivered by an expert speaker is followed by a 20- to 30-minute question and answer session. All participants are welcome to contribute to the Q&A using a microphone or the typed chat function.

ODSECS is convened by Dr Rebecca Bullard, Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Reading, UK. Please send enquiries about ODSECS to r.bullard@reading.ac.uk.

Seminar 1: Sophie Coulombeau (University of York), Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers
April 2020

In April 2020, a group of researchers came together to experiment with the format for ODSECS. Dr Sophie Coulombeau gave a wonderful paper about the research project, ‘Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers’. On this occasion, only the talk was recorded, not the question and answer session that followed it.

Seminar 2: Eugenia Zuroski (McMaster University), Haywood’s Fascinum
Monday, 18 May 2020, 4.00pm (UK time)

Eliza Haywood’s The Adventures of Eovaai is a curiously elaborate joke: an intricate oriental romance as vehicle for a relatively straightforward satire of Robert Walpole and his political ascendance. As Ros Ballaster has observed, the tale contains “anarchic and perverse comic energies” that tend to overwhelm, even counteract, the story’s political orientations. In this paper, I consider how, in its more anarchic and perverse moments, Eovaai theorizes “unseriousness” as an epistemological and political approach to the world—an unexpected utopian promise in the prospect of being “carried away” by literature’s most fascinating and least plausible objects. Tracing Haywood’s engagement with the Roman fascinum, I show the unexpected conceptual heights a well-deployed penis joke might take us.

Seminar 3: Nicholas Seager (Keele University), ‘The Celebrated Daniel De Foe’: The Reception and Publication History of Defoe’s Non-Fiction
Wednesday 17 June 2020, 4.00pm (UK time)

This paper examines unexplored aspects of Daniel Defoe’s (1660–1731) posthumous publication history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It challenges prevalent understandings of his reception, as critics have assumed that “Defoe seems to have been little read or remembered in the years after his death,” and that until the twentieth century he was remembered as a “slapdash journalistic hack.” As well as trying to qualify or dispel such views, the paper argues that Defoe’s extensive publication history in numerous non-fiction genres—history, travel-book, conduct writing, journalism, polemical pamphlets, religious treatises, and more—reveals some ways in which generic change occurred across the period. Defoe’s non-fiction was subjected to acts of re-publication that amount to adaptation and appropriation, processes more commonly applied to Defoe’s fiction. Finally, the paper shows how the re-publication of Defoe’s non-fiction repeatedly engaged with British political, social, and economic history, from the Forty-Five to the French Revolution and beyond.

Seminar 4: Freya Gowrley (University of Derby), Anna Seward and the Poetics of Exchange: Portraiture, Poetry, and Gift Culture
Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 4.00pm (UK time)

This paper unpacks the complex networks of emotional, artistic, and poetic exchange that surrounded a highly emotional portrait-object: a printed version of George Romney’s painting Serena given to Lady Eleanor Butler (1739–1829) and Sarah Ponsonby (1755–1831)—the so-called ‘Ladies of Llangollen’—by the poet Anna Seward (1742–1809). Seward identified the image as a ‘perfect similitude’ of her deceased step-sister Honora Sneyd, so much so that the print played an active role in Seward’s commemoration of their lost friendship. Like Butler and Ponsonby’s own infamous ‘romantic friendship’, Seward and Sneyd enjoyed an intensely close and deeply affectionate relationship that flouted social norms, with both Sneyd’s marriage to Richard Edgeworth in 1751, and her eventual death in 1780, devastating the poet.

Discussing both Seward’s copy of the print, as well as Butler and Ponsonby’s facsimile, this paper places the image within two contexts: firstly, in relation to Seward’s volume of poetry, Llangollen Vale with Other Poems (1796), a sentimentalising series of verses dedicated to Seward’s intimate relationships with Butler, Ponsonby, and Sneyd; and secondly, within an intricate display of gifted portraits at Plas Newydd, Butler and Ponsonby’s home at Llangollen in Wales. Using methodologies from the history of the emotions, material culture and literary studies, and art history it will demonstrate the image’s deep embedment within Seward’s emotional and creative consciousness: on the one hand, allowing Seward to actively ruminate and comment upon her close connections with Sneyd, Butler, and Ponsonby; and on the other, functioning within a dynamic web of literary, material, and loving gestures enacted between Seward and her friends. In so doing, the paper will highlight the vibrant intermedial lives of this eighteenth-century print, and the urgency of an interdisciplinary approach to the art of this period.

Digital Project | Adam Grand Tour, Letters and Other Writings

Posted in resources by Editor on May 19, 2020

From the project website:

Robert & James Adams’ Grand Tour Letters and Writings, 1754–63
Organized by Adriano Aymonino and Colin Thom with Giles Bergel and Harriet Richardson

Charles-Louis Clerisseau (attributed), Capriccio, ca.1756–57 (London: Sir John Soane’s Museum, SM Adam volume 56/139, photograph by Hugh Kelly).

The digital project—Robert & James Adams’ Grand Tour Letters and Writings 1754–63—aims to present an online critical edition of all the known Adam brothers’ Grand Tour letters and writings as a freely available, open-access, fully searchable database. This will enable readers to view the letters in their original form alongside new and accurate transcriptions, with contextual scholarly annotations.

The website will be updated periodically as the project progresses through its various phases. The completed online edition of the letters will be hosted from 2022 by Sir John Soane’s Museum, custodians of most of the surviving Grand Tour and architectural drawings from the Adam brothers’ office, and will be licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA licence.

The project is supported by a Digital Project Grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and is a collaboration between UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture and the University of Buckingham’s Department of History and History of Art. It also has the support of Sir John Soane’s Museum, the National Records of Scotland, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Institute of British Architects and London Metropolitan Archives/City of London. The editors and directors of the project are Dr Adriano Aymonino of the University of Buckingham and Colin Thom of the Survey of London at UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture. The project’s technical manager is Dr Giles Bergel (UCL and Oxford). The project’s transcriber is Harriet Richardson.  Please send any comments or new information to us by email to: editors@adamgrandtour.online.

Call for Papers | Palaces in Eighteenth-Century Madrid

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 19, 2020

An earlier version of this announcement (from ArtHist.net) appeared yesterday; here’s a more complete version from the Call for Papers, which includes the Spanish. Also, please note the qualification of the date:

Palaces for Rent: Real Estate in Madrid in the Eighteenth Century / Palacios en alquiler: Patrimonio inmobiliario en el Madrid del siglo XVIII
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid, 12 November 2020*

Proposals due by 30 June 2020

This conference is the second in a series devoted to palaces in eighteenth-century European cities. The first conference, which focused on Rome, was hosted by the Art History Department at the UNED (Madrid) last year. In this second edition we seek to explore the case of Madrid during the eighteenth century. On the one hand, the majority of the nobility continued to live in rented palaces at the Court even though they owned properties within the city that they, in turn, rented out to other families. On the other, there was a discrepancy between the magnificence of the Spanish nobility and the quality and decoration of Madrid’s palaces. It was common for nobles to live in rundown old buildings, in most cases only slightly refurbished, which differed from other homes only in size. Over the course of the eighteenth century, and after the Alcázar was destroyed by fire, there was a noticeable change in the location of the city’s palaces. Firstly, the focus of the Court shifted towards the Buen Retiro, fostering the construction of new palaces on the eastern side of the Prado that conformed with both the canons of academic taste and the beautification and modernization of the capital promoted during the reigns of Ferdinand VI and, especially, Charles III. Secondly, during this period, domestic interiors underwent an important renewal as fashionable residences were adapted to new uses and social practices. This phenomenon, which reached its luxurious peak during the reign of Charles IV, provoked intense commercial activity as it spread to other social groups, such as the emerging bourgeoisie, the new administrative elite of the State, and the foreign diplomats who resided in the capital.

The purpose of this second conference is to gather specialists with different areas of expertise in order to delve into the uses and practices of housing in Madrid during the eighteenth century, taking into account the social and urban transformations of the city and the changes in the uses of domestic space in palaces, either coming whether by long-term residents (the nobility, the middle class, or public servants) or short-term ones (diplomats, travelers, businessmen, agents, etc.).

Potential topics for discussion could include but are not limited to:
• Palaces in Bourbon Madrid, architectural and artistic aspects.
• Internal organization of palaces, spaces and etiquette, from theory to practice.
• The palace as the place of courtly sociability and courtly society.
• Supply and demand in the housing market, sales or rentals.
• Decoration and interior design of the residences of the nobility.
• Structure of noble households in Madrid, servants, duties, etc.
• Ambassadors, legates, cardinals and other representatives and their Madrid residences.
• Topographies of noble and diplomatic power.

We invite scholars at all stages of their careers to propose 20-minute presentations, preferably focused on case studies. The official language for the conference is Spanish, but we accept English, Portuguese, Italian, and French. For the sake of clarity all communications with foreign colleagues, as well as their proposals, should be in English.

Candidates are invited to submit their proposals by 30 June 2020 to: palacesforrent@gmail.com. They should include an abstract (up to 500 words) and a brief CV with recent publications (max. 1 page). Unfortunately, it will not be possible to cover travel and accommodation costs for participants. Applicants will be notified of the final selection by 15 July 2020.

* The date could be subject to change in the following months due to COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent health regulations. In case there would be travel restrictions the organization of the congress would provide adequate solutions to allow e-participation for non local speakers.

Scientific Direction
Dra. Miriam Cera Brea, UNED
Dra. Pilar Diez del Corral Corredoira, UNED
Dr. Álvaro Molina Martín, UNED

Scientific Committee
Dra. Natalia González Heras, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Dra. Giada Lepri, La Sapienza, Roma
Dr. Carlos Sambricio, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Dra. Mercedes Simal, Universidad de Jaén
Dr. José Antonio Vigara Zafra, UNED