New Book | The Queen’s Embroiderer

Posted in books by Editor on April 22, 2018

From Bloomsbury:

Joan DeJean, The Queen’s Embroiderer: A True Story of Paris, Lovers, Swindlers, and the First Stock Market Crisis (London: Bloomsbury, 2018), 400 pages, ISBN: 978-1632864741, £30.

From the author of How Paris Became Paris, a sweeping history of high finance, the origins of high fashion, and a pair of star-crossed lovers in 18th-century France.

Paris, 1719. The stock market is surging and the world’s first millionaires are buying everything in sight. Against this backdrop, two families, the Magoulets and the Chevrots, rose to prominence only to plummet in the first stock market crash. One family built its name on the burgeoning financial industry, the other as master embroiderers for Queen Marie-Thérèse and her husband, King Louis XIV. Both patriarchs were ruthless money-mongers, determined to strike it rich by arranging marriages for their children.

But in a Shakespearean twist, two of their children fell in love. To remain together, Louise Magoulet and Louis Chevrot fought their fathers’ rage and abuse. A real-life heroine, Louise took on Magoulet, Chevrot, the police, an army regiment, and the French Indies Company to stay with the man she loved.

Following these families from 1600 until the Revolution of 1789, Joan DeJean recreates the larger-than-life personalities of Versailles, where displaying wealth was a power game; the sordid cells of the Bastille; the Louisiana territory, where Frenchwomen were forcibly sent to marry colonists; and the legendary ‘Wall Street of Paris’, Rue Quincampoix, a world of high finance uncannily similar to what we know now. The Queen’s Embroiderer is both a story of star-crossed love in the most beautiful city in the world and a cautionary tale of greed and the dangerous lure of windfall profits. And every bit of it is true.

Joan DeJean is Trustee Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of ten books on French literature, history, and material culture, including most recently The Age of Comfort: When Paris Discovered Casual and the Modern Home Began and The Essence of Style: How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafés, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour. She lives in Philadelphia and, when in Paris, on the street where the number 4 bus began service on July 5, 1662.

Symposium | Collecting Murillo in Britain and Ireland

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on April 21, 2018

From The Wallace Collection:

Collecting Murillo in Britain and Ireland
The Wallace Collection, London, 14 May 2018

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Annunciation, ca.1665–70 (London: The Wallace Collection, P68).

“Oh wonderful Spain. Think of this romantic land covered in Moorish ruins and full of Murillos.” Benjamin Disraeli’s 1830 letter attests to the prominent of Murillo in the minds British travellers and collectors. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s birth, the Wallace Collection, in collaboration with the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispanica, will be exploring this further by hosting an international one-day symposium on Monday, 14th May 2018 entitled Collecting Murillo in Britain and Ireland. Speakers include Thierry Morel, Veronique Gerard Powell, Xanthe Brooke, Hugh Brigstocke, Isabelle Kent, Xavier Bray, Claudia Hopkins, Thomas Bean, Hilary Macarney and Philip McEvansoneya. The papers delivered will form the basis of a new volume on the subject which will be published by CEEH.

Registration is available here»


9.30  Registration

9.50  Welcome

10.00  Session 1 | Early Displays of Works by Murillo in Britain
• Thierry Morel (Director and Curator at Large, Hermitage Museum Foundation), Sir Robert Walpole’s Spanish Pictures
• Véronique Gerard Powell (Honorary Senior Lecturer, Sorbonne University), From Lord Godolphin to John Blackwood and Lawrence Dundas: The First British Purchasers of Murillo

11.00  Tea and coffee

11.30  Session 2 | British Collectors in Seville and Madrid
• Xanthe Brooke (Curator of Continental European Art, Walker Art Gallery), Collecting Murillo in Seville: The Case of Julian Benjamin Williams (d.1866) and Frank Hall Standish (1799–1840)
• Hugh Brigstocke (Independent scholar), William Eden: The Discovery of Murillo with his Friends in Spain, Travel and Collecting
• Isabelle Kent (Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Assistant, The Wallace Collection), The Curious Case of General Meade (1775–1849): His Collection in Madrid and Its Dissemination

13.00  Break for lunch

14.00  In-Situ Talk in the Great Gallery
• Xavier Bray (Director, The Wallace Collection) and Isabelle Kent, William Buchanan and James Irvine

14.30  Session 3 | Artists and Scholars, Travellers to Spain
• Claudia Hopkins (Lecturer, University of Edinburgh), ‘All Softness’: Murillo through British Artists’ Eyes
• Thomas Bean (Independent scholar), Hand-Book for Travellers in Spain and Richard Ford
• Hilary Macartney (Lecturer, University of Glasgow), Accessing Murillo: Stirling Maxwell’s Contribution to Scholarship, Collecting, and Taste in Britain

16.00  Session 4 | Other Major Collectors
• Philip McEvansoneya (Lecturer, Trinity College Dublin), Collecting and Displaying Murillo in Ireland


Conference | Structuring Fashion: Foundation Garments

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on April 20, 2018

From H-ArtHist and the Bavarian National Museum:

Structuring Fashion: Foundation Garments through History
Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, 13–14 September 2018

Organised by Johannes Pietsch and Jenny Tiramani

Registration due by 30 June 2018

This conference will focus on undergarments that have shaped fashionable silhouettes. It will cover a broad timespan from the Middle Ages up to the 21st century. Conducted in English, the event will be held in Munich to celebrate a special exhibition and the launch of an exciting new book. The Bayerisches Nationalmuseum preserves the world-famous pair of silk bodies worn by Countess Palatine Dorothea Sabina around 1598. This extremely rare garment will be presented to the public exclusively from September to December 2018, coinciding perfectly with the publication of this pair of bodies in the new volume of the Janet Arnold series Patterns of Fashion 5: The Cut and Construction of Bodies, Stays, Hoops and Rumps, c.1595–1795, presenting over 40 garments in great detail. Internationally renowned experts including Valerie Steele (FIT New York), Alexandra Palmer (ROM Toronto), Peter McNeil (UTS Sydney), Amalia Descalzo (ISEM Madrid), and Denis Bruna (MAD Paris) will be among the speakers of the conference.

Seats are limited to 160 (and only 50 for the excursion), so anyone planning to participate should register soon. Registration ends on 30 June 2018.

T H U R S D A Y ,  1 3  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 8

9:30  Morning Session
• Jenny Tiramani, Patterns of Fashion and Un-Fashion
• Beatrix Nutz, ‘Petites mameletes, … Dures comme pumete’: Shaping the Medieval Ideal of Beauty
• Amalia Descalzo Lorenzo, Spanish Artificial Undergarments in the Habsburg Period
• Johannes Pietsch, Establishing Identity: Stays and Bodices in Germany, 1600–1800

13.15 Lunch break

14:15  Afternoon Session
• Denis Bruna, Early 18th-Century Panniers in Contemporary Sources
• Sébastien Passot, From Garsault to the Encyclopedia: The Mechanical Construction of Hoops and Stays in 18th-Century French Literature
• Peter McNeil, ‘Conspicuous Waist’: From Macaroni Men to the ‘Despots of Fashion’, 1760–1830
• Thessy Schoenholzer Nichols, Bodice for an Active Life: It Does Not Have to Be ‘Hard to Hold’—Case Histories of Female Upper Dresses, from the Late Middle Ages to the 18th Century, in Italy

17:15  Guided tours

20:00  Evening event

F R I D A Y ,  1 4  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 8

9:00  Morning Session
• Adelheid Rasche, Crinolonomania and More: Caricatures on Hoop Petticoats
• Pernilla Rasmussen, Robe the Cour at the Swedish Court
• Luca Costigliolo, The Evolution of the Drafting Method of Patterns for Bodies, Stays, and Corsets

11:15  Lunch break and guided tours

15:15  Afternoon Session
• Kerstin Hopfensitz, From Heubach to the World: A Centre of German Corset Production
• Alexandra Palmer, The Origin of the Species: Christian Dior’s New Look Woman
• Valerie Steele, The Corset in Modern Fashion

On Saturday, 15 September, an additional excursion to the Miedermuseum will be offered; this small museum dedicated to corsetry is situated in Heubach, a former centre of the European corset industry.


Nationalmuseum Sweden Acquires Mirror from the 1690s

Posted in museums by Editor on April 18, 2018

Attributed to Burchard Precht, mirror, 1690s (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum, NMK 114/2017; photo by Bukowskis).

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Press release (17 April 2018) from the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm:

A mirror just acquired by Nationalmuseum is among the most magnificent examples of Swedish Baroque ever produced. The ornately carved and gilded frame contains engraved, inset plate glass. The mirror’s unusually well-documented origins go back to the initial commission.

Count Wrede (1641–1712) was a top official who had earned the unwavering trust of King Karl XI. Following a career as Viborg County Governor, he contributed to preparations for the compulsory restitution of alienated estates in 1680. He was the Lord Marshall for the 1682 session of the Parliament. He subsequently held a number of prominent official positions. Promoting mercantilism in the private sector was among Wrede’s obsessions. It wasn’t long before he was elevated to countship and became one of the wealthiest Swedes alive. His political fortunes declined, however, after he advocated a more defensive military policy than Karl XII was pursuing. In 1711, he was pushed out of nearly all his positions.

Attributed to Burchard Precht, mirror, 1690s (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum, NMK 114/2017; photo by Bukowskis).

The frame of the large, 195-centimetre mirror features a lace border, acanthus, cornucopia, grape clusters and flowers. The inset plate glass is adorned with engraved, scattered flowers. The top of the mirror brandishes a meticulously engraved coat of arms for the Wrede lineage. Though not signed, the mirror is most certainly the handiwork of Burchard Precht (1651–1738). As the leading sculptor of his day, he received many royal and ecclesiastical projects, often in collaboration with court architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger. Born in Bremen and educated in Hamburg, he emigrated to Stockholm in the 1670s. His workshop produced furniture, frames and crests for the court and nobility. The evidence strongly suggests that he was able to polish and silver glass. No wonder he is regarded as one of the first Swedish mirror craftsmen. The high quality of plate glass is due to the requirement back then that mirrors be imported.

Engraving the glass with an artistic touch was a daunting challenge. The technique had been resurrected in Europe during the early seventeenth century and had become a coveted skill. A handful of engravers passed through Sweden from the 1650s to 1680s. After Kristoffer Elstermann arrived in the 1690s, engraving assumed its rightful place in the Swedish glassmaking tradition. The first time Elstermann shows up in the accounts is 1691, when he received an order from Queen Dowager Hedvig Eleonora for the new royal chapel at the Tre Kronor castle. He had his own workshop and later obtained projects from the Kungsholm Glassworks as well. He was skilful at engraving various motifs that went well with the surface and shape of the particular object. He exerted a major influence on Swedish engraving until his death in 1721. The glassworks have never produced such high-quality engravings as during that period.

The panels in the frame of the Wrede mirror have the same types of scattered flowers as the glasswork used, but their placement is less standardized than later on. The noble coat of arms at the top typifies the dexterity of Elstermann’s works. More than likely, he engraved it himself. Precht’s mirrors also became more streamlined and formulaic as time went on. Cast pewter strips replaced sculptured wood, and the engraved adornment of the frame was painted white. No portents of such austerity are visible in this mirror, which is why it can be dated with so much exactitude to the 1690s.

Wrede’s impact on the appearance of the mirror cannot be overestimated. It’s hard to miss signs of his close association with the court and contemporary vogues, including new ornamentation techniques and Precht’s carved, gilded furniture. He had the financial resources to purchase such an exquisite object, and the cornucopia is a nod to his mercantilist inclinations. The same mindset no doubt convinced him that the mirror should be produced in Sweden to the extent possible.

The records clearly show that his daughter Sophia inherited the mirror when she married Erik Axelsson Sparre in 1707. It has been passed down from generation to generation ever since.

Acquisition of the mirror by Nationalmuseum was made possible by an Axel Hirsch endowment. The museum has no funds with which to purchase handicrafts and works of art but is wholly reliant on donations and private foundations.

Exhibition | The Chocolate Girl by Liotard

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 17, 2018

On view this fall at the Zwinger in Dresden:

‘The Most Beautiful Pastel Ever Seen’: The Chocolate Girl by Jean-Étienne Liotard
Zwinger, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 28 September 2018 — 6 January 2019

Jean-Étienne Liotard, The Chocolate Girl, ca. 1744–45 (Dresden: SKD, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister).

The exhibition focuses on one of the most famous works in the collection of the Dresden Gemäldegalerie, The Chocolate Girl by the Swiss artist Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702–1789). Liotard enjoyed enormous success as a pastel painter; even Rosalba Carriera, whose mastery of the medium had helped transform it into a serious and highly-admired art form, declared The Chocolate Girl to be “the most beautiful pastel ever seen.”

It was thanks to the art dealer Count Francesco Algarotti, who purchased the picture in Venice in 1745, buying it directly from the artist for the Dresden collection of Augustus III, that the gallery first began to show works by contemporary artists. The pastel medium suited the Rococo taste for lifelike, brilliant portraits and allowed Liotard to create flawless, porcelain-smooth surfaces. The great popularity of the picture, however, also rests on the fact that it depicts a simple, unidentified housemaid, a hitherto rare motif. The clear-eyed precision of Liotard’s observation anticipated not only the art of the Enlightenment but also nineteenth-century Realism.

Equally worthy of mention are the countless adaptations and appropriations of the motif for other, often trivial purposes. Of no less interest is the eccentric painter himself. A true cosmopolitan, he travelled far and wide, sported a luxuriant beard, exotic clothing and a turban and called himself ‘Le peintre turc’. The exhibition’s epilogue showcases Hann Trier’s take on Liotard’s masterpiece. Painted in 1991, Trier’s three-part sequence La Tasse au chocolat, reinterpreted The Chocolate Girl for the twentieth century.

Exhibition | The Grand Cure, 1738–1740

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 17, 2018

From the exhibition flyer:

The Grand Cure, 1738–1740: A Disabled Saxon Prince and His Tour of Italy
Die Grande Kur, 1738–1740: Prinz Friedrich Christian Von Sachsen auf der Suche Nach Heilung und Kultur in Italien

Grünes Gewölbe / Green Vault, Residenzschloss, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 9 May — 19 August 2018

Curated by Maureen Cassidy-Geiger

Rosalba Carriera, Crown Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony, 1740, pastel on paper, 63.5 × 51.5 cm (Dresden, SKD, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister; photo by Hans Peter Klut/Elke Estel).

This is the first exhibition to be devoted to Elector Friedrich Christian of Saxony (1722—1763), who succeeded King August III in 1763 for just 74 days. Given his brief reign, few are aware of the prince’s profound physical disabilities, akin to cerebral palsy, which prevented him from standing or walking without assistance and made simple tasks like eating and dressing difficult. The marriage of his sister Maria Amalia to the King of Naples in May 1738 inspired their parents to send the fifteen-year-old heir to the throne on an impromptu journey to Italy, for life-saving medical treatments. This exceptional two-year adventure was amply documented, allowing us to precisely reconstruct the prince’s route and daily experiences as he travelled from Dresden to Naples, Rome, Florence, Milan, and Venice. Like the able-bodied Grand Tourists he met along the way, he also travelled incognito with an entourage, enjoyed celebrity status, and collected art, relics, books, and ephemera for shipment home. Some of the Italian gifts and souvenirs have been identified in museums, archives and libraries and are presented in the intimate setting of the Sponselraum.

August the Strong and August III both made Grand Tours as teenagers, with the court of Louis XIV and carnival in Venice as their primary targets. Friedrich Christian, by contrast, went to Italy as a medical tourist. Although he would never be cured, the mineral baths and holistic treatments administered abroad did soothe and strengthen the prince’s atrophied limbs, allowing him to regain the use of his left hand, bear his own bodyweight and walk short distances with two canes. Of necessity, however, he was mostly carried around Italy in a porte-chaise (sedan chair), even ascending the Leaning Tower of Pisa in this manner. Since there was no precedent for portraying a disabled heir to the throne, the Crown Prince was chronicled and painted conventionally, as able-bodied, and even thought of himself as such. A glimpse of his handicap is shown in the view of his arrival at Venice in 1739, but it was not until 1761, while in exile in Munich during the Seven Years’ War, that he was portrayed in a wheelchair. With his premature death from smallpox at the age of 41, however, the Elector’s great promise went unfulfilled.

Conference | Collage, Montage, Assemblage, 1700–Present

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on April 17, 2018

From the conference website:

Collage, Montage, Assemblage: Collected and Composite Forms, 1700–Present
University of Edinburgh, 17–19 April 2018

Organized by Cole Collins and Freya Gowrley

T U E S D A Y ,  1 7  A P R I L  2 0 1 8

14.00  Registration and Coffee

14.15  Exhibiting Collage

15.00  Collage in the Museum and Archive
ALLAN MADDEN (The University of Edinburgh), Piecing Together the Narrative: Une semaine de bonté in the library, the archive and the gallery
BRIDGET MOYNIHAN (The University of Edinburgh), Scrappy Contexts: Archival and Digital Interventions on the Edwin Morgan Scrapbooks

15.45  Collage and Subjecthood
TOM DAY (The University of Edinburgh), Jeff Keen, Pop Film Collagist
COLE COLLINS (The University of Edinburgh), Collage as Feminist Strategy and Methodology

17.00  Wine Reception

W E D N E S D A Y ,  1 8  A P R I L  2 0 1 8

9.00  Registration and Coffee

9.35  Keynote
LUCY PELTZ (National Portrait Gallery, London), Facing the Text: An Introduction to Extra- Illustration in Britain from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century

10.40  Panel 1 | Publications
KAREN DI FRANCO (University of Reading and Tate Britain), The alchemical, the instruction, and the cut up: The performance of collage in the writing of Ithell Colquhoun, Carolee Scheemann, and Kathy Acker
HANNAH VINTER (Kings College London), Historical engagement as textual collage in Ursula Krechel’s Landgericht
ALISON HORGAN (University of Sheffield), ‘Gaudy colours’ and ‘disfigur’d shapes’: The patchwork and Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765)
TOBIAS VOGT (Freie Universität, Berlin), Collage avant la lettre: Printed materials in drawings before 1900

10.40  Panel 2 | Bodies
LISA LEE (Emory University), Primal Gestures: Thomas Hirschhorn’s Ur-Collages
GRÁINNE RICE (The University of Edinburgh), ‘I can’t see the joins’: Collage and cut-up bodies in the work of Steven Campbell (1953–2007)
KATHERINE ISELIN (University of Missouri- Columbia), Erotic Aesthetics in Collage Inspired by Giulio Romano’s I Modi
KATIE ANANIA (Harvard University and Hunter College New York), Wheat Paste and Poor Taste: Carolee Schneemann’s Paper Performances, 1966–68

12.25  Lunch

13.25  Panel 3 | Materialities
CATRIONA MACLEOD (University of Pennsylvania), Writing with Scissors: Romantic Collage Poetics
LUCIE WHITMORE (University of Glasgow), Chic rag-and-tatter modes’: Remnant Fashions 1914–18
STEPHANIE KOSCAK (Wake Forest University), A Royal Tête-a-Tête: Decorating (and Decorating with) Engraved Pictures of Kings and Queens in Eighteenth-Century England
EKATERINA KOCHETKOVA (Lomonosov Moscow State University), Assemblage as Method of Garden-Making: The Case of Ian Hamilton Finlay

13.25  Panel 4 | Intimacies, Collaborations, and Emotions
BETHAN BIDE (Middlesex University), Stitching yourself back together: Finding memory, emotion, and creativity in the composite garments made under the ‘Make Do and Mend’ scheme in WW2 Britain
ROGER ROTHMAN (Bucknell University), Topographie Anecdotée du Hasard: A Multi-Authored Literary Collage
MAYA WASSELL SMITH (Cardiff University and National Maritime Museum), Cigarette Cards and the Sentimental: Sailor Collage in the Long Nineteenth Century
MADELEINE PELLING (University of York), ‘Your Affectionate Queen’: Queen Charlotte, Mary Delany, and the Art of Friendship

15.05  Coffee

15.35  Panel 5 | Legacies and Influences
FREYA GOWRLEY (Institute of Advanced Studies, Edinburgh), Reflective and Reflexive Forms: Intimacy and Medium Specificity in British and American Sentimental Albums, 1780–1850
IRENA KOSSOWSKA (Copernicus University in Torun and Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw), Modernist Synethesia and a Dialog with the Old Masters: Polish Photo-Collage and Photomontage of the 1930s
TALIA KWARTLER (The Museum of Modern Art, New York), Suzanne Duchamp’s Dada Collages, 1916–21
REBECA ACOSTA (Humboldt Universität, Berlin), ‘Composite Johnson’: Renderings of Samuel Johnson by John Hawkins and Vladimir Nabokov

15.35  Panel 6 | Technologies and Digitality
LUCY WHITEHEAD (Cardiff University), ‘Inlaid’ and ‘Intercalated’: Victorian Biography as Collage Form
BROOKE LEETON (University of Georgia), Meaning and/in Digital Collage
CRAIG BUCKLEY (Yale University), An Architecture of Clippings: Reyner Banham and the Redefinition of Collage
CAITLIN WOOLSEY (Yale University), Imaging Orality in the Sound and Visual Collages of Henri Chopin

17.30  Performance
A recital collage using texts from Kurt Schwitters and Paul Auster

18.30  Wine Reception

T H U R S D A Y ,  1 9  A P R I L  2 0 1 8

9.00  Registration and Coffee

9.15  Panel 7 | Identities
RACHEL MIDDLEMAN (California State University, Chico), Collage as a Feminist Strategy in the Work of Anita Steckel
SUSAN LAXTON (University of California, Riverside), Psicofotógrafa: Grete Stern and the Administration of the Unconscious
KATE SCHNEIDER (University of Cambridge), A Short History of Postwar Reconstruction via Humphrey Jennings’s Swiss Roll Collages
BEATRIZ MANTEIGAS (University of Lisbon), Collage on the Life and Work of R.B. Kitaj

9.15  Panel 8 | Intermedialities
PATRICIA ZAKRESKI (University of Exeter), A Patchwork Novel: Tessellation and Women’s Writing in the 1870s
FLORIAN KAPLICK (Musician and Speech Performance Artist), Composing collages with texts and collaging compositions with music
CHRISTINA MICHELON (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities), Printcraft: Reclaiming and Renaming Early Collage Practices
DAVID NELSON (University of Pennsylvania), City of Paper: The Materiality of Montage in Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz

10.55  Coffee

11.25  Panel 9 | Ethnographies and Geographies
ORLA FITZPATRICK (National Museum of Ireland), From the medieval to the modern: Decoration, collage, and photography in the album work of Lady Louisa Tenison (1819–1882)
MOLLY DUGGINS (National Art School, Sydney), Crafting the Colonial Environment through Album Assemblage
JOANNA PAWLIK (University of Sussex), Collaging Surrealism in Ted Joans’ The Hipsters (1961)
DEBRA HANSON (Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar), Interventions: Collage, Black Bodies, and a New History of Modernism

13.10  Lunch

14.15  Panel 10 | Display and Dissemination
COLE COLLINS (The University of Edinburgh), Loss of Texture: Displaying the Collages of Kurt Schwitters
ROCÍO ROBLES TARDÍO (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Mies van der Rohe: Working with Collage, Thinking about Replicas, 1939–43
KAYLEE ALEXANDER (Duke University), Cut, Copy, Paste: A Truthful Picture of the Paris Catacombs

14.15  Panel 11 | Historiographies
JESSICA BARNESS and STEVEN MCCARTHY (Kent State University and University of Minnesota, Twin Cities), Coding and Decoding: Collage as Communication Design Scholarship
ZOE KINSLEY (Liverpool Hope University), Coherence and Customisation in the Scrapbooks of Dorothy Richardson (1748–1819)
MATTHEW BOWMAN (University of Suffolk), Collage as Model
SAMUEL BIBBY (Art History), ‘How to present your ideas effectively and make them stick’: Historiography as Collage

16.00  Keynote
ADRIAN SUDHALTER (Art Historian and Curator, New York), The Museum of Modern Art’s 1948 Collage Exhibition

17.00  Closing Remarks

Reading and Conference | Walpole’s ‘The Mysterious Mother’

Posted in anniversaries, conferences (to attend), museums by Editor on April 16, 2018

Presented by the Lewis Walpole Library and the YCBA:

Horace Walpole’s The Mysterious Mother: A Staged Reading
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2 May 2018

As part of the year-long celebrations of the tercentenary of Horace Walpole’s birth, the Lewis Walpole Library and the Yale Center for British Art are collaborating to present a staged reading of The Mysterious Mother—abridged by David Worrall (Emeritus Professor of English at Nottingham Trent University) and directed by Misty G. Anderson (ReLindsay Young Professor of English, University of Tennessee). Completed just a few years after Walpole’s celebrated gothic novel The Castle of Otranto (1764), this under-appreciated tale of incest and intrigue was initially circulated only among the author’s friends. Walpole never permitted it to be performed during his lifetime except as a private theatrical. Following the reading there will be a talk-back session moderated by Catherine Sheehy (Professor of the Practice of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, Yale University). This event is free and open to the public. Wednesday, 2 May 2018, 5:30pm, Yale Center for British Art.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Horace Walpole’s The Mysterious Mother: A Mini-Conference
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 3 May 2018

Organized by Jill Campbell and Cynthia Roman

Diana Beauclerk (1724–1808), The Mysterious Mother, Act 3d, Scene 3, 1776 (The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University).

10:00  Reading The Mysterious Mother
Chair: Jill Campbell, Professor of English, Yale University
• Nicole Garret, Lecturer, Department of English, SUNY Stony Brook
• Cheryl Nixon, Associate Provost, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Massachusetts, Boston
•Matthew Reeve, Associate Professor Art History, Queen’s University
• Dale Townshend, Professor of Gothic Literature, Manchester Metropolitan University
• Nicole Wright, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder

12:00  Lunch

1:15  Breakout session with Cynthia Roman, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Paintings, The Lewis Walpole Library, to view Diana Beauclerk’s drawings of The Mysterious Mother. Attendance is limited, and advance registration is required.

2:00  Staging The Mysterious Mother
Chair: Misty Anderson, Lindsay Young Professor of English, University of Tennessee
• Al Coppola, Associate Professor of English, John Jay College, CUNY
• Marcie Frank, Professor of English, Concordia University
• Judith Hawley, Professor of English, Royal Holloway, University of London
• Jean Marsden, Professor of English, University of Connecticut
• David Worrall, Professor Emeritus, Nottingham Trent University


New Book | Poetry and the Idea of Progress, 1760–1790

Posted in books by Editor on April 15, 2018

From Anthem Press:

John Regan, Poetry and the Idea of Progress, 1760–1790 (London: Anthem Press, 2018), 222 pages, ISBN 9781783087723, £70 / $115.

Poetry and the Idea of Progress, 1760–1790 explores under-examined relationships between poetry and historiography in the eighteenth century, deepening our understanding of the relationship between poetry and ideas of progress with sustained attention to aesthetic, historical, antiquarian, and prosodic texts from the period. Its central contention is that the historians and theorists of the time did not merely instrumentalize verse in the construction of narratives of human progress, but that the aesthetics of verse had a kind of agency—it determined the character of—historical knowledge of the period. With numerous examples from poems and writing on poetics, Poetry and the Idea of Progress, 1760–1790 shows how the poetic line became a site at which one could make assertions about human development even as one experienced the expressive effects of metred language.

John Regan is a research fellow in English literature at the University of Cambridge. His research interests centre on the cultural dialogue between poetics and historical writing in the long eighteenth century.


List of Figures

1  Progress by Prescription
2  Thomas Sheridan and the Divine Harmony of Progress
3  ‘There Is a Natural Propensity in the Human Mind to Apply Number and Measure to Every Thing We Hear’: Monboddo, Steele and Prosody as Rhythm
4  ‘[C]ut into, distorted, twisted’: Thomas Percy, Editing and the Idea of Progress
5  ‘Manners’ and ‘Marked Prosody’: Hugh Blair and Henry Home, Lord Kames
Afterword: Rude Manners, ‘Stately’ Measures: Byron and the Idea of Progress in the New Century


Exhibition | Chippendale’s Director

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 14, 2018

Press release (9 February 2018) from The Met:

Chippendale’s Director: The Designs and Legacy of a Furniture Maker
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 14 May 2018 — 9 January 2019

Curated by Femke Speelberg and Alyce Englund

Attributed to Benjamin Randolph and possibly carved by Hercules Courtenay, side chair (detail), ca. 1769, made in Philadelphia, mahogany, northern white cedar, modern upholstery (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1974.325).

Thomas Chippendale (1718–1779) has been a household name in the furniture world since the mid-18th century. He is remembered today for the furniture produced by his successful London workshop as well as his influential book of furniture designs, The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director. To celebrate the 300th anniversary of Chippendale’s birth, the exhibition Chippendale’s Director: The Designs and Legacy of a Furniture Maker will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 14 and look closely at how the unprecedented publication cemented Chippendale’s name as England’s most famous cabinetmaker and also endured to inspire furniture design up to the present day. Built around works in The Met collection, the exhibition will combine the original preparatory drawings from the Chippendale workshop with a selection of British and American furniture inspired by Chippendale’s designs and aesthetic. The legacy of Chippendale will be presented through representations in portrait painting and revival pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Chippendale-inspired chair, designed in 1984 by the architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, will be one of the highlights.

Born and trained in the north of England, Thomas Chippendale had moved to London to start his own workshop by 1748. One of many cabinetmakers in the thriving metropolis, he devised an innovative business plan to market his furniture by creating a book of design, issued in 1754 as The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director. The book had a dual function: to show prospective clients what he could design and make, and to inform the tastes of both ‘gentlemen’ and his colleagues. With 160 designs for seating, beds, tables, cabinets, shelves, and other furnishings in a wide variety of styles, from Rococo and Chinoiserie to Gothic-Revival, the Director was the most extensive publication of its kind. Copies of the book quickly appeared beyond the British market in the American Colonies, where those in the aspiring mercantile class sought to fill their homes with furnishings in the latest fashion.

The exhibition will be arranged thematically in two adjoining rooms (galleries 751 and 752, on the second floor of The American Wing). The exhibition will open with the first edition of Chippendale’s Director paired with three chairs signifying the geographic and continuing reach of his work—one made in Chippendale’s London workshop; one made around 1769 for General Cadwalader’s posh townhouse by Philadelphia craftsmen; and one designed by Venturi and Brown as a modern reflection on the Chippendale chair. The gallery will also feature printed works illustrating the context in which Chippendale conceived his book, including popular publications by furniture designers on the European continent, such as Daniel Marot and François Cuvillies, and the few English publications that preceded Chippendale’s work. Alongside the Director, publications of the works of Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher Wren will denote how England embraced print culture as a way to celebrate its own artistic achievements, and how artists and craftsmen used the medium as a promotional tool. The works in this gallery will stand against the backdrop of the permanently installed Rococo-style architectural woodwork and wallpaper from the Great Hall of the Van Rensselaer House, allowing the visitor a direct window into the early impact of European print culture in America.

For the unique occasion of this exhibition, the second gallery will feature a selection of original drawings dismounted temporarily from The Met’s two Chippendale albums for the first time since their acquisition. Approximately 20 of a total of 200 drawings will be on view, and images of the complete collection of The Met’s Chippendale drawings will be digitally projected in the gallery. The drawings provide an intimate behind-the-scenes view of the creation of the Director and highlight aspects of the drawing techniques, variety in forms and decorations, and the practical information Chippendale incorporated into his furniture designs. The drawings will be accompanied by groupings of furniture and paintings that focus on the different styles in which Chippendale worked, new forms of furniture that emerged during his lifetime, and the ways in which Chippendale’s designs were absorbed by furniture makers in various regions and at different moments in time.

The exhibition is organized by Femke Speelberg, Associate Curator, Drawings and Prints, and Alyce Englund, Assistant Curator, The American Wing.

The exhibition will be featured on The Met website and on Facebook and Twitter and the special Chippendale300 website. Blog posts for the “Now at The Met” section of the website will be written by the exhibition’s curators. An issue of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin on Chippendale’s Director, by Morrison H. Heckscher, Curator Emeritus of The American Wing, will be published in concert with the exhibition. The Met’s quarterly Bulletin program is supported in part by the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, established by the cofounder of Reader’s Digest. This Bulletin made possible by the William Cullen Bryant Fellows of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.