New Book | William Hunter

Posted in books by Editor on October 18, 2017

From Routledge:

Helen McCormack, William Hunter and His Eighteenth-Century Cultural Worlds: The Anatomist and the Fine Arts (New York: Routledge, 2017), 208 pages, ISBN: 978 14724 24426, $150.

The eminent physician and anatomist Dr William Hunter (1718–1783) made an important and significant contribution to the history of collecting and the promotion of the fine arts in Britain in the eighteenth century. Born at the family home in East Calderwood, he matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1731 and was greatly influenced by some of the most important philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment, including Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746). Hunter quickly abandoned his studies in theology for Medicine and, in 1740, left Scotland for London where he steadily acquired a reputation as an energetic and astute practitioner; he combined his working life as an anatomist successfully with a wide range of interests in natural history, including mineralogy, conchology, botany, and ornithology; and in antiquities, books, medals, and artefacts; in the fine arts, he worked with artists and dealers and came to own a number of beautiful oil paintings and volumes of extremely fine prints. He built an impressive school of anatomy and a museum which housed these substantial and important collections. William Hunter’s life and work is the subject of this book, a cultural-anthropological account of his influence and legacy as an anatomist, physician, collector, teacher, and demonstrator. Combining Hunter’s lectures to students of anatomy with his teaching at the St Martin’s Lane Academy, his patronage of artists, such as Robert Edge Pine, George Stubbs, and Johan Zoffany, and his associations with artists at the Royal Academy of Arts, the book positions Hunter at the very centre of artistic, scientific, and cultural life in London during the period, presenting a sustained and critical account of the relationship between anatomy and artists over the course of the long eighteenth century.

Helen McCormack is a Lecturer in Art, Design, History and Theory at Glasgow School of Art. She studied Art History at Birkbeck College, University of London, and the History of Design and Material Culture at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Royal College of Art, London. She was the David Carritt Scholar in the History of Art at the University of Glasgow where she completed her PhD on the subject of William Hunter as a collector of the fine arts.


List of Figures

Introduction: Art, Science, Curiosity and Commerce
1  Forming the Museum: Context and Chronology
2  The Great Windmill Street Anatomy School and Museum
3  Patronage and Patriots: Hunter and a National School of Artists
4  Collecting Ambitions (1770–83) The Grand Tour Paintings
5  Pursuing the Imitation of Nature in and beyond the Royal Academy of Arts



New Book | Empire of Ruin: Black Classicism

Posted in books by Editor on October 17, 2017

From Oxford UP:

John Levi Barnard, Empire of Ruin: Black Classicism and American Imperial Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 248 pages, ISBN: 978 019066 3599, $75.

From the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and the 9/11 Memorial Museum, classical forms and ideas have been central to an American nationalist aesthetic. Beginning with an understanding of this centrality of the classical tradition to the construction of American national identity and the projection of American power, Empire of Ruin describes a mode of black classicism that has been integral to the larger critique of American politics, aesthetics, and historiography that African American cultural production has more generally advanced. While the classical tradition has provided a repository of ideas and images that have allowed white American elites to conceive of the nation as an ideal Republic and the vanguard of the idea of civilization, African American writers, artists, and activists have characterized this dominant mode of classical appropriation as emblematic of a national commitment to an economy of enslavement and a geopolitical project of empire. If the dominant forms of American classicism and monumental culture have asserted the ascendancy of what Thomas Jefferson called an “empire for liberty,” for African American writers and artists it has suggested that the nation is nothing exceptional, but rather another iteration of what the radical abolitionist Henry Highland Garnet identified as an “empire of slavery,” inexorably devolving into an “empire of ruin.”

John Levi Barnard is an Assistant Professor of English at The College of Wooster.

1  Phillis Wheatley and the Affairs of State
2  In Plain Sight: Slavery and the Architecture of Democracy
3  Ancient History, American Time: Charles Chesnutt and the Sites of Memory
4  Crumbling into Dust: Conjure and the Ruins of Empire
5  National Monuments and the Residue of History




Call for Papers | The Cultural Heritage of Europe @ 2018

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 17, 2017

From H-ArtHist:

The Cultural Heritage of Europe @ 2018: Re-Assessing a Concept, Re-Defining Its Challenges
Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA), Paris, 4–5 June 2018

Proposals due by 10 November 2017

Today’s globalized concept of cultural heritage is often understood as a product of European modernity with its 19th-century emergence of territorially fixed nation-states and collective identity constructions. Within the theoretical overlap of the disciplines of history (of art), archaeology and architecture cultural properties and built monuments were identified and embedded into gradually institutionalized protection systems. In the colonial context up to the mid-20th century this specific conception of cultural heritage was transferred to non-European contexts, internationalized in the following decades after the WWII and taken as universal.

Postcolonial, postmodern, and ethnically pluralistic viewpoints did rightly question the supposed prerogative of a European Leitkultur. Only rather recently did critical heritage studies engage with the conflicting implications of progressively globalized standards of cultural heritage being applied in very local, non-European and so-called ‘traditional’ contexts. However, in order to bridge what academia often tends to essentialize as a ‘Western’ and ‘non-Western’ divide of opposing heritage conceptions, a more balanced viewpoint is also needed in order to update the conceptual foundations of what ‘cultural heritage of/in Europe’ means today.

The European Cultural Heritage Year 2018 — A Campaign with Unquestioned Assumptions?

Right at the peak of an identity crisis of Europe with financial fiascos of whole nation states, military confrontations, and refortified state borders at its continental peripheries with inflows of refugees from the Near East and the Global South did the European Council and Parliament representatives reach a provisional agreement to establish a European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018. With affirmative slogans such as “We Europeans” and “Our common European heritage”, the campaign intends to “raise awareness of European history and values, and strengthen a sense of European identity” (Press release of the European Council, 9 February 2017). However, with its unquestioned core assumption of the validity of Europe’s territorial status with simply interconnected borderlines of its affiliated member states and of a given collective ‘we’-identity within the European Union, this cultural-political campaign risks to miss the unique chance of a critical re-assessment of how a ‘European’ dimension of cultural heritage can be conceptualized in today’s globalized and inter-connected reality.

The ‘Cultural Heritage of Europe’ @ 2018 — Towards a Global and Transcultural Approach

The global and transcultural turn in the disciplines of art and architectural history and cultural heritage studies helps to question the supposed fixity of territorial, aesthetic, and artistic entity called Europe, more precisely the taxonomies, values and explanatory modes that have been built into the ‘European’ concept of cultural heritage and that have taken as universal.

By taking into consideration the recent processes of the accelerated exchange and global circulation of people, goods and ideas, the conference aims to reconstitute the old-fashioned units of analysis of what ‘European cultural heritage’ could be by locating the European and the non-European in a reciprocal relationship in order to evolve a non-hierarchical and broader conceptual framework. With a focus on cultural properties (artefacts), built cultural heritage (from single architectures, ensembles and sites to whole city- and cultural landscapes etc.), and their forms of heritagization (from archives, museums, collections to cultural reserves), case-studies for the conference can address the various forms of the ‘cultural’ within heritage: its ‘social’ level (actors, stakeholders, institutions etc.), its ‘mental’ level (concepts, terms, theories, norms, categories), and, most obviously, its ‘physical’ level with a view on manipulative strategies (such as transfer and translation, reuse and mimicry, replication and substitution etc.).

Grouped along four panels in two days, cases-studies should question the concept of cultural heritage with its supposedly ‘European’ connotations and dimensions within artefacts and monuments by destabilizing at least one of its four constitutive core dimensions:
1) Place and Space – from stable sites to multi-sited, transborder contact zones and ambivalent third spaces
2) Substance and Materiality – from the monumental, homogeneous and unique of the artefact and listed monument to the transient, multiple, visual, digital, commemorated etc.
3) Time and Temporality – from objects of permanence and stability to the temporal, ephemeral, fugitive, processual
4) Identity – from the collective and cohesive to the ambivalent, contested, plural, and/or partial and fragmentary

The Host and the Network, Dates, and Deadlines

This international two-day conference in French and English will take place on 4 and 5 June 2018 at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA) and is embedded into the Laboratory of Excellence (LabEx) ‘Writing a New History of Europe—Ècrire une Histoire Nouvelle de l’Europe’ at Sorbonne University. One of its seven thematic axes—entitled ‘National Traditions, Circulation and Identities in European Art’—acts as the principle host of the event: with a special focus on geography, historiography and cultural heritage, it looks at art history in the Labex perspective of finding both elements of explanations and answers to the crisis Europe is currently going through. Is conducted by the Centre André Chastel (the Research Laboratory of Art History under the tutelage of the National Center for Scientific Research/CNRS, Sorbonne University and the Ministry of Culture) as the co-sponsor of the conference. Finally, the conference is situated within the new Observatoire des Patrimoines (OPUS) of the united Sorbonne Universities.

The conference is conceived by Michael Falser, Visiting Professor for Architectural History and Cultural Heritage Studies at Paris-Sorbonne (2018), in association with Dany Sandron, Professor of Art History at Sorbonne University/Centre Chastel and speaker of LabEx, axis 7.

Abstracts with name and affiliation of the speaker, title and 200 words abstract of the presentation are due with the deadline of 10 November. Candidates will be notified on 30 November 2017. The proposals for papers should be sent to patrimoine.europe2018@gmail.com.

Le Patrimoine Culturel de l’Europe @ 2018: Réexaminer un concept – redéfinir ses enjeux

Lecture | Iris Moon on the Late Shipwrecks of Jean Pillement

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on October 17, 2017

Jean Pillement, A Shipwreck, 1782, pastel on paper (Philadelphia Museum of Art).

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Iris Moon | Rococo Adrift: The Late Shipwrecks of Jean Pillement
University College London, 18 October 2017

Dr. Iris Moon (European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

The lecture is part of UCL’s visual culture research seminar Past Imperfect, which aims to explore recent concerns with time: the unfinished past, the future present, the over investment in the contemporary. This year’s theme is Destruction and Demolition.

Seminar Room 6, 21 Gordon Square, London, 6:00–8:00pm



Exhibition | The King of Spain’s Grandchildren by Mengs

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 16, 2017

From the Uffizi Galleries:

The King of Spain’s Grandchildren: Anton Raphael Mengs at the Pitti Palace
Pitti Palace, Florence, 19 September 2017 — 7 January 2018

Curated by Matteo Ceriana and Steffi Roettgen

Anton Raphael Mengs, Double Portrait of the Archdukes Ferdinando (1769–1824) and Maria Anna (1770–1809) di Asburgo Lorena, 1770–71 (Florence: Uffizi Galleries).

Barely twenty days after the opening of an exhibition at the Uffizi devoted to the purchase of two preparatory paintings by Luca Giordano and Taddeo Mazzi, the Uffizi Galleries are now launching a second exhibition to present the prestigious acquisition of yet another important painting in 2016, by Anton Raphael Mengs (1728–1779), portraying Ferdinando and Maria Anna, two of the children of Archduke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine and of his consort María Luisa de Borbón y Sajonia, dressed in contemporary costume and depicted inside the Pitti Palace.

Eike D. Schmid: “The task of a living museum is to safeguard works of art, to preserve memory and to transmit culture through exhibitions and research, but also to allow its collections to ‘breathe’ with targeted additions closely linked to the story of the city, of its hinterland and of the collection of which they are going to become a part. Acquisitions, especially if they are so subtly motivated, are a crucial part of a museum’s life, particularly if they are the product of research guaranteeing both their provenance and a fertile interaction with the museum’s existing heritage.”

When this unfinished painting appeared on the antique market, it was instantly clear that it had to enter the collections of the Gallerie degli Uffizi so that we could showcase it in the Pitti Palace, because even if Anton Raphael Mengs did not paint the picture entirely in the palace, he certainly conceived it there. The young princes lived in the Pitti Palace with their family, under the watchful eye of governesses and tutors, of course, but more especially under that of their own parents, while the Boboli Garden was their playground.

We were eager to celebrate the new acquisition, which would not have been possible without the generous cooperation of the Galleria Virgilio in Rome, with an exhibition illustrating the historical and artistic environment in which the portrait was painted.

Mengs was born in Bohemia but soon moved to the west, becoming an adoptive Italian and Spaniard. He sought permission from King Charles III of Spain to travel to Rome so that he could both work and pursue his study of Classical antiquities and of the great Renaissance artists, chiefly that of Raphael after whom he had been named. The Spanish King, who loved Italy and had once almost governed Tuscany himself (eventually becoming the King of Naples), granted Mengs permission to make the trip but only on condition that he send him portraits from Florence of his young grandchildren, the children of his daughter María Luisa de Borbón y Sajonia and of Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine. The pictures, loaned to the exhibition by the Museo del Prado where they normally hang, were painted while Mengs was in the Tuscan capital from April 1770 to January 1771. The portraits show us Pietro Leopoldo’s two extremely young children dressed in Spanish court attire with the marks of royalty (the Golden Fleece) in the traditional dress of the Infantes, as reported in the Gazzetta Toscana published on 29 September 1770. Once finished, but before they were packed up and shipped to the Spanish court, the portraits were shown to the Florentine public in the Pitti Palace, where they were much admired both for their sparkling technique and for their accurate rendering of the sitters’ features.

Anton Raphael Mengs, Double Portrait of the Archduke Ferdinand (1769–1824) and Maria Anna (1770–1809), 1770–71 (Madrid: Museo del Prado).

At the same time as Mengs was painting these portraits of the children for their grandfather, the Spanish King, however, he must also have produced the picture recently purchased by the Uffizi Galleries portraying Ferdinando and Anna Maria with a totally different approach and in a very different spirit. The two children portrayed here, looking happier than the children depicted in many of Mengs’s other works, are shown in contemporary clothing, and the choice of full, resonant hues such as the green and pink of their attire instantly reveals this new spirit. The prince is dressed in boy’s costume and the feather hat in his right hand is the kind of headgear one might have worn for strolling or hunting, thus introducing a touching note of daily intimacy into the picture—a far cry from the stiff, ceremonial approach evinced in the official portraits now in Madrid. The painting must have been very much to the liking of Pietro Leopoldo, a man of stern tastes, an enlightened sovereign, a reformer, in fact a thoroughly ‘modern’ (not to say bourgeois) monarch in both his public and his private life. We are drawn to the picture because we can not only see the lesson of Velázquez in it, but we actually get a foretaste of Goya, a great admirer of Mengs, and even of Manet.

Johan Zoffany, Francis I, Grand Duke of Tuscany of the House of Lorraine (1708–1765), 1775 (Vienna: Kunsthistorisches Museum).

The official court portrait painter to Pietro Leopoldo, however, was another German—albeit a naturalised Englishman—called Johann Zoffany. The exhibition showcases the portrait that he painted of Pietro Leopoldo’s first-born son Francis, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany of the House of Lorraine, which was painted for Francis’s paternal grandmother, the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and which has been loaned by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Having doffed the dazzling turquoise attire of a Spanish Infante, we discover him in the courtyard of the Pitti Palace leaning against the majestic rustication, a small man fairly split between his government duties, his arms and his studies. This very fine portrait, which has returned to Florence for the first time since it was despatched to Vienna, depicts a boy who, while he may appear a little melancholic, is already very much aware of his imperial destiny.

The exhibition opens with portraits of the sitters’ grandparents, parents, and little cousins from Naples and Parma and closes with the self-portraits of the two painters from the Uffizi’s celebrated collection: Mengs’s famous, heroic self-portrait, bursting with emotion even though it is not yet Romantic, and Zoffany’s subtly ironic self-portrait in which he portrays himself with his small dog a painting that will come as a pleasant surprise to visitors after being specially restored for the exhibition.

Matteo Ceriana and Steffi Roettgen, I Nipoti del Re di Spagna: Anton Raphael Mengs a Palazzo Pitti (Livorno: Sillabe, 2017), 184 pages, ISBN: 978 888347 9687, $35.








Call for Papers | Books of Drawings, 1550–1800

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 16, 2017

From H-ArtHist:

Libri di Disegni e Album di Disegni nell’Età Moderna, 1550–1800:
Nuove prospettive metodologiche e di esegesi storico-critica
Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, Rome, 31 May — 1 June 2018

Proposals due by 9 December 2017

La netta distinzione tipologica e terminologica tra libri di disegni e album di disegni è stata dimostrata dalla storiografia artistica contemporanea sulla base di evidenze documentarie e letterarie italiane, cinque e seicentesche. Nell’Età moderna sono gli artisti stessi o i conoscitori del calibro di Filippo Baldinucci ad utilizzare l’espressione ‘libro de’ disegni’ per indicare le raccolte rilegate della produzione grafica di pittori, scultori o architetti, ben prima che i termini taccuino, carnet, skizzenbuch, note-book e simili, venissero introdotti più tardi dal collezionismo, dalla letteratura artistica e dalla storiografia.

Nella fase attuale, con l’espressione ‘libro di disegni’, drawing-book in inglese, si tende a indicare a book of original drawings in a bound volume (book, codex), consisting of one or more quires (gatherings), which are predominantly filled with drawings, irrespective of the age, intention and profession of a draughtsman … whether the structure has been consolidated before or after the drawing process, protected by a leather binding or a simple parchement or paper cover (Elen, 1995).

Mentre i libri di disegni, integri nella loro configurazione originaria, sono piuttosto rari o poco conosciuti e studiati (non ne esiste a oggi un censimento sistematico e ragionato), molto più numerosi sono gli album di disegni, monografici o collettanei, raccolti da eruditi, conoscitori, curatori e collezionisti nei secoli XVII–XIX, all’interno dei quali sono confluiti singoli fascicoli o singoli fogli provenienti da libri di disegni più antichi. La capillare presenza di libri di disegni e album di disegni, giunti in forme più o meno frammentarie e dopo molti passaggi proprietari nelle print rooms e nelle biblioteche di tutto il mondo, invitano oggi a indagarne e analizzarne compiutamente gli sviluppi storici delle forme, dei contenuti, delle funzioni, e a studiarli anche sotto gli aspetti della fortuna critica e materiale, della storia del gusto, del mercato dell’arte e del collezionismo.

Il Workshop Internazionale si propone di porre in evidenza, attraverso i contributi originali dei maggiori specialisti dell’argomento, l’imprescindibile circolarità esistente tra la conoscenza e lo studio analitico dei ‘libri de’ disegni’ di singoli artisti e la conoscenza e lo studio analitico degli album di disegni formatisi in epoche successive, al fine di avanzare nuove e non ancora esplorate prospettive di ricerca, individuazione, classificazione tipologica, analisi storica, storico-critica, collezionistica e materiale, che possano contribuire ad ampliare la nostra comprensione del fenomeno, delle teoriche e delle prassi operative, soprattutto ma non solo di bottega e di matrice accademica, degli artisti italiani dell’Età moderna, e dei percorsi, il più delle volte molto articolati e complessi, di creazione e di costituzione delle raccolte e delle collezioni internazionali di grafica, a partire dalla dispersione del ricco patrimonio di volumi rilegati di disegni lasciati in eredità dagli artisti del passato.

Per le proposte di intervento, sono indicate di seguito alcune delle possibili linee di approfondimento:
• Questioni terminologiche e tipologiche tra fonti documentarie, letteratura artistica, prassi collezionistiche, storia dell’arte, archeologia del libro, connoisseurship;
• Codex, libro, album: disegni originali, modelli e copie d’après;
• Libri di disegni e album di disegni: forme, funzioni, temi e soggetti;
• Analisi tipologica, strutturale, tecnica, materiale di uno o più libri e/o album di disegni, tra storia dell’arte e del disegno, archeologia del libro, scienza codicologica;
• Analisi funzionale, stilistica, iconografica di uno o più libri e/o album di disegni, tra storia dell’arte e del disegno, metodo del conoscitore, scienza dell’attribuzione;
• Le collezioni pubbliche e private di libri e album di disegni: gli allestimenti originali, le filiazioni, i percorsi di ricognizione e catalogazione, i progetti di digitalizzazione;
• Ipotesi di ricostituzione virtuale di libri di disegni italiani smembrati tra raccolte pubbliche e private;
• Libri di disegni e album di disegni come fonti visive per la teorica e la pratica del disegno degli artisti italiani, tra la seconda metà del Cinquecento e il primo Ottocento;
• Libri di disegni e album di disegni come fonti visive per l’insegnamento e l’apprendimento del disegno, e per la trasmissione dei modelli e dei repertori visivi, dentro le botteghe, le accademie, gli ateliers;
• Disegni rilegati in volume e autonomia del disegno: il processo creativo dell’artista tra ricerca-ideazione autofondata e verifica-progetto dell’opera d’arte finita;
• Il ruolo di eruditi, conoscitori, collezionisti, conservatori dei secoli XVII–XIX nella formazione delle raccolte e album di disegni, tra fortuna critica e fortuna materiale, dinamiche del gusto, del mercato dell’arte e del collezionismo pubblico e privato.

Gli studiosi sono invitati a far pervenire, entro e non oltre il 9 dicembre 2017, le proposte di intervento—un abstract di max 500 caratteri (spazi inclusi) in italiano o in inglese—al seguente indirizzo di posta elettronica: drawingsbook.abaroma2018@gmail.com. Entro il 20 dicembre 2017, a seguito della selezione svolta dal Comitato Scientifico, l’accettazione degli interventi prescelti sarà comunicata via email agli interessati.

Exhibition | Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment

Posted in books, catalogues, conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on October 15, 2017

While, as a rule, I don’t re-post announcements, because this one now includes important details that were previously omitted—additional information regarding the catalogue, venues, and the conferences—I’m glad to make an exception. I wish I could be there next weekend for what sure to be an amazing conference!  CAH

Jacques-Antoine-Marie Lemoine, Woman Standing in a Garden, 1783, black chalk and brush with gray wash on off-white laid paper; Antoine Vestier, Allegory of the Arts, 1788, oil on canvas; and Louis-Léopold Boilly, Conversation in a Park, oil on canvas. All on loan from The Horvitz Collection.

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From the Harn Museum of Art:

Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment: French Art from The Horvitz Collection
Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, 6 October — 31 December 2017
Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 26 January — 8 April 2018
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, 13 May — 19 August 2018
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA, dates TBA

Curated by Melissa Hyde and Mary D. Sheriff
Organized by Alvin Clark

Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment: French Art from the Horvitz Collection is primarily an exhibition of drawings but will include pastels, paintings, and sculptures selected from one of the world’s best private collections of French drawings. The exhibition will feature nearly 120 works by many of the most prominent artists of the eighteenth century, including Antoine Watteau, Nicolas Lancret, François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, as well as lesser-known artists both male and female, such as Anne Vallayer-Coster, Gabrielle Capet, François-André Vincent, Philibert-Louis Debucourt. Ranging from spirited, improvisational sketches and figural studies, to highly finished drawings of exquisite beauty, the works included in the exhibition vary in terms of style, genre, and period.

Becoming a Woman will be organized into thematic sections that address some of the most important and defining questions of women’s lives in the eighteenth century. These include: how the stages of a woman’s life were measured; what cultural attitudes and conditions in France shaped how women were defined; what significant relations women formed with men; what social and familial rituals gave order to their lives; what pleasures they pursued; and what work they accomplished. The aim is to bring new insights to the questions of what it meant to be a woman in this period, by offering the first exhibition to focus specifically on representations of women of a broad range of ages and conditions.

The exhibition will offer fresh perspectives on a subject that still has direct relevance to our times but that has not been the focus of a significant exhibition for decades. Through its conceptual framework, thematic organization, and its emphasis on historical context, the exhibition will provide viewers opportunities to consider what issues pertaining to women’s lives seem to have changed or persisted through time and across space. Although the circumstances and the specifics have changed, many issues remain with us today and can still provoke contentious debates. Pay equity, reproductive rights, gender-discrimination, violence against women, work-family balance, the ‘plight’ of the alpha-female, and the devaluation of the stay-at-home mom, are but a few of the women’s issues that are still hotly contested in the media, in cultural production of all kinds, in politics, and in public and private life.

Becoming a Woman is curated by Melissa Hyde, Professor of Art History, University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, University of Florida, and the late Mary D. Sheriff, W.R. Kenan J. Distinguished Professor of Art History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; the exhibition is organized by Alvin L. Clark, Jr, Curator, The Horvitz Collection and The J.E. Horvitz Research Curator, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg.

The catalogue is available from ArtBooks.com:

Melissa Hyde, Mary D. Sheriff, and Alvin Clark, Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment: French Art from The Horvitz Collection (Boston: The Horvitz Collection, 2017), 208 pages, ISBN: 978 099126 2526, $39.

François Boucher, Young Travelers, black chalk on cream antique laid paper, framing line in black ink, laid down on a decorated mount, 295 × 188 mm; Jacques-Louis David, Andromache Mourning the Death of Hector, pen with black ink and brush with gray wash over traces of black chalk on cream antique laid paper, 293 × 248 mm; Jean-Baptiste Greuze, The Chestnut Vendor, brush with gray and brown wash on cream antique laid paper, 385 × 460 mm. All works on loan from The Horvitz Collection.

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From the Lecture and Symposium Schedule:

Thinking Women: Art and Representation in the Eighteenth Century
A Symposium in Honor of Mary D. Sheriff

Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, 20–22 October 2017

• Keynote Address: “The Woman Artist and the Uncovering of the Social World,” Lynn Hunt, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

Art, women, and society came together in surprising ways at the end of the eighteenth century. ‘Society’ only began to be conceptualized as an object for study at the end of the 1700s, in particular in reaction to the French Revolution. Art, especially engraving and painting, helped make society visible to itself. Women could join the art world but rarely as fully fledged members, and as a consequence they occupied a kind of in-between position that made them especially attuned to social relations. The life and work of Marie-Gabrielle Capet will be highlighted to show how the social world could be uncovered.

• “Fashion in Time: Visualizing Costume in the Eighteenth Century,” Susan Siegfried, Denise Riley Collegiate Professor of the History of Art and Women’s Studies, Department of Art History, University of Michigan

• “Beauty Is a Letter of Credit,” Nina Dubin, Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History University of Illinois, Chicago

• “Chardin: Gender and Interiority,” Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University

• “The Global Allure of the Porcelain Room,” Meredith Martin, Department of Art History, New York University

• “Pictured Together? Questions of Gender, Race, and Social Rank in the Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray,” Jennifer Germann, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Ithaca College

• “Becoming an Animal in the Age of Enlightenment,” Amy Freund, Associate Professor & Kleinheinz Family Endowed Chair in Art History, Southern Methodist University

• “Marguerite Lecomte’s Smile: Portrait of a Woman Engraver,” Mechthild Fend, Reader in the History of Art, Department of History of Art, University College London

• “Exceptional, but not Exceptions: Women Artists in the Age of Revolution,” Paris Spies Gans, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Princeton University

The final program, with times, is available here»

At the Ackland Art Museum at UNC, Chapel Hill, there will be a sister symposium in Mary’s honor entitled “Taking Exception: Women, Gender, Representation in the Eighteenth Century,” 1–3 February 2018.





Exhibition | Visitors to Versailles, 1682–1789

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 14, 2017

Press release for the exhibition:

Visiteurs de Versailles, 1682–1789
Château de Versailles, 24 October 2017 — 25 February 2018
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 9 April — 29 July 2018

Curated by Bertrand Rondot and Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide

With nearly 10 million visitors per year, Versailles is one of the most visited historic sites in the world. The palace and gardens of Versailles have attracted visitors ever since the small hunting lodge built by Louis XIII was transformed by Louis XIV into one of the most stunning residences in Europe, open to everyone according to the King’s will.

Cosmopolitan Versailles has welcomed French and foreign travellers, princes, ambassadors, artists, writers, and philosophers, architects, scholars, tourists on the ‘Grand Tour’, and day trippers from near and far. While some came to Versailles to see the King or win his favour, others were received officially by the Sovereign in the Palace, a place of intensive diplomatic activity. From the ambassadors of Siam in 1686 to the ambassadors of the Indian Kingdom of Mysore in 1788, representatives from almost every continent came to Versailles. Each visit was an opportunity to discover beautiful national dress and the originality of the gifts visitors brought with them. Gazettes, literary journals, and official memoires bore testimony to the most important visitors and the parties held in their honour.

The exhibition is the first on this subject and will turn the spotlight on these visitors through more than 300 works from the late 17th century to the French Revolution. With portraits and sculptures, court attire, travel guides, tapestries, Sevres and Meissen porcelain, display weapons and snuffboxes, the exhibition will reveal what visitors discovered upon arriving at Versailles, the sort of welcome awaiting them, what they saw and their impressions, the gifts or memories they left with. Visitors today will discover the palace through the eyes of those who have gone before them over the course of history.

Bertrand Rondot, Head Curator at the Palace of Versailles, in charge of furniture and objets d’art
Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide, Curator at the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department of The Metropolitan Museum of Art





At Auction | Gold Laurel Leaf from Napoleon’s Crown

Posted in Art Market by Editor on October 13, 2017

Martin-Guillaume Biennais, gold laurel leaf from the crown made for the coronation of Napoleon, 1804.

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At Fontainebleau on November 19, Osenat plans to auction a gold laurel leaf from the crown made by Martin-Guillaume Biennais for Napoleon’s 1804 coronation, estimated to sell for 100,000 and 150,000 euros ($118,000 to $177,000). As reported by Agence France-Presse, via Art Daily (12 October 2017) . . .

The French leader crowned himself emperor at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in 1804, famously taking the Roman-style laurel wreath and putting it on his own head, instead of letting Pope Pius VII do the honours. But at a fitting for the crown in the days leading up to the spectacular event, the ‘little Corsican’ had complained that it was too heavy, the Osenat auction house said. So goldsmith Martin-Guillaume Biennais took six large leaves out of the crown, later giving one to each of his six daughters. . . .

The original wreath was melted down after Napoleon’s fall in the wake of the Battle of Waterloo. . . . [It] had 44 large gold laurel leaves and 12 smaller ones. It cost him 8,000 francs, a considerable fortune at the time, with the box it was stored in setting him back a further 1,300 francs. . .

The full article is available here»

Jacques-Louis David, The Coronation of Napoleon in the Cathedral of Notre Dame; oil on canvas, 1805–07 (Louvre, Paris).

New Book | The Cinematic Eighteenth Century

Posted in books by Editor on October 13, 2017

From Routledge:

Srividhya Swaminathan and Steven Thomas, eds., The Cinematic Eighteenth Century: History, Culture, and Adaptation (New York: Routledge, 2018), 196 pages, ISBN: 978 11386 33995, $150.

This collection explores how film and television depict the complex and diverse milieu of the eighteenth century as a literary, historical, and cultural space. Topics range from adaptations of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (The Martian) to historical fiction on the subjects of slavery (Belle), piracy (Crossbones and Black Sails), monarchy (The Madness of King George and The Libertine), print culture (Blackadder and National Treasure), and the role of women (Marie Antoinette, The Duchess, and Outlander). This interdisciplinary collection draws from film theory and literary theory to discuss how film and television allows for critical re-visioning as well as revising of the cultural concepts in literary and extra-literary writing about the historical period.

Srividhya Swaminathan is Professor of English at LIU Brooklyn in New York. Her primary field of research is the rhetoric of eighteenth-century slavery studies and social movements. Her monograph, Debating the Slave Trade (Ashgate 2009), and co-edited collection, Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century British Imagination (Ashgate 2013), engage with slavery in a transatlantic context.

Steven W. Thomas is Associate Professor of English at Wagner College in New York, where he teaches American literature, theory, and film studies. He has published several scholarly essays about the transatlantic eighteenth century and in 2016, he was a Fulbright Scholar in the graduate film program at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.


List of Figures

Srividhya Swaminathan and Steven Thomas, Introduction: Representing and Repositioning the Eighteenth Century on Screen
1  Ula Lukszo Klein, Fashionable Failures: Ghosting Female Desires on the Big Screen
2  Dorothée Polanz, Portrait of the Queen as a Celebrity: Marie Antoinette on Screen, a Disappearing Act, 1934–2012
3  Elizabeth Kraft, The King on the Screen
4  Jennifer Preston Wilson, ‘I Have You in My Eye, Sir’: The Spectacle of Kingship in The Madness of King George
5  Sarah B. Stein and Robert Vork, Blackadder: Satirizing the Century of Satire
6  Colin Ramsey, Disney’s National Treasure, the Declaration of Independence, and the Erasure of Print from the American Revolution
7  Courtney A. Hoffman, How to Be a Woman in the Highlands: A Feminist Portrayal of Scotland in Outlander
8  Kyle Pivetti, The King of Mars: The Martian’s Scientific Empire and Robinson Crusoe
9  Srividhya Swaminathan, The New Cinematic Piracy: Crossbones and Black Sails
10  Jodi L. Wyett, Sex, Sisterhood, and the Cinema: Sense and Sensibility(s) in Conversation
11  Steven W. Thomas, Cinematic Slavery and the Romance of Belle

List of Contributors