New Book | Maria Theresa and the Arts

Posted in books by Editor on August 16, 2017

From Hirmer:

Stella Rollig and Georg Lechner, eds., Maria Theresa and the Arts (Munich: Hirmer Velag, 2017), 232 pages, ISBN: 978 37774 29236, £38.

With contributions by A. Gamerith, S. Grabner, M. Hohn, R. Johannsen, G. Lechner, M. Pötzl-Malikova, S. Rollig, B. Schmidt, K. Schmitz-von Ledebur, S. Schuster-Hofstätter

The 300th birthday of Empress Maria Theresia provides an opportunity to examine her outstanding interest in the fine arts. At the invitation of the reforming monarch a large number of painters, sculptors and other artists in Austria and abroad found a wealth of work opportunities. Correspondingly, this era has left its mark on the countries of the former Habsburg monarchy to this day. Maria Theresia pursued an individual approach with regard to cultural policy. She was interested in reform not only in education, but also in the field of art. She commissioned contemporary artists and helped portrait painting to a new upswing, leading not least to the international consolidation of the newly formed House of Habsburg-Lorraine. This was the function also fulfilled by the allegorical paintings and ceiling frescoes for which impressive cartoons have survived. Landscape painting was highly esteemed, and finally outstanding masterpieces were produced in sculpture and three-dimensional works, for example by Balthasar Ferdinand Moll and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt.


Exhibition | Living Rooms: The Period Room Initiative

Posted in exhibitions by internjmb on August 14, 2017

Providence Parlour, ca. 1760–70; painted pine
(Minneapolis Institute of Art)

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I’m glad to note that former Enfilade intern Mattie Koppendrayer contributed portions of the research for the room on ‘Science and Sociability’. Along with these fascinating installations of Mia’s period rooms, the museum’s eighteenth-century offerings for the fall will include the exhibition Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe, which recently closed at The Getty and opens in Minneapolis on September 10. CH

Now on view at Mia:

With Living Rooms, a multi-year initiative, Mia is reinvigorating its period rooms for today’s visitors, placing the past in dialogue with the present, while simultaneously broadening the conversation to include other histories—of marginalized people, of the senses, and even of time itself.

Just Imported: Global Trade in 1700s New England
Minneapolis Institute of Art, 22 April 2017 — 15 April 2018

The Providence Parlor once occupied prime real estate on a wharf in 1700s Providence, Rhode Island. Its owners, brothers Joseph and William Russell, operated a prosperous merchant business that imported and exported goods by sea. Their store, The Sign of the Golden Eagle, offered a resplendent selection of imported fabrics, exotic spices, fine housewares, and hogsheads of rum, among other goods. Their market was the world, and the world, their market, made possible by trade winds, war profiteering, and the labor of enslaved people. With their wealth, the Russell Brothers built the first three-story home in Providence, with views of the harbor. Originally installed at Mia in 1923, the parlor, along with its original inhabitants and harborside location, is brought back to life through a naturalistic soundscape, multi-sensory discovery cabinet of mercantile curios, and animated shadow puppets.

Read more here»

Charleston Drawing Room, ca. 1772; cyprus
(Minneapolis Institute of Art)

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The Many Voices of Colonial America
Minneapolis Institute of Art, 22 April 2017 — 15 April 2018

The Charleston Dining and Drawing Rooms came from the 1772 home of Colonel John Stuart, who served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Britain’s southern colonies and was also an owner of enslaved Africans. For over 80 years, the rooms have been interpreted as late-1700s interiors featuring high-style Chippendale and Federal-style American and English furniture and objects. This new temporary exhibition replaces a stylistic approach by reinserting African and Native American presence in these spaces. In the Charleston Drawing Room, Cherokee art of the Colonial era and contemporary Cherokee art that responds to this moment of history reveal stories of diplomatic relations and travel between the Cherokee Nation and the British Crown. In the Charleston Dining Room, West African and African American objects tell important stories of Charleston’s dependence on enslaved West Africans’ indigenous knowledge of rice cultivation for commercial gain and as a source of nourishment during this time—foreshadowing the legacy of African cuisine in contemporary America.

Read more here»

In addition, see this Mia blog posting by Alex Bortolot (Content Strategist at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and a specialist in the arts of Africa), “Who Is an American? Here’s one way museums can ask—and answer,” available here»

Grand Salon from the Hôtel de la Bouëxière, 1733–37; painted and gilt wood, plaster, marble and iron
(Minneapolis Institute of Art)

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Up All Night in the 18th Century
Minneapolis Institute of Art, 22 April 2017 — 15 April 2018

In the 1700s, European cities witnessed a gradual but profound shift in daily life: people stayed up later and partied harder into the night. Many of their nocturnal soirees were private affairs, hosted in elite homes by invitation only. The Grand Salon from the Hôtel de la Bouëxière will be prepped for one of these exclusive parties with a games table for card-playing (the night-loving aristocrat’s favorite diversion), candlesticks, and the required stimulants: coffee and chocolate. Of course, staying up late meant burning the midnight oil, so artificial lighting with candles and fire increased in importance during this time. New lighting in the Salon will simulate the effects of flickering flames, revealing the warm glow of gilded paneling and metalwork in a ‘nighttime’ setting.

Read more here»

Additional information on the Grand Salon is available here»

Georgian Drawing Room, ca. 1740; painted pine
(Minneapolis Institute of Art)

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Science and Sociability in 1700s England
Minneapolis Institute of Art, 22 April 2017 — 15 April 2018

In 1700s England, the home was a place where genteel men and women studied and conversed about natural history; only later did science move exclusively to the laboratory, where it became a predominantly male profession. This temporary exhibition presents Mia’s British rooms as places for the pursuit of science. Women often engaged with scientific discoveries and cultivated observational skills through embroidery and drawing—common pursuits for women of leisure. The c. 1730 Queen Anne Room will feature works on paper and textiles made by women. The adjoining c. 1740 Georgian Drawing Room will be arranged for a ‘scientific party’ where curious men and women socialized amidst telescopes, microscopes, an electrostatic generator—an experimental instrument that generated an electric charge—and, of course, tea.

Read more here»

In addition, see this Mia blog posting by Nicole LaBouff (Assistant Curator, Textiles Department of Decorative Arts, Textiles and Sculpture), “Science Is for Lovers: Why the planet needs scientists and passionate amateurs to work together,” available here»

and this posting by Peter Heering (Professor of Physics at the Europa Universität Flensburg in Germany and the former president of the International History, Philosophy, and Science Teaching Group), “Social Science: How to recreate an Enlightenment-era ‘science party,” available here»






Exhibition | Piranesi: Rome in Ruins

Posted in exhibitions by internjmb on August 14, 2017

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, View of the Remains of the Dining Room of Nero’s Golden House, commonly called the Temple of Peace, 1756–78; etching (Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Art, Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton 2007.49.2.2).

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Now on view at Mia:

Piranesi: Rome in Ruins
Minneapolis Institute of Art, 20 May 2017 — 14 January 2018

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) takes us on a ramble through the ruins of ancient Rome. His etchings of the remains of a great civilization couple his archaeological interest in detail with his flair for dramatic effect. This intimate exhibition invites you to reflect on a quiet world of grand desolation. Seen through the lens of the mid-1700s, the ruins suggest romance, mystery, melancholy, awesome possibility, and loss.






Exhibition | Chinese Daoist Priest Garments

Posted in exhibitions by internjmb on August 14, 2017
Daoist Robe, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), 1821–50, silk
(Minneapolis Institute of Art, 42.8.118)


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On view for a few more weeks at Mia:

Embroidering an Ordered Cosmos: Chinese Daoist Priest Garments of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911)
Minneapolis Institute of Art, 12 December 2016 — 3 September 2017

Daoist belief emphasizes an ordered cosmos, harmonious existence with nature, and heavenly paradise. Together with Confucianism and Buddhism, it is one of China’s three major belief systems. Daoism emerged after 100CE and soon acquired the trappings of organized religion: a supreme god, a set of scriptures, temples, priests, and ritual practices.

Robes worn by Daoist priests represent some of the richest embroidered decoration in Chinese clothing. They take two basic forms: a square, full-length, sleeveless robe with center-front opening (jiangyi) and a full-length, sleeved garment with center-front opening fastened with ties (daopao). Elaborate symbolic schemes are common to both. They feature cosmic diagrams representing paradise, the sun and moon, phoenixes (birds with fiery feathers), abstract forms of China’s five sacred mountains, and circles containing 12 zodiac animals. When priests wore robes like these, they were symbolically united with the cosmos and able to go beyond the earthly and heavenly realms.







Exhibition | Stones Steeped in History

Posted in exhibitions, on site by Editor on August 13, 2017

GoMA and Royal Exchange Square taken from Grant Thornton offices on the 8th floor of 110 Queen Street. Photo by Jamie Simpson.

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Press release (9 August 2017) from GoMA:

Stones Steeped in History
Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, from August 2017

As Scotland’s most popular modern art gallery and one of the country’s top ten visitor attractions, the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow has opened a new display charting significant dates in the development of the site, together with important milestones in the cultural development of Glasgow. Stones Steeped in History tells the story from 1777, when the original building was commissioned as a mansion for tobacco merchant, William Cunninghame, until the present day. The permanent show will inform visitors of the history of the building and is also part of the city’s ambition to aid a deeper understanding of the role slavery played in the narrative of Glasgow. Images of beautiful old photographs, watercolours, and postcards complement nostalgic images of Glasgow throughout the years, which enhance the detailed timeline on display.

Stones Steeped in History begins with a brief account of the life of William Cunninghame and moves through times of great wealth, created by international trade. The building’s first commercial purpose was as a bank some forty years later, before becoming Glasgow’s Royal Exchange in 1827, where for over 100 years businessmen gathered to trade cotton, sugar, coal, and iron. Many, like Exchange founder James Ewing of Strathleven, owned or profited from the labour of enslaved people on the sugar and tobacco plantations in the American colonies and West Indies.

The display continues with innovations such as one of Glasgow’s first telephone exchanges, housed in the building from 1880 and records the iconic Duke of Wellington statue being erected outside in 1884. Glasgow Corporation purchased the building in 1954. Its first civic use was as a library, containing both the Stirling and Commercial Library collections. Stones Steeped in History then chronicles the building’s key role in Glasgow’s rise as a centre for art and culture, which began in the 1970s.

Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor David McDonald, said: “We are pleased to open Stones Steeped in History and share a few of this historic building’s stories, including its undeniable ties to slavery. GoMA has been a home, a bank, an exchange, a library, and is now a respected gallery of modern and contemporary art. This building’s stones really are steeped in history. This exhibition records some of the key events in the cultural development of Glasgow. Importantly it continues to tell the story of Glasgow’s links to the slave trade, by providing a fuller appreciation of the part slavery played in the narrative of the city and how important that is not only to the past, but also to the future.”

Glasgow had a reputation as a tough city, but always running alongside this has been a history of innovation and creativity. In the 1970s, Glasgow City Council recognised how culture could be used to re-frame the city’s reputation. The first major project was the creation of a new museum to hold Sir William Burrell’s gift to the city—his collection of over 9,000 objects. The Burrell Collection opened in 1983, to international acclaim. The Garden Festival followed in 1988, attracting over 4 million visitors and in 1990 Glasgow won the title of European Capital of Culture, changing its cultural standing forever. Glasgow and the artists who have emerged from it are now acknowledged around the world and the city boasts one of the finest civic art collections in Europe.

The Mitchell Library opened in 1911, incorporating much of the book collection housed in the building. Stirling’s Library remained until work began on the Gallery of Modern Art in 1994. GoMA opened in 1996, under the leadership of then Director of Museums Julian Spalding. It had six galleries, five showing works from the permanent collection, with one for exhibitions. Spalding’s vision was quite radical—to display only works by living artists—but his selection of artists was met with dismay by the artistic community. Glasgow Museums’ current approach to collecting and commissioning is quite different and now focuses on building the collection and important social justice and human rights issues. Curators continue to collect and commission work by artists with a Glasgow connection. Visitors can see displays of local and international artworks from the collection as well as temporary exhibitions and artist events across the building’s four galleries. The basement is home to a library and café; there is a shop and artists workspace on the top floor.

Stones Steeped in History is located on two balconies across level 1 and 2 at GoMA. The display covers the period from when the first building appeared in the 1700s up to the opening of the Gallery of Modern Art in 1996. It highlights some of the significant dates and functions in the history of the venue, alongside some key points in the cultural development of Glasgow. It is open now. The exhibition was made possible thanks to the generous donations from the 3.1 million visitors who visit Glasgow Museums every year.




Call for Proposals | History of Collecting Seminars

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 13, 2017

History of Collecting Seminars
The Wallace Collection, London, 2018

Proposals due by 11 September 2017

The seminar series was established as part of the Wallace Collection’s commitment to the research and study of the history of collections and collecting, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Paris and London. In 2018, as in previous years, we plan to organise a series of 10 seminars.

The Wallace Collection will be celebrating the bicentenary of Sir Richard Wallace’s birth in 2018. To mark the occasion we hope that the seminars will have a special emphasis on collecting in Paris and London during the second half of the nineteenth century. We are also keen, though, to encourage wider contributions for 2018, covering all aspects of the history of collecting, including:
• Formation and dispersal of collections
• Dealers, auctioneers and the art market
• Collectors
• Museums
• Inventory work
• Research resources

The seminars, which are normally held on the last Monday of every month during the calendar year, excluding August and December, act as a forum for the presentation and discussion of new research into the history of collecting. Seminars are open to curators, academics, historians, archivists, and all those with an interest in the subject. Papers are generally 45–60 minutes long, and all the seminars take place at the Wallace Collection between 5.30 and 7pm.  If interested, please send a short text (500 words), including a brief CV, indicating any months when you would not be available to speak, by 11 September 2017. For more information and to submit a proposal, please contact: collection@wallacecollection.org. Please note that we are able to contribute up to the following sums towards speakers’ travelling expenses on submission of receipts:
• Speakers within the UK, £80
• Speakers from Continental Europe, £160
• Speakers from outside Europe, £250

The 2017 programme is available here»


New Book | The Museum by the Park: 14 Queen Anne’s Gate

Posted in books by Editor on August 12, 2017

From Paul Holberton Publishing:

Max Bryant, The Museum by the Park: 14 Queen Anne’s Gate (London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2017), 128 pages, ISBN: 978 1911300 328, £25 / $35.

The depth of history at Queen Anne’s Gate—a handsome Baroque street overlooking St James’s Park—is unusual even in London, and few houses resonate with more memories than the extraordinary number 14. The story of the house over the centuries features political revolutionaries, occult initiations, clandestine war meetings, and a decapitated head. It begins, however, as a museum of Roman sculpture, unrivalled outside Italy, designed for connoisseur and virtuoso Charles Townley (1737–1805). Townley embodied Enlightenment values perhaps more completely than any other figure in the art world of 18th-century Britain—his portrait by Johann Zoffany is one of the iconic paintings of the period—yet remarkably he has never been the subject of a major publication.

Written with a sparkle matching Townley’s own enthusiasm, this beautiful and engaging publication tells the story of 14 Queen Anne’s Gate and examines the extraordinary life of Charles Townley and his remarkable collection of over 150 Roman marble statues (mostly now in The British Museum but captured in spectacular engravings of the period). It will be a revelation.

The house was designed as a temple to the past, reviving in the modern city the occult practices of the ancient world. Here visitors in the eighteenth century would have found an assembly of Roman sculpture unrivalled outside Italy, as well as a library and collection devoted to understanding a universal ‘generative sprit’ worshipped by early civilizations. That spirit may be found in the succession of major roles the house has continued to take through generations of dramatic change up to the present day.

Charles Townley, for whom the house was built, was a figure both marginal and emblematic. Catholic and bisexual, he forged a life literally on the borders of the Protestant British establishment. He remains little understood or appreciated in his homeland and, remarkably, has never been the subject of a major exhibition or publication. The ‘emblematic’ side of Townley’s life was dedicated to virtù, the term used for an appreciation of fine art pursued for its own sake. The ‘marginal’ side of Townley, by contrast, manifested itself in a fascination with the ancient occult, particularly the Bacchic mysteries. The house he made for himself was at once a temple to virtu and to Bacchus and contained an unprecedented programme of Bacchic iconography.

Library Research Grants from the Getty

Posted in fellowships, opportunities, resources by Editor on August 12, 2017

From The Getty:

Getty Research Institute Library Research Grants
Applications due by 16 October 2017

Getty Library Research Grants provide partial, short-term support for researchers requiring the use of specific collections housed in the Getty Research Institute (GRI). The GRI’s grant budget has been generously supplemented by donations from Getty Research Institute Council members and the Getty Conservation Institute.

Specialized Library Research Grant Opportunities
In addition to the open call for applications relating to projects utilizing any specific area of the GRI’s collections, several focused grants will be awarded in the following areas of study:
• Research related to the modern commercial art market, Los Angeles modern architecture, or design
• Research in the area of 18th-century German art as it relates to the religious, philosophical, and aesthetic contextualization of the Romantic movement
• Research within the GRI’s photo archive, a collection of two million photographs of works of art and architecture providing opportunities for original pictorial research in the fine arts, including the history of photography
• Research that utilizes the Conservation Collection, specialized research materials related to the preservation and conservation of material cultural heritage

Library Research Grants are intended for researchers of all nationalities and at any level who demonstrate a compelling need to use materials housed in the Research Library, and whose place of residence is more than eighty miles from the Getty Center. Projects must relate to specific items in the library collection. (To search the collections, please consult the Research Library’s Search Tools and Databases.)

Library Research Grants are intended to provide partial support for costs relating to travel, lodging, and living expenses. Housing is not provided. In general, grants are awarded as follows depending upon the distance traveled:
• Within California (must be more than 80 miles away from GRI): $800
• North America, including Canada and Mexico: $1,500
• International outside of North America: $3,000

The research period may range from several days to a maximum of three months. These terms apply as of August 2017 and are subject to future changes. Please see important information about the terms of these grants here.

Notification Process
Applicants are notified of the Research Institute’s decision approximately two months following the deadline. Applicants who do not receive grant awards are still welcome to use the Research Library in accordance with its access policy.

Application Availability and Deadline
Complete application materials are now accepted through an online application process only. The next deadline to submit application materials (including letters of recommendation) for these grants is 5:00pm (PDT) October 16, 2017.

More information is available here»

The Burlington Magazine, August 2017

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, obituaries, reviews by Editor on August 11, 2017

The eighteenth century in The Burlington:

The Burlington Magazine 159 (August 2017)


• “Reflected Glory: University Art Collections in Britain,” p. 599.


• Simon Jervis, “Rudolf Hermann Wackernagel (1933–2017),” p. 639. His great article, “Carlton House Mews: The State Coach of the Prince of Wales and of the Later Kings of Hanover, A Study in the Late-Eighteenth-Century ‘Mystery’ of Coach-Building, in Furniture History 31 (1995) remains the most authoritative statement on London coach building in the late eighteenth century. But his crowning achievement was the massive two-volume Staats- und Galawagen der Wittelsbacher (Stuttgart, 2002). This is a catalogue of the wonderful collection of the Marstallmuseum at Schloss Nymphenburg, outside Munich, where he generously deposited part of his own extensive and systematic archive on coaches and carriages…


• Gauvin Alexander Bailey, Review of Christine Casey, Making Magnificence: Architects, Stuccatori and the Eighteenth-Century Interior (Yale University Press, 2017), pp. 642–43.
• Ayla Lepine, Review of Julian Holder and Elizabeth McKellar, eds., Neo-Georgian Architecture, 1880–1970: A Reappraisal (Historic England, 2016), pp. 643–44.
• Michael Hall, Review of Pauline Prévost-Marcilhacy, ed., Les Rothschild: une dynastie de mécènes en France, 1873–2016 (Somogy éditions d’Art, 2016), pp. 644–46.
• Francis Russell, Review of the exhibition Canaletto and the Art of Venice (London: The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, 2017), pp. 651–52.
• Matthi Forrer, Review of the exhibition Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave (London, The British Museum; and Osaka: Abeno Harukas Art Museum, 2017), pp. 652–53.
•Eric Zafran, Review of the exhibition America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting (Washington: D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2017), pp. 669–70.

R E C E N T  A C Q U I S I T I O N S

Recent acquisitions (2007–17) by regional university collections in Britain

Joshua Reynolds, Maria Marow Gideon and Her Brother, William, 1786–87 (Birmingham: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts), January 2013.

Rosalba Carriera, Portrait of Gustavus Hamilton, 2nd Viscount Boyne, ca. 1730–31; pastel, heightened with white bodycolour on paper (Birmingham: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts), 2009.

John Opie, The Death of Archbishop Sharpe, 1797; oil on canvas (University of St Andrews), 2008.








Call for Papers | Art and Work, A Graduate Symposium

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 11, 2017

Art and Work, A Graduate Symposium
Northwestern University, Evanston, 8 February 2018

Proposals due by 1 October 2017

The Department of Art History at Northwestern University will hold a one-day graduate symposium on Thursday, 8 February 2018 on the topic of art and work. The symposium will span historical periods and geographic regions to investigate the history, politics, and aesthetics of artistic labor. Our proposal is grounded by historical and theoretical concerns with the social positions of art making, the artist, and work more generally. How do the social and technical conditions of labor in a given society determine the possibilities of its art, and how do artistic imaginaries of work help shape struggles around these very social conditions? What kinds of skills, expertise, discourses, or knowledge come to distinguish an artist from an artisan, engineer, or maker, or from a teacher, political official, or social worker? How and where do these distinctions emerge or dissolve both visually and historically, and how do they relate to other predominant social markers such as race, gender, and class? We see these questions as resonating across boundaries of period and national tradition, and are excited to see what might be learned from thinking within a wide historical frame wherein both art and work are contested terms.

We welcome papers that consider, among other topics, the aesthetics of work and/or non-work; the social position of the artist; the problem of aesthetic autonomy; or spaces of production and their representations—from the artist’s studio to the collaborative workshop, the laboratory, the home, the factory, and beyond. We are also interested in how representations of artistic production and exercises in (or negations of) artistic technique mediate ongoing processes of social transformation. We invite papers from any time period or geographic region by graduate students in art history as well as related disciplines.

Possible topics might include
• Depictions of studio, workshops, factories, spaces of production
• Craft labor and handwork
• Treatises and technical manuals
• Artistic readymades or the absence of work
• Histories of deskilling and automation
• Aesthetics and political economy
• Anti-work politics and aesthetics
• Global precarity and flexible labor regimes
• Reproductive labor, domestic work
• Affective and care-based labor
• Post-Marxist approaches to ‘immaterial labor’
• Community and public art

Symposium speakers who do not reside locally will receive roundtrip economy airfare to Chicago/Evanston, accommodation for two nights in Evanston, and a travel stipend to cover ground transportation to and from the airport. Please email proposals to laurelgarber2015@u.northwestern.edu and brianleahy2020@u.northwestern.edu by October 1, 2017. Include in your proposal a 300-word abstract and a brief CV in a single PDF file. Selections will be announced in mid-October.

Keynote lecture by Jasper Bernes, author of The Work of Art in the Age of Deindustrialization (Stanford University Press, 2017).