New World Missions

Posted in catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 31, 2009

From the San Antonio Museum of Art website:

The Art of the Missions of Northern New Spain

San Antonio Museum of Art, 17 October 2009 3 January 2010


Saint Francis of Assisi, seventeenth century, carved, polychromed, and gilded wood, 51” high (Tepotzotlán, Mexico: Museo Nacional del Virreinato)


Antonio de Torres, “Saint Francis Xavier Baptizing the Nations of the World,” ca. 1720 (Mexico City: Museo del Colegio de San Ignacio de Loyola Vizcaínas)

The Art of the Missions of Northern New Spain is the first exhibition to explore the rich artistic legacy of the Franciscan and Jesuit mission churches in northern Mexico and the American Southwest. An integral part of Spain’s colonization of the New World, the missionary enterprise was integral to the crown’s effort. Franciscans arrived in Mexico shortly after Cortes’s capture of Tenochtitlan, Mexico to spread Christianity and were soon joined by the Dominicans, then the Augustinians, and, later, by the Jesuits. From shortly after the Conquest until Mexico obtained its independence from Spain in 1821, hundreds of missions were founded by the Franciscans and Jesuits in northern reaches of the Viceroyalty, in present-day states of Durango, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Sonora, and Baja California in Mexico; and California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Florida in the United States. Nearly all of these Franciscan and Jesuit missions were richly decorated with paintings, sculpture, furniture, liturgical objects and liturgical vestments which have received little critical public attention. Many of the works were made by the most prominent artists in Mexico City and elsewhere in New Spain, while others came from Europe and as far away as Asia. Indigenous artists also made works of art found in the missions. In short, there are extensive visual remains of a spiritual and cultural undertaking that was, although part of an immense worldwide effort, quite nearly unique to the New World. The exhibition will include approximately 125 objects from collections in Mexico, the United States, and Europe, including many from the missions themselves, most of which have never left their original locations.

The fully illustrated catalogue in Spanish and English will contain essays by prominent historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and art historians for the U.S. and Mexico. They discuss the art and architecture of the missions; native and Pre-Columbian art and cultures and the reception of European-based art brought to the missions; contrasts in native and Spanish conceptions of space and their impact on Spanish-Indian relations at the missions; the cultural and linguistic diversity of indigenous people of northern New Spain and their effect on missionaries’efforts; and the later impact of the missions on art, literature, and film in the U.S. and Mexico.

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[The Art of the Missions of Northern New Spain (El arte de las misiones del norte de la Nueva España, 1600–1821) was on view at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City earlier this summer. It will travel to the San Antonio Museum of Art, October 17 to January 3, 2010, followed by the Museo de Historia Mexicana, Monterrey; the Centro Cultural de Tijuana, Baja California; and the Oakland Museum of California. The exhibition is co-curated by Michael Komanecky and Clara Bargellini of the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City. The July issue of Magazine Antiques featured an instructive article by Michael Komanecky, along with fifteen photographs. The two images used here are from that slideshow.]

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Joyeux anniversaire

Posted in anniversaries by Editor on August 30, 2009

Jacques-Louis David, "Self-Portrait," oil on canvas, 32 x 26 inches, 1794 (Paris: Louvre)

Jacques-Louis David turns 261 today. Born in Paris on 30 August 1748, he died in Brussels in 1825 at age 77. Of the artist’s Self-Portrait from 1794, Philippe Bordes notes that

the only source of information concerning this painting is a recollection by David’s pupil Pierre-Maximilien Delafontaine, who accompanied him to prison on 2 August 1794: ‘It was in the Hôtel des Fermes [the prison] that he made a portrait of himself from the mirror I brought to him. This portrait was given by him a few years later to Isabey, the miniature painter and his pupil. He is represented dressed in a greatcoat, the costume of the period’. . . Worth noting is that David did not want to keep this work associated with his close call with the guillotine and his year in prison and that never again would he execute a self-portrait.

See Bordes, Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), p. 16. For the quotation, see Daniel Wildenstein and Guy Wildenstein, Documents complémentaires au catalogue de l’oeuvre de Louis David (Paris, 1973), p. 114; Bordes also also points the reader to Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, “Les oeuvres de David en prison: art engagé après Thermidor,” La Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France 39 (1989): 310-21.

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Call for Papers and Panels: BSECS in Oxford

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 29, 2009

Brtish Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference

St Hugh’s College, Oxford, January 5-7, 2010

Proposals due by September 26

Main entrance of St Hugh's College, Oxford on St Margaret's Road (Photo by Stannered, Wikimedia Commons)

Main entrance of St Hugh's College, Oxford on St Margaret's Road (Photo by Stannered, Wikimedia Commons)

The annual meeting of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is Europe’s largest and most prestigious annual conference dealing with all aspects of the history, literature, and culture of the long eighteenth century.

We invite proposals for papers and sessions dealing with any aspect of the long eighteenth century, not only in Britain, but also throughout Europe, North America, and the wider world. Proposals are invited for individual papers, for fully comprised panels of three papers, for roundtable sessions of five speakers, and for ‘alternative format’ sessions of your devising. While proposals on all and any eighteenth-century topics are very welcome, this year the conference theme will be Time and Space. We would thus particularly welcome proposals for papers that address eighteenth-century understandings and uses of concepts of time, space, and periodisation, throughout the long eighteenth century and in any part of the world. These might include, but will not be confined to: the meanings and significance given to time in all fields from science to music; different ways of measuring time, calendars and almanacs; perceptions/representations of the past and the future, including in art and literature; models and applications of social, literary, architectural, and cosmic space; and travel and geography.

Masculin, féminin

Posted in books, exhibitions, Member News by Editor on August 28, 2009

Member News

Candeille et Girodet

Anne-Louis Girodet, "Self Portrait with Julie Candeille"

Heather Belnap Jensen, Assistant Professor of Art History at Brigham Young University, participated this past June in the colloquium, Historiennes et critiques d’art à l’époque de Juliette Récamier, which was organized in conjunction with the exhibition on Juliette Récamier and her circle, held at the Musée de Beaux-Arts in Lyon. Jensen’s talk, “Quand la muse parle: Julie Candeille sur l’art de Girodet,” questioned androcentric interpretations of Girodet’s life and art. Papers from the journée d’étude are to be published by the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (IHNA).

In addition, Jensen is co-editing a collection of essays (together with Temma Balducci and Pamela Warner), entitled Interior Portraiture and Masculine Identity in France, 1789-1914 (Ashgate, 2010). As a pendant, she and Balducci next turn their attention to the role of women in public: they’re chairing a session at CAA on the topic (“Women, Femininity, and Public Space in Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture”), and plans are in the works for a second edited volume.

26004593Jensen’s essay “Diversionary Tactics: Art Criticism as Political Weapon in Staël’s Corinne, ou l’Italie (1807),” appeared in Women Against Napoleon: Historical and Fictional Responses to his Rise and Legacy (Campus Verlag, 2008), and she recently reviewed Ruth Iskin’s Modern Women and Parisian Consumer Culture in Impressionist Painting for French Studies (volume 63, Spring 2009).

[HECAA members Mechthild Fend, Melissa Hyde, and Mary Sheriff also participated in the Récamier colloquium. A summary of the event and exhibition will be published as a separate posting in the near future.]

17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers from Gale

Posted in resources by Editor on August 27, 2009

As noted by Anna Battigelli at Early Modern Online Bibliography, Gale’s Burney Collection is available free of charge until October 30 for EMOB readers. To access the collection, visit the blog here. For a description of this extraordinary resource (drawn from the Gale website), see below:

photobannerThe newspapers and pamphlets gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney (1757-1817) represent the largest single collection of 17th and 18th century English news media available anywhere. The 1,270-title collection includes a wide range of pamphlets, proclamations, newsbooks and newspapers from the period, covering more than 200 years of accounts from newspapers from England, Ireland, Scotland and a handful of papers from British colonies in the Americas and Asia.

The original Burney volumes are now in fragile condition and have been restricted from ordinary reading room use. Until now, the only access to this unprecedented collection has been through microfilm. This digital collection, made possible by a partnership with the British Library, puts these early newspapers into the hands of scholars and researchers and is an invaluable research tool for all disciplines.

Specifically, historians interested in this period of U.K. history will find the cultural trends, political currents and social problems reflected in these newspapers — and their advertisements — especially useful as they give freshness and immediacy to historical events.

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New Books: Recently Posted at caa.reviews

Posted in books, catalogues, reviews by Editor on August 26, 2009

caa.reviews recently posted reviews of two late-eighteenth-century books. Brief excerpts are provided below; for the full texts, click on the picture of each book.

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Watkin.ThomasHope_smPhilip Hewat-Jaboor and David Watkin, eds. Thomas Hope: Regency Designer, exhibition catalogue (New York and New Haven: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture and Yale University Press, 2008). 520 pages; 420 color ills.; 40 b/w ills. Cloth $100.00 (9780300124163).

Reviewed by Christopher Drew Armstrong, Assistant Professor, Department of History of Art & Architecture, University of Pittsburgh; posted 18 August 2009

An unparalleled glimpse into Hope’s world and by extension into the world of design and elite culture after the French Revolution was provided last fall by the exhibition Thomas Hope: Regency Designer, organized by the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture. The effort that went into assembling objects for the exhibition and texts for the accompanying catalogue was fully justified by the results, yielding the most complete panorama of Hope’s activities as a designer and collector since the contents of his residences were dispersed. Simultaneous to John Soane’s experiments in his house at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and Percier’s and Fontaine’s renovation of La Malmaison, Hope was borrowing from the same sources and exploring similar ideas. Though his houses have been demolished, it is now possible to imagine the wealth of innovation that went into their planning and to appreciate how Hope’s interiors and furnishings were used to showcase his aspirations and ideals.

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VisTheRevHubertus Kohle and Rolf Reichardt, Visualizing the Revolution: Politics and Pictorial Arts in Late Eighteenth-Century France (London: Reaktion Books, 2008), 240 pages, 30 color ills.; 156 b/w ills. Cloth $45.00 (9781861893123)

Reviewed by Nina Dubin, Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, University of Illinois at Chicago; posted 19 August 2009

Among the strengths of Visualizing the Revolution: Politics and Pictorial Arts in Late Eighteenth-Century France—an ambitious new study co-authored by the historian Rolf Reichardt and the art historian Hubertus Kohle—is the compelling case it makes that prints comprised the art form par excellence of the age, less because of their representational force than because of the special capacity of the medium to embody the “message” of the Revolution. Published in newspapers, sold by street vendors, pirated, re-worked and re-circulated, printed pictures—particularly mass-produced etchings—asserted the new-found and irrepressible power of the many over the few, of the multiple over the singular. Prints, more than illustrating the events of the Revolution, decisively shaped them. . . .

While the authors are to be commended for the wealth of visual evidence they present, equally noteworthy is the book’s underlying provocation to the art historian: namely, that to prioritize the individual aesthetic achievement of works of Revolutionary art is to lose sight of their participation in a collective political project.

Send in That Proposal!

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 25, 2009

Clock in the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (Photo by Alves Gaspar, Wikimedia Commons)

To recap some previous posts as due dates approach:

  • August 28 – Proposals for an edited collection of essays, Women of Fashion: Popular Culture in the Eighteenth Century and the Eighteenth Century in Popular Culture, edited by Tiffany Potter (University of British Columbia).
  • September 1 – Submissions for the Catharine Macaulay Prize, awarded annually for the best graduate student paper on a feminist or Women’s Studies subject presented at the ASECS Annual Meeting or at any of the regional meetings during the academic year.
  • September 1 – Paper proposals for a conference to be held in London at the National Gallery, in March 2010 on Correspondences: Exchanges and Tensions between Art, Theatre and Opera in France, c.1750-1850.
  • September 1 – Session proposals for the annual CAA meeting in New York in February 2011.
  • September 1 – Paper proposals for the annual CAA meeting in Chicago in February 2010, specifically for the panel hosted by the Historians of British Art, “Young Scholars’ Works in Progress.”
  • September 10 – Paper proposals for a conference to be held in Salem, Massachusetts in March 2010 on Visual Arts and Global Trade in the Early American Republic.
  • September 15 – Paper proposals for the 2010 ASECS conference in Albuquerque, March 18-21.
  • September 18 – Proposals for an edited collection of essays on Sociability and Cosmopolitanism: Social Bonds on the Fringes of the Enlightenment.
  • September 30 – Proposals for the 2010 ISECS interdisciplinary seminar for junior scholars, to be held in Belfast in August 2010 on the theme of Cultural Intermediaries.

Update on the Conway and Witt Libraries at the Courtauld

Posted in resources by Editor on August 25, 2009

The following letter was posted to the CAAH List earlier today:

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Sent on behalf of Professor Deborah Swallow:

I am writing with an important update on the opening times and service provided by the Witt and Conway Libraries. The Courtauld is pleased to confirm that the Witt and Conway Libraries will remain open to the public five days a week and the Photographic Survey collections will continue to be accessible by appointment, contrary to concerns recently expressed by some members of the art community. Please see the attached notice for further details. As you may be aware, The Courtauld, like other higher education institutions worldwide, has had to review all its operational activities and services in the light of the current economic climate. Those activities that are critical to its higher education function must be provided in the most cost-effective way, and those areas with a negative budget impact managed efficiently and the net cost minimized. It is with sincere regret that, as a result, 6 posts (5.1 FTE) in the Witt and Conway Libraries and Photographic Survey will become redundant from 4 September 2009 and the management structure of these libraries will change.

The Witt and Conway Libraries are unique visual resources for the serious study of art history. They are regarded by The Courtauld as an important dimension of its work as a teaching and research institute and as a valuable asset for students, scholars and researchers. By instigating these changes, and by working together with our supporters and the wider art community, we intend to ensure that these valuable resources will not only be efficiently managed but will also remain available for generations to come.

I would be grateful if you could note the forthcoming temporary closure period for the Witt and Conway libraries which will be closed from 7 September and will reopen on 2 November – as well as the adjusted opening times once it reopens of 11am to 4pm (subject to the usual Bank Holidays).

Professor Deborah Swallow

Märit Rausing Director

‘For Pembroke: Statues, dirty Gods, and Coins’

Posted in journal articles by Editor on August 25, 2009

Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke

1_fullsizeNot for himself he sees, or hears, or eats;

Artists must choose his Pictures, Music, Meats:

He buys for Topham, Drawings and Designs,

For Pembroke, Statues, dirty Gods, and Coins;

Rare monkish Manuscripts for Hearne alone,

And Books for Mead, and Butterflies for Sloane

– Alexander Pope, “Epistle IV, to Lord Burlington” (“On Taste”), 1730s

For Pope – taking aim at those he saw as pretenders to taste – collectors such as Thomas Herbert, the 8th Earl of Pembroke (ca. 1656-1733), stood out as important models, easily aped but rarely emulated in a meaningful manner.


Lenos Sarcophagus (Wilton House Collection)


King's Closet at Wilton House

The current issue (July/August) of Apollo Magazine is dedicated to the Earls of Pembroke and their seat at Wilton House. Francis Russell surveys the paintings of the 8th Earl, Elizabeth Angelicoussis focuses on four Roman sarcophagi from his collection, and John Martin Robinson addresses a set of early eighteenth-century furniture acquired for Wilton House by Catherine Woronzow, the Russian wife of the 11th Earl, in the early nineteenth century from Wanstead House, Essex.

Prints of War

Posted in books, exhibitions, reviews by Editor on August 24, 2009

612rHD2y+oL._SS500_James Clifton, Leslie Scattone, Emine Fetvaci, Ira Gruber, and Larry Silver, The Plains of Mars: European War Prints, 1500-1825, from the collection of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation (Yale University Press), 254 pages, $65 (hardback) ISBN 9780300137224

Last week’s Art Newspaper includes a review by Alexander Adams of The Plains of Mars, the catalogue from a show that appeared at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston earlier this year, February 7 – May 10, 2009.

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Editors have organised a diverse spectrum of material into themes, within which prints are sequenced chronologically. The catalogue section is preceded by enlightening essays dealing with the imagery of the Landsknecht (German mercenary of the 15th to 17th centuries), the recurrence of the Turk—as symbol of alien despotism and the exotic Orient—and the mixture of pictorial, cartographic and topographic modes in war prints. A concise survey by Professor Gruber deftly covers military developments in conflicts of this period. The catalogue section, complete with comparative figures, includes extensive commentaries necessary to contextualise individual prints . . .

The Plains of Mars presents a wealth of socially and historically important sources (some of them great artistic achievements) in a clear and authoritative fashion. A glossary, index and biographical notes of all featured artists conclude this impressive volume.

Read the full review at The Art Newspaper

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