Call for Essays: Slavery in the Long Eighteenth Century

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 13, 2010

Confronting a World of Bondage: Britain, Global Slavery, and the Long Eighteenth Century
Abstracts due by 15 March 2010

Great Britain’s engagement with transatlantic slavery in the long eighteenth century has garnered critical attention from scholars across disciplines, primarily in history and literary studies. Their dominance of the slave trade and the surprisingly successful abolitionist movement places Britain at the nexus of a set of singular social, political, and economic changes, specifically with respect to other European nations. However, as scholars like Nabil Matar and Linda Colley have shown, the idea of enslavement extended beyond West Africa and the New World. The public imagination also responded with fascination to tales of Barbary captivity and enslavement as well as to the ‘exotic’ slaving practices of the Ottoman empire. In addition, conflicts over religion produced tracts that compared Catholicism to a form of enslavement. During the Restoration in particular, pamphlets expressed the fear that Englishmen would become political ‘slaves’ to an absolutist monarch—i.e. French Catholic absolutism would enslave Englishmen in an overdetermined way. Moreover, proto-feminist discourse from writers like Mary Astell depicted the female condition as a form of enslavement.  Clearly, the term ‘slavery’ to the eighteenth-century audience encompassed broader physical and metaphysical conditions than current scholarship seems to acknowledge.

Contemporary scholarship has produced useful studies on Atlantic and Mediterranean forms of slavery, illustrating that human bondage was an extremely complicated and varied phenomenon during the long eighteenth century. If the term ‘slavery’ is associated in modern minds with the racialized institutions of plantation slavery in the Americas, it is clear that conceptions of slavery from the Restoration to the organized abolitionist movements against West African slavery encompassed a much larger domain, in both a literal and figurative sense. Moreover, audiences in Britain could and did often formulate competing ideas of slavery that allowed them to simultaneously view African slavery as a necessary evil, consider Mediterranean slavery as an atrocity, and invoke metaphorical slavery to inveigh against the current socio-political state. What new meanings can be discovered by bringing these multiple understandings of the term into conversation? How can we complicate ideas of bondage in an era that introduced new concepts of freedom and progress and knit it into a complex national narrative? (more…)

Thinking Globally

Posted in Member News by Editor on January 12, 2010

Member News

Elisabeth Fraser, author of Delacroix, Art and Patrimony in Postrevolutionary France (Cambridge University Press, 2004), has two articles appearing in the near future:

• “‘Dressing Turks in the French Manner’: Mouradgea d’Ohsson’s Tableau général de l’Empire Othoman,” in a special issue of Ars Orientalis on the topic of ‘Art and Mobility: Globalism in the Eighteenth Century’, edited by Nebahat Avcioglu and Barry Flood (2010)

• “Images of Uncertainty: Delacroix, Morocco, and the Art of Nineteenth-Century Expansion,” chapter in Cultural Contact and the Making of European Art since the Age of Exploration, edited by Mary Sheriff (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). [For more information, click here»]

In 2008, she published “Books, Prints, and Travel: Reading in the Gaps of the Orientalist Archive,” Art History 31 (June 2008): 342-67.

Abstract: By 1780 a thriving publishing industry for travel accounts developed in France, but its rich visual component has not been closely analysed. Taking Auguste de Forbin’s Voyage dans le Levant (1819) and Marie-Gabriel de Choiseul-Gouffier’s Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce (1782) as paradigmatic examples, I reconsider illustrated travel books in light of new theories of reading generated by historians of the book. The multifarious nature of these books – juggling word and image and coordinating the work of a large number of writers, researchers, artists, and printmakers – provides a radically alternative model for interpreting travel representation in the age of expansion.

Fraser is also working on a book project, Mediterranean Encounters: Artists and Other Travelers in and around the Ottoman Empire, 1780-1850, for which she received an NEH Fellowship.

Sure to Inspire Some Wishful Thinking

Posted in Art Market by Editor on January 11, 2010

Master Drawings New York
New York, 23-30 January 2010 (Opening Reception, 22 January, 4-9PM)

Master Drawings New York will return to New York City’s Upper East Side for the fourth consecutive year from Saturday 23 January to Saturday 30 January 2010, with an open reception on Friday 22. Twenty-two exhibitors from the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain will be exhibiting with an outstanding selection of works from the 16th to the 20th centuries with prices ranging from $2,000 to over $1 million. The selection of works on paper include oil sketches, watercolours, drawings in charcoal, pencil and pen and ink. All of the galleries included in this Master Drawings week are within walking distance from one another on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Master Drawings New Yorkis based on the highly successful Master Drawings London, which was launched in 2001, this week-long event in New York will provide collectors with an opportunity to buy works from twenty-two different exhibitors. New this year are: Didier Aaron, Jill Newhouse, Addison Fine Arts,
Monroe Warshaw, Richard A. Berman and Jose de la Mano Galeria de Arte and
Thomas Williams Fine Art.

Antoine Coypel, “Standing Figure of Minerva, a Shield in Her Right Hand to Protect a Young Boy” Offered by Trinity Fine Art

For the first time this year Didier Aaron Gallery will be participating with a selection of about fifty French 18th-century drawings. The View of an Italian Park by Jean Honoré Fragonard is drawn with a brown wash on paper and dates from 1775. Monroe Warshaw will be showing a Joachim Beuckelaer drawing of The Adoration of the Shepherds circa 1560. The pen and ink drawing is for the St. Ursulakirche painting in Cologne. Jill Newhouse is exhibiting drawings formerly from the collection of Curtis O. Baer including a Max Beckmann Birdplay 1949, a pen and india ink over charcoal. London-based exhibitors Stephen Ongpin will show an untitled work by Jean Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) and Crispian Riley-Smith will be showing an important group of Dutch drawings and watercolours including Woodcutters by Vincent Vinne (1736-1811). Gerald Stiebel will be showing a watercolour, Marriage Ceremony at a Military Encampment by Charles Parrocel (1688-1752) and Margot Gordon will exhibit Pietro Testa’s Three Putti in the Clouds a red chalk study for the painting Adoration of The Magi, in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Master Drawings New York, now in it’s fourth consecutive year, provides the collector that rare opportunity to spend one week visiting twenty-two different galleries who specialize in drawings and are all located on the Upper
East Side of New York City. Master Drawings London that involves a similar
number of outstanding galleries will take place from July 3-9, 2010.

Ephemera Fellowship

Posted in fellowships by Editor on January 10, 2010

Ephemera Society of America Fellowship
Applications due by 1 February 2010

The Ephemera Society of America invites applications for the Philip Jones Fellowship for the Study of Ephemera. This competition is open to any interested individual or organization for research on any aspect of ephemera — material defined as transitory printed documents. It is expected that this research will further one or more aims of the Society: To cultivate and encourage interest in this material; to further the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of ephemera by people of all backgrounds and levels of interest; to contribute to cultural understanding; to promote personal and institutional collections, preservation, exhibition, and research of ephemeral materials. The $1,000 stipend can be applied to travel and research expenses.

Ephemera includes paper material such as advertisements, airsickness bags, baseball cards, billheads, bookmarks, bookplates, broadsides, cigar box labels and bands, cigarette cards, clipper ship cards, currency, board and card games, greeting cards, invitations, labels, menus, paper dolls, postcards, posters, puzzles and puzzle cards, stock certificates, tickets, timetables, trade cards, valentines, watch papers, and wrappers. (more…)

Huntington Names Its First Curator of American Decorative Arts

Posted in the 18th century in the news by Editor on January 9, 2010

From a December 2009 press release from The Huntington:

Harold B. “Hal” Nelson has been named the first curator of American decorative arts at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. A specialist in decorative art and contemporary craft for more than 30 years, Nelson has written numerous publications and organized a variety of exhibitions. As guest curator at The Huntington beginning in January 2008, he contributed to the comprehensive reinstallation of the newly expanded Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, which opened in May.

“We have become increasingly committed to the collection, display, and interpretation of American decorative art in recent years,” says John Murdoch, Hannah and Russel Kully Director of the Art Collections at The Huntington. “And we are absolutely ecstatic that we now can celebrate not only a new curatorial position but also our ability to attract a specialist of Mr. Nelson’s caliber.”

The Huntington’s collection of American decorative art spans a great range of styles, functions, and media, with examples from the colonial period through the 20th century. It is composed of furniture; silver; ceramics; glass; and metalwork, including jewelry, desk implements, and architectural ornaments. The collection has grown significantly in recent years. When The Huntington’s first American art galleries opened in 1984, it held 152 such objects. Twenty-five years later, there are approximately 950 pieces in the collection, many of which are displayed in the new galleries. Nelson worked closely on the new installation with Jessica Todd Smith, Virginia Steele Scott Curator of American Art.

“Hal was absolutely integral to the research and preparation behind the new installation,” said Smith. “A key part of the vision for the display of decorative arts was to fully integrate them with paintings and sculpture. Hal embraced that approach and took it to the ultimate creative and professional level. As a permanent curator, he will no doubt impress us again and again with his prowess in collections management, exhibitions, and interpretation.” (more…)

In the Latest ‘Art Bulletin’

Posted in books, journal articles, Member News, reviews by Editor on January 8, 2010

The December issue of The Art Bulletin 91 (2009) includes the following items addressing the eighteenth century:

Emma Barker, “Imaging Childhood in Eighteenth-Century France: Greuze’s Little Girl with a Dog,” pp. 426-45.

Author’s Abstract: “During the artist’s lifetime, A Child Playing with a Dog was one of Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s most admired and best-known works. The painting represent the physical, instinctual nature of the child in a manner unprecedented in French art. The image of childhood that it offers has close parallels in the scientific and medical discourse of the later eighteenth century. Like many contemporary commentators, Greuze evokes not simply the innocence of children but also their vulnerability, above all, that of little girls. He thereby implicates the viewer in the child’s fate, both for good and ill.”

Meredith Martin, review of Diplomatic Tours in the Gardens of Versailles under Louis XVI by Robert Berger and Thomas Hedin (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008)) and Carmontelle’s Landscape Transparencies: Cinema of the Enlightenment by Laurence Chatel de Brancion (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), pp. 511-15.

“Both Diplomatic Tours and Carmontelle’s Landscape Transparencies attempt to shed light on an underexplored aspect of French gardens and how they were portrayed in the ancien régime. As in a growing number of garden history books, the authors foreground questions of reception and use and treat these landscapes as a dynamic field of social relations — in other words, as a contested terrain. Both books also share an inclination to animate the garden as a kinetic experience by way of descriptive texts and visual images. . .” (512).

Printing Fabric

Posted in resources by Editor on January 7, 2010

Today’s “site of interest” at Style Court is The Zucchi Collection, “home to 56,000 printing blocks used to produce handprinted fabric over the course of three centuries from 1785 to 1935. . . ” As outlined on the Zucchi site itself:

This series reproduces the so-called “Palma” motif which modern historians have determined as being typical of damask fabrics (click on image for more information)

A symmetrical handblock from a monochromatic pair in wood and felt, England, 1790, 46cm x 24cm (Milan: Zucchi Collection)

In 1987, Giordano Zucchi, a textile group director sensitive to changing tastes in the art of furnishing, came into possession of a handblock of wood and pewter which had formerly been used for the production of hand-printed fabrics. It was only one among many to have been found in a certain factory in Gloucestershire. These handblocks had been the property of the prestigious English textiles company David Evans & Co. who, for more than 150 years, had been gathering them from Europe’s major printing houses. Giordano Zucchi was not one to let an opportunity pass him by and in 1988, this important legacy was renamed “The Zucchi Collection.” Its value was further enhanced by the addition of special copper plates used to create the characteristic “batik” design. Today it is considered to be one of the biggest collections of handblocks for printed fabrics in the world. The cultural value of the Collection gained official recognition in 1997 when it received the Guggenheim Award.

Call for Papers: Conference on Women and Political Thought

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 7, 2010

Women’s Political Thought in Europe 1700-1800
Prato, Italy, 25-29 August 2010

Proposals due by 8 March 2010

Offers of papers are invited for a conference on the contribution of women to the history of political thought in Europe during the Enlightenment period. Papers may discuss the political ideas of individual women such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Catherine Macaulay, Mary Hays, Sarah Churchill, Mary Delariviere Manley, Marie Jodin, Emilie du Châtelet, Madame Dupin, Olympe de Gouges, Felicité Keralio-Robert, Madame Roland, Germaine de Staël, Dorothea Erxleben Leporin, Amalie Holst, Johanna Charlotte Unzer, Luise Gottsched, Mariana von Ziegler, Elise Reimarus, Elisabetta Caminer Turra, and others. Papers placing the work of such women in the broader context of political writing by men are encouraged. ‘Political thought’ is broadly interpreted to include sexual politics as well as political theory, and discussions of the political ideas of women as expressed in genres other than the political treatise are welcome.

Submissions of title and one-page abstract should be sent by 8th March 2010, to Karen.green@arts.monash.edu.au, or in hard copy to Karen Green, School of Philosophy and Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne 3800, Australia.

Up to five bursaries of up to $500 will be available to help post-graduates and early career researchers to attend the conference. Applicants who wish to be considered for one of these should indicate this with their submission.

An edited volume on women’s political thought in Europe during the eighteenth century is proposed, and contributions to the conference may be submitted for publication in this volume. Contributors who are unable to attend the Prato Conference but would like to contribute a paper to the volume are invited to submit papers for consideration by September 30th 2010.

Fellowship Opportunities for Americanists

Posted in fellowships, resources by Editor on January 7, 2010

American Antiquarian Society Visiting Academic Fellowships, 2010-2011
Applications due by 15 January 2010

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) invites applications for its 2010-11 visiting academic fellowships. At least three AAS-National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships will be awarded for periods extending from four to twelve months.  Long-term fellowships are intended for scholars beyond the doctorate; senior and mid-career scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. Over thirty short-term fellowships will be awarded for one to three months. The short-term grants are available for scholars holding the Ph.D. and for doctoral candidates engaged in dissertation research, and offer a stipend of $1850/month.  Special short-term fellowships support scholars working in the history of the book in American culture, in the American eighteenth century, and in American literary studies, as well as in studies that draw upon the Society’s preeminent collections of graphic arts, newspapers, and periodicals. Accommodations are available for visiting fellows in housing owned by AAS.

The AAS is a research library whose collections focus on American history, literature, and culture from the colonial era through 1876.  The Society’s collections are national in scope, and include manuscripts, printed works of all kinds, newspapers and periodicals, photographs, lithographs, broadsides, sheet music, children’s literature, maps, city directories and almanacs, and a wide range of ephemera. Of particular interest to members of SHARP is our extensive collection of materials related to the history of publishing and the book trades in the U.S. and Canada.

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A selection of the ASA’s print holdings can be seen in the following collection, as described on the association’s website:

The Charles Peirce Collection of Social and Political Caricatures and Ballads originally consisted of a bound volume of 65 mounted prints of British and American origin dating from the years 1796-1807. The prints were disbound from their album, individually foldered and treated by AAS Conservation in 1992. The folders are not organized by date, place, subject or artist, but instead preserve the original order the prints appeared in the Charles Peirce album. Those of American origin have bibliographic records in the Catalogue of American Engravings [CAEP]. Prints of a British origin have their British Museum number listed which was supplied by the Catalogue of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum (AAS Call number: BIB Prints Brit C870). The box list of the entire collection, which also serves as an inventory, is fully illustrated.

Supplied in this inventory is the sheet size, title of print, publisher/artist information and year in addition to a brief description. Researchers interested in viewing additional British prints can consult the collection of European Political Prints where the British Museum prints are arranged chronologically. While thumbnail images and 150 dpi scans are available for every work, those interested in ordering higher quality reproductions may visit the Society’s Rights and Reproductions page.

Sporting Library Fellowship

Posted in fellowships by Editor on January 7, 2010

John H. Daniels Fellowship at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia
Applications due by 1 February 2010

The National Sporting Library, a research institution specializing in horse and field sports, invites applications for research fellowships from university faculty in the humanities and social sciences, museum and library professionals, journalists, and independent scholars. Research disciplines include history, art history, literature, American studies, and area studies. Past projects include the development of foxhounds in 18th-century Britain, hunting imagery in 18th-century French portraiture, and Early Modern horsemanship manuals. Located 42 miles west of Washington, D.C., the Library holds an extensive collection of over 17,000 books, periodicals, manuscripts, and sporting art. The collection covers many aspects of equestrian and outdoor sports, including foxhunting, horse racing, dressage, polo, eventing, coaching, shooting, hunting, fly fishing and angling. The F. Ambrose Rare Book Room contains over 4,000 rare volumes from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries in several languages. The Library has a permanent art collection of European and American sporting art, and will open the National Sporting Art Museum next door in 2011. The fellowship covers approved projects of 12 months or less, and applicants must demonstrate their need to use specific works in the collections. A monthly stipend, workspace, and complimentary housing (for those outside of the immediate area) are provided. Applications must be postmarked by February 1, 2010.

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