Thomas Lawrence Exhibition and Conference

Posted in books, catalogues, conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on July 16, 2010

Thomas Lawrence: Regency, Power and Brilliance
A Conference at the National Portrait Gallery and The Paul Mellon Centre, London, 18-19 November 2010

Ed. by Cassandra Albinson, Peter Funnell, Lucy Peltz ISBN: 9780300167184 (YCBA, 2010), $70

This conference accompanies the exhibition Thomas Lawrence: Regency, Power and Brilliance at the National Portrait Gallery, London (20 October 2010–23 January 2011) which will be shown at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, (24 February–5 June 2011). This will be the first exhibition in the United Kingdom since 1979 to examine Lawrence’s work and the first substantial presentation of this artist in the United States. It will present Lawrence as the most important British portrait painter of his generation and will explore his development as one of the most celebrated and influential European artists of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. By his untimely death in 1830 Lawrence had achieved the greatest international reach and reputation of any British artist. Based on new research and fresh perspectives, this exhibition will introduce Lawrence to a new generation of museum visitors and students. It will also contextualise his work in the light of recent scholarship on the art, politics and culture of the period. The exhibition will include the artist’s greatest paintings and drawings alongside lesser known works in order to provide a fresh understanding of Lawrence and his career. It will contrast his approach to sitters according to age and gender, juxtapose the power and impact of his public works with the intimacy and intensity of those portraits of his friends and family, trace his innovations as a draughtsman and painter, and place him within the broader contexts of the aesthetic debates, networks of patronage and international politics of his day.

Thursday, 18 November 2010, National Portrait Gallery (2:00pm–8:30pm)

Session One will address issues relating to Lawrence, gender and representation, and will include papers by Marcia Pointon (Professor Emerita, University of Manchester), Shearer West (Arts and Humanities Research Council and the University of Birmingham) and Sarah Monks (School of World Art Studies and Museology, University of East Anglia).

Evening: At 6pm, delegates are invited to attend a guest lecture by Richard Holmes, the biographer and author of The Age of  Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of  Science (2008) and formerly Professor of Biographical Studies at the University of East Anglia. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception hosted by the curators, and free admission to the exhibition.

Friday, 19 November 2010, Paul Mellon Centre (9:15am–7:15pm)

Session Two, devoted to Lawrence and his contemporaries, will include papers by Viccy Coltman (University of Edinburgh) and Martin Myrone (Tate).

Session Three will explore technical aspects of Lawrence’s career, particularly his studio practice and relationship with engravers, and will include papers by Jacob Simon (National Portrait Gallery) and Sally Doust (Independent Scholar).

Session Four will address Lawrence’s reputation and historiography into the later nineteenth century, and will include papers by Philippa Simpson (Tate) and Pat Hardy (Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool).

The conference will conclude with a roundtable discussion, including Mark Hallett (University of York), Ludmilla Jordanova (King’s College, London), David Solkin (Courtauld Institute of Art), and the curators of the exhibition, which will consider themes arising from this exhibition and conference. The discussion will be followed by a wine reception at 5:45pm.

Full conference fee for both days, including coffee, lunch and tea on 19 November, and receptions: £40. Student and Senior concessions £20. To register for the conference please check availability with Ella Fleming at The Paul Mellon Centre: Email: events@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk, Tel: 020 7580 0311, Fax: 020 7636 6730.

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