Enfilade

French Drawings from the National Gallery of Scotland

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 30, 2010

Press release from The Wallace:

Poussin to Seurat: French Drawings from the National Gallery of Scotland
The Wallace Collection, London, 23 September 2010 — 3 January 2011
The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, 5 February — 1 May 2011

Catalogue by Michael Clarke, 144 pages, ISBN: 9781906270315, $25

This exhibition is the latest in an ongoing series mounted by the Wallace Collection which features selections from celebrated collections of French drawings. The holdings of French paintings in the National Gallery of Scotland are world famous and include magnificent examples by Claude, Poussin, Watteau, Greuze and many of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Not so well-known, however, is the Gallery’s complementary collection of French drawings. This has been deliberately strengthened over the past thirty years to build on the existing core of fine drawings, many of which came to the Gallery, via the Royal Scottish Academy, from the collection of the Edinburgh bookseller and antiquarian David Laing (1793-1878). Of the more familiar names who have recently entered the collection mention can be made of Poussin, Boucher, Ingres, Corot, Pissarro and Seurat. These acquisitions have been complemented by excellent sheets by lesser-known masters such as Jeaurat, Lancrenon, Hesse and Dulac – thereby ensuring a mix of the familiar and less familiar.

In subject-matter, the exhibition ranges from the courtly art of Fontainebleau in the sixteenth century to the more down-to-earth imagery of the Realists and Impressionists in the nineteenth century. There are preparatory drawings for tapestries and for ambitious Salon pictures, as well as figure studies made in the studio or landscape sketches inspired by study in the open air. Two artist-writers also feature in the selection – Eugène Fromentin, whose most celebrated text is probably Les maîtres d’autrefois, and the novelist George Sand, whose extraordinary invented landscape watercolours anticipate the work of Surrealists such as Max Ernst in the twentieth century.

The selection made for this exhibition, which will also be shown in Edinburgh, has deliberately been chosen so as to relate to the holdings of the Wallace Collection. Accordingly there are drawings by Claude, Watteau, Scheffer, Decamps and Delaroche – masters who are particularly associated with the collecting of Lord Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace. The most celebrated linkage, however, occurs with the inclusion of Poussin’s exceptional preparatory drawing for one of the greatest paintings in the Wallace Collection, the Dance to the Music of Time, the title of which was taken by Anthony Powell for his celebrated series of novels.

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Writing in The Financial Times (24 September 2010), Emma Crichton-Miller explores the growth of the collection in an interview with Michael Clarke, the director of the National Gallery of Scotland. The article is available here»

Jonathan Brown Is CAA’s 2011 Distinguished Scholar

Posted in the 18th century in the news by Editor on November 29, 2010

From CAA:

The study of Iberian art on both sides of the Atlantic from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries has been immeasurably enriched by the scholarly efforts of Jonathan Brown. Through his writing and teaching he has made his academic home, the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, a premier center for the study of visual arts of Spain and New Spain. Brown’s work has concerned painting, sculpture, and architecture—though painting has always held pride of place in his aesthetic imagination. His main interests have been the arts of Spain from the birth of the Golden Age in the sixteenth century and, more recently, painting in viceregal New Spain in the seventeenth and eighteenth. Among more modern artists, Francisco de Goya has also played a significant role in Brown’s scholarly profile, and his efforts in the history of collecting have brought his art-historical concerns up to the twenty-first century. . .

The full article is available here»

Exhibition to Recreate a Day in the Life of a Parisian Townhouse

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on November 28, 2010

Press release from the Getty:

Paris: Life & Luxury
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 26 April — 7 August 2011
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 18 September — 10 December 2011

Curated by Charissa Bremer-David with Peter Björn Kerber

The nation of France, and its capital city of Paris in particular, held a special status in European culture during the 18th century. The upper echelons of societies throughout Europe were predominantly Francophiles—imitating French fashions of dress and furniture in their daily lives. On view in the Exhibitions Pavilion at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, April 26 through August 7, 2011, Paris: Life & Luxury re-imagines, through art and material culture, the complex and nuanced lifestyle of elite 18th-century Parisians who made their city the fashionable and cultural epicenter of Europe.

ISBN: 978-1606060520, $45

Inspired by the Getty Museum’s extensive French decorative arts collection and the correspondingly strong holdings of French illustrated books in the Getty Research Institute, Paris: Life & Luxury will provide a rich cultural and historical experience that closely mirrors daily life in 18th-century France. Bringing together approximately 160 objects, roughly half of which will be on loan from twenty-six museums and private collections around the world, the exhibition will include a wide range of paintings, sculpture, applied arts, drawings, metalwork, furniture, architectural fittings, lighting and hearth fixtures, scientific and musical instruments, clocks and watches, textiles and dress, books, and maps.

David Bomford, acting director of the J. Paul Getty Museum said, “Paris: Life & Luxury will transport visitors back to Paris in the mid-1700s. More than celebrating the period or perpetuating the mythology of its charm and gallantry, this exhibition re-imagines the varied and complex range of values and practices of the city’s elite within a rich material context.”

Charissa Bremer-David, curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the exhibition’s co-curator added, “The exhibition will be a rich and deep sensory experience, engaging the viewer’s initial attention with the compelling visual appeal of superlative and virtuoso works of art. From this breadth and diversity, visitors will learn generally about the contributions of the French, and in particular the Parisian, to the visual and performing arts, language, literature, history, science, and even culinary arts during this time period—in short, about their major contribution to the humanities at large.”

Following a structure based on the traditional visual allegories of the Four Times of Day, the objects in the exhibition are grouped according to their associations with common activities as pursued in the chronology of a single day, from morning to night. As such, objects of diverse mediums are juxtaposed, as they would have been within an 18th-century Parisian domestic setting, regardless of modern museological or academic categories. Through constellations of art and related artifacts, the exhibition follows the conventional activities in the cycle of a Parisian day, such as dressing, writing, collecting, eating, and evening entertainment—allowing visitors to envision the activities and accessories of quotidian life, in order to find resonances with their own daily lives. (more…)

Curatorial Fellowship at The Frick

Posted in fellowships, graduate students by Editor on November 28, 2010

Andrew W. Mellon Predoctoral Curatorial Fellowship 2011–2013
Applications due by 20 January 2011

The Frick Collection is pleased to announce the availability of a two-year predoctoral fellowship funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for an outstanding doctoral candidate who wishes to pursue a curatorial career in an art museum. The fellowship will offer invaluable curatorial training and will provide the scholarly and financial resources required for completing the doctoral dissertation. Internationally renowned for its exceptional collection of Western European art from the early Renaissance through the end of the nineteenth century, The Frick Collection, complemented by the equally significant resources of the Frick Art Reference Library, offers a unique opportunity for object-based research. The Mellon fellowship is best suited to a student working on a dissertation that pertains to one of the major strengths of the Collection and Library. (more…)

New Journal for the Decorative Arts: ‘West 86th’

Posted in journal articles by Editor on November 27, 2010

At the ever informative Art History Newsletter, Jon Lackman reports on the final issue of Studies in the Decorative Arts, which will, as of next year, be replaced by West 86th, a new journal published by the Bard Graduate Center in cooperation with the University of Chicago Press. As noted at the Bard’s website:

West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture

Publication, in print and online, is a major part of the BGC’s intellectual project. For 17 years, the BGC published Studies in the Decorative Arts, an internationally acclaimed journal covering the decorative arts, design history, and material culture. The success of this journal represents the success also of a new institution at catalyzing intellectual conversation. We are substantially rethinking Studies in the Decorative Arts after its final issue, printed in fall 2009. A new journal, West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, is planned for spring 2011, in collaboration with the University of Chicago Press, and will focus on the wider crossroads where the decorative arts meet design history and material culture. In addition to its print manifestation, this new journal will be published online and will be the starting point for an open-access Web site dedicated to journal-related digital content.

The “Guidelines for Contributors” can be downloaded here.

Ransom Center Fellowships

Posted in fellowships by Editor on November 27, 2010

Ransom Center Fellowships for 2011-12
The Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin

Applications due by 1 February 2011

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin annually awards over 50 fellowships to support research projects that require substantial on-site use of its collections. The fellowships support research in all areas of the humanities, including literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history.

The fellowships range from one to three months, with stipends of $3,000 per month. Also available are $1,200 to $1,700 travel stipends and dissertation fellowships with a $1,500 stipend. Complete applications for the 2011-2012 Research Fellowships in the Humanities must be received by February 1, 2011. More information about the fellowships and the Ransom Center’s collections is available online. Please contact Bridget Gayle at brigayle@mail.utexas.edu or 512-232-3214 with any questions or concerns.

Versace’s Stolen Zoffany Portrait Returned Home

Posted in Art Market by Editor on November 26, 2010

Stolen in 1979, Johan Zoffany’s Portrait of Major George Maule was slated to be auctioned at Sotheby’s in March 2009 as the centerpiece of the contents of Gianni Versace’s Lake Como villa. The painting was pulled from the sale at the last moment, and — as reported this week by Reuters — has now been returned to its original owners:

Johan Zoffany, "Portrait of Major George Maule, acting chief engineer of Madras" (Photo from "The Economist")

. . . A direct descendent of the subject of Portrait of Major George Maule contacted the Art Loss Register, which tracks lost and stolen art and antiquities, and the ALR in turn contacted Sotheby’s. “What could have been a protracted legal battle between two very well financed European families and their copious sets of lawyers has been amicably settled by the Art Loss Register’s art mediation team,” the ALR said. Although the terms of the settlement between the two families remained confidential, the ALR’s Christopher Marinello said: “There is no doubt that Gianni Versace had no knowledge that this painting was stolen when he purchased it in the 1980s. “This portrait does … hold particular sentimental value to the … heirs and the Versace family were extremely gracious in their willingness to compromise in seeing its return.” . . .

The Economist’s coverage of the story from March of last year is available here»

Call for Papers: The Wye Valley in Wales

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 26, 2010

The Wye Valley: Romantic Representations, 1640–1830
Tintern, Monmouthshire, Wales, 6-8 July 2011

Proposals due by 1 January 2011

The aim of this international conference – held on the banks of the Wye at Tintern, with views over to the abbey ruins – is to revisit one of Britain’s paradigmatic cultural sites: the Wye Valley. From Thomas Traherne and Henry Vaughan to William Wordsworth and S. T. Coleridge, from the Early Modern period to Romanticism, this resonant ground has been central to British poetry, art, aesthetic theory, picturesque tourism and political intervention. The borderspace from Pumlumon to Chepstow became one of the great internalised cartographies of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is time to trace the flow of Wordsworth’s famous ‘wanderer through the woods’ anew in order to reconsider the conditioning influence this frontier-river had on the literary, artistic and cultural imagination of the age.

The Wye Valley: Romantic Representations will examine a broad spectrum of negotiations with the Wye Valley during the period 1640–1830, following in the footsteps and waterwakes of the period’s commentators, authors and artists. How might we ‘revisit’ the Wye Valley in order to defamiliarise the myriad responses to this landscape? What is the extent of the Wye Valley’s ‘reach’ into the various cultures of the age? What are the contours of various ‘cross-border’ negotiations with the Wye? The conference will bring international scholars together to examine a crucial section of the Welsh and British map.

The conference will take place at the heart of Tintern, a few hundred yards from the abbey and the river. Hotels and B&Bs are located within a couple of minutes’ walk. Possible excursions include the Piercefield picturesque estate, the wooded hills overlooking the valley, the castle at Chepstow, the famous iron forges along the impressive Angidy Valley and of course the Abbey itself. 20-minute papers are invited in any relevant area; suggestions are given below. Please email abstracts of c. 300 words to Stephanie Churms (scc09@aber.ac.uk) by 1 January 2011. (more…)

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted in opinion pages, site information by Editor on November 25, 2010

From the Editor

As I’ve mentioned before, a highlight of my summer was the chance to participate in the Attingham Program for the Study of Dutch Historic Houses. Before meeting up with the group in Amsterdam, I spent a couple of days in Antwerp and was especially delighted to stumble across this extraordinary pulpit from 1713. On several occasions, I was intrigued with important eighteenth-century additions to much older churches (the extraordinary organ at Haarlem’s St. Bavo is another example). The pulpit offers an amazing collection of wildlife, but at this time of the year, it is, of course, the turkey that stands out. To all of Enfilade’s American readers, a very Happy Thanksgiving.  -CH

From the wall text at The Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp:

Michiel Van der Voort (1667-1737), Pulpit, 7 meters high

The pulpit stems from the former Saint Bernard’s Abbey located in Hemiksem,
south of Antwerp, and was brough in 1803 by the church council of the
Cathedral. The base and support symbolize the dissemination of faith across
the four continents. It is a superb example of the naturalistic Baroque.

Symposium: Gold Boxes at The Wallace and V&A

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on November 24, 2010

From The Wallace Collection:

Going for Gold: Craftsmanship and Collecting of Gold Boxes
The Wallace Collection and the V&A, London, 26-28 November 2010

A year after the opening of the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries at the V&A and the Boudoir Cabinet at the Wallace Collection, both museums are celebrating the art of the gold box in 18th- and 19th-century Europe. Leading international experts will speak on different centres of production including Paris, Geneva, Hanau, Berlin, Dresden, St Petersburg and London. Papers will illustrate design sources for boxes, diplomatic gifts, the challenge of recognizing fakes and the leading collections assembled by monarchs and bankers.

£112 for two days / £94 concessions / £30 students
£56 for one day / £47 concessions / £15 students
(Includes a wine reception at the Wallace Collection on Friday 26 and lunch at the V&A on Saturday 27)
Book online or call +44 (0)20 7942 2211

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F R I D A Y,  2 6  N O V E M B E R
The Goodison Lecture Theatre, The Wallace Collection (more…)