Reviewed: ‘Regulating the Académie’

Posted in books, reviews by Editor on November 4, 2010

Recently added to caa.reviews:

Reed Benhamou, Regulating the Académie: Art, Rules and Power in “ancien régime” France (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2009), 308 pages, ISBN: 9780729409728, $100.

Reviewed by Elizabeth C. Mansfield, Department of Art History, New York University; posted 27 October 2010.

Few institutions have influenced the course of European art or the writing of art history as decisively as the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Its pulse animated the visual extravagance of Versailles, the popularity of public art exhibitions, the emergence of art criticism, and the codification of an approach to arts instruction that persists to this day. The Academy’s legacy extends even to the enduring assumption that a centralized system of arts administration distinguishes a functioning nation-state. It is no surprise, then, that the Academy should cast a strong shadow in so many histories of post-Renaissance European art. Yet, for all this, art historians rarely allow the Academy to assume more than a vaguely adumbrated role as a monolithic force bent on enforcing conservative artistic values and practices. To be sure, some scholars have succeeded in bringing to life the Academy’s complex institutional operation. Thomas Crow’s ‘Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Paris’ (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985) and ‘Emulation: Making Artists for Revolutionary France’ (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995), for instance, exemplify the capacity for subtle institutional analysis to yield compelling art-historical interpretations. Reed Benhamou’s ‘Regulating the Académie: Art, Rules and Power in ancien régime France‘ offers both a prompt and an aid to scholars who seek to engage in a similarly careful study of the French Royal Academy. Drawing from archival as well as published sources, Benhamou has crafted a satisfyingly detailed account of the administrative history of the Academy. . . .

For the full review, click here» (CAA membership required)

Call for Book Proposals: British Art, Global Contexts

Posted in books, Calls for Papers, opportunities by Editor on November 4, 2010

British Art: Global Contexts, 1700–2000
Series Editors: Jason Edwards, Sarah Monks, and Sarah Victoria Turner

Book proposals are welcomed for Ashgate’s series, British Art: Global Contexts, edited by Jason Edwards, University of York; Sarah Monks, University of East Anglia; and Sarah Victoria Turner, University of York. The series provides a forum for the study of British art, design, and visual culture in the global context from 1700 to the present day. Focusing upon the transport, location and reception of British art across the world; the British reception and exhibition of art from around the globe; and transnational and cosmopolitan art containing significant British components; the series seeks to problematize, historicise and specify the idea of ‘British’ art across the period, as it intersects with local, regional, international and global issues, communities, materials, and environments. Books to be published will include monographs and thematic studies, single authored works and edited volumes of essays, specialising in studies of British art within comparative and interdisciplinary frameworks.

Please send a letter of inquiry, or a formal proposal, to Meredith Norwich, Commissioning Editor for Visual Studies, at mnorwich@ashgate.com, AND to the series editors, Jason Edwards, je7@york.ac.uk; Sarah Monks, s.monks@uea.ac.uk; and Sarah Victoria Turner, svt500@york.ac.uk.

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