Symposium on William Birch in Philadelphia

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on November 10, 2010

From the conference brochure:

The Landscapes of William Birch: Providing a Context
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 3 December 2010

Coming to Philadelphia in 1794, William Russell Birch (1755-1834) would become the first artist successfully to publish engraved view books in the United States. He arrived with a letter from Benjamin West and with a successful 1791 publication, Delices de la Grande Bretagne, a series of 36 engraved views of picturesque settings after such artists as West, Joshua Reynolds, and Thomas Gainsborough. Although Birch immediately found some success as a copyist of portraits, he never lost his desire to create picturesque views based upon the American experience, and in 1800 he published The City of Philadelphia, a series of 28 views which would become the touchstone for future artists, engravers, and architects desiring to present images of the city. The success of this set of large-format prints encouraged Birch to undertake The Country Seats of the United States of North America, published in 1808. Birch’s reputation has chiefly rested on these two publications, but there is much more to learn about his life and career.

Symposium Presentations

  • John Dixon Hunt, “Picturesque: ‘The Singular Excellence of Britain for Picture Scenes.’”
  • Wendy Bellion, “Expanding the Scope of Painting in the 1790s”
  • Michael J. Lewis, “Birch’s Philadelphia:  An Architectural Perspective”
  • Emily T. Cooperman, “‘Another Fifty Years May Lay a Foundation’: The Legacy of Birch’s Landscape Art”
  • Lea Carson Sherk, “The Birch ‘Lives’ and the Carson Collection.”

To register for the conference, please visit The Athenaeum’s website»

%d bloggers like this: