Mimi Hellman to Speak at the Bard Graduate Center

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on March 3, 2011

From the Bard Graduate Center:

Mimi Hellman, Forms of Distraction: Towards a Decorative Imagination in Eighteenth-Century France
Bard Graduate Center, New York, 30 March 2011

The eighteenth-century French interior was filled with a multitude of artfully designed objects, from lustrous porcelain vases to intricately veneered furniture to paintings representing the trysts of mythological lovers. Yet sustained appreciation of these works was often difficult due to factors such as location, lighting, and codes of conduct. By exploring the tensions between visual abundance and compromised visibility, this lecture suggests that both designers and consumers imagined the interior as a space where distraction, not attention, shaped the aesthetic and social value of decorative art.

Mimi Hellman is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, where she has taught since 2004. She has also taught at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Dr. Hellman received her B.A. and M.A. from Smith College, and the Ph.D. from Princeton University. She has been the recipient of prestigious fellowships including a David E. Finley Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (1997-2000), and a research fellowship at the American University in Paris from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (1995-7).

Dr. Hellman is preparing a book entitled The Hôtel de Soubise: Art and Ambition in Eighteenth-Century France. She has published numerous essays, including “Enchanted Night: Decoration, Sociability, and Visuality after Dark,” in Paris: Life and Luxury (forthcoming in 2011); “The Nature of Artifice: French Porcelain Flowers and the Rhetoric of the Garnish,” in The Cultural Aesthetics of Porcelain in the Eighteenth Century (2010); “Up the River: Touring Sing Sing,” in Lives of the Hudson (2010); “The Decorated Flame: Firedogs and the Tensions of the Hearth,” in Taking Shape: Finding Sculpture in the Decorative Arts, winner of Historians of British Art book prize (2010); “The Joy of Sets: The Uses of Seriality in the French Interior,” in Furnishing the Eighteenth Century: What Furniture Can Tell Us About the European and American Past (2006); “Interior Motives: Seduction by Decoration in Eighteenth-Century France,” the introduction to the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition catalogue, Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century (2006); and “Domesticity Undone: Three Historical Spaces,” in Undomesticated Interiors (2003).

Please RSVP and join us in the Lecture Hall at 38 West 86th Street, between Columbus Ave and Central Park West, at 5:45pm for a reception before the talk. For general information please contact academic-events@bgc.bard.edu.

American Print Culture Summer Seminar

Posted in graduate students, opportunities by Editor on March 3, 2011

From the American Antiquarian Society:

Encountering Revolution: Print Culture, Politics, and the British American Loyalists
American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA, 13-17 June 2011

Applications due by 11 March 2011

What happens to the dominant critical models in Revolutionary history-those that govern the way we conceptualize the meanings of print, the nature of authorship, the rhetorical forms of expression, and the very notion of “public” culture-when we reinsert the Loyalist presence into Revolutionary American Studies? The 2011 AAS Summer Seminar in the History of the Book in American Culture will employ transatlantic methods and contexts as a way of challenging the field’s reliance on nationalist models of literary and cultural history that rest upon the political history of the formation and development of the United States. This seminar will interrogate the “Americanness” of American political writing to articulate generic and thematic continuities between British and British American writing and printing.  By accounting for Loyalist writing in a revisionary history of Revolutionary print culture-through an examination of Loyalist printers and distribution networks as well as of efforts to censor Loyalist publications-we also hope the seminar will interrogate current models of the “public sphere” and of the historical/theoretical models informing public and private life in late eighteenth-century British America. Our goal is to consider the multiple, transatlantic audiences that Loyalist writing imagines for itself-and the larger issues about British American identity and identification that such imagined communities of readers raise for us today. The seminar will be led by Philip Gould (Professor of English, Brown University) and Ed Larkin (Associate Professor of English, University of Delaware). Details about the seminar and application forms are available at the AAS website. Limited amounts of financial aid are available for graduate student applicants.