AAH Oral Histories Project

Posted in resources by Freya Gowrley on August 23, 2011

The Association of Art Historians Oral Histories Project represents a ground-breaking attempt to record the history of art history. Via a series of interviews with luminary scholars, the AAH has begun to answer questions such as: What prompted the formation of the Association of Art Historians? Why was such an Association needed? How did it take shape? And what of its impact on the discipline, nationally and internationally, both then and now? For HECAA members, interviews with leading 18th-century and early modern scholars such as Luke Hermann, Marcia Pointon, Alison Yarrington and Evelyn Welch will likely be of interest. -FG

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From the Association of Art Historians:

Over the past two years, the AAH conducted a series of audio interviews conducted with art historians involved with AAH during its founding era. Excerpts from the recordings are now available to listen to on our website

The Association of Art Historians held its first official meeting at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in 1974. It was open to “all of those who are directly concerned with the advancement of the study of the history of art,” and within one year over 500 art historians had joined the newly formed AAH.

AAH Oral Histories explores these questions through a series of audio interviews conducted with art historians involved with AAH during its founding era. Highlights of these recordings can be heard by clicking on the link below. The complete recording from the AAH Oral Histories collection will soon to be accessible to researchers through the Archive of Art and Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The interviews will also form the basis of the Voices in Art History podcast soon to be made available for download on this site.

Sixteen people were interviewed as part of the project, including art historians specializing in a variety of subject areas, former members of the AAH Executive Committee, editors of its journal Art History, a former administrator, and a publicity and marketing professional – each of whom played a role in the development of the AAH. The interviews complement the written archive of the Association of Art Historians located at the Archive of Art and Design, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and were undertaken by Liz Bruchet between 2009 and 2011.

Syllabus: Arts and Trans-Atlantic Revolution

Posted in teaching resources by Editor on August 22, 2011

Here’s the second part of our back-to-school syllabus feature for the fall, this one from one of Laura Auricchio’s undergraduate courses. It’s a nice pairing with yesterday’s MA-level course and interesting to see how some themes persist even as the readings and assignments have been reworked for a different context. Both syllabi offer terrific examples of pace variation, nicely inserted late in the semester. I’ve abridged much of the logistical content, but the full syllabus is available here as a PDF file. Thanks again to Laura, and all the best to everyone still pulling syllabi together for the new semester.  -CH

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Arts and Trans-Atlantic Revolution
Professor Laura Auricchio

Visual culture plays crucial roles in both shaping and commemorating moments of political and social change. This course asks how both “high art” and “popular” images and objects contributed to upheavals that shook both sides of the Atlantic at the end of the 18th century. Focusing on revolutions in the U.S. (1775-1783), France (1789-1799) and Haiti (1791-1804), the course examines thematic, stylistic, and iconographic influences that crossed the ocean, with particular emphasis on the varying roles of race, class, and gender in each context. The course also traces the visual legacies of these revolutions in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, examining, for instance, how, why, and to what effect Jacob Lawrence created his series dedicated to the Haitian slave-turned-leader Toussaint L’Ouverture (1938), or Emanuel Leutze painted George Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851). Visits to works on view in NYC are central to the course experience.

15%  Attendance/ participation/ preparation
15%  Weekly reading responses
Preliminary assignments on topic of final paper:
15%  -Formal analysis (2-3 pages)
15%  -Annotated bibliography (8-10 sources)
10%  -Proposed argument (1 page)
30%  -Final paper (8-10 pages)

C O U R S E  S C H E D U L E (more…)

Syllabus: Visualizing Revolution

Posted in teaching resources by Editor on August 21, 2011

With a new academic year upon us, this year’s syllabi sampling is generously provided by Laura Auricchio, of Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. Today’s syllabus comes from a graduate seminar offered four years ago in conjunction with Parsons’s MA program in the History of Decorative Arts (thus it’s heavy on visual and material culture and light on painting and sculpture). It’s been reformatted slightly, but the original is available here as a PDF document. We’ll have one more tomorrow. Thanks, Laura!

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Visualizing Revolution: America and France
Professor Laura Auricchio

How did works of visual and material culture help to shape, reflect, and commemorate the revolutions that roiled France and the United States at the end of the eighteenth century? Drawing on objects housed at the Cooper-Hewitt, and timed to coincide with a New-York Historical Society exhibition focusing on America’s 1824-5 celebrations of the Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolution, this course will examine stylistic and iconographic influences that crossed the Atlantic, and ask how and why the different contexts of the French and American revolution yielded different roles for the visual arts. Issues to be addressed will include: Neoclassicism as a “republican” style; the politics of dress and decoration; public festivals and monuments; and nineteenth-century visions of eighteenth-century events. This course will require students to integrate primary-source research with historical and theoretical readings, and is recommended only for students who have already taken Proseminar. (more…)

On Site: Looking for the Habsburgs in Serbia

Posted in Member News, on site by Editor on August 20, 2011

Eighteenth-Century Encounters: Novi Sad, Serbia
By Michael Yonan

Petrovaradin Fortress, Serbia (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

THANKS TO THE hospitality of a former student, Višnja Kisić, this year’s summer travels took me into a region of the former Habsburg Empire much less well known than Bohemia or Hungary. This is Vojvodina, a flat, largely agricultural area that forms an autonomous province within modern Serbia.

Plan of Novi Sad (Ratzenstadt in archaic German) and the Petrovaradin fortress, 1745

Vojvodina is not too familiar to English-language art historians. Mentioning Serbia might bring to mind the rich legacy of medieval monasteries in the country’s south, the scattered Ottoman architecture that remains after centuries of Turkish rule, or perhaps Belgrade’s extensive heritage of Communist architecture. Imagine my surprise when I discovered substantial eighteenth-century sights in and around the regional capital of Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city.

The city itself has an almost perfect eighteenth-century pedigree. It was founded in 1694 as a new settlement across the Danube from the Petrovaradin Fortress, a large military structure that was instrumental in the Austrian army’s defense against the Ottomans. Novi Sad developed rapidly in the eighteenth century and still maintains its historical core with beautiful civic, domestic, and religious edifices. Unlike Belgrade, a sprawling and rather hectic place, Novi Sad has a much more relaxed feel that recalls Vienna or Budapest and bespeaks its Habsburg heritage.

J. K. Winkler, Virgin and Child, print, 1762

There are excellent museums in Novi Sad that would be of great interest to American scholars. For eighteenth-century specialists, the highlight certainly is the Gallery of Matica Srpska, where I was privileged to give a lecture on July 19. The gallery is the most important museum of Serbian art, and the quality of its holdings is impressive (“Matica” means “queen bee” and is used in Slavic countries to designate institutions of cultural promotion and scholarship). The museum is home to a gorgeous collection of painted religious images and carved wooden church outfittings, as well as an extensive group of eighteenth-century Serbian Orthodox prints. In addition, there are numerous painted portraits from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, academic history paintings by Serbian artists, and galleries of modern art. The real standouts for me were the beautiful Orthodox rococo church outfittings. These are composite constructions of gilded wood and paint that adorned Orthodox churches, usually altars and iconostases.

Teodor Kračun, "The Prophet Gideon," 1776

Orthodox Rococo? For many Enfilade readers, this must come as a huge surprise. I suspected that such art existed at the point where Catholic regions abutted Orthodox ones, but had never encountered it in person, nor knew much about it. Art Historian Dr. Branka Kulić has researched this material extensively and written about how local painters worked with craftsmen trained in Vienna to produce a fascinating synthesis of rococo and Byzantine traditions. Later examples break somewhat with the strict rules of icon representation to incorporate greater three-dimensionality and naturalism into their works, and these traditions continued well into the nineteenth century. As Dr. Kulić has noted, artists produced such imagery for churches across the region, not just in Novi Sad, and they can perhaps be understood as visual manifestations of this region’s multivalent social, economic, and religious structure.

Personally, I was struck by of how many fascinating things remain to be encountered in eighteenth-century art, how much can still surprise the curious investigator, and how diverse this century’s visual and material production really was. It also brought to mind how inconsistent the narratives we tell about art’s history can be, and how the desire to see some
things clearly necessitates obscuring others from view.

Teodor Kračun and Arsenije Marković, "The Descent of the Holy Spirit and The Council of Prophets with the Holy Virgin," 1775-1780

There are also significant eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century sights in the nearby cities of Sremski Karlovci and Zemun, as well as the more distant town of Vršac, all of which have preserved pockets of eighteenth-century architecture. And in Novi Sad there is yet another museum worth visiting, this one for modern art: the Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection, a fascinating example of a high-quality private art collection installed and housed entirely according to its collector’s wishes.

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Michael Yonan is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His book, Empress Maria Theresa and the Politics of Habsburg Imperial Art, appeared earlier this year from Penn State University Press.

Call for Papers: The Miniature in Europe

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 20, 2011

From Lemoine-Bouchard Fine Arts:

The Miniature in Europe
Institut de France, Fondation Simone et Cino del Duca, Paris, 11-12 October 2012

Proposals due by 1 December 2011

Jacques-Antoine Barrois (1766-after 1795), Allégorie de l'Amour et de l'Absence (Lemoine-Bouchard Fine Arts)

Once again with the support of the Institut de France, the 2nd International Symposium wishes to motivate research on 17-19th century miniature painting in France and in Europe. Curators, researchers and PhD level students are invited to concentrate on first class artists who have not been studied so far, unpublished collections of miniature, on relations between miniature painting and the other artistic expressions.

Miniature painting (gouache and watercolour on vellum, ivory, paper, cardboard…) has been one of the most popular artistic disciplines in France and Europe. Many artists painted in miniature, full time or part time, and some famous artists practiced miniature painting for their own personal pleasure. Five years after the first International Symposium in Chantilly — Actes published by Institut de France — the Second Symposium wishes to stimulate research in this field in France and in Europe. Researchers are invited to open the chapter “Miniature” when they study the work of 17-19th century painters. The 2012 edition will focus on research on monographs of first class miniature painters — many of whom have never been properly studied — on relationships between the different artistics forms, graphic arts, arts of fire (enamel, porcelain), decorative arts (goldsmith’s trade, fans…). The use of miniature as a mean of propaganda also invites us to study the role of small portraits in the edification of the public image of sovereigns and personalities.

The 2nd Intl Symposium La miniature en Europe will be organised during two days on the same model as the first one in 2007: studies of unpublished collections / monographs of miniature painters / technical aspects and context of miniature painting, with a maximum of 20 contributions. The final program will be posted in December 2011. Parallel to the Symposium, one or two interesting visits will be organised.

Proposals of 200-400 words (in French or English) should be submitted by 1 December 2011.

Dr Nathalie Lemoine-Bouchard
Centre de recherche sur la miniature et l’iconographie française (réseau indépendant de chercheurs)
13 rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010 Paris
Contact : nlemoinebouchard@hotmail.fr

Exhibition: East Meets West, Cross-Cultural Influences in Glass

Posted in exhibitions by Freya Gowrley on August 19, 2011

The Corning Museum of Glass’s current exhibition examines cross-cultural currents in glassmaking during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Lee Lawrence’s review for The Wall Street Journal (9 August 2011) is available here»-FG

East Meets West: Cross-Cultural Influences in Glassmaking in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, 18 November 2010 — 30 October 2011

Francesco Vezzi, Bowl with cover, Venice, 1720-1724

East Meets West: Cross-Cultural Influences in Glassmaking in the 18th and 19th Centuries explores influences in glassmaking that resulted from cultural exchange between the East and West, and documents stylistic developments in Western Europe and East Asia during the early modern period.

In Western Europe, the influence of East and South Asian products imported by the English, Dutch, and French East India Companies in the 18th and 19th centuries had a significant impact on style and art. European artists, fascinated by Oriental designs, architecture, and decorative arts, developed a chinoiserie style (characterized by use of Chinese motifs, shapes, and materials) that gained popularity in Europe in the second half of the 17th century.

The allure of the “exotic” and the appeal of materials unknown to the West—such as hard-paste porcelain and lacquer—stimulated the production of glass objects imitating the treasured Eastern imports.
Western scientists did not know porcelain was a clay-based substance
and mistakenly assumed it must be a vitreous one. . . .

Read more here»

Shoemaking Workshop in New York

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on August 18, 2011

Even if you’re not up for the whole week-long workshop, Monday’s public seminar on eighteenth-century shoes sounds like lots of fun. I stumbled upon the event through the 18th-Century Blog: Fashion and Culture from the 1700s, which in turn links to A Fashionable Frolick. As for getting straight to the source, we have Nicole at The Mantua Maker to thank. The following description comes from her website:

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Workshop on Making Eighteenth-Century Shoes
New York, 20-27 August 2011

Led by Brett Walker, an apprentice shoemaker at Colonial Williamsburg

. . . There will be an eight-hour stitching workshop on the Saturday prior to the full class (20 August) that will be open to the publick. This part is a prerequisite, of course, to the full shoemaking workshop, and the fee is included in the total class fees for students of the entire class. However, this day will also be open to the general public as well for a stand-alone $60-per-person fee. We will cover measuring and making up of threads, attaching bristles, shoemaker’s stitch, round-closing, split-and-lift stitches, “subcutaneous” whip-stitches, stabbing stitches, & perhaps some miscellaney like how to make black wax, &c.

Sunday the 21st will be a short recess, and then the shoemaking class will begin in earnest at 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning, 22 August. The first hour-and-an-half or two hours will be a brief seminar on men’s and women’s shoe fashions, ca. 1700-1800, in which we’ll be attempting to “raise the bar” of the attendee’s awareness of stylistic and construction details in the various decades of the 18th-Century. This will most likely be open to the public for a $35 stand-alone fee, but that has not been confirmed.

At ten o’clock, we will take a brief break, after which those folks who are taking the full six-day class will dive right in to making instruction, wrapping up by five o’clock on Saturday, 27 August. When the workshop is completed, the students should have at least one shoe finished and perhaps a second one started.

Speaking of Food in the Eighteenth Century . . .

Posted in books, exhibitions by Editor on August 18, 2011

From the MFAH:

English Taste: The Art of Dining in the Eighteenth Century
Rienzi, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 17 September 2011 — 29 January 2011

Installation by Ivan Day

Elizabeth Raffald, "Directions for a Grand Table," illustration from "The Experienced English Housekeeper" (Manchester: Printed by J. Harrep, 1769), p. 361

The 18th-century English dinner table was a feast for the eyes. In order to impress their guests and assure them that they were dining amid fashionable people of consequence, hosts served sumptuous dishes, adorned with towering sugar constructions and amusing trompe l’oeil (fool-the-eye) jellies of playing cards or bacon and eggs, all on exquisite silver and porcelain.

Rienzi re-creates this elaborate dining experience in English Taste: The Art of Dining in the Eighteenth Century. The first special exhibition ever held at Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts, English Taste treats you to a dining-room extravaganza typical of a 1760s English country house. Lifelike fish, fowl, and flummeries—complete with lavish, Georgian silver fittings and place settings—grace the table, created with guidance from the influential period cookbook The Experienced English Housekeeper by Elizabeth Raffald, the “Martha Stewart of the 18th century.”

Eminent English food historian Ivan Day uses Raffald’s recipes to create the faux foods—perhaps shockingly realistic to 21st-century eyes—which include roasted pheasant, beaked snipe, flummery jellies, and a larded hare. The meal also features macaroni and cheese (yes, this dish did exist in the 18th century!) made with imported pasta. Raffald’s illustration “Directions for a Grand Table” from 1769 serves as the design template for the installation.

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More information and terrific images from Raffald’s book are available from Kansas State University Library’s online Cookery Exhibition.

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From the MFAH:

Rienzi is situated on four acres of wooded gardens, about three miles from downtown Houston in the historic River Oaks neighborhood. Formerly the home of philanthropists Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III, Rienzi was designed by prominent Houston architect John Staub in 1952. Opened to the public in 1999, Rienzi now houses a substantial collection of European decorative arts, including paintings, furnishings, porcelain, and extensive holdings of miniatures. Rienzi welcomes some 8,000 visitors a year for tours, family programs, lectures, concerts, and a variety of special events.

At Fairfax House: Revolutionary Fashion and Georgian Cakes

Posted in books, exhibitions by Editor on August 17, 2011

Revolutionary Fashion 1790-1820
Fairfax House, York, 26 August — 31 December 2011

Our major new exhibition for the autumn and winter season 2011 at Fairfax House is Revolutionary Fashion 1790-1820. Following on from our acclaimed Dress to Impress exhibition of 2010, which focused on changing fashions during the period 1730-1780, this second exploration of Georgian Fashion takes the story from the revolutionary 1790s to the rakish Regency period. The exhibition opens on Friday 26 August 2011.

Uncovering the revolutionary changes in fashion in the last decade of the eighteenth century and exploring the influence of the French Revolution, Industrial Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, Revolutionary Fashion brings together a unique and lavish selection of the highly elegant clothing of Georgian and Regency polite society. Featuring period gowns, shoes and accessories from collections in Yorkshire and beyond, the exhibition will reveal the styles and showcase the ‘real’ clothes worn by Jane Austen’s heroes and heroines, and place the dazzling kaleidoscope of late Georgian fashions in its social, cultural and historical context.

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If possible, you might consider visiting the exhibition on September 17:

Georgian Cakes and Baking
Fairfax House, York, 17 September 2011

Join Peter Brears, renowned food historian, in the Fairfax kitchen as he reveals the sophistication of Georgian York’s baking tradition and demonstrates the cakes, biscuits and baked goods that could be enjoyed in the eighteenth-century City. This demonstration day includes a display of Yorkshire Country House baking, and food tastings will be available for all visitors.

A 2007 profile of Brears from the Yorkshire Post is available here, and there’s a fine review of Brears’ 2010 book, Jellies and Their Moulds, at AustenOnly.

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Material Culture at Cambridge

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on August 16, 2011

Domenico Remps, "Trompe-l'oeil with an Open Cabinet" (detail), ca. 1700 (Florence: Museo dell'Opificio delle Pietre Dure)

From CRASSH at the University of Cambridge:

Things: Material Cultures of the Long Eighteen Century
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge, ongoing series

The eighteenth century was the century of ‘stuff.’ Public production, collection, display and consumption of objects grew in influence, popularity, and scale. The form, function, and use of objects, ranging from scientific and musical instruments to weaponry and furnishings were influenced by distinct features of the time. Eighteenth-century knowledge was not divided into strict disciplines, in fact practice across what we now see as academic boundaries was essential to material creation. This seminar series will use an approach based on objects to encourage us to consider the unity of ideas of the long-eighteenth century, to emphasise the lived human experience of technology and art, and the global dimension of material culture. We will re-discover the interdisciplinary thinking through which eighteenth-century material culture was conceived, gaining new perspectives on the period through its artefacts. Subscribe to the group mailing list at https://lists.cam.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/crassh-things

Katy Barrett  Co-Secretary  (Department of History and Philosophy of Science)
Sophie Waring  Co-Secretary (Department of History and Philosophy of Science)
Adrian Leonard  Treasurer  (Affiliate Research Student, Winton Centre for Financial History)
Susannah Brooke  (Faculty of History)
Molly Dorkin  (Department of History of Art)
Simon Layton  (Faculty of History)
Eoin Phillips  (Department of History and Philosophy of Science)
Jonathan Yarker  (Department of History of Art)

Faculty Advisors
Dr Melisssa Calaresu (Faculty of History)
Dr Patricia Fara (Director of Studies, Dept of History and Philosophy of Science)
Dr Mark Goldie (Chairman and Reader in British Intellectual History, Fac of History)
Dr William O’Reilly (Associate Director, Centre for History and Economics)
Professor Simon Schaffer (Professor of History of Science, HPS)
Professor Liba Taub (Director and Curator of the Whipple Museum, HPS)
Professor Nick Thomas (Prof of Historical Anthropology, Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology)
Dr Richard Dunn (Curator of the History of Navigation, National Maritime Museum)
Dr Catherine Eagleton (Curator of Modern Money, British Museum)
Dr Kim Sloan (Francis Finlay Curator of the Enlightenment Galleries and Curator of British Watercolours and Drawings before 1880, British Museum)

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The fall schedule:

Things: Material Cultures of the Long 18th Century
Programme for Michaelmas Term 2011

Each seminar will feature two talks each considering the same type of object from different perspectives.

Tuesday, 11 Oct 2011
Professor Simon Schaffer (HPS, Cambridge) and Professor Nick Thomas (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 25 Oct 2011
Dr Kim Sloan (British Museum) and Dr Charlie Jarvis (Natural History Museum)

S C I E N T I F I C  I N S T R U M E N T S
Tuesday, 8 Nov 2011
Dr Richard Dunn (National Maritime Museum) and Dr Alexi Baker (HPS, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 22 Nov 2011
Dr Catherine Eagleton (British Museum) and Dr Martin Allen (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)

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