Reynolds at Auction?

Posted in Art Market by Editor on January 29, 2012

On 11 December 2011 (Sale 131), Grogan and Company Fine Art Auctioneers and Appraisers sold a portrait of Captain Benjamin Davies by Joshua Reynolds, along with an unattributed portrait of the captain’s wife, Elisabeth Viscount Davies, for $8470 (surpassing the estimate of $3000-5000). With the paintings having been handed down within the family from generation to generation, this was the first time they were offered on the open market. The following description comes from ArtDaily:

Sir Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of Captain Benjamin Davies
with unattributed Portrait of Elisabeth Viscount Davies, 1761-72

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Benjamin Davies was born in 1728 in Bristol, England and immigrated to New York in 1750. His seafaring career began with a voyage to China, as an apprentice to Captain William Sedgwick, Commander of the London East India Company Service. He also accompanied Captain George Jackson to India before taking passage to New York in 1850 aboard the Neptune. In 1753 he married Elizabeth Viscount, a recent widow of Dutch descent. The next 13 years was spent in the seafaring trade with many partners, much of which is documented in his Diaries, currently located in the Colgate papers at Yale University Library.

In 1765, when the Stamp Act was to be established in the Colonies, Davies took command of the ship Hope and sailed to England with his wife Elisabeth to secure items for his mercantile business. While there, he had a pendant portrait made of his wife with the ship Hope in the background to match the earlier portrait he commissioned from Sir Joshua Reynolds. The Beekman Mercantile Papers at the New York Historical Society contains references to Benjamin Davies making multiple voyages as Captain of the ship Hope between England and American between 1765-1771. . . .

The full article at ArtDaily is available here»

Call for Papers: Undergraduate Symposium on the Body

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 29, 2012

The Body in Visual Culture: An Undergraduate Student Symposium
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 4 May 2012

Proposals due by 1 April 2012

Keynote Speaker: Gregory Williams, Assistant Professor of Art History at Boston University and author of Permission to Laugh: Humor and Politics in Contemporary German Art (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Bodies function as indicators of identity. A toned and muscular body indicates a laborer, or someone who is concerned with their health whereas a frail or emaciated body may indicate trauma or an eating disorder. An obese body could indicate sloth or illness, although historically it has been a sign of wealth and even beauty. A body plastered in tattoos could designate gall, a passionate form of expression, one who loves art, or one who has lost a lot of bets. Based on cultural “standards,” some bodies, such as those of women and minorities, have at times indicated inferiority, while others, such as those of Aryan men, have stood for superiority. However, the practice of identifying someone by their body is nothing more than assumption, which is rarely accurate in comparison to the way one defines their own identity. Throughout history, this disparity has resulted in detrimental action in society including stereotyping, discrimination, oppression, and in extreme cases, genocide.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Art History Club at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth seeks proposals for an undergraduate student symposium on the topic of the body in visual culture. We are interested in projects that address the role of the sexuality, oppression, gender, identity in the representation of the body as well as the transformation of the body at the hands of technology. (more…)

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