Call for Papers | The Spaces of Art

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 24, 2012

From the project website:

The Spaces of Arts: Thinking the National and Transnational in a Global Perspective
Purdue University, 27-29 September 2012

Proposals due by 15 May 2012

Katherine E. Bash, "Compass Rose, Floating Point Operation," 2008.

Is art history global enough to take up the challenge of cultural mixing, transnationalism, internationalization, and globalization, without neglecting cultural nationalisms and artistic territorialization processes, which are the fabric of our discipline? How do we understand the relationships between circulations, globalizations, and the production of ethnicity or nationality in the arts? What strategies can we develop, besides narration and description, to write a new history of the arts that escapes both historiographical nationalism and blind globalism, while paying due to the national and transnational dimensions of artistic creation?

In response to these questions the École normale supérieure in Paris (ENS-Ulm) and Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel launched a vast research project in 2009. The ambition was to study arts and letters in a socio-spatial perspective that takes into account the spatial turn of Social Sciences. The result is ARTLAS, a digital atlas of arts and literature history which combines spatial, social, cultural, and esthetic questionings, with a narrative/descriptive approach, and visualization techniques, including charts and maps created with GIS technologies (Geographic Information Service).

The reliance on a cartographic approach and multi-scale analysis grows from the conviction that we can transform the geohistorical reflections that Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann presented in Toward a Geography of Art (2004) into maps, and that the atlas model can contribute to meeting the challenge of global art history James Elkins exposed with Is Art History Global? (2006). Still, the format of ARTLAS is motivated by the conviction that we cannot separate the analysis of artistic circulations and globalization from the study of territorialization of artistic practices.

In order to present ARTLAS on the American continents and engage in a dialogue with American scholars, the ENS is teaming with Purdue University to organize a conference which will take place on September 27-29, 2012 at Purdue. We have invited Professor DaCosta Kaufmann and Professor Elkins to present their respective takes on a global art history and the use of maps as art historical tools, while philosopher Edward S. Casey will address the links between art and maps.

We are now inviting scholars, whose research is grounded in socio-spatial analysis and/or aims at meeting the daunting challenge of ubiquity in art history, to join the conversation and offer their perspectives. We welcome papers that explore the connection between the national and transnational in a global perspective for any object, period, and place in the history of arts and letters. (more…)

Exhibition | Treasures of Kenwood House

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 24, 2012

Press release (9 December 2011) from the MFAH:

Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 3 June — 3 September 2012
Milwaukee Art Museum, 4 October 2012 — 6 January 2013
Seattle Art Museum, 14 February — 19 May 2013
Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, 6 June — 8 September 2013

Curated by Susan Jenkins

Thomas Gainsborough, "Portrait of Mary, Countess Howe," ca. 1764 (London: Kenwood House, English Heritage, Iveagh Bequest)

On June 3, 2012, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will debut the exhibition Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London, whose four-venue national tour was announced today by the American Federation of Arts in New York. An exhibition of forty-eight masterpieces, this will be the first tour of this important group of works from the Iveagh Bequest and will provide a unique opportunity to see these superb paintings outside the United Kingdom. Most of these paintings have never traveled to the States before, and many of them have rarely been seen outside Kenwood.

Donated to the nation by Edward Cecil Guinness (1847–1927), 1st Earl of Iveagh and heir to the world’s most successful brewery, the Iveagh Bequest resides at Kenwood House, a neoclassical villa in London that was remodeled by Robert Adam in the eighteenth century. The collection was shaped by the tastes of the Belle Epoque—Europe’s equivalent to America’s Gilded Age—when the earl shared the cultural stage and art market with other industry titans such as the Rothschilds, J. Pierpont Morgan and Henry Clay Frick. Acquired mainly from 1887 to 1891, the earl’s purchases reveal a penchant for the portraiture, landscape and seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish works typically found in English aristocratic collections. While the majority of the paintings in the exhibition are from the Iveagh Bequest, several are drawn from the works acquired specifically for display at Kenwood. Pauline Willis, AFA’s Director, remarked, “We are extremely proud to be able to give greater exposure to this magnificent selection of paintings while Kenwood undergoes a major refurbishment.” Simon Thurley, Chief Executive for English Heritage, commented, “The collection of works of art on display at Kenwood is one of the most important in England, and we are thrilled that works from this collection will travel across the Atlantic for the first time and find new audiences in the United States.”

The collection is particularly strong in works by such Golden Age eighteenth-century English portraitists as Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and George Romney, whose depictions of society beauties of the Georgian era, also known as England’s “Age of Aristocracy,” held a great appeal for Lord Iveagh. Among the several fine Gainsboroughs in the exhibition is the sumptuous full-length portrait Mary, Countess Howe (c. 1764), an image of both aristocratic elegance and of a landowner among her properties. Such full-length portraits of ladies in nature were very popular during this period, owing to a great admiration for the aristocratic portraits of Van Dyck. Along with such aristocratic women, the collection’s “virtual harem” of English portraits features celebrity demimondes, among them Emma Hart—later Lady Hamilton—who served as Romney’s muse, and Kitty Fisher—one of the most celebrated courtesans in London society. (more…)

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