Call for Papers | Inter-Culture 1400-1850: Art, Artists, and Migration

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on July 31, 2012

INTER-CULTURE 1400–1850: Art, Artists, and Migration
Liverpool Hope University (Creative Campus), 5-6 April 2013

Panel Proposals due by 1 October 2012

While major exhibitions, such as Migrations (January–August 2012) at Tate Britain, address the impact of migration on the cultural heritage and artistic production in a particular country, the conference seeks to investigate further this exciting topic by discussing thematically the latest research of international scholars. Instead of focusing on the 20th and 21st centuries and the strong consequences migration caused in modern and postmodern societies, we intend to look back and explore the effects of migration on art and artists in Europe and beyond before, during and shortly after the Industrial Revolution.

Why have artists left their comfort zone, travelled to faraway places and adapted to new living conditions when only very few had a noteworthy impact on local artistic production, such as Hans Holbein the Younger at Henry VIII’s court or El Greco, who is the prime example for intercultural artistic exchange in early modern times? How important was national identity for the artists and also for the reception of their work? What are the differences and parallels between pre- and post-Industrial Revolution migration of artists?

The conference seeks to encourage an inter-disciplinary dialogue and also invites papers from adjacent subjects that have a strong connection to the topic. Early career scholars are particularly invited to submit a proposal. Proposals can, but do not have to, relate to one of the following suggested themes:

•Perceptions of the artist (old and new society)
• New environments and influences on artistic practice
• Cultural confrontations
• Self-chosen emigration/immigration
• Forced emigration/immigration
• The returned artist

Conference papers will be presented within thematic units and shall not exceed 20 minutes, followed by a 10 minute discussion. All speakers will get free accommodation on the campus of Liverpool Hope University. Please send your proposal of no more than 500 words (with name, institution, address, phone number and email address) to:

Dr Kathrin Wagner
Liverpool Hope University, Creative Campus
The Cornerstone
17 Shaw Street
Liverpool L6 1HP — U.K.

Exhibition | Migrations: Journeys into British Art

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 30, 2012

From Tate Britain:

Migrations: Journeys into British Art
Tate Britain, London, 31 January — 12 August 2012

Benjamin West, Pylades and Orestes Brought as Victims before Iphigenia, 1766 (London: Tate), N00126

This exhibition explores British art through the theme of migration from 1500 to the present day, reflecting the remit of Tate Britain Collection displays. From the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Flemish and Dutch landscape and still-life painters who came to Britain in search of new patrons, through moments of political and religious unrest, to Britain’s current position within the global landscape, the exhibition reveals how British art has been fundamentally shaped by successive waves of migration. Cutting a swathe through 500 years of history, and tracing not only the movement of artists but also the circulation of visual languages and ideas, this exhibition includes works by artists from Lely, Kneller, Kauffman to Sargent, Epstein, Mondrian, Bomberg, Bowling andthe Black Audio Film Collective as well as recent work by
contemporary artists.

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From the Tate Shop:

Lizzie Carey-Thomas, Migrations: Journeys into British Art (London: Tate, 2012), 128 pages, ISBN: 9781849760072, £15.

With contributions by John Akomfrah, Tim Batchelor, Sonia Boyce, Emma Chambers, T.J. Demos, Kodwo Eshun, Leyla Fakhr, Paul Goodwin, Nigel Goose, Karen Hearn, David Medalla, Lena Mohamed, Panikos Panayi and Wolfgang Tillmans.

This book offers a unique perspective on the history of British art, charting how it has been shaped by successive waves of migration. It cuts a swathe through five hundred years of history and traces not only the movement of artists themselves, but also the circulation of art and ideas, from the hugely influential arrival of Northern European artists such as Anthony van Dyke in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the influence of Italy and the development of neoclassicism on eighteenth-century artists such as Benjamin West, and on to the broad cultural interchange of the Victorian era. James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent were two of many artists who moved between Britain, France and the United States in the nineteenth century. In the early twentieth century, David Bomberg and Mark Gertler were among the group of second-generation Jewish artists who played a considerable role in the establishment of British modernism. The rise of fascism in the 1930s, causing artists such as Oskar Kokoschka and Kurt Schwitters to flee to Britain, foreshadowed the explosion of a multicultural diaspora. Several generations of artists have since explored what it means to be both ‘black’ and ‘British’, and contemporary artists continue to investigate the meaning of identity today.

Generously illustrated, and including artist interviews and texts by leading curators and art critics, this illuminating book tells a previously hidden but vital story in the shaping of British art and culture.

HBA Travel Award for Graduate Students

Posted in graduate students by Editor on July 29, 2012

Historians of British Travel Award
Proposals due by 15 September 2012

The award is designated for a graduate student member of HBA who will be presenting a paper on British art or visual culture at an academic conference in 2013. The award of $750 is intended to offset travel costs.

To apply, send a letter of request, a copy of the letter of acceptance from the organizer of the conference session, an abstract of the paper to be presented, a budget of estimated expenses (noting what items may be covered by other resources), and a CV to Renate Dohmen, Prize Committee Chair, HBA, brd4231@louisiana.edu. The deadline is September 15, 2012.

New Title | The Breathless Zoo

Posted in books by Editor on July 28, 2012

An exceptional title, an exceptional cover. For the latter, credit goes to Karen Knorr; the photograph, “Corridor,” is from her Fables series (2007). From Penn State UP:

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Rachel Poliquin, The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2012), 272 pages, ISBN: 9780271053721, $35.

From sixteenth-century cabinets of wonders to contemporary animal art, The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing examines the cultural and poetic history of preserving animals in lively postures. But why would anyone want to preserve an animal, and what is this animal-thing now? Rachel Poliquin suggests that taxidermy is entwined with the enduring human longing to find meaning with and within the natural world. Her study draws out the longings at the heart of taxidermy—the longing for wonder, beauty, spectacle, order, narrative, allegory, and remembrance. In so doing, The Breathless Zooexplores the animal spectacles desired by particular communities, human assumptions of superiority, the yearnings for hidden truths within animal form, and the loneliness and longing that haunt our strange human existence, being both within and apart from nature.

Rachel Poliquin is a writer and curator engaged with the cultural and poetic history of the natural world. She has curated taxidermy exhibits for the Museum of Vancouver and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia. Poliquin is the author of ravishingbeasts.com, a website dedicated to exploring the cultural history of taxidermy.

August 2012 Issue of ‘Past & Present’

Posted in journal articles by Editor on July 27, 2012

In the latest issue of Past and Present (August 2012), Michael Sonenscher responds to a recent article by William H. Sewell, “The Empire of Fashion and the Rise of Capitalism in Eighteenth-Century France,” Past and Present 206 (February 2010): 81-120. Sewell then weighs in with his own reply (access to full texts will require institutional subscriptions).

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Michael Sonenscher, “Debate: The Empire of Fashion and the Rise of Capitalism in Eighteenth-Century France,” Past and Present 216 (2012): 247-58.
[Full Text] [PDF]

‘Fashionable consumption’, Bill Sewell writes, ‘played a constitutive role in the development of French capitalism not only in the eighteenth century but also over the long term’. The claim goes with the grain of the many recent publications on eighteenth-century French trade and manufacturing industry that Sewell has expertly synthesized. But two further aspects of his article invite fuller comment. The first is an examination of the relationship between fashionable consumption and capitalist development that involves a modified version of Marx’s concept of surplus value. The second is a suggestion about the bearing of this fashion-oriented characterization of French capitalism on the subject of the origins and attributes of the French Revolution. Together they add up to an ambitious argument about the history of consumption as the way to overcome the neglect of social and economic considerations that, according to Sewell, has been one of the effects of the revisionist historiography of the French Revolution. . . .

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William H. Sewell, “Reply to Michael Sonenscher,” Past and Present 216 (2012): 259-67.
[Full Text] [PDF]

I would like to thank Michael Sonenscher for his learned and respectful comments on my article. In his comments he has filled out an aspect of the topic of ‘fashion’s empire’ that I made no sustained effort to cover in my own essay: varying contemporary opinions about the economics of fashion and about fashion’s relationship to France’s monarchical and aristocratic constitution. However, I think that his reflections on these eighteenth-century (or, in the case of Jean-Baptiste Say, early nineteenth-century) arguments about fashion have little bearing on what I take to be the central points of my essay. These are: (1) that fashion played a central role in French (and European) capitalist development in the eighteenth century; (2) that the dynamism of the fashion sector was based to a significant extent on harnessing the desires and labour of consumers; and (3) that certain consequences of the rise of fashion in eighteenth-century France ‘were … conducive to notions of equality of the sort specified in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in 1789’ and were therefore ‘a key source’ of the French Revolution’s ‘epochal political and cultural transformations’. . .

Exhibition | Watercolours at Gainsborough’s House

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 26, 2012

From Gainsborough’s House:

Drawings and Watercolours from a Private Collection 1700-1840
Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury, Suffolk, 30 June – 29 September 2012

Curated by Huon Mallalieu

The main exhibition at Gainsborough’s House for 2012 is a selection of British watercolours from a distinguished private collection in East Anglia. Formed during the 1950s and 1960s the extensive collection from which this selection of some 70 examples has been made by guest curator Huon Mallalieu, is one of the last remaining in private hands from the golden age of connoisseurship in British watercolours.

The exhibition concentrates on Thomas Gainsborough’s contemporaries and includes works by famous artists (J.M.W. Turner, Paul Sandby, J.R. Cozens, Thomas Rowlandson, Francis Towne), as well as items by important forerunners, lesser known practitioners, and amateurs of varying skill. The selection is thematic with an emphasis on topography beginning in East Anglia and moving outwards to London across the English Channel to mainland Europe, and then over the oceans to America, India and China.

Call for Session Proposals | CAA 2014 in Chicago

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on July 25, 2012

102nd Annual Conference of the College Art Association
Chicago, 12-15 February 2014

Panel Proposals due by 3 September 2012

The 102nd Annual Conference will take place February 12–15, 2014, in Chicago, Illinois. The Annual Conference Committee invites session proposals that cover the breadth of current thought and research in art, art and architectural history, theory and criticism, pedagogical issues, museum and curatorial practice, conservation, and developments in technology.

The submission process for 2014 proposals is now open. In order to submit a proposal, you must be a current CAA member. For full details on the submission process for the conference, please review the information published below. Deadline: September 3, 2012; no late applications will be accepted. (more…)

Petition Related to Old Masters at the Gemäldegalerie

Posted in museums by Editor on July 24, 2012

The following petition, written by Jeffrey Hamburger, Kuno Francke Professor of German Art & Culture at Harvard University, voices concerns for the exhibition fate of Old Masters at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin. The German text is available at the petition website. Kate Connolly reported on the story for The Guardian (12 July 2012).

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We write to you to ask that you reconsider the current plan to empty the Gemäldegalerie to make room for a display of twentieth-century art from the Pietzsch collection.

We understand that Mies van der Rohe’s Nationalgalerie provides inadequate space for Berlin’s growing collections of modern art, and we welcome the prospect of a permanent home for them.

However, finding that space in the Gemäldegalerie at the expense of one of the world’s premier collections of Old Master paintings, without also making concrete plans to display that collection concurrently in its entirety, would be a tragedy. In the current plan, it appears that once again the past is being asked to make way for the present without sufficient attention to its future. The disappearance into storage of whatever paintings cannot be displayed in the Bode Museum – which we call on you to disclose — is not acceptable, even for only six years. In the current political and economic climate, and with stiff competition for funding from politically more expedient, if culturally more dubious, plans to rebuild the Stadtschloß, we fear that six years could easily become a decade or more.

All too often, it seems, great works of art in Berlin serve as pawns in a seemingly endless chess game, to be moved about and sacrificed at the will and whim of politicians. Germany is fortunate in that culture remains a focus of political and public concern. That concern, however, would best be expressed by finding a reasonable solution, one that respects a legacy that barely survived the centuries and that deserves better than to be rendered invisible for an indeterminate length of time.

We therefore write to ask, not that you shelve your plans for the Pietzsch collection, but rather that you complement them with an adequate strategy that will do justice to the whole of Berlin’s extraordinary collections. We believe that the Old Master collection should be moved to make way for the Pietzsch collection only after space on the Museuminsel has been found to accommodate it – hardly a rash proposal.

Yours sincerely, Jeffrey Hamburger, Kuno Francke Professor of German Art & Culture, Harvard University

To add your name to the petition, click here»

New Title | Sheltering Art: Collecting and Social Identity

Posted in books by Editor on July 24, 2012

From Penn State University Press:

Rochelle Ziskin, Sheltering Art: Collecting and Social Identity in Early Eighteenth-Century Paris (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2012), 392 pages, ISBN: 9780271037851.

The turn of the eighteenth century was a period of transition in France, a time when new but contested concepts of modernity emerged in virtually every cultural realm. The rigidity of the state’s consolidation of the arts in the late seventeenth century yielded to a more vibrant and diverse cultural life, and Paris became, once again, the social and artistic capital of the wealthiest nation in Europe. In Sheltering Art, Rochelle Ziskin explores private art collecting, a primary facet of that newly decentralized artistic realm and one increasingly embraced by an expanding social elite as the century wore on. During the key period when Paris reclaimed its role as the nexus of cultural and social life, two rival circles of art collectors—with dissonant goals and disparate conceptions of modernity—competed for preeminence. Sheltering Art focuses on these collectors, their motivations for collecting art, and the natures of their collections. An ambitious study, it employs extensive archival research in its examination of the ideologies associated with different strategies of collecting in eighteenth-century Paris and how art collecting was inextricably linked to the shaping of social identities.


List of Illustrations
1    Cultural Geography of the French Capital Circa 1700
2    Cloistered in the Faubourg Saint-Germain
3    The Maison Crozat Transformed
4    A Circle of “Moderns”
5    The Regent and Collecting on the Right Bank
6    Les Anciens and an Expanding Public Realm in the Arts
7    The Circles Converge: Carignan and Jullienne
Note on the Appendixes
1    Maison Crozat, rue de Richelieu, in 1740
2    Hôtel de Verrue, rue du Cherche-Midi, end of 1736
3    Collections of Lériget de La Faye, Glucq de Saint-Port, and Lassay
4    Collections of Nocé and Fonspertuis
5    Hôtel de Morville, rue Plâtrière, in 1732
6    Selections from the Collection of Carignan
Selected Bibliography

Call for Papers | New Perspectives on the Romantic Period

Posted in Calls for Papers, graduate students by Editor on July 23, 2012

As noted at BARS:

New Perspectives on the Romantic Period — A Student-Led Conference
Tate Britain, London, 6-7 November 2012

Proposals due 24 August 2012

The Tate Research Centre: British Romantic Art aims to promote research on British art from around 1770 to 1850. Tate’s collection of watercolours and drawings, and major holdings of the work of William Blake and John Constable is among the greatest in the world. With a special focus on Blake, Constable and Turner, the Centre offers a programme of events and activities aimed at encouraging research on these artists and on the Romantic era as a whole, as well as the legacy of Romantic art and culture in Britain and around the world.

This two-day conference is being organised by PhD students in collaboration with Tate. The event will be open to postgraduate researchers from the UK and abroad with a particular interest in the Romantic period, with the aim to discover and explore common areas of interest and create an informal network of students working in this area. We are looking for current postgraduates working on the Romantic period (loosely defined as c.1770–1850) to participate in this event. Contributions may be in the form of a traditional paper (of approximately twenty minutes), a gallery or print-room talk, chairing a round-table discussion or any other idea you may have to disseminate your research and contribute to the broader theme of the conference.Contributions should focus on British art and visual culture of the period c.1770–1850, though related cultural artefacts from different periods and countries may also be brought into the discussion. We particularly encourage submissions relating to the Tate collection.Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

– National identity; transnational currents or connections; empire
– Religious art
– Spectacle; visual entertainment
– Romantic influence and afterlife; cross-period connections; the past as a theme and obsession
– Definitions or limitations of the term ‘Romanticism’; questioning the canon
– New interpretations of Romantic art and artists; new approaches or methodologies
– Landscape art and theory
– Aesthetic discourses

The precise schedule for the two days is subject to submissions. A social event will be incorporated into the programme on the first evening.Please send a 300-word abstract of your idea (including your name and institutional affiliation) tonewperspectives@tate.org.uk The deadline is Friday 24th August 2012. In relation to successful submissions, the organisers will seek further details on the format and delivery of proposed contributions in due course. Please note there will be no registration fee for this event, but places will be limited.

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