Graduate Student Seminar | Coloring Color at YCBA

Posted in graduate students by Editor on February 5, 2013

Summer seminar at the YCBA:

Coloring Color: The History, Science, and Materiality of Paint
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 17-21 June 2013

Applications due by 4 March 2013

In June 2013, the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) will offer a week-long graduate student seminar, open to doctoral candidates interested in learning about color and its historical development, manufacture, and use in a range of art works in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. The seminar, which is organized by the YCBA’s Conservation Department, will concentrate on the physical materials of color. The long eighteenth century plays a central role in the history of color, as the scientific revolution and the development of chemistry were, in part, fueled by the urge to synthesize pigments and dyes. The seminar will examine color from historic and scientific perspectives, explore its physical definitions and biological responses, and create a familiarity with the language of color as it evolved historically. Studio demonstrations and some practice will be used to help inform art history students who may have had little or no experience in handling pigments and mediums in the studio. The aim of the seminar is to equip students with a fundamental understanding of the history and theory of color, and to develop an understanding of the appearance of color in paintings and works on paper.

Yale historically has been linked to color teaching. From 1950 until his death in 1976, Joseph Albers taught, studied, and painted in New Haven, and it was at the Yale School of Art that he developed his seminal theories and teachings on color. Yale’s superb collections and conservation facilities make the University an ideal setting for color immersion. Students will be able to correlate color theory with the wide range of paintings on view at the YCBA and the Yale University Art Gallery, as well as in the various library collections with extensive holdings of original manuscripts and color ephemera, such as the Faber Birren collection, one of Yale’s gems. Yale’s collections are rich with examples of artists who experimented with color, and many of these paintings present us with technical puzzles, as we consider artistic intention in relation to the aging of paintings.

The lead instructors of the seminar are Mark Aronson, Chief Conservator, and Jessica David, Assistant Paintings Conservator at the ycba. Other specialists, including curators, art historians, scientists, conservators, and artists, will be involved in teaching special sessions during the course. The seminar is open to current PhD students within the United States and internationally, whose doctoral research focuses on issues relating to painterly practice and the materiality of paintings and works on paper. Participants will be provided with economy airfare, ground transportation, meals, and accommodation at Yale. Students are expected to undertake reading assignments in advance of the seminar. A syllabus and details of assignments will be available in late spring 2013. The graduate student summer seminar is generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Applications must be submitted electronically. Please include a cv and a statement (no more than two pages) of how your research interests intersect with the focus of the seminar, and what you hope you to gain for your own work by participating. Applications should be emailed to: Marinella Vinci, Senior Administrative Assistant, Department of Research, marinella.vinci@yale.edu. Please also address any queries to Marinella Vinci. The deadline for receipt of
applications is Monday, March 4, 2013.

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