New Book | Painters and Paintings in the Early American South

Posted in books by Editor on May 16, 2013

From Yale UP:

Carolyn J. Weekley, Painters and Paintings in the Early American South (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), 448 pages, ISBN: 978-0300190762, $75.

9780300190762This beautifully illustrated volume presents the complex ways in which the lives of artists, clients, and sitters were interconnected in the early American South. During this period, paintings included not only portraits, but also seascapes, landscapes, and pictures made by explorers and naturalists.

The first comprehensive study of this subject, Painters and Paintings in the Early American South draws upon materials including diaries, correspondence, and newspapers in order to explore the stylistic trends of the period and the lives of the sitters, as gentility spread from the wealthiest southerners to the middle class. Featuring works by John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, and Benjamin West, among many others, this important book examines the training and status of painters, the distinction between fine art and the mechanical arts, the popularity of portraiture, and the nature of clientele between 1540 and 1790, providing a new, critical understanding of the history of art in the American South.

Carolyn J. Weekley is Juli Grainger Curator at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. She is co-author of Treasures of American Folk Art: From the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center and The Kingdoms of Edward Hicks.

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Note (added 27 July 2013) — The book accompanies a major exhibition of more than 80 works created in or for the South between 1735 and 1800, on view at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in Colonial Wiliamsburg from 23 March 2013 until 7 September 2014. The press release is available here.

Alan and Simone Hartman Galleries Open at Boston’s MFA

Posted in museums by Editor on May 16, 2013

Press release from Boston’s MFA:

May7_hartmanTwo 18th-century period rooms from Great Britain have been reinstalled at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as part of a suite of galleries. The Alan and Simone Hartman Galleries comprise the Newland House Drawing Room, Hamilton Palace Dining Room, and British Art 1560–1830. They showcase nearly every facet of British art—paintings, furniture, silver, ceramics, and works on paper—including the Alan and Simone Hartman Collection of English silver, with superb examples made in London by Huguenot craftsmen between 1680 and 1760. The drawing room from Newland House, a manor house in Gloucestershire, England, was acquired by the MFA in 1931 and was last on view at the Museum in the 1970s. The dining room from Hamilton Palace, the vast residence of the Dukes of Hamilton just outside of Glasgow, Scotland, was acquired by the MFA in 1924. It was installed in 1928, but was dismantled during the past decade due to the construction of the adjacent Art of the Americas Wing, which debuted in November 2010. The three adjacent Hartman Galleries are located on Level 2 of the Museum’s Art of Europe wing. Concurrent to their opening, the MFA has unveiled its new Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery (the renovation of this gallery was made possible by Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo) and the renovated Leo and Phyllis Beranek Gallery, which together showcase more than 100 works. (more…)

Call for Papers | 2014 Society of Architectural Historians, Austin

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 16, 2013

From SAH:

Society of Architectural Historians 67th Annual Conference
Austin, Texas, 9-13 April 2014

Proposals due by 1 June 2013

The Society of Architectural Historians is now accepting abstracts for its 67th Annual Conference in Austin, TX, April 9-13, 2014. Please submit abstracts no later than June 1st for one of the 31 thematic sessions or open sessions. Sessions have been selected to cover topics across all time periods and architectural styles. SAH encourages submissions from architectural, landscape, and urban historians; museum curators; preservationists; independent scholars; architects; and members of partner organizations.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words no later than June 1st for one of the 31 thematic sessions. There will also be open sessions for those whose research does not match any of the themed sessions.

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An example of one of the thematic sessions:

The Elusive Gothic in the Long 18th Century
Chairs: Sylvia Shorto, American University of Beirut, ss56@aub.edu.lb; and Zirwat Chowdhury, Clark Memorial Library, UCLA, zirwat@u.northwestern.edu

By the later 18th century, Gothic architecture had already called attention to its own alterity. Western opinions as to its possible Eastern origins were mixed: British academician Thomas Sandby’s lectures disputed Sir Christopher Wren’s earlier genealogy of the Gothic, whilst the painter William Hodges embraced and furthered the position in his Dissertation on the Prototypes of Architecture, Hindoo, Moorish, and Gothic (1786). Meanwhile, antiquarians were busy reconfiguring the Gothic canon with localised studies, new designs and restoration. Later, in the mid-19th century, John Ruskin and his followers would champion a nostalgic and value-laden way of thinking about a past which privileged things made locally and by hand, resulting in the separation between pre-modern and modern, architecture and vernacular building, design and workmanship: false dichotomies that would become cemented in a Modernist historiography of architecture. There were no such artificial distinctions in the manifold awareness of the late 18th-century Gothic.

As a way of registering alternative histories at this transitional stage to industrial making, this session will explore the heterogeneity of the Gothic in Britain and Europe, in their expanding imperial territories, and in contemporary non-Western empires during the long 18th century. While we invite papers that use the Gothic to widen the current discourse on the handmade, topics might also address, but are not limited to, shifts in the antiquarian imagination; revolutionary aesthetics; notions of decay and decline; the peripatetic Gothic; nascent architectural preservation in Europe and its empires; and the material relationships between neoclassicism and Gothic. We especially welcome submissions that address non-European interlocutors of Gothic styles, and that incorporate the use of painting and other visual media in furthering understanding of the topic.

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