Exhibition | The Age of Pleasure and Enlightenment

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 22, 2013

From the museum’s website:

The Age of Pleasure and Enlightenment
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, 10 August 2013 — 27 April 2014

Pompeo Batoni, Italian, Tuscan, 1708-1787, Portrait of Sir Humphry Morice, 1762, Oil on canvas, The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1936.43

Pompeo Batoni, Portrait of Sir Humphry Morice, 1762 (Hartford, CT: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art)

European art of the 18th century increasingly emphasized civility, elegance, comfort, and informality. During the first half of the century, the Rococo style of art and decoration, characterized by lightness, grace, playfulness, and intimacy, spread throughout Europe. Painters turned to lighthearted subjects, including inventive pastoral landscapes, scenic vistas of popular tourist sites, and genre subjects—scenes of everyday life. Mythology became a vehicle for the expression of pleasure rather than a means of revealing hidden truths. Porcelain and silver makers designed exuberant fantasies for use or as pure decoration to complement newly remodeled interiors conducive to entertainment and pleasure.

As the century progressed, artists increasingly adopted more serious subject matter, often taken from classical history, and a simpler, less decorative style. This was the Age of Enlightenment, when writers and philosophers came to believe that moral, intellectual, and social reform was possible through the acquisition of knowledge and the power of reason. The Grand Tour, a means of personal enlightenment and an essential element of an upper-class education, was symbolic of this age of reason.

The installation highlights the museum’s rich collection of 18th-century paintings and decorative arts. It is organized around four themes: Myth and Religion, Patrons and Collectors, Everyday Life, and The Natural World. These themes are common to art from different cultures and eras, and reveal connections among the many ways artists have visually expressed their cultural, spiritual, political, material, and social values.

23 Things for Research: Teaching with Digital Tools

Posted in resources, teaching resources by Editor on November 22, 2013

For anyone thinking about introducing digital tools into the classroom in connection with structured assignments, you might find this model from Oxford’s Bodleian Library useful. -CH

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23 Things for Research
An online learning programme for researchers, students and staff at the University of Oxford

2JA2fPAV7LVEB0kFkXrq-jl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVaiQDB_Rd1H6kmuBWtceBJ23 Things is a self-directed course, run as part of the Engage programme, that aims to expose you to a range of digital tools that could help you in your personal and professional development as a researcher, academic, student or in another role. The aim is for you to spend a little time each week over Michaelmas Term, building up and expanding your skills. Each week, we’ll talk about one or more of the tools/tasks from our 23 Things programme and encourage you to try it out and reflect on it. We hope that the programme presents a realistic challenge and will allow you to fit it into your schedule. 23 Things for Research is inspired by the first 23 Things Oxford and based on the original 23 Things program, which ran at the
Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006.

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