Year-End Book Ideas

Posted in books by Editor on December 31, 2013

Having taken off a week, I return just barely in time to offer a few year-end suggestions, books that may not focus on the eighteenth century—but books many of you will find interesting and perhaps just the thing for any bookstore gift cards you may have received over the holidays.

Thanks for your continued support and happy new year. All the best for 2014! -CH

P.S. Now is the perfect time to join HECAA or renew your membership; rates go up next week.

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From the University of Chicago Press:

James W. P. Campbell with photographs by Will Pryce, The Library: A World History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-0226092812, $75.

9780226092812A library is not just a collection of books, but also the buildings that house them. As varied and inventive as the volumes they hold, such buildings can be much more than the dusty, dark wooden shelves found in mystery stories or the catacombs of stacks in the basements of academia. From the great dome of the Library of Congress, to the white façade of the Seinäjoki Library in Finland, to the ancient ruins of the library of Pergamum in modern Turkey, the architecture of a library is a symbol of its time as well as of its builders’ wealth, culture, and learning.

Architectural historian James Campbell and photographer Will Pryce traveled the globe together, visiting and documenting over eighty libraries that exemplify the many different approaches to thinking about and designing libraries. The result of their travels, The Library: A World History is one of the first books to tell the story of library architecture around the world and through time in a single volume, from ancient Mesopotamia to modern China and from the beginnings of writing to the present day. As these beautiful and striking photos reveal, each age and culture has reinvented the library, molding it to reflect their priorities and preoccupations—and in turn mirroring the history of civilization itself. Campbell’s authoritative yet readable text recounts the history of these libraries, while Pryce’s stunning photographs vividly capture each building’s structure and atmosphere. Together, Campbell and Pryce have produced a landmark book—the definitive photographic history of the library and one that will be essential for the home libraries of book lovers and architecture devotees alike.

James W. P. Campbell is Fellow in Architecture and History of Art, Queens’ College, Cambridge. 
His most recent books include Building St Paul’s and Brick: A World History, also with Will Pryce.
Will Pryce is an award-winning photographer of international acclaim. His previous titles include Architecture in Wood: A World History, Brick: A World History and World Architecture: The Masterworks.

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From the Vendome Press:

Oscar Tusquets Blanca, Martine Diot, Adelaïde de Savray, Jérôme Coignard, and Jean Dethier, Staircases: The Architecture of Ascent (New York: Vendome Press, 2013), 240 pages, ISBN: 978-0865653092, $75.

staircases book coverThe essential purpose of a staircase is utilitarian: to facilitate ascent and descent. Yet the design of even the simplest stair is complex, requiring great knowledge, skill, and ingenuity. This volume showcases the astonishing diversity of staircases over the centuries, from the stepped pyramids of the Maya to the exquisitely proportioned stairs of the Renaissance, to the elaborate balustraded confections of the Baroque period, to the virtuosic, computer-aided designs of today. Among the scores of featured staircases are Michelangelo’s double stair at the Palazzo dei Senatori on the Capitoline Hill in Rome; the double-spiral stair at Château de Chambord in France’s Loire Valley; the entrance stair in the Winter Palace (now the Hermitage) in St. Petersburg; the radical spiral ramp of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum; and the exterior stair at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Architectural tours de force all, often charged with religious, mystical, and hierarchical meaning, these staircases are inherently dynamic, as is every page of this fascinating and beautifully illustrated book.

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From English Heritage:

Philip Davies with photographs by Derek Kendall, London: Hidden Interiors (London: Atlantic, 2012), 448 pages, ISBN: 978-0956864246, £40.

9781566499767_p0_v2_s600Following his successes with revealing London’s vanished architectural heritage in Lost London and Panoramas of Lost London, Philip Davies now turns his attention to 180 of London’s best conserved and least known interiors, revealed in over 1200 spectacular photographs—most taken specially for this book and not previously published. . . .  The most exciting new book about London in generations. . . presents an expert introductory essay followed by the most extraordinary collection of contemporary photographs of London’s historic interiors ever published.

The increasing popularity of Open City has stimulated the curiosity of local Londoners and visitors from afar, awakening renewed interest and comprehension of London’s success in preserving amazing interiors, from private salons to traditional public houses, from ornate churches to industrial plants. London: Hidden Interiors has one hundred and eighty examples which have been selected from a complete range of building types to convey the richness and diversity of London’s architectural heritage and the secrets that lie within. It concentrates generally on the buildings and interiors that are lesser known and to which the public are not normally allowed the hidden and the unusual, the quirky and the eccentric, although there is space too for some of the better known. The careful composition, superb lighting and exposure of the images featured in this book are themselves a lesson in conservation, capturing the sense of these unique spaces whilst at the same time revealing the important architectural detail; Derek Kendall’s photographs, perfectly reproduced, make this book a visual delight and a major contribution to the architectural history of London.

To learn more, please visit the London Hidden Interiors website.

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From Thames & Hudson:

James Peill with photographs by James Fennell and a foreword by Julian Fellowes, The English Country House (London: Thames & Hudson, 2013), 224 pages, ISBN 978-0500517079, £28 / $55.

english-country-house-book-review-the-aestate-3The houses range from Kentchurch Court, a fortified medieval manor house that has been the seat of the Scudamore family for nearly 1,000 years, to a delightful Strawberry Hill-style Gothic house in rural Cornwall, the ducal palace of Badminton in Gloucestershire, and Goodwood House, England’s greatest sporting estate. Many of the houses remain closed to the public—and some have never been featured in a book before.

James Peill recounts the ups and downs of such deeprooted dynasties as the Cracrofts, whose late 18th-century Hackthorn Hall is a perfect example of the kind of house Jane Austen describes in her novels (indeed, she appears on their family tree), as well as the Biddulphs, who constructed the Arts and Crafts masterpiece Rodmarton in the first decades of the last century. James Fennell provides superb photographs of a wealth of gardens, charming interiors, bygone sporting trophies, fine art collections and evocative family memorabilia. A stirring source of inspiration for all those concerned with living traditions and classic interiors, here
is a proud celebration of England’s country house heritage.

James Peill is the curator of Goodwood House in West Sussex. Formerly a director of Christie’s, where he was a specialist in the Furniture Department, he is the co-author (with the late Desmond FitzGerald, Knight of Glin) of The Irish Country House and Irish Furniture.
James Fennell specializes in interior, architectural, portrait, fashion and travel photography. His work has been published in Condé Nast Traveller, World of Interiors, Elle Décor and Architectural Digest. His books include The Irish Country House, The Scottish Country House and The Irish Pub, all of which are published by Thames & Hudson.
Julian Fellowes is the creator of the hugely successful period drama Downton Abbey.

Exhibition | Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 31, 2013

As Courtney Barnes noted back in November at Style Court, America’s fascination with England’s country houses will continue into the new year (and 2015). While Houghton Revisited, which brought dozens of paintings back to the house from Russia for display this summer and fall, was awarded Apollo Magazine’s 2013 Exhibition of the Year, pictures and objects still in the Houghton Hall collection will travel to Houston, San Francisco, and Nashville. From the MFAH press release (22 November 2013). . .

Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 22 June — 22 September 2013
Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 18 October 2014 — 18 January 2015
Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, 13 February — 10 May 2015

Curated by Gary Tinterow and Christine Gervais with David Cholmondeley


William Hogarth, The Cholmondeley Family, 1732
(Marquess of Cholmondeley, Houghton Hall)

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Family portraits by Hogarth and Sargent, exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain, and unique pieces of William Kent furniture from this aristocratic English family chronicle three centuries of art, history, and politics.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Director Gary Tinterow today announced an unprecedented exhibition: Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House, which will be on view at the Museum from June 22 to September 22, 2014. The exhibition marks the first time the renowned collection of the Marquesses of Cholmondeley, housed at Houghton Hall, the family estate in Norfolk, will travel outside of England.

Houghton Hall (Photo: Nick McCann)

Houghton Hall (Photo: Nick McCann)

The house and much of its collection were built in the early 1700s by Sir Robert Walpole—England’s first prime minister and the ancestor of the current marquess. Renowned as one of the finest Palladian houses and one of the most extensive art collections in Britain, Houghton became notorious when Sir Robert’s collection of Old Master paintings was sold by his grandson to Catherine the Great, in 1779. But the house and all of its furnishings, considered to comprise William Kent’s Georgian masterpiece, remained intact; Walpole’s descendants added considerably to the collection of paintings. From great family portraits by William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds, and John Singer Sargent, to exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain, rare pieces of R. J. & S. Garrard silver, and unique furniture by William Kent, the exhibition vividly evokes the fascinating story of art, history, and politics through the collections of this aristocratic English family over three centuries.

Organized by Tinterow; Christine Gervais, associate curator; and Lord Cholmondeley, the exhibition will tour nationally after the Houston presentation, beginning with the Legion of Honor of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (October 18, 2014–January 18, 2015) and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville (February 13–May 10, 2015).

The White Drawing Room at Houghton Hall, with paintings by John Hoppner and George James (Photo: Nick McCann)

The White Drawing Room at Houghton Hall, with paintings by John Hoppner and George James (Photo: Nick McCann)

“Houghton Hall and its superb collections epitomize the historic legacy of art, architecture, and patronage among the great families and country houses of England,” commented Tinterow. “I am delighted to partner with David Cholmondeley to bring this extraordinary heritage to American audiences. Given our fascination with Downton Abbey and its similar story of a great English house and its family, I know this exhibition will be highly anticipated.”

“I was enormously gratified by the response to Houghton Revisited, the exhibition in which we reunited the paintings sold to Catherine the Great with their home at Houghton Hall,” commented David Cholmondeley on the success of that recent project. “I look forward to working with Gary Tinterow and his colleagues at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to share Houghton Hall and our family’s history with visitors in Houston, San Francisco, and Nashville.”

About Portrait of an English Country House

Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House will assemble more than 100 objects in settings that combine paintings, porcelain, sculpture, costume, metalwork, and furniture to evoke the stunning rooms at Houghton Hall. Bought or commissioned by eight generations of descendants of Sir Robert Walpole, together these objects comprise a fascinating chronicle. (more…)

Apollo Magazine’s 2013 Exhibition of the Year: Houghton Revisited

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 31, 2013

From Apollo Magazine:

Apollo Magazine’s 2013 Exhibition of the Year
Houghton Revisited at Houghton Hall, Norfolk

9781907533501_p0_v1_s260x420There have been some great international blockbuster shows this year: Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925 at MoMA and Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum at the British Museum. At Apollo, we also like to celebrate focused exhibitions that enlighten us with the exceptional intelligence of their curation on a smaller scale: Piero della Francesca in America at the Frick Collection brought together most of the panels of the Sant’Agostino altarpiece, while the Ashmolean Museum’s Francis Bacon/Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone tuned into a conversation between two artists that few had previously heard with such clarity. At the St Louis Art Museum, and later the National Gallery in London, Barocci: Brilliance and Grace provided revelations about one artist’s restless inventiveness; while The Springtime of the Renaissance, at Palazzo Strozzi and now the Louvre, brought superb loans together in sharp and surprising ways.

But one exhibition ran away with the laurels this year. Once-in-a-lifetime is a phrase that gets bandied about too much—but this was not just a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, but something we may have to wait another two and half centuries to see again. It reunited many of the works from Robert Walpole’s magnificent collection, including many simply audacious loans from Russia and elsewhere, recreating their original hang at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, and bringing 114,000 visitors through the doors. I am delighted to present this award to curator Thierry Morel and Lord David Cholmondeley for Houghton Revisited.

Neapolitan Crèche at The Met

Posted in exhibitions, museums by Editor on December 23, 2013

From The Met:

Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 26 November 2013 — 6 January 2014


Angel, attributed to Giuseppe Sanmartino (Italian, 1720–1793), polychromed terracotta head; wooden limbs and wings; body of wire wrapped in tow; various fabrics, 14 inches (NY: The Met)

The Museum continues a longstanding holiday tradition with the presentation of its Christmas tree, a favorite of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. A vivid eighteenth-century Neapolitan Nativity scene—embellished with a profuse array of diminutive, lifelike attendant figures and silk-robed angels hovering above—adorns the candlelit spruce. Recorded music and lighting ceremonies add to the enjoyment of the holiday display.

The annual Christmas installation is the result of the generosity, enthusiasm, and dedication of the late Loretta Hines Howard, who began collecting crèche figures in 1925 and soon after conceived the idea of combining the Roman Catholic custom of elaborate Nativity scenes with the tradition of decorated Christmas trees that had developed among the largely Protestant people of northern Europe. This unusual combination was presented to the public for the first time in 1957, when the Metropolitan Museum initially exhibited Mrs. Howard’s collection. More than two hundred eighteenth-century Neapolitan crèche figures were given to the Museum by Loretta Hines Howard starting in 1964, and they have been displayed each holiday season for nearly forty years. Linn Howard, Mrs. Howard’s daughter, worked with her mother for many years on the annual installation. Since her mother’s death in 1982, she has continued to create new settings for the Museum’s ensemble. In keeping with family tradition, Linn Howard’s daughter, artist Andrea Selby Rossi, joins her mother again this year in creating the display.

The exhibit of the crèche is made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the Loretta Hines Howard Fund.

The exhibit of the crèche is made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the Loretta Hines Howard Fund.

The Museum’s towering tree, glowing with light, is adorned with cherubs and some fifty gracefully suspended angels. The landscape at the base presents the figures and scenery of the Neapolitan Christmas crib. This display mingles three basic elements that are traditional to eighteenth-century Naples: the Nativity, with adoring shepherds and their flocks; the procession of the three Magi, whose exotically dressed retinue echoes the merchants and travelers one may have encountered in bustling Naples at the time of the crèche’s creation; and, most distinctive, colorful peasants and townspeople engaged in their quotidian tasks. The theatrical scene is enhanced by a charming assortment of animals—sheep, goats, horses, a camel, and an elephant—and by background pieces serving as the dramatic setting for the Nativity, including the ruins of a Roman temple, several quaint houses, and a typical Italian fountain with a lion’s-mask waterspout.

The origin of the popular Christmas custom of restaging the Nativity traditionally is credited to Saint Francis of Assisi. The employment of manmade figures to reenact the hallowed events soon developed and reached its height of complexity and artistic excellence in eighteenth-century Naples. There, local families vied to outdo each other in presenting elaborate and theatrical crèche displays, often assisted by professional stage directors. The finest sculptors of the period—including Giuseppe Sammartino and his pupils Salvatore di Franco, Giuseppe Gori, and Angelo Viva—were called on to model the terracotta heads and shoulders of the extraordinary crèche figures. The Howard collection includes numerous examples of works attributed to them as well as to other prominent artists.

The Museum’s crèche figures, each a work of art, range from six to twenty inches in height. They have articulated bodies of tow and wire, heads and shoulders modeled in terracotta and polychromed to perfection. The luxurious and colorful costumes, many of which are original, were often sewn by ladies of the collecting families and enriched by jewels, embroideries, and elaborate accessories, including gilded censers, scimitars and daggers, and silver filigree baskets. The placement of the approximately fifty large angels on the Christmas tree and the composition of the crèche figures and landscape vary slightly from year to year as new figures are added.

Exhibition | Piranesi’s Antiquity: Findings and Polemics

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 22, 2013

From the Wallraf-Richartz Museum:

Piranesis Antike: Befund und Polemik / Piranesi’s Antiquity: Findings and Polemics
Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, 25 October 2013 — 26 January 2014

Plakat_Piranesi_web‘Rome or Athens?’ In the eighteenth century, this simple and yet so complex question was at the heart of a vehement dispute concerning the exemplary function of classical antiquity for contemporary art. One major advocate of Rome was the artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778). Over a period of about 30 years, he produced more than 130 large-format etchings with views of ancient and modern Rome, as well as of buildings from the immediate surroundings. These etchings were compiled into a self-contained series under the title Vedute di Roma. Piranesi uses dramatic perspectives, strong contrasts between light and dark, and gigantic enlargements of sections of ancient buildings in order to convince his contemporaries of the importance of classical Rome.

Some 20 of these fascinating works can now (25 October 2013 to 26 January 2014) be seen in Cologne at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum’s Department of Drawings and Prints under the title Piranesi’s Antiquity: Findings and Polemics.

One of the most versatile Italian artists of the eighteenth century, Piranesi still fascinates us today with his extensive œuvre. During his lifetime he produced more than 1,000 etchings and thus left us impressive witnesses of his age. In addition to his graphic work, Piranesi also wrote numerous theoretical treatises, defending Roman civilization against the claims of Greek culture. The exhibition in Cologne shows how, in the large-format Vedute or views of Rome, the multifarious and contradictory ways in which classical antiquity was appropriated by the eighteenth century are superimposed. Meticulous archaeological investigations stand alongside market-oriented production of prints, and a polemical debate on the true legacy of antiquity (Rome versus Athens). By selling his views of Rome to foreign visitors to the city, Piranesi made a fortune and became well known throughout Europe.

This exhibition is being held to mark the 625th anniversary of the foundation of Cologne University. Together with teachers and students of art history and classical archaeology, the works were selected and researched from among the holdings of the university archives. The archive has 46 views of Rome by Piranesi, an unusual wealth of material for a university collection. It is the result of a donation by the university’s first Professor of Greek Philology, Dr Joseph Kroll.

Information on the exhibition symposium is available here»

Symposium | Piranesi and Antiquarian Knowledge

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on December 22, 2013

From ArtHist:

Piranesi und die Vermittlung antiquarischen Wissens im 18. Jahrhundert
Universität zu Köln, 23–24 January 2014


Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Temple of Coughing
(Entrance Hall of an Antique Villa), ca. 1763, etching
(Universität zu Köln, Universitätsarchiv, Inv. 700/14)

Wissen und Vorstellungen über die Antike sind in der Frühen Neuzeit in vielen Medien und Formaten vermittelt worden. Dazu zählen nicht nur die gelehrten antiquarischen Werke, sondern ebenso Gemälde und Opern mit antiken Themen, künstlich angelegte Ruinen und Landschaften oder systematisch angelegte Sammlungen von Kopien oder Originalen der bildenden Kunst.

Anlässlich der Ausstellung Piranesis Antike – Befund und Polemik im Wallraf-Richartz-Museum wird sich der Workshop mit der Frage beschäftigen, wie antiquarisches Wissen in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jhs. in den verschiedenen Gattungen und Medien über den Kreis der Gelehrten hinaus aufgenommen und vermittelt worden ist, z.B. durch die Aufnahme mythologischer oder historischer Themen. Dabei soll ein möglichst breites Spektrum an Gattungen vorgestellt werden. Zu untersuchen ist etwa, woher das Wissen über die Antike gewonnen wurde, für welches Publikum es gedacht war und wie es nach den Erfordernissen der jeweiligen Gattung umgeformt wurde.

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D O N N E R S T A G ,  2 3  J A N U A R

18.00 Valentin Kockel (Augsburg), Ansicht – Plan – Modell. Die Visualisierung antiker Ruinen im 18. Jahrhundert

F R E I T A G ,  2 4  J A N U A R

9.00 Dietrich Boschung (Köln) Begrüßung

9.15 Anne-Marie Leander Touati (Stockholm/Lund), Between vision and business. Choice pieces from the Piranesi collection in Stockholm

10.00 Dagmar Grassinger (Köln), Roms Größe wiederherstellen – Piranesis »Vasi antichi«

10.45 Kaffeepause

11.15 Alain Schnapp (Paris), Piranesi in der Zeit der lebenden Ruinen: Historische und künstlerische Ruinen

12.00 Mittagspause

13.30 Daniel Graepler (Göttingen), Zwischen antiquarischer Gelehrsamkeit und künstlerischer Praxis: Philipp Daniel Lipperts Daktyliothek

14.15 Jörn Lang (Leipzig), Wie Wissen Schönes schafft: Rezeption und Umformung antiquarischer Gelehrsamkeit in klassizistischem Wanddekor

15.00 Kaffeepause

15.30 Xenia Ressos (Innsbruck), Die Antike in Scherben – Antikenrezeption im Medium Porzellan

16.15 Abschlussdiskussion

Ort: Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Universität zu Köln, Weyertal 59 (Rückgebäude: 3. Stock), 50937 Köln

Konzept: Dietrich Boschung
Kontakt: Semra Mägele, smaegele@uni-koeln.de

Conference | Aesthetic Enlightenments: Cultures of Natural Knowledge

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on December 22, 2013

From Birkbeck:

Aesthetic Enlightenments: Cultures of Natural Knowledge
Huntington Library, San Marino, 10–11 January 2014

Registration due by 10 January 2014

This two-day conference will examine the relationship between the aesthetic production and social circulation of knowledge about the natural world in the eighteenth century. It aims to connect literary, visual and discursive forms of analysis with approaches current within social history, in order to interrogate the relationship between social participation in science and the aesthetic and cultural forms of its making.

F R I D A Y ,  1 0  J A N U A R Y  2 0 1 4

8:30 Registration and coffee

9:30 Welcome: Steve Hindle (The Huntington)
Remarks: Sarah Easterby-Smith (University of St. Andrews) and Emily Senior (Birkbeck, University of London)

10:00  Session 1: Knowledge Work and Circulation
Moderator: Margaret Jacob (University of California, Los Angeles)
• Londa Schiebinger (Stanford University), “The Atlantic World Medical Complex”
• Noah Heringman (University of Missouri), “Knowledge Work, or, Sciences from the Middle”

12:00 Lunch

1:00  Session 2: Hybrid Forms of Knowledge
Moderator: Lyle Massey (University of California, Irvine)
• Daniela Bleichmar (University of Southern California), “Chronicles without Words: The Study of Mexican Codices and Amerindian Knowledge in the Eighteenth Century”
• Jill H. Casid (University of Wisconsin, Madison), “Satyrosity”

3:00 Break

3:15  Session 3: Inscription, Translation, and Erasure
Moderator: Sarah Kareem (University of California, Los Angeles)
• Alan Bewell (University of Toronto), “Natures Lost in Translation”
• Matthew Daniel Eddy (Durham University), “How to Keep a Notebook: Inscription as a Visual Knowledge-Making Process for Early Modern Students”

S A T U R D A Y ,  1 1  J A N U A R Y  2 0 1 4

9:00 Registration and coffee

9:30  Session 4: The Epistemology of Feeling
Moderator: Anne Mellor (University of California, Los Angeles)
• Jonathan Lamb (Vanderbilt University), “Blushing and Tattooing”
• Alan Richardson (Boston College), “Empathy for the Devil: From Mirror Neurons to Sympathy Theory to Shelley’s The Cenci

11:30 Lunch

12:30  Session 5: Scholars and Communities
Moderator: Alexander Wragge-Morley (University of Oxford)
• Deirdre Coleman (University of Melbourne), “Henry Smeathman and the Cultures of Natural Knowledge”
• Dena Goodman (University of Michigan), “Collective Identity, Natural History, and Public Responsibility: Augustin-François Silvestre’s Eulogies for the French Society of Agriculture, 1801–1841”

2:30 Break

2:45  Session 6: Public Science, Education, and Professionalization
Moderator: Devin Griffiths (University of Southern California)
• Dahlia Porter (University of North Texas), “Anatomical Inventories, Medical Aesthetics: Body Parts and the Life of Things”
• Jan Golinski (University of New Hampshire), “Sublime Astronomy at the End of the Enlightenment: Adam Walker and the Eidouranion”

For registration, please email: researchconference@huntington.org

Study Day | Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on December 21, 2013

From the programme:

Revoir Oudry: Pratiques, Discours et Ornement
Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris, 18 January 2014

Quizzical BirdCette journée d’études propose de jeter un regard oblique sur Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686–1755) à travers ses conférences, ses rapports à l’ornement et la circulation de ses motifs, touchant ainsi aux questions de répétition et d’autorité. De ses conférences à l’Académie à son rôle de directeur de la manufacture de Beauvais et d’inspecteur de celle des Gobelins, des cours de dessins qu’il donne au prince Frédéric à sa réapparition dans l’art contemporain, l’œuvre et la fortune critique d’Oudry permettent de réfléchir aux rapports entre peinture et ornement dans l’art français du xviiie siècle. Plus largement, c’est la présence lacunaire d’Oudry dans les discours de l’histoire de l’art qui sera interrogée en ce qu’elle peut révéler des méthodes et de l’état de la discipline. En effet, en dépit d’un œuvre foisonnant et d’une carrière académique prestigieuse, Oudry n’a pas reçu l’attention muséographique et critique continue dont bénéficient Watteau, Boucher, Chardin ou Fragonard, et n’a pas bénéficié du renouveau des études sur l’art rococo dans le monde anglo-saxon. Les chercheurs européens et nord-américains invités proposent donc, au-delà des canons de sa peinture animalière, de revoir Oudry dans les marges de la discipline.

Journée d’études organisée : Michaël Decrossas (INHA), Catherine Girard (Harvard University/INHA) et David Pullins (Harvard University/CASVA)
Contacts : michael.decrossas@inha.fr | catherine.girard@yahoo.com | pullins@fas.harvard.edu

Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Quizzical Bird, xviiie siècle, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum

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S A M E D I , 1 8  J A N V I E R  2 0 1 4

8.30 Accueil

9.00 Ouverture : Michaël Decrossas (INHA), Catherine Girard (Harvard University/INHA) et David Pullins (Harvard University/CASVA)

9.20 Introduction : Hal Opperman (University of Washington School of Art)

Session I – Discours
9.50 Présidence de séance et intervention liminaire : Christian Michel (Université de Lausanne)
10.10 René Démoris (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3), Situer Oudry dans la réflexion sur la peinture
10.40 Aaron Wile (Harvard University/Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art, Paris), Oudry, ou la couleur à l’œuvre
11.10 Discussion

11.20 Pause

Session II – Ornement
11.30 Présidence de séance et intervention liminaire : Katie Scott (Courtauld Institute of Art, Londres)
11.50 Michaël Decrossas, Pourquoi classer les planches d’Oudry dans les gravures d’ornements?
12.20 Valentine Toutain-Quittelier (Université Paris Sorbonne/Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art, Paris), Oudry et l’imaginaire vénitien : étude sur un succès de l’ornement sous la Régence
12.50 Discussion

13.00 Déjeuner

Session III – Arts décoratifs
14.40 Présidence de séance et intervention liminaire : Vincent Droguet (Château de Fontainebleau)
15.00 Christophe Huchet de Quénetain (Université Paris Sorbonne), L’influence de Jean-Baptiste Oudry, « peintre de chasses », sur les Arts décoratifs français du xviiie siècle
15.30 David Pullins, Drawing into and out of media in Jean-Baptiste Oudry’s oeuvre
16.00 Discussion

16.10 Pause

Session IV – Répétition et circulation
16.20 Présidence de séance et intervention liminaire : Ewa Lajer-Burcharth (Harvard University)
16.40 Claudia Schönfeld (St Georgen, Bade-Wurtemberg, collection Grässlin), Pratiques d’enseignement et réception d’Oudry à la cour de Mecklembourg
17.10 Catherine Girard, Atrophies masculines. Répétitions de la commande royale des « bois bizarres », de Louis XV à nos jours
17.40 Discussion et conclusion

Call for Articles | Collecting and Displaying in Portugal

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 21, 2013

As noted at ArtHist:

Collecting and Displaying in Portugal: From João V to the Estado Novo
Edited by Foteini Vlachou (Instituto de História da Arte, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Proposals due by 30 January 2014

During the last two decades, the interest in Portuguese collecting and collectors, as well as objects commissioned and purchased abroad during the maritime expansion has known a significant surge. The publications and exhibition catalogues of scholars such as Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos (the specialist on Chinese export porcelain) or Annemarie Jordan Gschwend have drawn attention to the extensive commerce of luxury and exotic goods between Portugal and her colonies. Other scholars, such as João Carlos Pires Brigola have pioneered the study of the early history of museums and collections in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, focusing on natural history museums. Individual collectors have also been studied (Manuel do Cenáculo Vilas-Boas and João Allen, for example), and various exhibition catalogues have been dedicated to them (such as the one on Henry Burnay). Teaching and research has also developed along these lines, notably the master’s degree on museum studies (Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa), and the research program “Fontes para a História dos Museus de Arte em Portugal,” both spearheaded by Raquel Henriques da Silva.

This volume aims to present to an international audience a comprehensive view of recent scholarly activity, but also—and most importantly—a panorama of the history of collections, exhibitions and museums in Portugal, roughly from the beginning of the eighteenth century till the end of Salazar’s regime. Methodological approaches that take into account the relationship between collecting and displaying practices and class, gender, national identity and citizenship, and/or focus on material culture will be especially welcome. The volume is under consideration with Ashgate Publishing (Series: The Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1700–1950, Series Editor: Michael Yonan, University of Missouri).

Topics will fall under four major headings:
Collecting and Displaying the Empire — botanical gardens and naturalist specimens from the scientific expeditions, the development of concepts such as the Indo-Portuguese and related exhibition history, etc.
Decorative Arts — collections of textiles, porcelain, etc., the importance of azulejos in both a local and colonial context, nineteenth-century exhibitions of decorative arts and the notion of ‘national’ art, etc.
‘European Traditions’ — prints and drawings collections, collections of copies and/or plaster casts, nineteenth-century Portuguese collectors, etc.
Museums, Exhibitions and Collections during the First Republic and the Estado Novo — museums and the state, the proclamation of the Republic as a seminal moment in the institutional history of Portuguese museums, exhibiting Portugal abroad, etc.

Please send proposals of up to 500 words and a one page CV to Foteini Vlachou (nandia.vlachou@gmail.com) no later than January 30, 2014. Writers will be notified by the end of February 2014.

New Title | Landscapes of London

Posted in books by Editor on December 20, 2013

From Yale UP:

Elizabeth McKellar, Landscapes of London: The City, the Country, and the Suburbs, 1660–1840 (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2013), 276 pages, ISBN: 978-0300109139, $85.

9780300109139The idea of a “Greater London” emerged in the 18th century with the expansion of the city’s suburbs. In Landscapes of London, Elizabeth McKellar traces this growth back to the 17th century, when domestic retreats were established in outlying areas. This transitional zone was occupied and shaped by the urban middle class as much as by the elite who built villas there. McKellar provides the first major interdisciplinary cultural history of this area, analyzing it in relation to key architectural and planning debates and to concepts of national, social, and gender identities. She draws on a wide range of source materials, including prints, paintings, maps, poetry, songs, newspapers, guidebooks, and other popular literature, as well as buildings and landscapes. The author suggests that these suburban landscapes—the first in the world—were a new environment, but one in which the vernacular, the rustic, and the historic played a substantial part. This fascinating investigation shows London as the forerunner of the complex, multifaceted modern cities of today.

Elizabeth McKellar is senior lecturer and staff tutor in the
history of art, Open University.

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