Exhibition | The Coast and the Sea

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 16, 2014

Press release (4 October 2013) from D. Giles:

Linda S. Ferber, The Coast and the Sea: Marine and Maritime Art in America (London: D. Giles Limited, 2013), 104 pages, ISBN 978-1907804311, $30 / £20.

The Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida, 25 January — 9 March 2014
The Baker Museum of Art, Naples, Florida, 19 April — 6 July 2014
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine, January — May 2015
The Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut, 6 June — 13 September 2015
The New York State Museum, Albany, New York, 24 October 2015 — 22 February 2016


A Southeast Prospect of the City of New York, ca. 1756–61. Oil on canvas. 38 x 72 1/2 in. (96.5 x 184.2 cm). Collection of the New-York Historical Society.

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The Coast and the Sea: Marine and Maritime Art in America will be published by D Giles Limited, in association with the New-York Historical Society, in December 2013. It is an appealing and colourful volume which presents over 50 of the best marine paintings and artifacts from the New-York Historical Society’s impressive maritime art collection.

Coast-and-Sea-jkt-02-13w-front2The works range in date from 1750 to 1940, and are by eminent marine artists like Thomas Birch, John Frederick Kensett, and Charlton T. Chapman. Highlights include large format canvasses of famous sea battles, ships at work, portraits of heroic sea captains, dashing naval officers like James Gordon Bennett Jr. and pioneering merchants, such as the aptly named Preserved Fish of New York, prominent in shipping in the early 19th century. There are also maritime themed objects such as an engraved whale’s tooth from the late 19th century, and a silver presentation urn commemorating acts of bravery from the War of 1812. An essay by curator Linda S. Ferber places the works within their wider historical and cultural narrative.

The works are then arranged thematically rather than by artist or period; there is for example a chapter on the Anglo-Dutch tradition in American marine art: the War of 1812 with its great sea battles and heroes and romantic and idealized visions of the sea. A section on the merchant marine and maritime trade features paintings of major trading posts in and around the Pearl River Delta, including Hong Kong; some of these paintings were by a group of Chinese artists working in the European style specifically for the export market. There are views of the Hudson River and the great Port of New York, as well as Gilded Age nostalgia for the great age of sail, with its clipper ships and majestic wind-jammers.

Linda S. Ferber is Senior Art Historian, the New-York Historical Society.

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Note (added 1 August 2014) — The original version of this posting included only the first two exhibition venues.

Call for Papers | Fraktur, 1683–1850

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 16, 2014

From the Facebook page of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies:

Fraktur and the Everyday Lives of Germans in Pennsylvania and the Atlantic World, 1683–1850
Philadelphia, 5–7 March 2015

Proposals due by 15 April 2014


Reward of Merit (Belohnung),watercolor on laid paper
10.6 cm x 9.4 cm, ca. 1790s (Free Library)

Paper and panel proposals are invited for a conference on Fraktur and the Everyday Lives of Germans in Pennsylvania and the Atlantic World, 1683–1850 to be jointly sponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art and to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 5–7 March 2015. The conference will coincide with major exhibitions at both the Museum and the Free Library. The Philadelphia Museum will be exhibiting fraktur from the collection of Joan and Victor Johnson, featuring many extraordinary manuscript and printed examples from southeastern Pennsylvania along with other objects, and will also be publishing a comprehensive scholarly catalogue of the Johnson collection [more information on the collection is available from a 2013 article at The Magazine Antiques]. The Free Library will feature historically significant, rare and unique examples of Fraktur, manuscripts, broadsides, and printed books from the Henry Stauffer Borneman Pennsylvania German Collection. Presently many of these items are available to scholars in an online database and are featured on the Free Library’s PA German Collection Blog.

These two exhibitions and their accompanying digital and printed components offer a tremendous opportunity for boundary-crossing discussion and analysis. While German-speaking people in Pennsylvania are often conceptualized as a distinctive and isolated group, the exhibitions and this conference encourages efforts to see them as a common subject of inquiry that provides a point of entry for a much broader understanding of the significance of art and culture and for how we understand human experience in the past and the present.

Among the potential themes that the conference hopes to explore are:
• the place of ethnicity within the Early American Republic
• Philadelphia’s historic and on-going relationship to its rural, small-town, and suburban hinterlands
• Pennsylvania Germans and acculturation
• varieties of German culture in European, Atlantic, and non-Pennsylvania contexts
• digital projects as a transformative force for studying art, material culture, history, genealogy, and our understanding of the past
• the relationship of libraries, museums, and university-based academic programs to the general public
• the strengths and weaknesses of art and material culture for understanding the past
• the role of the collector in preserving the past for the future

Proposals are welcome for papers of 25 to 30 pages in length, which will be pre-circulated to all conference participants. Suggestions for complete panels will also be considered, but the organizers reserve the right to accept, reject, or reassign individual papers. Please submit proposals of approximately 500 words, along with curriculum vitae, to mceas@ccat.sas.upenn.edu no later than 15 April 2014. Accepted panelists will be notified by late May 2014. Papers will be due for pre-circulation no later than 15 January 2015. Some support for participants’ travel and lodging will be available for paper presenters.

Joshua Lane Appointed Curator of Furniture at Winterthur

Posted in museums by Editor on March 16, 2014

As reported at ArtFix Daily (24 February 2014). . .

Feb24_Josh-Lane-2PM_(3)Dr. David P. Roselle, Director of Winterthur Musem, Garden & Library, announced the appointment of Joshua W. Lane as the Lois F. and Henry S. McNeil Curator of Furniture at Winterthur Museum.

“Josh Lane is one of the leading scholars in the field of early American furniture,” said Roselle, “and we look forward to welcoming him to Winterthur.” He will start his new position on April 14, 2014.

Lane received his B.A. in American Studies from Amherst College and his M.Phil. from Yale. He worked at the Connecticut Historical Society and the Stamford Historical Society before moving to Historic Deerfield, where he has curated the furniture collection since 2000. In addition, Lane served as the Director of the Summer Fellowship Program at Historic Deerfield between 2005 and 2012.

His most recent exhibitions include Into the Woods: Crafting Early American Furniture, an innovative examination of the materials, tools, and evidence of workmanship in furniture: and Furniture Masterworks: Tradition and Innovation in Western Massachusetts, part of Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture, a collaborative project involving eleven institutions including Winterthur Museum.

“Josh is highly regarded for his exhibitions, teaching, research, and scholarship,” said Linda S. Eaton, John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections, “and we are all delighted that he is coming to Winterthur.”

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