Study Day | Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 31, 2014

The exhibition Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust (recently closed at YCBA) opens June 18 at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire (where it will be on display until 26 October 2014). In connection, Malcolm Baker will lead a special interest day on Thursday, 10 July.

From Waddesdon Manor:

Study Day | Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust
Waddesdon Manor and Stowe Landscape Gardens, 10 July 2014

roubiliac_2014Led by Professor Malcolm Baker, the curator of the exhibition, this day will begin with an in-depth look at Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust, followed by lunch in the Manor Restaurant. In the afternoon, participants will travel to nearby Stowe Landscape Gardens to see the famous Temple of British Worthies and to explore the central role of the sculpture portrait bust in the creation and celebration of fame and friendship. The day will end with tea at Stowe. The price of your ticket (£70) includes coach travel from Waddesdon to Stowe and return to your car at Waddesdon; normal admissions charges apply to both Waddesdon and Stowe.

Malcolm Baker is Distinguished Professor of the History of Art, University of California, Riverside, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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In addition to The Marble Index: Roubiliac and Sculptural Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Malcolm Baker’s major publication related to the exhibition and due out later this year from Yale University Press, a more tightly focused catalogue will be published by Paul Holberton:

Malcolm Baker, Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust (London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2014), 128 pages, ISBN: 978-0954731052, £15 / $25.

9780954731052_p0_v1_s600No literary figure of the eighteenth century was more esteemed than the poet Alexander Pope, and his sculpted portraits exemplify the celebration of literary fame at a period when authorship was being newly conceived and the portrait bust was enjoying new popularity. Accompanying an exhibition at Waddesdon Manor (The Rothschild Collection), this publication explores the convergence between authorship, portraiture, and the sculpted image in particular, by bringing together a wide range of works that foreground Pope’s celebrity status.

Pope took great pains over how he was represented and carefully fashioned his public persona through images, published letters and the printed editions of his works. Alongside some of the most celebrated painted portraits of the poet will be a selection of the printed texts which Pope planned with meticulous care. The publication focuses on eight versions of the same portrait bust by the leading sculptor of the period, Louis François Roubiliac.

The marble bust had long been seen as a form appropriate for the celebration of literary fame and Pope’s bust in part imitates those of classical authors whose works he both translated and consciously imitated in his own poems. More than any other sculptor, Roubiliac reworked the conventions of the bust, transforming it into a genre that was considered worthy of close and sustained attention. Nowhere is this seen more tellingly than in his compelling and intense portraits of Pope. Based on a vividly modelled clay original, the variant marble versions were carved with arresting virtuosity, recalling Pope’s own phrase, “Marble, soften’d into Life.” At the same time, the image was reproduced by both the sculptor himself and by others, in a variety of materials.

Multiplied and reproduced throughout the eighteenth century, Pope’s bust was the most familiar and visible sign of his authorial fame. At the same time, it was also used as a way of articulating friendship—a constant theme in Pope’s verse—and all the early versions of Roubiliac’s bust were probably executed for Pope’s closest friends. By bringing together the eight versions thought to have been executed by Roubiliac and his studio, and a number of other copies in marble, plaster and ceramic, this publication will offer the opportunity to explore not only the complex relationship between these various versions but the hitherto little understood processes of sculptural production and replication in eighteenth-century Britain.

Exhibition | Royal Spectacle at the French Court

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 31, 2014


C.-N. Cochin père, after C.-N. Cochin fils, Décoration du Bal Masqué donné par le Roy, plate 7 of Recueil des Festes, Feux d’Artifice, et Pompes Funèbres (Paris: Ballard, 1756). National Trust / Waddesdon Manor, 3176. Photo by Mike Fear. Depiction of the ball given by Louis XV in February 1745, on the occasion of the marriage of the Dauphin to Marie Thérèse Raphaëlle of Spain. Click here for a higher resolution image.

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From Waddesdon Manor:

Royal Spectacle: Ceremonial and Festivities at the French Court
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, 26 March — 26 October 2014

Curated by Selma Schwartz and Rachel Jacobs

This exhibition marks the publication of the Catalogue of Printed Books and Bookbinding: The James A. de Rothschild Bequest at Waddesdon Manor (2013), highlighting illustrated books published on the occasion of court festivities, celebrations and spectacles. Lavishly illustrated books, with engravings of the largest format, document the many extravagant festivities and ceremonies staged for the French court during the 17th and 18th centuries to mark the life cycle of births, marriages and deaths. Fanciful theatrical stage settings are the backdrop for richly costumed processions, equestrian tournaments, theatre performances, church ceremonies and spectacular firework displays. The books themselves are often bound in exquisite bindings intended for the royal family and aristocracy. While focusing on France, the exhibition also includes some comparative material from other European courts.

Tours of the exhibition with one of the curators will take place on Friday 30 May, 11 July and 26 September. For more information on how to book, please click here.

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Note (added 18 June 2014) — A 45-page, illustrated checklist with details on the 58 exhibited works is available for download as a PDF file at the Waddesdon website.

Call for Papers | Exhibiting Art for Sale: The Commercial Gallery Space

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 31, 2014

As posted at H-ArtHist (click the link for the German version). . . 

Exhibiting Art for Sale: The Commercial Gallery Space from the 18th Century to the Present
Technische Universität Berlin, 29 November 2014

Proposals due by 10 July 2014

Those who exhibit art for sale will carefully consider the manner in which the objects are presented. Many such concepts are based on the evocation of a historic context: dealers in old master paintings, for instance, tend to show their selection in period frames and with furniture which stems from the same epoch as the exhibits. Galleries of contemporary art, on the other hand, often present their shows in so-called white cubes, futuristic spaces that avoid all periodization, thus suggesting the timeless appeal of the art they offer for sale. Other galleries again choose to dramatize their setting with unexpected, contrasting combinations of objects originating from different periods and a variety of regions.

The commercial gallery thus provides a space where the significance of art is set in complex relation to its market value. This rarely considered subject will be explored by the 3rd Workshop of the Forum Art and Market, TU Berlin. By investigating the strategies of cooperating and competing agents, this conference not only aims to reveal modes of presentation typical for specific periods; it also seeks to address the changing concepts of selling exhibitions as a reflection of the art market’s history from the 18th century to the present day.

Proposals for contributions may for instance address the following aspects:
• the presentations of objects and the design of selling exhibitions (frames and bases, lighting, furniture, wall colours and covering, arrangement of exhibits, the size of spaces and their succession, show cases, shop windows, etc.) in art galleries, auction houses, academies, art fairs, museums and exhibition spaces managed by art associations
• the (changing) purposes of exhibitions in the art trade (such as providing information, education and pleasure, adding value, enabling pricing and sales) and the visitors they address
• the marketing and reception of such presentations in word and image (catalogues, advertisements, published reviews, artists’ notes, correspondence, etc.), also in comparison with non-commercial art exhibitions

Conference languages are German and English. Please send proposals (maximum 2000 characters), and a brief curriculum by 10 July 2014 to: exhibitingartforsale@gmail.com. Additional information on the conference cycle of the Forum Art and Market and its annual workshops may be found here.

Convenors: Dorothee Wimmer, Johannes Nathan, and Bénédicte Savoy, assisted by Lukas Fuchsgruber

Exhibition | China at Versailles: Art and Diplomacy in the 18th Century

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 30, 2014

From the Château de Versailles:

China at Versailles: Art and Diplomacy in the 18th Century
Château de Versailles, 27 May — 26 October 2014

Audience granted to the King of Siam’s ambassadors, 1 September 1686, at the Palace of Versailles Etching on copper in black and burin At Pie. Landry rue St. Jacques at St. François de Sales Almanac for the year 1687 (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France)

Audience granted to the King of Siam’s ambassadors, 1 September 1686, at the Palace of Versailles, Etching on copper in black and burin At Pie. Landry rue St. Jacques at St. François de Sales, Almanac for the year 1687 (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France)

The Palace of Versailles presents China at Versailles: Art and Diplomacy in the 18th Century, organised for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China. The exhibition follows the history of political and artistic exchanges between China and France during the 18th century. The paintings, furniture, lacquerware, porcelains and tapestries exhibited bear testimony to the extreme luxury of their time and are very rare today. The approximately 150 works gathered together for the exhibition illustrate France’s taste for Chinese artistic productions and reveal the interest among Europeans for descriptions of China throughout the 18th century.

A Political and Cultural Dialogue

In 1688, Louis XIV undertook a diplomatic policy that was to lead to high-level scientific and intellectual exchanges between France and China. By sending French Jesuits to the court in Beijing, the Sun King developed privileged, lasting relations with the Kangxi Emperor, his contemporary. Correspondence and exchanges intensified under the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. The two countries developed unique diplomatic relations. The political and intellectual ties that were forged between France and China led to a veritable golden age of diplomatic relations between the two countries up to the French Revolution.


Claude-Louis Châtelet, View of the Chinese Ring Game; drawing in black chalk, watercolour and gouache; excerpt from Recueil des vues et plans du Petit Trianon à Versailles, under the direction of Richard Miquet, 1786.

Chinese Art at Versailles

Porcelains, wallpaper, lacquerware, fabrics and silks: Chinese artistic productions aroused a great deal of interest in France starting in the 18th century. Under the reign of Louis XIV, France’s taste for ‘lachine’ or ‘lachinage’ was attributed to the gifts brought from the Far East by the King of Siam’s ambassadors in 1686. This appetite for Chinese art can also be seen in what was later to be called ‘la chinoiserie’, a trend in tastes that took on various forms:
• imitations of Chinese art,
• influence of Chinese art on French art,
• adaptation of oriental materials to French tastes,
• but also the creation of an imaginary, peaceful China.

Although the French sovereigns, protectors of the arts, could not openly display their taste for China in the royal apartments, many pieces of Chinese artwork decorated their private apartments at Versailles and Trianon.

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Published by Somogy, the catalogue as described at the Château de Versailles:

Marie-Laure de Rochebrune, Anne-Cécile Sourisseau, and Vincent Bastien, eds., La Chine à Versailles: Art et Diplomatie au XVIIIe Siècle (Paris: Somogy éditions d’Art, 2014), 280 pages, ISBN: 978-2757208137, 39€.

816427C2-95D1-BE0D-1E36-E85F853B5D44FileL’exposition La Chine à Versailles: Art et diplomatie au XVIIIe siècle retrace l’histoire des échanges politiques, scientifiques et artistiques entre la France et la Chine au siècle des Lumières.

Peintures, meubles, laques, gravures, porcelaines, livres précieux, tapisseries… les chefs-d’oeuvre exposés au château de Versailles témoignent du luxe raffiné de leur époque. Ils illustrent, dès le règne de Louis XIV, le goût français pour les productions artistiques chinoises. Ils révèlent aussi l’intérêt de la cour de Versailles pour l’Extrême-Orient, suscité par les descriptions que les jésuites envoyés en Chine rédigèrent dès la fin du XVIIe siècle.

Les cent cinquante oeuvres rassemblées dans cette exposition ‘évènement’ proviennent des plus grandes institutions françaises (musée du Louvre, musée Guimet, Bibliothèque nationale, etc.) et étrangères (collections royales anglaises, musée de l’Ermitage à Saint-Pétersbourg, etc.) ainsi que de collections particulières.

More information about the catalogue (in French) is available as PDF file here»

Walpole Library Fellowships for 2014–15

Posted in fellowships by Editor on May 30, 2014

The Lewis Walpole Library is delighted to announce the recipients of fellowship and travel grant awards for the 2014–2015 academic year:


• Sophie Coulombeau, University of York, John Trusler’s Memoirs
• Leigh-Michil George, UCLA, Comical Consciousness: Caricature and the Novel, 1726–1837
• Claire Grogan, Bishop’s University, The Role of Political Caricature in Britain during the 1790s
• Jordan Howell, University of Delaware, Book Abridgment in Eighteenth-Century England; Lewis Walpole Library and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Fellow
• Nicholas J.S. Knowles, Independent Scholar, A Catalogue Raisonné of Rowlandson’s Prints
• Cody Lass, Texas Tech University, Being British in America: The Seven Years War and Colonial Identity
• J. Vanessa Lyon, Grinnell College, Catholic Tastes: Religion, Foreignness, and the Birth of Gothic Visual Culture in England, 1715–1790; Roger W. Eddy Fellow
• Heather McPherson, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Speculum Mundi: Caricature and the Stage; LWL-ASECS Fellow
• Tim Pye, British Library, The Library of Thomas Tyrwhitt
• Matthew Sangster, British Library, Antiquarian Networks and the Meanings of Literature in the Eighteenth Century; Charles J. Cole Fellow
• Paris A. Spies-Gans, Princeton University, Creativity through Conflict: How Female Artists Navigated the Age of Revolution; George B. Cooper Fellow
• Edward Vallance, Roehampton University, Mark Noble, the Sentimental Loyalist
• Jane Wessel, University of Delaware, Property, Originality, and Performance: The Condition of Authorship on the Eighteenth-Century Stage

T R A V E L  G R A N T S

• Colin B. Burke, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Information Challenges of the American Intelligence Agencies
• Silvia Davoli, Strawberry Hill House, Horace Walpole’s Collection at Strawberry Hill
• Thomas N. McGeary, Independent Scholar, Music and the Grand Tour
• Terry F. Robinson, University of Toronto, A History of Nobody: A Graphic and Literary Record of Being and Non-Being, 1700–1900
• David Worrall, Nottingham Trent University, The Strawberry Hill Private Theatricals of 1800 and 1801

Lecture | Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell on Bigwigs

Posted in lectures (to attend), Member News by Editor on May 29, 2014


Nicolas de Largillière, Portrait of Barthélemy-Jean-Claude Pupil, 1729
(San Diego: Timken Museum)

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From the Timken:

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell
Bigwigs: Hair, Fashion, and Power in the 18th-Century Portrait
Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, Monday, 10am, 9 June 2014

Conference | Dresden’s Academy of Fine Arts Turns 250

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on May 29, 2014

If only more conferences included World Cup parties. . . . As noted H-ArtHist:

„Die Geister, die ich rief…“ 250 Jahre Kunstakademie Dresden
Dresden, 12–13 June 2014

Die Kunstakademie Dresden feiert in diesem Jahr ihr 250-jähriges Bestehen. Dieses ist Anlass, einen Blick in die Vergangenheit zu werfen und damit Überlegungen zu Gegenwart und Zukunft der Hochschule anzustoßen. Die zentrale Ausstellung geradezu momentan, ein essayistisch konzipierter Parcours durch die Geschichte der Hochschule, wird abgerundet durch eine Tagung, die einflussreiche Künstler- und Lehrerpersönlichkeiten wie Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn, Giovanni Casanova oder Gotthardt Kuehl ins Zentrum rückt. Zur Sprache kommen die Entwicklung der Akademieausstellungen und die Geschmacksbildung im ausgehenden 18. Jahrhundert ebenso wie kulturpolitische Richtungsdebatten im 20. Jahrhundert etwa am Beispiel des Malers und Rektors Richard Müller.

Organisiert von Bettina Uppenkamp und Dietmar Rübel

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D O N N E R S T A G ,  1 2  J U N I  2 0 1 4

17.00  (Oktogon), Führung durch die Ausstellung geradezu momentan mit Susanne Greinke und Dietmar Rübel (HfBK Dresden)

19.00  (Aktsaal) Begrüßung durch Bettina Uppenkamp (Dresden)

19.15  Roland Kanz (Bonn), Die frühe Kunstakademie als Soziotop

21.00  Grillen und WM-Party

F R E I T A G ,  1 3  J U N I  2 0 1 4

9.30  Matthias Flügge (Dresden), Geist und Geister. Zur aktuellen Situation der Kunstakademien

10.00  Bärbel Kovalevski (Berlin), „Es ist eine Ehre sich auf dem Niveau der großen Künstler zu sehen.“ (Rosina de Gasc 1768) – Künstlerinnen an der Kunstakademie Dresden

10.45  Dirk Syndram (Dresden), Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn oder von der Nützlichkeit der Kunst

11.30  Kaffeepause

11.45  Anke Fröhlich (Dresden), Altargemälde, Aktstudien, Kurfürstenporträts, Porzellanentwürfe und Genreszenen. Johann Eleazar Zeissigs, genannt Schenau an der Akademie in Dresden

12.30  Mittagspause

14.00  Harald Marx (Dresden), Reflexe der frühen akademischen Kunstausstellungen in der zeitgenössischen Presse

14.45  Jürgen Müller (Dresden), Von den Strategien der Moderne – Gotthardt Kuehl und der deutsche Impressionismus

15.30  Stephan Weber (Dresden), Überzeugungstäter und Mitläufer. Die Professoren der Dresdener Kunstakademie im Schatten des Nationalsozialismus

16.15  Kaffeepause

17.00  (Oktogon), Richard Müller zwischen Kunst und Politik. Diskussion mit Ralf Lehmann; Bettina Uppenkamp und Dietmar Rübel in der Ausstellung geradezu momentan.

Exhibition | Exposed: A History of Lingerie

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 28, 2014

Press release (2 April 2014) from The Museum at FIT:

Exposed: A History of Lingerie
Museum at FIT, New York, 3 June — 15 November 2014

Curated by Colleen Hill

Corset (stay), silk, silk ribbon, whalebone, c. 1770, possibly Europe (NY: Museum at FIT)

Corset (stay), silk, silk ribbon, whalebone, ca. 1770, possibly Europe
(New York: Museum at FIT)

The Museum at FIT presents Exposed: A History of Lingerie, an exhibition that traces developments in intimate apparel from the 18th century to the present. Exposed features over 70 of the most delicate, luxurious, and immaculately crafted objects from the museum’s permanent collection, many of which have never before been shown. Each piece illustrates key developments in fashion, such as changes in silhouette, shifting ideals of propriety, and advancements in technology.

The concept of underwear-as-outerwear is most commonly associated with the 1980s, but the look of lingerie has long served as inspiration for fashion garments. Exposed opens with several pairings of objects that underscore that connection. For example, a 1950s nylon nightgown, made by the upscale lingerie label Iris, is shown alongside an evening gown by Claire McCardell, also a 1950s garment, created in a similar fabric and silhouette. McCardell was one of the first designers to use nylon—a material typically marketed for lingerie—for eveningwear. A 2007 evening dress by Peter Soronen features a corset bodice, the construction of which is highlighted with bright blue topstitching. It is flanked by two 19th-century corsets, one made from bright red silk, the other from peacock blue silk.

The exhibition then continues chronologically. The earliest object on view is a sleeved corset (then called stays), circa 1770, made from sky-blue silk with decorative ivory ribbons that crisscross over the stomach. Stiffened with whalebone, 18th-century corsets straightened the back and enhanced the breasts by pushing them up and together. While they were essential to maintaining both a woman’s figure and her modesty, corsets also held an erotic allure.

Women’s undergarments were generally modest in the first half of the 19th century. This is exemplified by a dressing gown from circa 1840, made from white cotton. Although the dressing gown was simply designed and meant to be worn within the privacy of a woman’s boudoir, its full sleeves and smocked, pointed waistline mimic fashionable dress styles of the era. (more…)

Exhibition | Ai Weiwei in the Chapel

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on May 27, 2014


Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2013, click here to enlarge.
Photo by Jonty Wilde, courtesy of Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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Press release (17 April 2014) from Yorkshire Sculpture Park:

Ai Weiwei in the Chapel
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, West Yorkshire, 24 May — 2 November 2014

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is proud to announce an exhibition by Ai Weiwei, opening in the Park’s newly refurbished 18th-century chapel following a £500,000 restoration. The project, the first by Ai Weiwei in a British public gallery since Sunflower Seeds at Tate Modern in 2010, will be accompanied by poetry readings from the works of celebrated poet Ai Qing, Ai Weiwei’s father. Ai Weiwei in the Chapel opens to the public on Saturday 24 May 2014.

Iron Tree, 2013, a majestic six-metre high sculpture is presented in the chapel courtyard, while the installation Fairytale-1001 Chairs, 2007–14, is presented inside the chapel with three other works: the porcelain Ruyi, 2012; the marble Lantern 2014; and Map of China, 2009. The sculptures shown within the chapel relate to ideas about freedom and to the individual within society, whilst also connecting with the history and character of the building.

Iron Tree is the largest and most complex sculpture to date in the artist’s tree series, which he began in 2009. Inspired by the wood sold by street vendors in Jingdezhen, southern China, Ai’s trees are constructed from branches, roots and trunks from different trees. Although like a living tree in form, the sculptures are obviously pieced and joined together, being all the more poignant for their lack of life. Iron Tree comprises 99 elements cast in iron from parts of trees, and interlocked using a classic—and here exaggerated—Chinese method of joining, with prominent nuts and screws. Combining both the natural and crafted, the sculpture will rust over time and its installation in the secluded chapel garden makes a meditative space that gives pause for thought and is a powerful reminder of the cycles of nature.


Ai Weiwei, Fairytale-1001 Chairs, 2007, click here to enlarge.
Photo by Jonty Wilde.

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The second part of the exhibition, Fairytale-1001 Chairs, extends Ai’s major project for Documenta 12 in Kassel in 2007, for which he brought 1,001 Chinese citizens to Kassel for 20 days, representing each person with an antique chair. This transformational experience highlighted the complications of travel for ordinary Chinese citizens. Since his arrest in 2011, Ai’s own travel has been strictly limited and his passport is currently confiscated.

Unable to travel to Yorkshire, and working from plans and photographs of YSP’s chapel, Ai has selected 45 Fairytale-1001 Chairs and has conceived an installation of nine rows of five chairs in the nave. Spaced so that each chair is solitary, they give heightened awareness of the collective and the individual. The chairs date from the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) and in this context challenge the class and ritual functions of such furniture, which originally was the preserve of privilege. In the stillness of the chapel, visitors are invited to take a seat and consider freedom, refuge, sanctuary and their antonyms, and to reflect on who may have sat before them, both on the chairs in China and within the 270-year-old Bretton Estate chapel. Through this simple act of participation, histories and cultures meet in a contemplative environment. As the artist has said, “those chairs are part of the fairytale—a symbolic gesture about memory and our past.”

Ai has selected two other works for the chapel. Ruyi translates to “as one wishes” and so alludes to wish-fulfilment. Sitting somewhere between fungal organic form and human internal organs, this lividly-coloured porcelain sculpture is one of a number of Ruyi made by Ai Weiwei that take the traditional Chinese sceptre of the same name, used by nobles, monks and scholars for around 2,000 years. Like talking sticks in other cultures, ruyi denoted authority and granted individuals the right to speak and be heard, so enabling orderly and democratic discourse.

Ai Weiwei, Lantern, 2014. Photo by Jonty Wilde, courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Ai Weiwei, Lantern, 2014. Photo by Jonty Wilde, courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

For some years the Chinese authorities have surrounded Ai’s home with surveillance cameras and every step he takes outside is recorded and monitored, resulting in 2010 with the series of works, Marble Surveillance Cameras. At around the same time, in a humorous gesture of mockery and defiance, he decorated the real CCTV cameras with red Chinese lanterns. For the chapel, Ai builds on this series and premieres the marble Lantern, carved in stone from the same quarries used by emperors to build the Forbidden City, and more recent rulers to build Mao’s tomb. Map of China, formed from iron wood reclaimed from Qing dynasty temples, shows China as an isolated land.

With the artist’s consent, we also present readings of works by Ai’s father, Ai Qing (1910–1996). Considered one of the most important 20th century Chinese poets, Ai Qing initially supported Mao Sedong. However, in 1958, he was found guilty of ‘rightism’ and with his family, including the baby Ai Weiwei, was sent to a labour camp and then exiled until Mao’s death, after which the family was able to return to Beijing. Readings will be made from across Ai Qing’s oeuvre, starting in 1932, and including important poems such as Snow Falls on China’s Land, My Wet-Nurse, and Wall. They demonstrate Ai Qing’s extraordinary ability to convey the strength of nature and the human spirit, even in adversity, and so connect with Ai Weiwei’s own life and this exhibition in particular.

About the Chapel

Built in 1744 by Sir William Wentworth, the Georgian sandstone chapel is historically important within YSP’s Bretton Estate. Nestled within the deer park, the Grade II* listed building was a part of the life on the estate during the 18th and 19th centuries, although it wasn’t until its acquisition by YSP in 2001 that it became more generally accessible. Artists shown here prior to restoration include James Lee Byars, Shirin Neshat and Jem Finer.

Restoration work carried out over the last nine months has transformed the gallery into a unique and versatile gallery space. Outside the building, work has included the renewal of the roof, repairs to eliminate water ingress and damp, and the renovation of external stonework. Inside the chapel, repairs have been made to the floor and internal timbers, while climactic conditions have been enhanced with the introduction of new lighting, heating and ventilation systems, and an environmentally friendly air source heat pump. Visitors to the Park will now enjoy improved access to the chapel with a new pathway from the visitor centre, wheelchair access into the building and an accessible toilet.

The £500,000 restoration of the chapel was supported by: English Heritage, Country Houses Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, The Headley Trust, The Pilgrim Trust, the Holbeck Charitable Trust, The Leche Trust, The John S Cohen Foundation, Sir George Martin Trust, Kenneth Hargreaves Charitable Trust, Linden Charitable Trust, Jill Franklin Trust, and generous visitor donations. The lead professional advisor on the project was W. R. Dunn & Co Architects (RICS Conservation accredited building surveyor) and the appointed main contractor was William Anelay.

Call for Papers | Domestic Space and the Arts in Britain, 1753–1900

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 26, 2014

While the main deadline for submitting paper proposals for consideration for CAA 2015 passed earlier this month, here’s a late due date for a 90-minute session sponsored by the Historians of British Art:

CAA 2015 Session | Home Subjects: Domestic Space and the Arts in Britain, 1753–1900
College Art Association Conference, New York, 11–14 February 2015

Proposals due by 15 August 2014

Session chairs:
Dr. Melinda McCurdy (Associate Curator of British Art, Huntington Art Collections), mmccurdy@huntington.org
Dr. Morna O’Neill (Wake Forest University), morna.oneill@gmail.com
Dr. Anne Nellis Richter (independent scholar and adjunct instructor, American University), anne.nellis@gmail.com

Home Subjects is a new research working group which aims to illuminate the domestic display of art in Britain. Our goal is to examine the home as a place to view and exhibit works of art within the historical context of the long nineteenth century. Recent scholarship has emphasized the importance of the house itself and notions of ‘domesticity’ as important touchstones in British culture. At the same time, art historians have tended to focus on a history of British art premised on the display of art in public; according to this important narrative, British art developed in relationship to the public sphere in the eighteenth century. Art institutions and exhibitions asserted the importance of the display of art in forming audiences into publics in cultural and political terms. Such efforts continued in the ‘exhibition age’ of the nineteenth century, when display of artwork in museums, galleries, and special exhibitions solidified the important role given to art in articulating a public sphere. This narrative overlooks the continuation of older paradigms of display, especially those premised on the private and domestic audience for works of art. Within this context, the country house takes it place alongside the townhouse as an important venue for the display of art. We aim to explore this ‘counter-narrative’ of the home as the ideal place to view works of art, a view which permeated all areas of art and design and which persisted throughout the nineteenth century, despite the prevailing narrative of the development of public museums.

Also at stake in this project is a reconsideration of domesticity and its relationship to modernity. Important recent scholarship has illuminated some of the ways in which entrenched narratives of modernity and artistic modernism were defined in opposition to the domestic sphere. In a typical avant-garde gambit, artists distinguished works of art from objects of interior decoration by rejecting the private and the domestic. This session aims to bring together scholars whose work addresses this topic in order to posit a new trajectory for modernity, one that can be traced through the private, domestic sphere.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:
• the display of easel painting and its relationship to the domestic interior
• decorative arts, their status as works of art and relationship to interior decoration
• domestic architecture and museum/gallery architecture, both public and private
• collecting and taste
• the interrelationship between private and public modes of display and decoration

Proposal abstracts should be no more than 500 words, and should be accompanied by a current 2-page c.v. and must be received by email to homesubjects@gmail.com by August 15, 2014. Please also include a mailing address, telephone number, and email.

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