Call for Session Proposals | ASECS 2016, Pittsburgh

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 27, 2015

2016 American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference
Pittsburgh, 31 March — 3 April 2016

Session Proposals due by 1 June 2015

Proposals for panels at the at the 47th annual meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, to take place in Pittsburgh, are now being accepted. Please complete the form (available as a Word document) and email it to asecs@wfu.edu.

ASECS Awards, 2014–15

Posted in books, fellowships, journal articles by Editor on March 27, 2015

A selection of this year’s ASECS awards that particularly relate to landscapes, images, objects, and material culture:

2014–15 Louis Gottschalk Prize
Vittoria Di Palma, Wasteland: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014).
The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies awards annually the Louis Gottschalk prize to the best scholarly book on an eighteenth-century subject. The 2015 Gottschalk prize has been awarded to Vittoria Di Palma for Wasteland: A History (Yale University Press, 2014), an elegant, probing, and timely account of how the emerging discourse of modern aesthetics in Britain was inseparably intertwined with interest in certain ‘unimproved’ types of land. Di Palma’s work, which conjoins the resources of art history, landscape and garden studies, the history of science, and more disciplines still, is a scholarly tour-de-force that synthesizes disparate studies of subjects ranging from land enclosure to the sublime in order to shed new light on the prehistory of our current ecological challenges.

2014–15 James L. Clifford Prize
Paola Bertucci, “Enlightened Secrets: Silk Intelligent Travel, and Industrial Espionage in Eighteenth-Century France” published in Technology and Culture 54 (October 2013): 820–52.
Bertucci offers a critical examination of the relationship between the openness of academic knowledge and the secrecy of state affairs in the age of Enlightenment. Using the silk manufacturing industry of France and Piedmont as an example, she explores the ways in which technical intelligence was gathered under the guise of academic exchange and demonstrates that the seeming openness of academic culture was one of the resources that intelligent travelers mobilized to serve the state in secret.

2014–15 Women’s Caucus Editing and Translation Fellowship
There were five very fine submissions this year for the Women’s Caucus Editing and Translation Prize. The selection committee—which consisted of Katherine Binhammer, Katharine Kittredge, and Mary Trouille (Chair)—was especially impressed by the proposals submitted by Aileen Douglas and Catherine Sama. Since no prize was given last year, the Women’s Caucus kindly agreed to allow our committee to award a $1,000 prize to both Professors Douglas and Sama. Catherine Sama is Professor of Italian at the University of Rhode Island in Providence. She has published widely on eighteenth-century Italian women writers and artists. The title of her project is “Rosalba Carriera (1673–1757): Correspondence of a Venetian Artist.”

2014–15 Innovative Course Design Competition
Michael Gavin, “Modeling Literary History: Quantitative Approaches to the Enlightenment”
Estelle Joubert, “Music in the Global Eighteenth Century: A New Course Proposal”
Sean Silver, “The Novel and the Museum”

Symposium | The 2015 Newport Symposium

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on March 27, 2015

From The Preservation Society of Newport County:

North and South: Crosscurrents in American Material Culture
23rd Annual Newport Symposium, Newport, Rhode Island, 26–29 April 2015

Despite the sometimes irreconcilable differences that culminated in the Civil War (1861–65), Newport and other Northern cities maintained close social, economic, cultural, and artistic ties with the South from the Colonial period through the Gilded Age. The 2015 Newport Symposium, North and South: Crosscurrents in American Material Culture, invites a fresh look at regional differences in American furnishings, silver, textiles, painting, architecture, and interiors to reveal the complex exchange of ideas and enduring influences.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

S U N D A Y ,  2 6  A P R I L  2 0 1 5

4:00  Opening Lecture

“Historic House Museums, North and South: Preserving Our Past, Enhancing Our Future,” George McDaniel (Executive Director, Drayton Hall, Charleston, SC)
In both the North and South, historic house museums are too often seen as staid institutions, stuck on giving only boring ‘velvet ropes’ tours and suffering from declining revenues and morale. While such examples do exist, there are also many house museums that are using their collections, their site, and their staff in innovative and strategic ways to reach out and make a difference in their communities and beyond, and to thereby play significant roles in preserving our past and enhancing our future.

5:00  Opening Reception at Rosecliff (1902)

M O N D A Y ,  2 7  A P R I L  2 0 1 5

8:00  Registration and coffee

9:00  Welcome, Donald O. Ross (Chairman of the Board, The Preservation Society of Newport County)

9:30  “Pride & Prejudice: Understanding North and South,” Tom Savage (Director of Museum Affairs, Winterthur Museum)
At the first Williamsburg Antiques Forum in 1949, Joseph Downs, then curator of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced that “little furniture of artistic merit was ever produced south of Baltimore.” A southern matron asked politely but pointedly if Mr. Downs had spoken “out of prejudice or ignorance?” The battle cry that went out from that conference spawned the landmark 1952 exhibition Furniture of the Old South, 1640–1820 at the Virginia Museum and a special issue of The Magazine Antiques dedicated to southern furniture. In 1965, The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) opened in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This lecture will examine the historiography of southern decorative arts research and the mythological perceptions that have pervaded our understanding of American material culture, both North and South.

10:30  Break

11:00  “He Went to War a Virginian But Came Home an American: General  Washington’s Revolutionary Transformation of Mount Vernon,” Susan Schoelwer (Robert H. Smith Senior Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon)
George Washington’s wartime travels took him to countless communities in New England and the Middle States, giving him rich opportunities to compare country estates and city houses in these regions with more familiar examples in Virginia and Maryland. After the Revolution, he drew on these experiences to purposefully redesign Mount Vernon, his beloved home and estate on the Potomac River, to suit what he called his ‘Republican stile of living’. The resulting innovations—most notably the picturesque landscape surrounding the Mansion and the grand neoclassical interior that Washington called his ‘New Room’—vividly expressed his prescient vision for the future of the new American nation.

12:00  Lunch

1:30  Concurrent lectures and tours

“Beyond the Summer Colony: Exchange Between Charleston and Newport,” Brandy Culp (Curator Historic Charleston Foundation)
Because of its favorable climate and intellectual charm, Newport was a fashionable summer destination for many Charlestonians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In addition to being what some have called “the Bath of America,” Newport was an important partner in the coastal trade, and the two cities were economically linked. We will discuss the exchange of goods between Newport and Charleston facilitated by merchants such as Rhode Island native Nathaniel Russell, as well as the cultural connections that gave rise to Newport’s popularity among the southern colony.

“Elegant Boston Interiors 1789–1830,” Jane Nylander (President Emerita) and Richard Nylander, (Curator Emeritus, Historic New England, Boston, MA)
In two consecutive afternoon sessions, the Nylanders will discuss furnishings and interiors in the homes of Boston’s elite during the New Republic. Early nineteenth-century Boston witnessed changing styles of architecture and furniture, new technologies, increasing prosperity, and an expanded circle of world trade. Interiors featured both locally made and imported goods such as textiles and wallpaper, ceramics and glass, window curtains and carpets as well as paintings and sculpture, reflecting an increased interest in the fine arts.

3:00  Concurrent lectures and tours

“Finding the Sacred in the Secular: Eighteenth-Century Synagogue Architecture in Newport and Charleston,” Daniel Kurt Ackermann (Associate Curator, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem, NC)
Touro Synagogue in Newport, which opened in 1763, has long been held up as a symbol of religious tolerance in America. Indeed, both Touro and KKBE’s Synagogue in Charleston, South Carolina, were important buildings in their cityscapes. These two sacred buildings constructed in secular styles reflected the status and acceptance that Jews found in early America. They also reflected the webs of kinship, commerce, and faith that linked the Jews of Newport and Charleston to each other and to the rest of the Jewish Atlantic world.

“Elegant Boston Interiors 1789–1830,” Jane Nylander (President Emerita) and Richard Nylander, (Curator Emeritus, Historic New England)
In two consecutive afternoon sessions, the Nylanders will discuss furnishings and interiors in the homes of Boston’s elite during the New Republic. Early nineteenth-century Boston witnessed changing styles of architecture and furniture, new technologies, increasing prosperity, and an expanded circle of world trade. Interiors featured both locally made and imported goods such as textiles and wallpaper, ceramics and glass, window curtains and carpets as well as paintings and sculpture, reflecting an increased interest in the fine arts.

4:00  “Elegant Taking and Talking Tea: Gentility, Patriotism and Shared Conversations in Early America,” Martha Willoughby (Senior Specialist, Christie’s, London)
This lecture will look at the American tea party and its central role in social and cultural discourse during the eighteenth century. Throughout the colonies, the ritual of tea drinking and its symbolism of British tyranny during the Revolution provided a means for establishing and affirming bonds with neighbors, visitors and compatriots. A close look at the tea party’s guest of honor—the tilt-top tea table—will illustrate the lively and fruitful conversation of ideas between North and South.

5:00  Tea and refreshments

T U E S D A Y ,  2 8  A P R I L  2 0 1 5

8:00  Registration and coffee

9:00  “North and South: Town & Country,” Trudy Coxe (CEO & Executive Director) and Laurie Ossman (Director of Museum Affairs, The Preservation Society of Newport County)

9:30  “‘Send None but the Finest Quality’: Art and Patronage in Early Maryland–The Edward Lloyd Family and Beyond,” Alexandra Kirtley (The Montgomery-Garvan Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art)
Edward Lloyd settled on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1659. There he established a dynasty of gentleman farmers, whose lands eventually stretched the entire length of the Delmarva peninsula. The Lloyds patronized artists of the first order, from the finest silversmiths and furniture makers to British marine painter Dominic Serres and American portraitist Charles Willson Peale. The family crafted an extraordinary landscape and built exceptional manor houses to reflect the most current architectural styles of the day. The story of the Lloyd family art patronage typifies the social experience in Early Maryland and the Upper South.

10:30  Break

11:00  “Five Desks for Virginia: New England Furniture in the South and the Caribbean during the Eighteenth Century,” Brock Jobe (Professor of American Decorative Arts, Winterthur Museum)
Throughout the 1700s, many New England woodworkers built furniture for export to distant ports in the South, the Caribbean, and beyond. Craftsmen often entered into contracts with ship captains, who carried the furniture from port to port in search of a market; when the pieces were finally sold, the proceeds were used to purchase timber, coffee, and molasses. The first provided the raw material for the furniture-making; the latter two offered a source of cash for craftsmen. We will trace the furniture export trade in four New England communities: Portsmouth, Salem, Boston, and Newport.

12:00  Lunch

1:30  Concurrent lectures and tours

“The Cosmopolitan Middletons: A Family’s History as Told Through Their Collections,” George McNeely (Vice President for Strategic and International Affairs, World Monuments Fund, New York)
The Middleton family established themselves in South Carolina in the early 18th century and have been prominent in politics, international affairs, commerce and culture ever since. Their remarkably grand Jacobean-style seat was completed in 1741 and the unusual ‘butterfly’ lakes and extensive gardens in the following decades. Trace the family through triumphs and despair, from Charleston to Philadelphia to Newport to London and back, through a wonderful selection of paintings, furniture and decorative arts in the family collections.

“In Search of Respite: Natchezians at the Northern Resorts,” Jeff Mansell, Historian, Natchez National Historical Park
In an attempt to escape the blistering Southern summers, wealthy Natchez, Mississippi planters sought refuge at popular watering holes and fashionable Northern resorts. From June to October, in a seemingly steady progression, Natchezians moved from Niagara Falls and Seneca Lake to Saratoga and Cape May. In August, they descended on Newport and by 1860, one planter’s wife observed, “it seems to me all of Natchez is here.” While most Natchezians spent only a few weeks of the season in Newport, others built cottages and became fixtures in the social and cultural life of the town.

3:00  Concurrent lectures and tours

“Victoria Mansion: The 1860 Maine Summer Home of a New Orleans Hotelier,” Arlene Palmer Schwind (Curator, Victoria Mansion, Portland, ME)
Maine native Ruggles Sylvester Morse began his hotel career in Boston and New York, but by 1843 he settled in New Orleans where he quickly made a sizable fortune. Between 1858 and 1860 he constructed a magnificent summer home in Portland, Maine. This Italian villa style mansion is largely intact, with interiors that are exceptional for their brilliant wall and ceiling paintings, marble fireplaces, and stained glass. Over ninety percent of the original furnishings remain from 1860, including an important collection of furniture by Gustave Herter, who also supervised the design of the mansion’s sumptuous interiors. Learn how Morse’s background as a hotelier and a New Orleans resident influenced the design and furnishing of this unique example of pre-Civil War grandeur, a National Historic Landmark that has been a historic house museum since 1941.

“The North in the South: Furnishings in Antebellum Natchez,” Caryne Eskridge (Project Manager and Research Curator, The Classical Institute of the South, New Orleans)
In the mid-nineteenth century, the elite ‘Natchez Nabobs’ possessed the wealth, taste, and connections that allowed them to order the most fashionable furnishings from Philadelphia, New York, and Massachusetts. As a result, many of the parlors, dining rooms, and bedrooms in Natchez resembled what was found in elite households in the Mid-Atlantic and New England. These objects challenge the distinction of ‘northern’ versus ‘southern’ and reveal significant paths within the dynamic movement of goods and people. The presentation will highlight objects that remain extant in Natchez, in some cases in a nearly complete context.

7:00  Dinner at The Breakers (1895)

W E D N E S D A Y ,  2 9  A P R I L  2 0 1 5

8:30  Registration and coffee

9:30  “‘The Largest Assortment Constantly on Hand’: Furniture in New Orleans, 1840–1900,” Stephen Harrison (Curator of Decorative Art and Design, The Cleveland Museum of Art)
Recent research suggests that the story of household furnishings in the South’s most prosperous port city is far richer in its associations with Europe and the American style centers of the North both before and after the Civil War than ever imagined before. This fully illustrated lecture will discuss the many furniture emporiums that lined Royal Street and the bounty they displayed. Familiar purveyors such as Barjon, Mallard, and Siebrecht will come to life again along with the storied plantations and fashionable city residences they furnished and adorned with furniture of ‘fancy and fashion’ they kept ‘constantly on hand’.

10:30  Break

11:00  “Painting in the American South, 1730–1790,” Carolyn Weekley (Juli Grainger Curator Emerita, Colonial Williamsburg)
Portraiture dominated the activity of painters who worked in the early South. Most artists were trained in trades techniques such as signboard and coach painting. Both resident and traveling painters were the chief providers of portraits, although Southerners occasionally commissioned pictures from artists elsewhere in America and abroad, chiefly in London. Most of the painters engaged by Southerners had contact with others in the trade. Some were directly trained by fellow painters while others imitated the idiosyncratic styles of other artists.

12:00  Lunch

1:00  Optional independent touring
Symposium attendees will be admitted free of charge by presenting their symposium badges at the following properties: Redwood Library and Athenaeum (1748), Newport Art Museum, J.N.A. Griswold House (1864),  The International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport Casino (1881), The Museum of Newport History at Brick Market. Preservation Society Properties: Chateau-sur-Mer (1852), Marble House (1892), The Breakers (1895), The Elms (1901), Rosecliff (1902)