New Book | The Imaginary Orient: Exotic Buildings

Posted in books by Editor on July 29, 2015

From Artbooks.com:

Stefan Koppelkamm, The Imaginary Orient: Exotic Buildings of the 18th and 19th Centuries in Europe (Stuttgart: Axel Menges, 2015), 192 pages, ISBN: 978-3936681772, $78.

The-Imaginary-Orient-Exotic-Buildings-of-the-18th-and-19th-Centuries-in-Europe-Hardcover-L9783936681772In the eighteenth century the idea of the landscape garden, which had originated in England, spread all over Europe. The geometry of the Baroque park was abandoned in favour of a ‘natural’ design. At the same time the garden became the ‘land of illusion’: Chinese pagodas, Egyptian tombs and Turkish mosques, along with Gothic stables and Greek and Roman temples, formed a miniature world in which distance mingled with the past. The keen interest in a fairy-tale Orient was manifested also in architecture. This ‘Orient’, which could hardly be clearly defined geographically, was characterized by Islamic culture. The Islamic styles seemed especially appropriate for buildings of a secular and cheerful character. The promise of happiness associated with an Orient staged by architectural means was intended to guarantee the commercial success of coffee houses and music halls, amusement parks and steam baths. But even extravagant summer residences and middle-class villas were built in faux-Oriental styles.

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Note (added 21 December 2016) — Barry Bergdoll reviews the book for The Burlington Magazine 158 (December 2016), p. 982:

Published originally in German in 1987 to accompany a series of no doubt delightful exhibitions entitled Exotische Welten-Europäische Phantasien in Stuttgart (Institut für Auslansbeziehungen), this anthology seems to be more concerned with compiling examples than analysing them . . . Sometimes groundbreaking exhibition catalogues are republished years later either because of their historical importance or because greater availability stimulates new research. The decision to translate (more or less) this rather helter-skelter overview into English more than a quarter of a century after its appearance is mystifying . . .




Call for Papers | Rowlandson and After: Rethinking Graphic Satire

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on July 29, 2015


Thomas Rowlandson, A York address to the whale. Caught lately off Gravesend. 5 Apr 1809. Hand-coloured etching 26 x 39 cm (Royal Collection Trust, #810766)

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Rowlandson and After: Rethinking Graphic Satire
The Paul Mellon Centre and The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, 22 January 2016

Proposals due by 25 September 2015

A collaborative study-day organised by Royal Collection Trust and The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

The prints, drawings and watercolours of Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827), which are to be showcased in the forthcoming exhibition High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, have long been recognised as offering a remarkable combination of satirical invention and artistic brilliance. This study-day, which has been co-organised by Royal Collection Trust and The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, uses Rowlandson’s work as the starting-point for a broader art-historical examination of British graphic satire—whether drawn, engraved or painted on paper—between the later years of the 18th century and today.

Rowlandson and After is inspired by the recent upsurge in ambitious scholarship on the pictorial satires of the Georgian and Victorian periods, and by a desire to explore graphic satire’s long-standing identity as a fluid, hybrid form that seems always to straddle different worlds—art, journalism, literature and politics—rather than belonging fully to any one particular cultural sphere. Accordingly, submissions are invited that engage with examples of graphic satire dating from any point across the last 250 years and that address the following questions, among others:

• What can Rowlandson’s work tell us about the broader workings of graphic satire in his period, and how has it helped shape the practice of his successors?
• What have been the distinctive formal, iconographic, technical and textual characteristics of this particular strand of artistic practice at different historical moments, and how and why have they changed?
• What is the relationship between graphic satire and other forms of visual art?
• What kind of artistic persona is associated with this form of practice—how has the figure of the satirist been defined and imagined?
• How has the history of graphic satire been shaped by developments in print technology?
• What is the relationship between graphic satire and journalism; or graphic satire and literature; or graphic satire and political discourse?
• How might histories of graphic satire be related to histories of British humour?
• How does graphic satire operate today—and how might contemporary examples of the genre be compared to the work of artists such as Rowlandson?

The day will be split between The Paul Mellon Centre and The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Please send proposals (of no more than 250 words) for 20-minute papers to Ella Fleming, Events Manager, events@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk by 5.00pm on 25 September 2015.