Call for Articles | Spring 2017 Issue of J18: Lifelike

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 1, 2016


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From J18:

Journal18, Issue #3 (Spring 2017) — Lifelike
Proposals due by 15 May 2016; finished articles will be due by 1 November 2016

During the eighteenth century, a range of artistic productions aimed to simulate motion and life, at the same time that individuals became ever more preoccupied with performing or embodying static works of art. This issue of Journal18 aims to explore such hybrid creations and the boundaries they challenged between animate and inanimate form, art and technology, nature and artifice, the living and the dead. Echoing contemporary discussions about vraisemblance and verisimilitude, as well as mimesis and imitation, in eighteenth-century artistic literature, these preoccupations also related to larger philosophical and scientific debates about matter, mankind and machines at a global level. What was considered ‘lifelike’ in the eighteenth century? How did artistic practices engage this notion and participate in redefining it?

Articles may focus on specific objects, such as automata created by Pierre Jacquet-Droz and others that imitated human acts of writing or harpsichord playing; hyperrealistic wax figures, sometimes displayed in groups, that were used for entertainment as well as pedagogical and medical purposes; ‘tableaux mécaniques’, or mixed-media paintings with motors on the back that enabled figures to move across their surfaces; and natural history materials, such as taxidermic animals, specimens or skeletons that were displayed in particular spaces. Other possible topics include the staging of collaborative tableaux vivants in eighteenth-century theaters, gardens, and salons; and related attempts to resurrect or animate ancient artifacts, as in Emma Hamilton’s ‘living statue’ performances. Articles that consider the eighteenth-century specificity of such artistic productions, introduce new methodological perspectives, or discuss relevant examples from outside of Europe are especially encouraged.

Proposals for #3 LIFELIKE are now being accepted. Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2016. To submit a proposal, send an abstract (200 words) and a brief CV to editor@journal18.org. Articles should not exceed 6000 words and will be due on 1 November 2016.

Issue Editors
Noémie Etienne, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Meredith Martin, NYU and Institute of Fine Arts


Conference| Animating the Georgian London Town House

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on March 1, 2016

From The National Gallery:

Animating the Georgian London Town House
The National Gallery, London, 17 March 2016

Rediscovering and animating London town houses of the 18th and early 19th centuries

spencer-house-2Organised by the Paul Mellon Centre, London, the National Gallery, and Birkbeck College, University of London, this conference explores the position town houses once occupied in the lives of families and the nation as a whole. Some—such as Spencer House—have survived; many have left fragmentary traces; others have been completely destroyed and can only be recreated on the basis of inventories and descriptive accounts. There is much still to be uncovered about the collections of paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts which these buildings once housed, as well as about their furnishing, architecture, gardens, and refashionings over time.

This event follows on from the successful Animating the 18th-Century Country House conference held at the National Gallery in March 2015. Expert speakers will discuss both famed and little-remembered London town houses, considering how these residences were designed, furnished, and ornamented. Papers also explore the significance and function of these properties for owners and their families, together with the varied experiences of guests and visitors. To book tickets, please visit The National Gallery.

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10.00  Registration

10.20  Welcome by Susanna Avery-Quash and Kate Retford

10.30  Keynote Lecture
• Desmond Shawe Taylor, ‘Picture displays at Carlton House’

11.30  Coffee break

12.00  Construction and Reconstruction
• Matthew Jenkins and Charlotte Newman, ‘London in pieces: Building biographies in Georgian Mayfair’
• Neil Bingham, ‘The Regency transformation of Burlington House, Piccadilly, documented through the architectural drawings of Samuel Ware’
• Pat Hardy, ‘Canaletto’s town houses’

1.30  Lunch break

2.30  Fashioning and Inhabiting
• Jeremy Howard, ‘New light on Norfolk House: The decoration and furnishing of Norfolk House for the 9th Duke and Duchess of Norfolk’
• Anne Nellis Richter, ‘Glitter and fashion in the “Louvre of London”: Animating Cleveland House’
• Peter Nelson Lindfield, ‘London’s gothic pineapple: 18 Arlington Street’

4.00  Refreshment break

4.30  Keynote Lecture
• Adriano Aymonino and Manolo Guerci, ‘London’s greatest mansion in the Strand: Northumberland House, the urban palace of the 1st Duke and Duchess of Northumberland’

5.30  Closing remarks

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Note (added 2 March 2016) — The original version of this posting inadvertently omitted Anne Nellis Richter’s presentation.

At Sotheby’s | Pelham: The Public and the Private Collections

Posted in Art Market by Editor on March 1, 2016

Press release (22 February 2016) from Sotheby’s:

Pelham: The Public and the Private Collections of Alan Rubin (L16322)
Sotheby’s London, 8 March 2016


Lot 114: François Boucher, La Marchande de Fleurs in a Rocaille Surround, ca. 1742.

On 8th March 2016, Sotheby’s London will host an exceptional sale of furniture and works of art from the ‘public’ and ‘private’ collections of Alan Rubin of Pelham Galleries. The name Pelham is inextricably linked with the history of the 20th-century antiques trade. For almost 90 years, Pelham Galleries has been a mecca for international collectors, dealers and museums curators. The galleries in London and Paris have been instrumental in helping form some of today’s greatest collections, and treasures discovered by Alan Rubin, his father and uncle can be found in many of the world’s greatest museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, and the Louvre. The printed catalogue, which can be viewed online here, includes a substantial introduction by Alan Rubin with a fascinating history of the company and a masterly survey of the history of the London art trade, which will be a work of reference for future generations of dealers.

The sale will feature fascinating acquisitions made by two generations of antiques dealers with unrivalled expertise, alongside great rarities that have adorned Alan Rubin’s wonderful Queen Anne house in London for the past 30 years. Together, the 180 lots include outstanding examples of English and European furniture, an exceptionally rich group of Italian decorative arts, chinoiserie masterpieces and a number of items reflecting Alan Rubin’s passion for early music.

Commenting on the forthcoming auction, Alan Rubin said: “This sale marks a new chapter for Pelham Galleries which will now be run from our Paris gallery. The sale includes a number of pieces never previously offered to the public, some acquired by my family over sixty years ago. I hope they will give as much pleasure to their new owners as they have given to me.”

Henry House, Head of Sotheby’s Furniture and Decorative Arts Department added: “This sale celebrates the great eye, sublime taste and academic rigour that have contributed to Alan Rubin’s worldwide reputation. In addition to their extraordinary quality and rarity, many items in the sale come with fascinating provenances and carry the imprimatur of one of Britain’s most renowned antique dealing families.”

English Furniture

Pelham Galleries has been synonymous with the finest English Furniture since it was founded in 1928. The sale features outstanding pieces which were acquired either by Alan Rubin in his early years as a dealer or by his father, Ernest Rubin in the 1950s. Stunning examples of neo-classical furniture include a George III satinwood, harewood and tulipwood breakfront bookcase, circa 1780 by Mayhew and Ince, acquired from Lord and Lady Mountbatten in the 1950s (est. £40,000–60,000) and an important pair of George III painted and parcel-gilt satinwood pier tables, circa 1795 which adorned the Blue Room of the White House between 1972 and 2002. Formerly in the collection of the Dukes of Sutherland, these tables are among the finest examples of their period (est. £100,000–150,000).

Italian Decorative Arts

Alan Rubin’s profound interest in Italian decorative arts is reflected in an impressive ensemble of 18th-century furniture and works of art. Highlights comprise one of the finest pairs of Genoese giltwood torchères by Fillipo Parodi (1630–1702) ever to come on the market. These exceptional pieces are extremely rare in private hands. The majority of surviving examples are now in public collections or remain in situ in Genoese palaces (est. £50,000–100,000). Exceptional examples of English Palladian furniture include a George II mahogany breakfront secrétaire-cabinet, circa 1750, by William Hallett which was acquired privately from Wentworth Woodhouse over sixty years ago (est. £70,000–100,000) and a beautiful hall settee by William and John Linnell (est. £70,000–100,000). An astonishing painted trompe l’oeil and grisaille Cassapanca from first quarter 18th century (est. £25,000–50,000) and its matching torchères (est. £20,000–40,000) are a rare testament to the tradition of illusionist painting in Italian interiors. Such furniture often adorned the entrance halls of palazzi but most original pieces have now been lost or dispersed, which makes the survival of such a set remarkable. Equally fascinating, examples of Italian hardstone and mosaic works of art include an exquisite pair of micromosaics by the outstanding Roman mosaicist Giacomo Raffaelli (1753–1836) from the Hamilton Palace collection (est. £50,000–100,000) and a magnificent pietre dure plaque produced by the Grand Ducal Workshops in Florence in the 17th century (est. £20,000–30,000).

French Furniture and Works of Arts

Testament to Alan Rubin’s taste for Chinoiserie, the sale includes masterpieces by the great proponents of the style, including an unpublished work by François Boucher (1703–1770), La Marchande d’Oiseaux which was previously in the collection of Baron Edmond de Rothschild, circa 1915 (est. £100,000–150,000). The sale also features rare and evocative objects from 18th-century France, including the only recorded surviving life-size 18th-century French mannequin de mode, circa 1765 which recently featured in exhibitions at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and the Musée Bourdelle, Paris (est. £30,000–50,000), a 1783 miniature recording the first flight in a hot-air balloon (est. £12,000–18,000) and an impressive Consulat armchair, circa 1796–1803 similar to the one in the Chateau de Malmaison, where Napoléon lived with his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais (est. £30,000–50,000).

Works of Art on the Theme of Music

A keen music lover and collector of early musical instruments, Alan Rubin also made fascinating acquisitions on the theme of music, such as a rare Indian duet stand, circa 1810 which once belonged to world famous violinist, Yehudi Menuhin (est. £5,000–7,000), a late-16th-century Italian harpsichord, (est. £30,000–50,000), and a pair of 17th-century musical still-lives attributed to Bettera of Bergamo (est. £20,000–30,000).

Summer Workshop | Visualizing Venice: The Ghetto of Venice

Posted in graduate students, resources by Editor on March 1, 2016


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From H-ArtHist, with more information available from Venice International University:

Visualizing Venice Workshop: Mapping and Modeling the Ghetto of Venice
Venice International University, 8–20 June 2016

Applications due by 31 March 2016

With the support of The Getty Foundation as part of its Digital Art History initiative, The Wired! Lab at Duke University, Università Iuav di Venezia, the University of Padua, and Venice International University are collaborating on a summer workshop that will train art, architectural, and urban historians with the digital media that can enhance or transform their research questions and their capacity to communicate narratives about objects, places, and spaces to the public.

This fifth annual 12-day workshop teaches a range of digital skills in mapping, 3D modeling, mobile application and web development, and time based media authorship to enable participants to engage historical questions with emerging digital tools. The course will engage with the Ghetto of Venice on the 500th anniversary of its creation as case study for training with a variety of technologies and applications. Instruction will be given in English by faculty and staff from Duke University’s Wired! Lab and Università Iuav di Venezia.

The workshop is designed for PhD or post doctoral participants in the interpretive humanities (including cultural patrimony, history of art, architecture and urbanism, history, geography, architecture, archaeology, and other relevant disciplines). Preference will be given to PhD students and recent PhD graduates in the history of art, architecture, and urbanism. The workshop is taught at Venice International University on the island of San Servolo in the Venetian Lagoon. Participants can live in the housing facilities of the island of San Servolo or arrange for accommodation in the city of Venice. Tuition fees are 1,000€ (+22%VAT). Scholarships are available in order to support tuition, travel, board, and accommodation expenses thanks to the generosity of The Getty Foundation.

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