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Course | The Country House: Art, Politics, and Taste

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Caitlin Smits on June 30, 2016

From the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art:

Public Lecture Course | The Country House: Art, Politics, and Taste
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 13 October — 1 December 2016

The Paul Mellon Centre is pleased to announce the 2016 Public Lecture Course: The Country House: Art, Politics, and Taste. The course has been developed in conjunction with the research project Country House: Collections and Display, and both will explore various facets of the collections and display of art in the country house in Britain and Ireland from the sixteenth century to the present day.

The Country House course will be taught by Martin Postle, Deputy Director of Grants and Publications; Jessica Feather, Allen Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre; and other distinguished scholars from the field. This year’s course will run for eight lectures and will continue to be held weekly on Thursday evenings starting with an informal reception at 18.30. Lectures will then begin at 19.00 followed by a discussion session until 20.30.

The course requires some preparation on the part of the participant. Each lecture will have at most two readings (provided electronically ahead of the start of the course), which participants are strongly encouraged to read in order to have some background knowledge on the topics being discussed in class each week.

As an educational charity the Paul Mellon Centre strives to promote and support academic research into the history of British Art. The Public Lecture Course, which will be free to attend, offers an exciting opportunity to broaden our audiences and to communicate the newest and most original research on British art in an engaging and accessible way.

The Country House will take place on Thursday evenings between 13th October and 1st December 2016 in the Lecture Room at the Paul Mellon Centre. The course syllabus will be made available in July. Registration will open to the public on 1st August 2016. The reading list will be circulated to participants in September.

Call for Papers | Art in the British Country House: Collecting and Display

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 30, 2016

From the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art:

Art in the British Country House: Collecting and Display
Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 7 October 2016

Proposals due by 8 July 2016

The Paul Mellon Centre’s research project Art in the British Country House: Collecting and Display investigates the collection and display of works of art in the country house in Britain from the sixteenth century to the present day. Focusing on specific case studies, the project addresses two closely related issues:
• The formation, character and function of country-house art collections
• The conventions, development and dynamics of pictorial and sculptural display within the country house

The crucial importance of the country house to understanding the history of art-collection and display in Britain is indisputable and of long-standing interest to historians of British art. This project, in turning a fresh eye on the collections of art associated with the country house, builds on exciting new developments within this area of scholarship, which shed new light on the wide range of motivations and circumstances that have shaped such collections. The project extends to the country house a growing scholarly interest in modes of pictorial display, which has hitherto tended to focus on the display of paintings, sculpture, and prints within more urban and public environments, and on the exhibition space in particular.

The project will concentrate attention on the ways in which country house art collections were formed and on the reasons why they took the form they did. It will address the impact upon collecting practices of such factors as the growth of continental travel, the development of a sophisticated art market, fluctuations in taste, and dynastic ambitions and familial alliances. It will also address the conditions, facilities, and habits of display in the country house, investigating such issues as the shifting modes of the picture hang, the introduction of dedicated gallery spaces within the country house, the relationship between the country house and the town house as sites of collection and display, the development of cataloguing, and the growth of professional curatorship.

As an integral part of this project, the Centre is organizing the first of a series of conferences designed to showcase new research in this area. We invite proposals for 30-minute papers which discuss some aspect of the collecting and/ or display of art in a single country house from any point over the past five hundred years. We welcome proposals from academics, museum curators, independent scholars, those working in the heritage sector, and those actively involved in postgraduate studies. While the Call for Papers has a purposefully broad and open brief, it is essential that submissions offer fresh, methodologically ambitious perspectives on the topic.

Possible themes for exploration might include, but are not limited to:
• The impact of commerce and travel on collecting
• The creation and presentation of spaces for display
• The commissioning and display of portraiture in the country house
• The collecting and display of historic and/or contemporary art
• The relationship between country- and town-house modes of collection and display
• The interaction of works of art within the country-house interior
• The relationship between the fine and decorative arts in country-house display
• Patterns of display across the different rooms of a single country house

Proposals, of no more than 250 words, together with a short CV, for 30-minute papers, should be submitted to Ella Fleming at efleming@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk by 8th July 2016.

Call for Papers | Romanticism and the Peripheries

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 30, 2016

From the conference website:

Romanticism and the Peripheries
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 5–7 December 2016

Proposals due by 30 July 2016

“The Romantic phenomenon seems to defy analysis, not only because its exuberant diversity resists any attempt to reduce it to a common denominator but also and especially because of its fabulously contradictory character” (Michael Löwy and Robert Sayre, Romanticism against the Tide of Modernity, trans. by Catherine Porter, Durham: Duke University Press, 2001). In an attempt to accommodate both its diversity and contradictory character, Löwy and Sayre defined Romanticism as “a worldview constituted as a specific form of criticism of ‘modernity’” and expanded the term beyond artistic and literary phenomena to encompass a wide range of fields such as religion, political theory, philosophy, etc. Even though Löwy and Sayre may offer a guiding principle outside the interpretative confusion often generated by the term, their analysis is still mostly, if not exclusively, concerned with the definition of the phenomenon as it manifested in the principal centers of Europe (namely England, France, and Germany).

This three-day conference, organized on the occasion of the bicentenary of Fernando II’s birth, the Portuguese king responsible for the edification of what is widely considered the hallmark of Romantic Portuguese architecture, seeks to focus on Romanticism in the peripheries, both European and non-European, and explore the validity of the concept for the analysis of artistic and cultural forms that, for the most part, originated outside the centers of bourgeois industrial civilization. Taking as its starting point the definition proposed by Lowy and Sayre, the conference invites participation on a number of issues including, but not limited to:
1  When Was Romanticism? Attempts at Periodization and Definition
2  Sublime matters: Romanticism and Material Culture
3  Transfers and Cross-Sections: Literature, Theater and the Visual Arts
4  The Romantic Traveler: Drawings, Prints and Souvenirs
5  Artistic Education. Academy versus Nature?
6  Romantic Landscape, Gardens and Architecture
7  Romantic Nationalism – Romantic Imperialism? The Politics of Style

Abstracts (of no more than 300 words), accompanied by a short bio (approximately two paragraphs) should be sent to the members of the organizing committee, at iha.romanticism2016@gmail.com by July 30, 2016. Participants will be notified by the end of August, and the conference program will be published in mid-September. The languages of the conference are English and Portuguese.

A selection of papers from the conference will be published as a special number of the Revista de História da Arte, an annual peer-reviewed journal, and a second publication, in the form of a book, is also being contemplated by the organizers. For all questions regarding administration and practical matters, as well as the payment of the conference inscription, please contact Mariana Gonçalves and Inês Cristóvão (iha.romanticism2016@gmail.com). Conference inscription rates: speakers 50€, participants 40€, students 20€.

Exhibition | Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by InternRW on June 29, 2016

Opening in September at the Louvre:

Bouchardon: A Sublime Idea of Beauty / Une idée du beau
Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment
Musée du Louvre, Paris, 14 September — 5 December 2016 

The Getty Center, Los Angeles, 10 January — 2 April 2017

Curated by Anne-Lise Desmas, Edouard Kopp, Guilhem Scherf, and Juliette Trey

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Edme Bouchardon, Femme nue de dos, bras gauche le long du corps (RMN-Grand Palais/Louvre / Michel Urtado)

The Musée du Louvre and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles pay tribute to Edme Bouchardon (1698–1762), a renowned French sculptor and draftsman, who was considered an exceptional artist in his own time. The son of an architect-sculptor, he trained at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris before spending a productive period at the French Academy in Rome (1723–32). Learning of Bouchardon’s great reputation, the director of the King’s Buildings summoned him back to France, where he quickly received a studio and lodgings at the Louvre. Accepted into the Academy in 1735, he thus became Sculptor to the King.

Listed in the Encyclopédie—Diderot and d’Alembert’s encyclopedic dictionary of the sciences, arts, and trades—as the continuator of Puget and Girardon, Bouchardon was regarded by his contemporaries as the advocate of artistic renewal, “the greatest sculptor and the best draftsman of his century” (Cochin).

While many studies have shed new light on our understanding of Neoclassicism, this exhibition—the first major monograph on Bouchardon’s oeuvre—will be an opportunity to comprehend the sculptor’s style, a perfect balance between classical influence and life-like rendering.

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Juliette Trey, avec la participation d’Hélène Grollemund, Inventaire général des dessins du musée du Louvre. Ecole française. Edme Bouchardon (1698–1762): Catalogue raisonné (Paris: Mare & Martin / Musée du Louvre, 2016), 720 pages, ISBN: 979-1092054651, 110€.

Le musée du Louvre conserve un fonds très important de dessins (1038 feuilles) attribués à Edme Bouchardon dont le catalogue sommaire a été publié par Jean Guiffrey et Pierre Marcel en 1907 et 1908 (Inventaire général des dessins du musée du Louvre et de Versailles, Ecole française, vol. I et II). La dernière étude monographique sur l’artiste date de 1910 (Alphonse Roserot, Edme Bouchardon, Paris, Librairie centrale des beaux-arts).

L’inventaire des dessins de Bouchardon est organisé de manière chronologique, présentant les feuilles dans l’ordre de leur réalisation, et thématique. Il est divisé en trois parties, correspondant aux trois étapes essentielles de la carrière de Bouchardon : Rome (1723–1732), qui compte essentiellement des copies d’antiques, de peintures et de sculptures, exécutées par l’artiste lors de son séjour à l’Académie de France ; Paris (1733–1748), qui rassemble les dessins pour les sculptures qui firent la gloire de Bouchardon, notamment l’Amour taillant son arc dans la massue d’Hercule et la fontaine de Grenelle ; la statue équestre de Louis XV (1748–1762), chantier colossal qui occupa toute la fin de la carrière du sculpteur et pour lequel le fonds du Louvre s’élève à près de 440 dessins. Chaque partie puis chaque thème sont introduits par un court texte de présentation. La plupart des notices sont également commentées avec l’identification du modèle copié ou de la sculpture préparée, présentant les oeuvres en rapport, les estampes gravées d’après le dessin. L’étude matérielle des dessins a fait l’objet d’une grande attention, avec un relevé systématique des filigranes, permettant une étude chronologique nouvelle et fine des dessins.

Enfin, l’ouvrage est complété par une présentation générale de l’artiste, une chronologie, un index, auxquels s’ajoute un chapitre dédié aux dessins rejetés pour lesquels de nouvelles attributions sont parfois proposées.

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From ArtBooks.com:

Guilhem Scherf, et al., Edme Bouchardon (1698–1762): Sculpteur et Dessinateur du Roi (Paris: Somogy, 2016), 448 pages, ISBN: 978-2757210697, $80.

From ArtBooks.com:

Anne-Lise Desmas, Edouard Kopp, Guilhem Scherf, and Juliette Trey, Bouchardon: Royal Artist of the Enlightenment (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2017), 448 pages, ISBN: 978-1606065068, $80.

BouchardonOne of the most imaginative and fascinating artists of eighteenth-century France, Edme Bouchardon was instrumental in the transition from Rococo to Neoclassicism and in the artistic rediscovery of classical antiquity. Much celebrated in his time, Bouchardon created some of the most iconic images of the age of Louis XV. His oeuvre demonstrates a remarkable variety of themes (from copies after the antique to subjects of history and mythology, portraiture, anatomical studies, ornament, fountains and tombs), media (drawings, sculptures, medals, prints), and techniques (chalk, plaster, wax, terracotta, marble, bronze).

With five essays by experts on Bouchardon’s sculpture and graphic arts, more than 140 catalogue entries, and a detailed chronology, this book aims to demonstrate the originality of Bouchardon’s art within the cultural and social context of the period, while suggesting the subtle relationship between, as well as the relative autonomy of, the artist’s two careers as a sculptor and a draftsman. This lavishly illustrated publication represents an unprecedented and thorough survey on this major and unique artist from the Age of Enlightenment, offering indepth scholarship based on unpublished material.

Anne-Lise Desmas is curator and head of the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Édouard Kopp is the Maida and George Abrams Associate Curator of Drawings at the Harvard Art Museums. Guilhem Scherf is chief curator in the Department of Sculpture at the Louvre. Juliette Trey is curator in the Department of Graphic Arts at the Louvre.

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Exhibition | Stubbs and the Wild

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 28, 2016

HorseFrightenedbyaLionWalker

George Stubbs, Horse Frightened by a Lion, 1770
(National Museums Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery)

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Press release (via Art Daily) for the exhibition on view at The Holburne Museum:

Stubbs and the Wild
The Holburne Museum, Bath, 25 June — 2 October 2016

Curated by Amina Wright

The Holburne Museum presents Stubbs and the Wild, an exhibition of animal portraits, grand fantasies, and exquisite prints and drawings by renowned British wildlife painter George Stubbs (1724–1806), on show from 25 June to 2 October 2016. Stubbs and the Wild delves into the many-sided eighteenth-century world of George Stubbs through his realistic animal studies and sublime fantasy pieces, focusing on the artist’s famous depictions of wild animals in paint and print that encapsulated the uneasy relationship between the domestic and the exotic in polite Georgian society.

George Stubbs, Two Leopards, ca. 1776, oil on oak panel, 90.5 × 137.4 cm (Private Collection)

George Stubbs, Two Leopards, ca. 1776, oil on oak panel, 90.5 × 137.4 cm (Private Collection)

Throughout his life George Stubbs was fascinated by how animals are built and studied their anatomy tirelessly. It was this interest that led him beyond horses and dogs to other animals at a time when exotic new wildlife was arriving in London from Britain’s expanding colonies. Moose, leopards, lemurs, antelope and even the remains of a kangaroo were brought home as valuable curiosities and their owners encouraged Stubbs to study the animals and record them for posterity. Although many of them were intended primarily as zoological studies, Stubbs’s paintings of wild creatures are also portraits that capture the behaviour and character of living beings. His most successful essays in the sublime explore the wild, not as a source of curiosity but as a distant, untamed land where nature is merciless and well-fed predators rule. His images of a horse attacked and then devoured by a lion—with variations in different media and reproductions in print—became Stubbs’s signature work.

Alongside paintings, the exhibition will present some of the astonishing works that Stubbs made in other media, using wild animals as his subject. As a printmaker, he was one of the most outstanding etchers of his day, despite being apparently self-taught. He also developed the art of painting in enamels on ceramic, producing jewel-like works of extraordinary clarity and durability.

George Stubbs, The Rev. Robert Carter Thelwall and his Family (Bath: The Holburne Museum)

George Stubbs, The Rev. Robert Carter Thelwall and his Family (Bath: The Holburne Museum)

“The starting point for this exhibition,” explained Amina Wright, Senior Curator at the Holburne Museum and curator of the exhibition, “is the Holburne’s own Stubbs portrait, The Rev. Robert Carter Thelwall and his Family, a polite Georgian conversation piece of a family on a country estate with their horses. This elegant type of portraiture is typical of Stubbs, but this exhibition will explore another side of the artist. By bringing together Stubbs’s anatomical studies and extraordinary images of wild animals, Stubbs and the Wild will present the artist as an indefatigable explorer of the natural world and a bold technical innovator. It will also introduce some of the animal celebrities of eighteenth-century England, from the sweet and fluffy to the majestically terrifying.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a free audio guide featuring responses to Stubbs’s work by animal experts and artists. Visitors will be able to hear a horse whisperer explaining what’s going on in the minds of Stubbs’s horses and an equine vet explaining the artist’s importance to anatomy. Artist Daphne Wright will explain why monkeys are so fascinating, while wildlife photographer and presenter Simon King will share his many years’ experience of observing big cats. Biographer Wendy Moore introduces the lonely moose who made friends with London’s leading scientists, and a deer manager discusses the life cycle of these beautiful native mammals. Stubbs and the Wild is part of a series of special events and exhibitions to celebrate 100 years since the re-establishment of the Holburne Museum in Sydney Gardens.

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Stubbs and the Wild Study Afternoon
The Holburne Museum, Bath, 29 July 2016, 1:00–4:30

George Stubbs, A Lion and Lioness, 1778, enamel on Wedgwood ceramic 43.1 × 61.6 cm (London: The Daniel Katz Gallery)

George Stubbs, A Lion and Lioness, 1778, enamel on Wedgwood ceramic 43.1 × 61.6 cm (London: The Daniel Katz Gallery)

Amina Wright, ‘Introduction’
An introduction to the artist and his animals.

Gaye Blake-Roberts, ‘Wedgwood and Stubbs’
In 1775, George Stubbs contacted Josiah Wedgwood to see if he could produce large ceramic tablets on which to paint animals. Over the next few years a fruitful working relationship grew up between these two extraordinary innovators and indefatigable experimenters. Gaye Blake-Roberts, curator at the Wedgwood Museum, explores his unique alliance between potter and painter.

Tim Clayton, ‘George Stubbs and the Print’
George Stubbs was acutely conscious of the importance of prints in communicating his ideas, as the permanent record of his painted images and as the vehicle for his international reputation. Tim Clayton describes why Stubbs taught himself printmaking and traces his subsequent fascination with the medium. He is the author of George Stubbs: The Complete Engraved Works and The English Print, 1688–1802.

The cost of the study afternoon (£30/£12 students) includes admission to the exhibition Stubbs and the Wild.

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Exhibition | Painters’ Paintings: From Freud to Van Dyck

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 27, 2016

Press release (20 May 2016) from The National Gallery:

Painters’ Paintings: From Freud to Van Dyck
The National Gallery, London, 23 June — 4 September 2016

Curated by Anne Robbins

Works of art are models you are to imitate, and at the same time rivals you are to combat.  –Sir Joshua Reynolds

TICKET-PAINTERSSpanning over five hundred years of art history, Painters’ Paintings presents more than eighty works, which were once in the possession of great painters: pictures that artists were given or chose to acquire, works they lived with and were inspired by. This is an exceptional opportunity to glimpse inside the private world of these painters and to understand the motivations of artists as collectors of paintings.

The inspiration for this exhibition is a painter’s painting: Corot’s Italian Woman, left to the nation by Lucian Freud following his death in 2011. Freud had bought the Italian Woman ten years earlier, no doubt drawn to its solid brushwork and intense physical presence. A major work in its own right, the painting demands to be considered in the light of Freud’s achievements, as a painter who tackled the representation of the human figure with vigour comparable to Corot’s. In his will, Freud stated that he wanted to leave the painting to the nation as a thank you for welcoming his family so warmly when they arrived in the UK as refugees fleeing the Nazis. He also stipulated that the painting’s new home should be the National Gallery, where it could be enjoyed by future generations.

Anne Robbins, curator of Painters’ Paintings says: “Since its acquisition the painting’s notable provenance has attracted considerable attention; in fact, the picture is often appraised in the light of Freud’s own achievements, almost eclipsing the intrinsic merits of Corot’s canvas. It made us start considering questions such as which paintings do artists choose to hang on their own walls? How do the works of art they have in their homes and studios influence their personal creative journeys? What can we learn about painters from their collection of paintings? Painters’ Paintings: From Freud to Van Dyck is the result.”

Thomas Gainsborough, Girl with Pigs, 1781–82 (The Castle Howard Collection). Owned by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Thomas Gainsborough, Girl with Pigs, 1781–82 (The Castle Howard Collection). Owned by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

The National Gallery holds a number of important paintings which, like the Corot, once belonged to celebrated painters: Van Dyck’s Titian; Reynolds’s Rembrandt, and Matisse’s Degas among many others. Painters’ Paintings is organised as a series of case studies each devoted to a particular painter-collector: Freud, Matisse, Degas, Leighton, Watts, Lawrence, Reynolds, and Van Dyck. Painters’ Paintings explores the motivations of these artists—as patrons, rivals, speculators—to collect paintings. The exhibition looks at the significance of these works of art for the painters who owned them—as tokens of friendship, status symbols, models to emulate, cherished possessions, financial investments or sources of inspiration.

Works from these artists’ collections are juxtaposed with a number of their own paintings, highlighting the connections between their own creative production and the art they lived with. These pairings and confrontations shed new light on both the paintings and the creative process of the painters who owned them, creating a dynamic and original dialogue between possession and painterly creation.

Half the works in the exhibition are loans from public and private collections, from New York and Philadelphia, to Copenhagen and Paris. A number of them have not been seen in public for several decades.

Dr. Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery says: “Artists by definition live with their own pictures, but what motivates them to possess works by other painters, be they contemporaries—friends or rivals—or older masters? The exhibition looks for the answers in the collecting of Freud, Matisse, Degas, Leighton, Watts, Lawrence, Reynolds, and Van Dyck.”

Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792)

As the inaugural President of the Royal Academy, Reynolds was one of the most significant figures of the British art world in the 18th century; for him, collecting was a life-long passion, which he likened to “a great game.” Reynolds had a vast collection of drawings, paintings, and prints that informed both his teachings and supported his ideas about what constituted great art: style of Van Dyck (The Horses of Achilles, 1635–45, The National Gallery, London), Giovanni Bellini (The Agony in the Garden, about 1465, The National Gallery, London), after Michelangelo (Leda and the Swan, after 1530, The National Gallery, London), Poussin (The Adoration of the Shepherds, about 1633–34, The National Gallery, London), and Rembrandt (The Lamentation over the Dead Christ, about 1634–35, The British Museum, London).

Gainsborough’s Girl with Pigs (1781–82, Castle Howard Collection), bought by Reynolds in 1782, also illustrates Reynolds’s interest for the work of his contemporaries, demonstrating the breadth of his taste, but also its changeability—soon after, Reynolds tried to exchange his Gainsborough for a Titian.

Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830)

Lawrence was the leading British portraitist of the early 19th century. He was largely self-taught and hugely influenced by Sir Joshua Reynolds, following in his footsteps to become President of the Royal Academy. Like Degas, Lawrence was a voracious, obsessional collector, using the proceeds of the sale of his society portraits to amass an incomparable collection of Old Master drawings. An inventory upon his death listed some 4,300 drawings, including Carracci’s immense A Woman borne off by a Sea God (?) (about 1599, The National Gallery, London) and a number of paintings including Raphael’s Allegory (about 1504, The National Gallery, London) and Reni’s Coronation of the Virgin, (about 1607, The National Gallery, London).

This section of the exhibition places Lawrence’s collecting within his social world. The paintings he acquired established his reputation as a great connoisseur, and his advice was much sought by influential friends such as John Julius Angerstein and Sir George Beaumont, whose collections came to form the nucleus of the National Gallery holdings. Beyond his acquisitive zeal, the prodigiously gifted Lawrence also sought to gain information about his favoured artists’ methods. An exceptional loan from a private collection, his portrait of the Baring Brothers (Lawrence, Sir Francis Baring, 1st Baronet, John Baring and Charles Wall, 1806–07) demonstrates his absorption of the tradition of Renaissance male portrait, here injected with Lawrence’s trademark dash and virtuosity.

The full press release is available here»

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From Yale UP:

Anne Robbins, Painters’ Paintings: From Freud to Van Dyck (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), 96 pages, ISBN: 978-1857096118, £15.

9781857096118In this intriguing book, Anne Robbins explores the little-known history of artists collecting paintings. Focusing on the collections of Freud, Matisse, Degas, Leighton, Watts, Lawrence, Reynolds, and Van Dyck, she assesses the ways painters benefited from owning someone else’s work, their motivations for collecting, and how the history of a painting’s ownership influences our own view of both the artist and the work. Robbins investigates paintings as the sources of creative inspiration and their use in teaching theories of art. She also examines how painters acquired the paintings they desired, whether through auction, dealerships, gift or exchange, and how they cared for the works: storing them, displaying them, and, in some cases, flaunting them for self-promotion. Robbins ultimately argues that the acts of acquiring art and of art making evolve in tandem—with rich connections between works owned and works painted.

Anne Robbins is associate curator of Post-1800 paintings at the National Gallery, London.

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Exhibition | In the Library: Growth and Development of the Salon Livret

Posted in books, exhibitions by Editor on June 26, 2016

banner-salon-livret

Explication des peintures, sculptures, et autres ouvrages, de messieurs de l’Académie royale (Paris, 1767). Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art Library, David K. E. Bruce Fund.

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Press release (31 May 2016) from the NGA:

In the Library: Growth and Development of the Salon Livret
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 20 June — 16 September 2016

Curated by Yuri Long

Documenting the history of the Paris Salon from its emergence in the late 17th century through its decline during the early 20th century, In the Library: Growth and Development of the Salon Livret presents over 60 examples of literature related to the Paris Salon drawn from nearly 250 years of exhibitions. On view in the East Building Study Center, the exhibition includes a variety of publications that document the rise and fall of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture and its exhibition, which came to be known as the Salon.

Beginning as a checklist for the works on view, the livret (‘little book’ or catalog) was first published for the Salon of 1673. Appearing then as little more than a pamphlet in decorative wrappers, the livret developed over time into a full catalog. During the latter half of the 19th century livrets included not only additional entries but also supplemental information about the juries, the artists, and the rules of the organization. And throughout the 19th century, new printing technologies—from lithography to photography—allowed for the inclusion of increasingly more faithful reproductions of exhibited works in the livrets.

Developments beyond the academy can also be seen in the growing amount of literature surrounding Salon exhibitions. Art criticism, a new type of writing in the 18th century, evolved alongside the official exhibition livrets as authors began writing commentaries about the Salon. Later, the political upheavals of and following the French Revolution affected the administration of the Salon, whose own controversies, such as the dissatisfaction of member artists, persisted through the 19th century. By the early 20th century, independent exhibitions, each with its own published catalog, had become more frequent and contributed to the declining influence and importance of the official Salon.

Coinciding with the exhibition, the National Gallery of Art Library will publish Documenting the Salon: Paris Salon Catalogs, 1673–1945, compiled and edited by librarian John Hagood. As a bibliography, it lists the publications in the library by and about the organizations that hosted Salons in Paris. Two essays analyze the form and function of Paris Salons and Salon publishing in the ancien régime and in the 19th century. Written by Yuriko Jackall, assistant curator, department of French paintings, and Kimberly A. Jones, associate curator, department of French paintings, they reveal the history and taste of collecting as well as how the Paris Salon grew from a forum for elite, privileged artists and viewers into a more inclusive event. Documenting the Salon is made possible by a grant from The Florence Gould Foundation and will be distributed to museums, libraries, and art research organizations in the US around the world.

Organized by the National Gallery of Art and curated by Yuri Long, rare book librarian, the exhibition is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The National Gallery of Art Library contains more than 400,000 books and periodicals, including more than 15,000 volumes in the rare book collection, with an emphasis on Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. The National Gallery of Art Library was founded in 1941, the year the Gallery opened to the public. In 1979, with the move to a seven-story facility in the Gallery’s new East Building and the establishment of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), the library broadened its purpose and the scope of its collection. Its goal has been to establish a major national art research center, serving the Gallery’s curatorial, educational, and conservation staff, CASVA members, interns, visiting scholars, and researchers in the Washington art community.

New Book | The Grid and the River: Philadelphia’s Green Places

Posted in books by Editor on June 26, 2016

From Penn State UP:

Elizabeth Milroy, The Grid and the River: Philadelphia’s Green Places, 1682–1876 (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016), 464 pages, ISBN: 978-0271066769, $65.

978-0-271-06676-9mdPhiladelphians are fond of quoting a letter in which William Penn described his vision of a “greene country towne, which will never be burnt & always wholesome.” Today, Philadelphia’s public parks cover more than ten thousand acres—roughly 11 percent of the city’s area. They encompass extensive woodlands and waterways as well as the largest collection of historic properties in the state of Pennsylvania, including the Fairmount Water Works, the Philadelphia Zoo (the oldest zoo in the United States), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Grid and the River is the product of Elizabeth Milroy’s quest to understand the history of public green spaces in William Penn’s city. In this monumental work of urban history, Milroy traces efforts to keep Philadelphia ‘green’ from the time of its founding to the late nineteenth century. She chronicles how patterns of use and representations of green spaces informed notions of community and identity in the city. In particular, Milroy examines the history of how and why the district along the Schuylkill River came to be developed both in opposition to and in concert with William Penn’s original designations of parks in his city plan. Focusing on both the history and representation of Philadelphia’s green spaces, and making use of a wealth of primary source materials, Milroy offers new insights into the city’s political and cultural development and documents how changing attitudes toward the natural environment affected the physical appearance of Philadelphia’s landscape and the lives of its inhabitants.

Elizabeth Milroy is Professor and Department Head of Art and Art History in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University.

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C O N T E N T S

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Introduction

City
1  The Origins of Penn’s Squares
2  Patterns of Growth and Governance in the Centre City

Suburb
3  The Liberty Lands
4  Suburban Villas in the Schuylkill Valley
5  Nurseries of National Virtue: Private Estates and Public Culture
6  Agriculture, Horticulture, and the Origins of the American Picturesque

Consolidation
7  Reviving Penn’s Plan
8  The Fairmount Water Works: Picturing Civic Virtue
9  Rural Cemeteries, River Parks, and the Search for Rational Recreation
10 Greening the Consolidated City
11 The Fairmount Park Commission: Park Building for Preservation and Conservation
12 Spatial Politics and the Centennial Exhibition
13 A Work Unfinished

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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New Book | Endeavouring Banks

Posted in books by Editor on June 25, 2016

News emerged in May that the wreckage of the Endeavour has been located off the coast of Rhode Island—as reported, for instance, in The Guardian (2 May 2016). After Cook’s voyage, the ship was renamed the Lord Sandwich and used in the revolutionary war blockade, sinking in 1778. This volume appears with an eye toward the 250th anniversary of the first voyage (the Endeavour sailed from Plymouth in August 1768). From Paul Holberton:

Neil Chambers, ed., with with a foreword by Sir David Attenborough and contributions by Anna Agnarsdóttir, Jeremy Coote, Philip J. Hatfield and John Gascoigne, Endeavouring Banks: Exploring the Collections from the Endeavour Voyage, 1768–1771 (London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2016), 304 pages, ISBN: 978-1907372902, £40 / $50.

61wP0mItz1L._SX427_BO1,204,203,200_When English naturalist Joseph Banks (1743–1820) accompanied Captain James Cook (1728–1779) on his historic mission into the Pacific, the Endeavour voyage of 1768–1771, he took with him a team of collectors and illustrators. They returned with unprecedented collections of artefacts and specimens of stunning birds, fish, and other animals as well as thousands of plants, most seen for the first time in Europe. They produced, too, remarkable landscape and figure drawings of the peoples encountered on the voyage along with detailed journals and descriptions of the places visited, which, with the first detailed maps of these lands (Tahiti, New Zealand, and the East Coast of Australia), were afterwards used to create lavishly illustrated accounts of the mission. These caused a storm of interest in Europe, where plays, poems, and satirical caricatures were also produced to celebrate and examine the voyage, its personnel, and many ‘new’ discoveries.

Along with specimens and artefacts, contemporary portraits of key personalities aboard the ship, scale models and plans of Endeavour itself, scientific instruments taken on the voyage, commemorative medals and sketches, the objects (over 140) featured in this new book tell the story of the Endeavour voyage and its impact ahead of the 250th anniversary in 2018 of the launch of this seminal mission. Items separated in some cases for more than two centuries are brought together to reveal their fascinating history not only during but since that mission. Original voyage specimens will feature together with illustrations and descriptions of them, showing a rich diversity of newly discovered species and how Banks organized this material, planning but ultimately failing to publish it. Drawings of people and places visited during the mission are reproduced. And by comparing these voyage originals with the often stylized engravings later produced in London for the official account, this book investigates how knowledge gained on the mission was gathered, later revised and then printed in Europe.

The book focuses on the contribution of Banks’s often neglected artists—Sydney Parkinson, Herman Diedrich Spöring, Alexander Buchan as well as the priest Tupaia, who joined Endeavour in the Society Islands—none of whom survived the mission. These men illustrated island scenes of bays, dwellings, canoes as well as the dress, faces, possessions, and ceremonies of Pacific peoples. Of particular interest, and only recently recognised as by him, are the original artworks of Tupaia, who produced as part of this mission the first charts and illustrations on paper by any Polynesian. The surviving Endeavour voyage illustrations and maps were the most important body of images produced since Europeans entered this region, matching the truly historic value of the plant specimens and artefacts seen alongside them in this handsome book.

Exhibition | The Shogun’s World: Japanese Maps

Posted in exhibitions by Caitlin Smits on June 25, 2016

On view at AIC:

The Shogun’s World: Japanese Maps from the 18th and 19th Centuries
Art Institute of Chicago, 25 June — 6 November 2016

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Revised Complete Map of Japanese Roads and Lands, 1840. Japan (MacLean Collection)

Maps are practical tools for understanding the world we inhabit, but they are not only visual representations of a particular place and time; their presentations can be strikingly beautiful as well. Japanese mapmaking is particularly distinct, even within the broader context of East Asia’s unique traditions. A multi-directional view, the use of map designs on ceramic plates, and the integration of Western practices like the compass rose, bird’s eye view, and latitude are all part of Japan’s approach to cartography in the 18th and 19th centuries.

A first for the Art Institute’s Japanese print gallery, this exhibition of maps showcases the beauty of Japanese printmaking. The maps on view feature the world, the Japanese archipelago, and major cities, including Osaka, Yokohama, Edo, Nagasaki, and Kyoto. Highlights include works from trustee Barry MacLean’s comprehensive collection, such as a Buddhist map of the world that translates spiritual forces into physical locations. A blue and white “map plate,” also from the MacLean Collection, features a relief map of Japan divided into provinces, with additional land masses and mythical locations such as “the land of women” circling the edge of the plate. An 1861 aerial view of Yokohama from the Art Institute’s collection is made up of six standard-sized prints presented as one image, with important buildings and sections of the foreign settlement labeled for ease of use. In every map presented, Japan is the focus. Sometimes the geography is of lands that are concrete and known, and sometimes it is a gateway to the realm of the imagination.

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