Display | Masterpieces & Curiosities: The Fictional Portrait

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 16, 2016


Unknown Artist, Portraits of a Man and a Woman, n.d., oil on canvas. 30⅜ × 25¼ inches (New York: Jewish Museum, Gift of Dr. Harry G. Friedman, F 4922a). Installation view at the Jewish Museum, 2016.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Now on view at the Jewish Museum:

Masterpieces & Curiosities: The Fictional Portrait
Jewish Museum, New York, 18 March — 14 August 2016

Curated by Stephen Brown

The latest iteration of the essay-style exhibition series studies two companion portraits in the Jewish Museum’s collection, revealing a tale far different from what has been assumed for almost a century.

If every picture tells a story then, at a glance, a portrait tells a simple one—the faithful biography of a sitter as conveyed by a named artist. This often misleading assumption lies at the heart of Masterpieces & Curiosities: The Fictional Portrait, which illuminates the complex relationship between portraiture and truth.

Stephen Brown, Associate Curator, examines two paintings in the Museum’s permanent collection: Acquired in 1957, the ‘Mears’ portraits were credited to an 18th-century American artist and thought to represent a prominent Jewish merchant of colonial New York and his wife. After a decade of research, the identities of the artist and sitters have been reconsidered through archival investigation, genealogical studies, and X-ray analysis.

“The idea of portraiture is based on the belief in some direct relation between the image and the sitter,” asserts Brown. “But every image is a representation, and all representation is fiction.”

By separating fact from fiction and unveiling the truth behind these enigmatic portraits, Masterpieces & Curiosities: The Fictional Portrait lays to rest a mystery centuries-old while challenging our notions concerning the genre of portraiture.

Conference | The Age of Luxury: The Georgian Country House

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on July 16, 2016

Looking ahead to the fall, from the Sussex Archaeological Society:

The Age of Luxury: The Georgian Country House and Its Setting, 1700–1820
King’s Church, Lewes, 15 October 2016

Organized by Sue Berry

Newick Park.

J. Lambert of Lewes, detail of a watercolour showing Newick Place near Lewes, the home of Lady Vernon, 1780 (Sussex Archaeological Society)

Between 1700 and 1820, old houses were transformed and new ones built, some on a spectacular scale by owners who would now be regarded as multi-millionaires. From the later seventeenth century right throughout the eighteenth, the influence of the Grand Tour on country house owners was considerable, not least as many of them travelled abroad themselves, seeing European fashions at first hand. Some Sussex houses still have collections purchased on Grand Tours, though many have since been sold off. Architectural styles were varied, reflecting the influence of Dutch, French, and Classical inspirations as well as our home grown Gothic. Landscapes also evolved from formal to the famous landscape parks of the mid to later eighteenth century. Interiors became more showy, increasingly reflecting the high quality of British craftsmanship. Ever more servants were needed to run a lavish lifestyle which included racing, hunting and other expensive social activities. Our speakers, all specialists in their fields, will address these many aspects of the Georgian country house.

We are hoping to organise visits related to this conference during the summer of 2016, which will offer participants the opportunity to explore aspects of our themes ahead of the conference itself. These events will be advertised to Sussex Archaeological Society members in our April newsletter and details will be available to everyone online. Charges and number restrictions will apply to these. Priority will be given to those who have booked to attend this conference.

Advance booking is strongly recommended as we cannot guarantee there will be places available on the door. Registration on the day opens at 9.30am when you can sign in and collect your copy of the delegate handbook. The ticket price includes a light lunch and coffee and tea on arrival and in the breaks. If you have special dietary requirements or particular access needs, we will do our best to accommodate these if we have advance notice.

King’s Church, Brooks Road, Lewes BN7 2BY. Lewes is easily accessible by road and public transport. There is no parking on site, but there is on-street parking around the building and a long-stay car park half a mile away. Lewes station with its large car park is just under one mile away, and buses stop at the start of Brooks Road. Further details, including directions, will be sent with confirmation of your booking. Non-members are welcome. Please direct all conference enquiries to: Lorna Gartside, Sussex Archaeological Society, Bull House, 92 High Street, LEWES BN7 1XH, email: members@sussexpast.co.uk.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

S A T U R D A Y,  1 5  O C T O B E R  2 0 1 6

10:00  Welcome and introduction, Maurice Howard (University of Sussex)

10:05  The English Country House, 1680–1820: Architecture and Planning, Geoffrey Tyack (Kellogg College, University of Oxford)

10:45  The Grand Tour and the Creation of the Country House in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Jonathan Yarker (Lowell Libson, Ltd.)

11:25  Tea and coffee

11:45  England, France, and the Netherlands: Garden Design in England, 1680–1710, Sally Jeffery (independent architectural and garden historian)

12:25  Pleasure in the Pleasure Gardens of Georgian England, Stephen Bending (University of Southampton)

1:05  Lunch

2:00  From Rococo to Neo-Classicism: Fashioning the Georgian Interior, Susan Bracken (independent historian specialising in furnishings)

2:40  ‘It gives me Reason to believe your Ladyship does not think me a servant to sute her.’ Household Management and Servant Organisation, Julie Day (independent historian of the English country house)

3:20  Tea and coffee

3:40  The Country House Guidebook in the Long Eighteenth Century: A Nuanced Message, Paula Riddy (independent art historian)

4:20  Much Spending, Not Always Afforded: The Transformation of the Country House and Its Setting in Sussex, Sue Berry (specialist in Georgian seaside resorts and the country house estates of Sussex)

5:00  Questions and end






Call for Essays | Garden Narratives in Literature, Art, and Film

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on July 16, 2016

From H-ArtHist:

Enchanted, Stereotyped, Civilized: Garden Narratives in Literature, Art, and Film
Proposals due by 15 October 2016

Gardens have been a crucial part of mythology and literature. Throughout English literature for example, the idea of a garden is a recurrent image; these images largely stem from the story of the Garden of Eden as found in Genesis. If gardens reveal the relationship between culture and nature—the garden can be seen as civilized and ‘shaped’ and therefore domesticated nature—in the vast library of garden literature few books focus on what the garden means—on the ecology of garden as idea, place, and action. Our volume will discuss the topic of the garden in different theoretical contexts such as ecological, botanical, literary, filmic, art historical, and cultural ones. We want to investigate the representations of and the interconnections between gardens and the above named fields over a wide timescale, with consideration of how gardens are represented and used as symbols and of how literature or visuality took form in, or influenced, gardens.

Suggested topics include, but are by no means limited to the following:
• The Biblical/Theological Garden
• The Mythological Garden
• The Renaissance Garden
• The Romantic Garden
• The Revolutionary Garden
• The Colonial/Postcolonial Garden
• Gardens in Film
• Gardens in Art History
• The Garden as… a location in general and as a place of romanticism specifically, or a crime scene, or a labyrinth and therefore as a mirror of psychological conditions
• Ecological Aspects on Garden Culture

The timetable for the volume is as follows
• Deadline for abstracts: 15 October 2016
• Feedback: 31 October 2016
• Submission for articles (completed): 30 April 2017
• Double peer review process and feedback due to: 30 May 2017
• Articles sent back to editors: mid of June 2017
• A publication is planned during autumn/winter 2017.

Chapters may explore different media (literature, movies, art, visual arts, television, etc.) and address topics on gardens. If you are interested in proposing a chapter, please email an abstract of 500 words and a short CV to both Dr. Feryal Cubukcu (cubukcu.feryal@gmail.com) and Dr. Sabine Planka (planka@phil.uni-siegen.de). Your abstract should outline your hypothesis and briefly sketch the theoretical framework within which your chapter will be situated. All submissions will be acknowledged. If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, you may assume that your email was lost in the depths of cyberspace. In that case, please re-submit. Please note that we will not include previously published essays in the collection.