Exhibition | Miniature World in White Gold: Meissen Porcelain

Posted in exhibitions by InternRW on August 9, 2016

On view now at the Wadsworth Atheneum:

Miniature World in White Gold: Meissen Porcelain by Johann Joachim Kaendler
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, 16 January 2016 — 16 January 2017

Curated by Vanessa Sigalas

Writing cavalier

Model by Johann Joachim Kaendler,Writing Cavalier, ca. 1740, hard-paste porcelain.

Johann Joachim Kändler was one of the most visionary artists in the history of porcelain, creating more than 2,000 models over the course of his career and consistently testing the limits of porcelain as an artistic medium. Kändler was one of the first artists to use porcelain as a sculpting material rather than as a surface for painted decoration. His designs and figures—more detailed and realistic than any earlier creations—were essential for the development of porcelain as an independent art form in Europe.

Miniature World in White Gold showcases a broad selection of the finely detailed and innovative porcelain sculptures Kändler designed over his 44 years at the Meissen Porcelain Factory in Germany, featuring examples of his animals, crinoline figures, exotic representations, and court and peasant figures.

Persian woman with elephant

Model by Johann Joachim Kaendler, Persian Woman with Elephant, ca. 1763–74, hard-paste porcelain.

The formula for hard-paste porcelain, which originated in China centuries earlier, was not discovered in Europe until the early 18th century—only decades before Kändler became a modeler at Meissen. The material was as valuable as gold during his lifetime (1706–1775), when dinner services and figurines were commissioned by aristocrats to ornament extravagant banquet and dining tables. While they initially served as table decoration and conversation pieces, porcelain figures soon became collectibles themselves and were displayed in cabinets as independent artworks.





Call for Papers | AAH 2017 at Loughborough University

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on August 9, 2016

Here are some of the intriguing thematic offerings proposed for the Association of Art Historians 2017 conference that could include eighteenth-century papers. Be sure to consult the conference website for things I’ve overlooked.CH

43rd Annual AAH Conference and Bookfair
Loughborough University, 6–8 April 2017

Proposals due by 7 November 2016

AAH2017 will celebrate the expansive spectrum of histories, theories and practices that characterize art historical research today. Internationally, the field of art history is eclectic and inclusive, reaching across geopolitical, cultural and disciplinary divides to extend our understanding of the visual and material culture of many diverse periods and places. At Loughborough, we are engaged with art history, contemporary practice and visual culture, linking arts-based research with advances in design, technology, media and communication, centred on the development of more sustainable and equitable global communities.

Please email your paper proposals straight  to the session convenor(s). Provide a title and abstract for a 25 minute paper (max 250 words). Include your name, affiliation and email. Your paper title should be concise and accurately reflect what the paper is about (it should ‘say what it does on the tin’) because the title is what appears most first and foremost online, in social media and in the printed programme.

Keynote Speakers
Amelia Jones (Robert A. Day Professor in Art and Design and Vice-Dean of Critical Studies at the Roski School of Art and Design) and Mark Hallett (Director of studies at the Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art)

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Session 1 | 50 Years On: Art History in the UK since the 1960s
Geoff Quilley, University of Sussex, g.quilley@sussex.ac.uk
Meaghan Clarke, University of Sussex, m.e.clarke@sussex.ac.uk
Francesco Ventrella, University of Sussex, fv37@sussex.ac.uk

The current decade marks the 50th anniversary of many Art History departments across the UK. It was not until the 1960s that the majority of Art History departments still functioning today were instituted. This was not merely coincidental, but was part of the seismic shift in post-war higher education that saw the wave of building of new universities. The consequent democratisation of the teaching of Art History in 1960s Britain had enormous impact both on the politics of the discipline and also on its place within an overall higher education ‘framework’. This session will seek to revisit that ‘new vision’ for Art History within 1960s culture, by reflecting on the history of Art History over the past 50 years, and focusing on its role within UK higher education, and educational philosophy and policy more generally. This might consider several inter-related sets of issues, including: the mutual impact and influences between the new departments and the old institutions, and how they might have prepared the terrain for the ‘New Art History’; how Art History intersected with the teaching of art and design; the relation of Art History to other disciplines, both established and new. What were the effects of the influx of Art History degrees on related professional environments such as museums? Did public perceptions of the discipline change as an effect of its popularisation through the media? And what has been, and continues to be, the public role of Art History, and how has this changed over the past half-century?

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Session 3 | Art History as Créolité/Creolising Art History
Alpesh Kantilal Patel, Florida International University, Miami, alpesh.patel@fiu.edu

As part of the three-day workshop titled ‘Créolité and Creolisation’, which took place on St Lucia as one of the platforms of Documenta 11 (2002), participants explored the genealogy of terms such as ‘creolization’ and ‘Créolité’, and their potential to describe phenomena beyond their historically and geographically specific origins (however slippery they are). Surprisingly, there has been little engagement with the potential of creolisation as a way of doing or writing art histories differently since that time. This session aims to redress this lacuna.

Stuart Hall, one of the workshop participants, writes that what distinguishes creolisation from hybridity or diaspora is that it refers to a process of cultural mixings that are a result of slavery, plantation culture, and colonialism. Yet, Martinican-born poet and theoretician Édouard Glissant notes that creolisation can refer to a broader set of sociocultural processes not only in the Caribbean but also ‘all the world’ (Tout-monde). Drawing on Hall and Glissant, Irit Rogoff suggests that créolité can more broadly reference the construction of a literary or artistic project out of creolising processes.

What would it mean to re-imagine art history as Créolité? That is, hegemonic Western art history has created in its wake an array of ‘other’ art histories connected to regions such as Latin America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and South Asia to name a few. Of special interest in this session is not only considering such regional art histories as relational to each other, but also exploring how other constructions of identity—such as gender, sexuality, race, and class—are intertwined with them. Papers exploring contemporary and historical periods are both welcome; and those critically examining Glissant’s terms—such as ‘opacity’ and ‘globality’—to bear on the session theme are especially encouraged.

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Session 7 | Catastrophism and the Ecology of Art in Pre- and Early Modern Europe
Joanne W Anderson, The Warburg Institute, Joanne.anderson@sas.ac.uk
Jill Harrison, The Open University, Jill.harrison@open.ac.uk

Floods, fires, earthquakes, famines and plagues were catastrophic events in pre- and early modern Europe. They impacted heavily on environment and society by devastating resources, levelling infrastructure and displacing or destroying communities. The residual presence of such events in the cultural memory could be long term and institutionalised. As Erling Skaug has recently argued (2013) in relation to change in Giotto’s late oeuvre, ‘disasters of a certain magnitude tend to cause breaks and abrupt changes in a historical course—for better or worse.’

Catastrophism is an emerging and productive way of thinking about art’s relationship to climate and environment, and the circumstances of its production and interpretation. But it also has a venerable tradition within the discipline of art history itself. From Winckelmann’s climate theory in relation to the stylistic development of Greek sculpture (1755) to Millard Meiss’s theories about the Black Death and its instigation of an archaising pictorial system (1951), the ecology of visual representation is a persistent framework for critical enquiry. It has the potential to align local events with universal histories, for example a synecdoche for the Apocalypse or the Great Flood.

This panel welcomes papers that explore catastrophes of art in the classical sense. By focusing on pre- and early modern Europe, it aims to push art historians to rethink the role of such events in our understanding of art and its production. It will seek to discuss and offer fresh perspectives on the concept of catastrophism and its relevance for the ecology of art.

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Session 8 | Changing Regimes of Art Education: An International Look at Art History, Pedagogy, and Power Knowledge
Elke Krasny, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, elke.krasny@gmail.com
Barbara Mahlknecht, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, b.mahlknecht@akbild.ac.at

Art education is part of the archives of regimes of power knowledge. Despite the important role art education holds for producing and reproducing knowledge of art history and artistic practice, it has so far remained an understudied area in critical art history writing. The session’s focus is on the critical analysis of art history education at university and art academy level internationally. While art and art history are commonly understood as fields of global knowledge production and circulation, art education is still connected to the nation state and the changing regimes of its ideologies, economies, and politics. The session therefore asks to what extent the nation state is still the core structure forming canonical art histories and art education pedagogies? It also raises the question to what extent art history education is transformed via international, transnational, and global exchange. Some of the questions concern how art history education was formed by imperial and colonial regimes, totalitarian and fascist regimes at times of war, and the contemporary neoliberal regime in which both the global South and the global North are implicated.

The session invites papers giving case studies from different places and specific time periods. Of particular interest are transitional periods revealing the change from one regime to another. The focus is on the formation and institutional recognition of art history education in relation to art history’s critical history writing and the analysis of the archives of regimes of power knowledge.

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Session 10 | Damaged Art and the Question of Value
Kathryn Brown, Loughborough University, kathrynjbrown@mac.com

While entropy has often been used by artists as an aesthetic strategy, this session examines the values that attach to artworks that are damaged in the process of their execution, or that have been broken, vandalised, discarded, or otherwise rendered unfit for their original design or purpose. What aesthetic, historical and financial values attach to such works, and are those values divergent or mutually reinforcing? While ancient statuary is exhibited in fragments, what is the display value of more recent works that have not benefitted from restoration? For some collectors, prints pulled from cancelled plates are prized objects, while, for others, such works are considered counterfeit. Artists complain of failures to maintain the condition of public art that no longer meets their original conception and, in some cases, recommend destruction of that work.

Such examples problematise the values that attach to the material qualities of art objects and the ways in which such qualities relate to artistic intention and audience expectations throughout time. This session asks why some works have been considered worthy of restoration while others have been ignored? Might the preservation of damage to an object have evidential value that outweighs the restoration of that object’s material appearance? What types of destruction befall conceptual and performance artworks? From the activities of the Salvage Art Institute to the exhibition of paintings and sculptures marred by war, accident, or neglect, this session uses the concept of damage to investigate values that attach to the production, display, preservation, and financial value of artworks.

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Session 19 | Modern Lives – Modern Legends: Artist Anecdotes since the 18th Century
Hans Christian Hones, The Warburg Institute (Bilderfahrzeuge Project), hoenes@bilderfahrzeuge.org
Anna Frasca-Rath, University of Vienna, anna.sophie.rath@univie.ac.at

In John Nichols’ Biographical Anecdotes of William Hogarth (1785), one reads of how the painter died in the arms of his servant, his demise the result of overindulging in beefsteak. Seventy years later, a biography of John Flaxman tells of how the artist, in his childhood, showed his drawings to a famous painter—who asked if they were meant to represent flounders.

These are just two examples for a little-known tendency in the artistic literature of the 18th and 19th century: the re-adaptation of traditional anecdotes which had been repeated countless times since the trecento. Nichols’ story clearly refers ironically to Vasari’s description of Leonardo’s death in the arms of the French King, and Flaxman’s ‘flounders’ are an equally ironic take on the legend of Giotto’s discovery by Cimabue. Far from simply providing entertainment, they were also an opportunity for succinct commentary on the respective artist’s work—the ‘Englishness’ of Hogarth and the ‘flatness’ of Flaxman.

This panel explores these revisions and re-adaptations of traditional artist anecdotes and their function in the art theoretical debates of their time. What was the purpose of such re-writings? How does this flood of new anecdotes relate and react to the rise of ‘scholarly’ biographical writing? Which art-theoretical subtexts were carried in these ironic deflections from tradition? And how do they intersect with the equally prominent rise of depictions of anecdotal scenes from artists’ lives—Giotto painting sheep being just the most prominent example? Papers examine these and other questions in a broad geographical context between the 18th and 20th century.

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Session 25 | Prints in Books: The Materiality, Art History and Collection of Illustrations
Elizabeth Savage, Cambridge University, leu21@cam.ac.uk

Book illustrations, especially from the hand-press period (1450–1830), are an essential but traditionally overlooked source of art historical information. Although the hierarchies of fine art over popular art are dissolving, and modern disciplinary distinctions between text and image (or art and book) are giving way to cross-disciplinary and holistic approaches to printed material, printed images that happen to be inside books often fall outside the remits of art historical, literary, bibliographical and material research.

One reason is that practical and academic barriers impede access to the art historical information that book illustrations can provide. Due to incompatible cataloguing standards adopted by libraries and art museums, researchers can struggle to identify book illustrations across collections. Cataloguing protocols may reduce hundreds of significant woodcuts in a book to the single word ‘illustrated’; some world-leading graphic art digitisation initiatives exclude book illustrations. As the global digitised corpus expands, will book illustrations be more represented in print scholarship or will they continue to fall into the gap between art and book? As material objects and visual resources, should they be considered bibliographical, art historical or iconographical material? And how do such classifications influence their interpretation?

This interdisciplinary panel seeks to establish a platform for discussion about the position of printed book illustrations in graphic art scholarship. Theoretical and object-based papers related to any aspect of collecting, cataloguing and interpreting printed book illustrations, broadly defined, are welcome, as are papers that explore the materiality, iconography, historiography or art history of printed pictures inside books.

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Session 30 | Sculpture in Motion
Martina Droth, Yale Center for British Art, martina.droth@yale.edu
Sarah Victoria Turner, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, svturner@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk

Sculpture is generally static. It tends to be thought of as solid, inert, and physically grounded. These qualities are deeply associated with some of its most traditional functions—to commemorate, memorialise, and provide permanent public symbols. But throughout its history, sculpture’s immobility has been held in tension with the fantasy of its potential motion and animation. This tension plays out in the dualities of its association with life and death. The potential of the statue coming to life, as in the Pygmalion myth, has been a constant reference point for sculpture and how it is written about.

This interdisciplinary session seeks to examine the various ways in which sculpture has been put in motion, literally or metaphorically, and to consider what drives this desire to animate sculpture. Areas of possible investigation include the devices and artistic strategies that induce motion or an illusion of life—for example, turning statues on rotating pedestals; viewing statues by candlelight; the tinting and colouring of sculpture to create life-like effects; sophisticated technologies and mechanical devices such as animatronics, automata, and kinetics; the ‘living statue’ and the tableau vivant; bringing sculpture to life in text; the suggestion of movement in photographs of sculpture; the appearance of sculpture in film. Proposals may address any period or area of sculpture, and can present case-studies or broader reflections.

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Session 31 | Speculative Libraries
Nick Thurston, University of Leeds, n.thurston@leeds.ac.uk

The symbolic status of ‘the library’—be it in the image of the great libraries of antiquity, the monastic libraries of the Middle Ages or the public libraries of Victorian Britain—has served as both a metaphor and allegory for knowledge, wealth, devotion and permanence. Yet all contemporary libraries are having their rationales, architecture, labour practices and holdings radically changed by the growth of networked computing and information science. What are the many and changing relationships between art practice, art’s discourses and libraries? And where, from the first proto-libraries of Sumer to counter-cultural archives of grey or illegal material, do we see the logic of the library reaching beyond the confines of libraries-as-such?

I invite submissions from historians, theorists and makers who can address these questions directly and who work within or across the fields of architecture studies, art history, art & design and library & information science. Our aim will be to take seriously all aspects of library culture and library-making as they relate to art, including: holdings, collections policies, librarianship, furniture, architecture and the role of libraries within their communities. From Martha Rosler Library (2005–6) to the open-access file-sharing on aaaaarg.fail, a trend can be traced for making libraries as or within contemporary art projects. As such, through this session’s broad discussion I hope we will also foster a sub-focus on the history, theory and techniques of speculative library-making, considered as the practice of constructing real or imaginary libraries as an artistic act.

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Session 32 | Standing Stones and the Origins of Architectural Modernity  
Ralph Ghoche, Barnard College, Columbia University, rghoche@barnard.edu
Christina Contandriopoulos, UQAM University

Standing stones (menhirs) have captivated the imagination of architects and archaeologists since their rediscovery in the 17th century. By the 19th century, these primitive monuments were accorded a prominent place in the new narratives of architectural history, generating countless debates over their origin and function. Indeed, they emboldened many architects to challenge the prevailing neoclassical histories of architecture by moving the point of origin from the so-called ‘civilised’ societies of classical Greece and Rome, back to the ritualistic practices of Celts, Druids and Gauls. The interest in indigenous monuments was no less potent for architects in the 20th century. In the writings of Le Corbusier, Sigfried Giedion and Aldo van Eyck, here too these stone were employed as testaments of wholly distinct historical trajectories.

This session focuses on the impact of standing stones and primitive, indigenous monuments on architecture from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The question can be explored from multiple perspectives. From an historiographical standpoint, we are interested in the way that these stones informed new historical narratives in architecture. How was the new awareness of these stones employed to challenge Greco-Roman models? From the perspective of architectural production, how did they impact the primitive sensibilities of modernist architects? To be sure, the mute and enigmatic quality of menhirs provided Modernists powerful precedents for their own experiments in abstract signification. As prehistorical monuments, standing stones would seem to have provided designers with a way of achieving an emancipated architecture, free of the burdens of history.

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Session 35 | Textile, Art & Design: Reciprocity and Development
Alice Kettle, Manchester Metropolitan University, a.kettle@mmu.ac.uk
Uthra Rajgopal, Manchester Metropolitan University, u.rajgopal@mmu.ac.uk

The reciprocity and division of textiles and the fine arts are in continual negotiation. This session examines the nexus between the fine and decorative arts, craft making and commercial production. Many artists of the 20th century such as Abakanowicz, Dali, Delaunay, Matisse, Moore, Parker, Picasso, Paolozzi and Warhol (to name but a few) have been celebrated for their collaborations in sculpture and/or pattern making, but this approach presents one avenue of the artist’s intervention in textiles. This session will consider a wider view, asking how contributions of textile designers and artists working across a spectrum of geographical and historical periods, such as those working in Spitalfields, Lyon, Japan or India for example, or designers such as Dora Batty, Marian Clayden, Marion Dorn, Bernat Klein or John Piper influenced and collaborated with artists, fashion designers and art movements or contributed to the synergy of these practices.

In this session we welcome papers from academics, researchers, textile artists, textile and fashion historians, curators and archivists. The term textile can be interpreted in its widest sense. Suggestions for proposals of papers or panel discussions include but are not limited:
• The evolution and circulation of a particular motif in woven or printed textiles
• Artists/designers and textiles: an exploration of their oeuvre through pattern making
• The influence of textile designers in art/dress/fashion history
• Historical and contemporary collaborations between artists and textile designers

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Session 37 | The Power of Plasticity
Rowan Bailey, University of Huddersfield, r.bailey@hud.ac.uk
Sheila Gaffney, Leeds College of Art, sheila.gaffney@leeds-art.ac.uk

Plasticity is a powerful yet elusive concept of formation in the histories, theories and practices of making. In its traditional sense, it has been synonymised with the noun ‘plastic’—the plastic arts of sculpture and architecture within the modern schema—and the adjective ‘plastic’—the material and aesthetic registrations of a state of being malleable, pliant, ductile and adaptable. More recently, plasticity has gained cultural currency in science as a tool for articulating the brain’s thinking activity. The reception of plasticity within the histories of art, visual and material culture thus covers a broad and diverse spectrum. It not only refers to a condition of aptitude within the mind of the practitioner—derived from the Greek plassein: ‘to mould or form’—it also registers the transformation of materials from the molecular to the microscopic, the psychic to the aesthetic.

Whether operating through different tropes of formation in art historical/art writing, as material transformations in and through the making process, or as environmental states for the production and reception of form, this session seeks to explore the varied use, application and agency of the term ‘plasticity’ in a trans-disciplinary expanded field.

The panel proposes to address three dimensions to plasticity and their potential intra-relations, reflecting on objects of visual and material culture to bring about new configurations of plastic thinking in practice. Contributions that move beyond this framework are also welcome:

• Plasticity as a dynamic condition for the production and reception of form
• Plasticity and the transformation of materials
• Plasticity as a thinking tool in art, visual and material culture

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