New-York Historical Society, 8 March — 30 July 2017
Curated by Valerie Paley
Opening on International Women’s Day, March 8, and remaining on view through July 30, 2017, in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery, Saving Washington will explore the tenuousness of American democracy from the aftermath of the Revolutionary War through the War of 1812 and beyond, addressing women’s roles as citizens of a new republic by focusing on the political and social significance of First Lady Dolley Madison and other women of the era. Curated by Valerie Paley, New-York Historical vice president, chief historian, and director of the Center for Women’s History, the exhibition will illustrate the mission of the Center for Women’s History: to reveal the often-overlooked stories of women who shaped American history.
Saving Washington recasts the traditional Founding Fathers narrative to focus on the less-examined contributions of women whose behind-the-scenes and largely unrecognized efforts helped develop the young nation and realize the Constitution ‘on the ground’. Among those who expertly navigated the political world of the early republic, Dolley Madison (1768–1849) was more than an example of what a woman could be in America; she was the embodiment of American strength, virtue, and honor. As the wife of the fourth U.S. president, she is sometimes remembered merely as the hostess who saved the White House portrait of George Washington from British vandalism during the War of 1812. But in fact, she was one of the most influential women in America during the nation’s formative years and a powerful force during a time when women were excluded from affairs of state.
Saving Washington will feature more than 150 objects—including artwork, books, documents, clothing, jewelry, and housewares—within immersive, interactive installations evoking Dolley Madison’s famous ‘Wednesday night squeezes’, her popular social gatherings that drew a wide range of people to ‘squeeze’ into the president’s mansion and encouraged informal diplomacy.
Saving Washington will inaugurate the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery within the Center for Women’s History on New-York Historical’s renovated fourth floor. Other programming highlights for Women’s History Month will include a conference on the history of reproductive rights; an evening with tennis icon and social justice pioneer Billie Jean King, who will unveil select items from her personal archives, recently donated to New-York Historical; a reading series with Girls Write Now featuring young women sharing their creative works; and a panel discussion about “Women and the White House,” moderated by 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl.
Lead support for Saving Washington has been provided by Joyce B. Cowin and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, with additional support provided by Susan Klein. Educational programming was made possible by Deutsche Bank.
Henry Fuseli (Johann Heinrich Füssli), Woman before the Laocoön, ca. 1801–05, ink on paper
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Opening next month in Weimar:
Winckelmann: Modern Antiquity / Moderne Antike
Neues Museum Weimar, 7 April — 2 July 2017
Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) is widely regarded as the founder of modern archaeology and aesthetics. With his view of ancient art as possessing “noble simplicity and solemn greatness,” he was a pioneer of European aesthetics during the Classical period. In commemoration of Winckelmann’s 300th anniversary, the Klassik Stiftung Weimar and the German Studies Department of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg present the first comprehensive exhibition on this influential researcher, writer, and critic who strongly shaped our modern view of antiquity.
Winckelmann grew up in poverty. His path in life led him to Halle, Jena, and Dresden, and finally to Italy where he gained international fame in papal Rome. Winckelmann was many things: a passionate visionary, a learned enthusiast, and an intellectual adventurer who put everything on the line to achieve his life’s dream. His violent death, which stunned Goethe and his contemporaries like a “clap of thunder,” played no small role in making him a revered and eminent figure throughout Europe within a few short years.
Like a kaleidoscope, the exhibition demonstrates the fascinating power of Winckelmann’s extraordinary life and his revolutionary works in which antiquity and modernity commune. Exquisite items from German and international collections illustrate the impact of his aesthetic, anthropological, and political ideas from the end of the eighteenth century to the present day. It will be the first time that three portrait paintings of Winckelmann from collections in Weimar, Zurich, and New York are presented together in one exhibition.
The exhibition is part of a joint research project, conducted by the Klassik Stiftung Weimar and the German Studies Department of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. The project director at the Klassik Stiftung Weimar is Dr. Bettina Werche. Funded by the Cultural Foundation of German States, the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
The catalogue is published by Hirmer:
W. Holler, E. Décultot, M. Dönike, C. Keller, T. Valk, and B. Werche, eds., Winckelmann: Moderne Antike (Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2017), 352 pages, ISBN: 978 37774 27560, 45€.
Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) gilt als Begründer der Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte. Mit seiner Formel von der »edlen Einfalt und stillen Größe« antiker Kunst war er ein Wegbereiter der klassizistischen Ästhetik in Europa. Winckelmanns revolutionäres Werk, in dem Antike und Moderne einander begegnen, wird anlässlich seines 300. Geburtstages neu beleuchtet.
Winckelmann wuchs in ärmlichen Verhältnissen auf. Sein Weg führte ihn über Halle, Jena und Dresden nach Italien, wo er im päpstlichen Rom zu einer internationalen Berühmtheit wurde. Winckelmann war vieles: ein schwärmerischer Visionär, ein gelehrter Enthusiast und ein geistiger Abenteurer, der für seinen Lebenstraum alles auf eine Karte setzte. Nicht zuletzt sein gewaltsamer Tod, der auf Goethe und andere Zeitgenossen wie ein »Donnerschlag« wirkte, ließ ihn binnen weniger Jahre zu einem in ganz Europa verehrten Klassiker aufsteigen. Als einflussreicher Forscher, Schriftsteller und Kritiker hat Winckelmann unseren Blick auf die Antike wesentlich geprägt, wie das reich bebilderte Grundlagenwerk anschaulich vor Augen führt.
Note (added 16 March 2017) — The original posting omitted information about the catalogue.
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Note (added 8 March 2017) — Klaus-Werner Haupt draws readers’ attention to his 2014 book on Winckelmman:
Klaus-Werner Haupt, Johann Winckelmann: Begründer der klassischen Archäologie und modernen Kunstwissenschaft (Weimar: Weimarer Verlagsgesellschaft, 2014), 296 pages, ISBN: 978 386539 7188, 28€.
Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Sohn eines Schuhmachermeisters, rastloser Autodidakt und der Begründer der klassischen Archäologie und modernen Kunstwissenschaften, gilt als Beispiel, wie ein einfacher Bürger mit Glück und Verstand alle mit seiner niederen Herkunft verbundenen Schranken zu überwinden wusste. Seine literarischen Kunstbeschreibungen sowie sein Hauptwerk—die Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums (1764)—revolutionierten die Kunstrezeption und beeinflussten neben Ästhetik und Kunstkritik die Literatur in ganz Europa. Der Autor Klaus-Werner Haupt schafft es, Winkelmanns kämpferische Vitalität und die poetische Bildhaftigkeit seiner Sprache vor biografischem Hintergrund und seinen wissenschaftlichen Leistungen lehrreich und unterhaltend für ein breites Publikum darzustellen.
Now on view at the Bodmer Foundation, just outside of Geneva:
Goethe et la France
Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cologny, 12 November 2016 — 23 April 2017
Curated by Jacques Berchtold
Martin Bodmer (1899–1971) placed Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) high in his personal hall of fame and at the center of his collection, one of the most important in the world. In many ways he owed the very concept of Weltliteratur to this towering figure. Goethe was familiar with French culture from very early on. Like many of his contemporaries of feudal and aristocratic Europe, he too felt the shock of the French Revolution, and his participation in the failed campaign against the Revolutionary forces (the Battle of Valmy in 1792) was a trauma that marked him for the rest of his days.
From his affinities for Rousseau, Goethe changed directions, and the work he did in Weimar, the new capital of the Aufklärung, established a uniquely German classicism. In the process, the ideologues of classicism at court drew on antiquity but also fostered a competitive relationship with their predecessors at Versailles. Goethe—who managed the library, theater, and opera—introduced Germans to the masterworks of French geniuses in literature, theater, music, and painting. Odd writers of the French canon were rehabilitated (Rabelais), and innovative authors of the period were discovered (Diderot).
The social, ethical, and political thinking that resulted from the shock of the French Revolution was crystallized in Goethe’s play The Natural Daughter (Die natürliche Tochter). Under the protectorate of the Confederation of the Rhine, Goethe met Napoleon—a great reader of Werther—in October 1808, and contemplated creating a portrait of him as Julius Caesar in homage to this genius of visionary and decisive action. And Faust, which Goethe pursued from 1808 on, had a special resonance in France. Taking off from the many Goethean gems in the Bodmer Collection, the exhibition shows the extent to which a complex and ambivalent ‘French question’ deeply influenced Goethe’s output for some sixty years.
Special Issue of the Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Archäologie und Kunst (ZAK) for 2018
Travelling People, Travelling Objects: The Reception of Swiss Art in the Context of the Eighteenth-Century European Grand Tour
Menschen und Objekte auf Reisen: Die Rezeption Schweizer Kunst im Kontext der europäischen Grand Tour des 18. Jahrhunderts
Proposals due by 1 May 2017; finished articles are due by 31 January 2018
In 2018, a special issue of the Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Archäologie und Kunst (ZAK) will be dedicated to Swiss art in the eighteenth century. Focusing on the context of European travel culture, the issue will address the various ways in which Grand Tourists perceived, purchased, and collected Swiss art objects during and after their travels. This perspective will help to gain new insight into the distribution and reception of Swiss art in eighteenth-century Europe.
It has often been claimed that the so-called Swiss Kleinmeister, printmakers of small genre and landscape scenes between 1750 and 1850, sold their artworks to Grand Tour travellers, thus contributing to the construction and popularization of a new ‘image of Switzerland’ in Europe. However, little is known about the travelling art buyers and the specific ways in which these small Swiss art objects were distributed, collected, and displayed abroad. Taking this question as a starting point, we welcome contributions which investigate the reception and distribution of these traveling images of Switzerland. Special priority will be given to topics which focus on the materiality of specific objects as well as topics which centre on the role and the meaning of Swiss artworks at their places of destination.
Proposals might address the following issues, among others:
1 Images, media, materialities
It is a widespread opinion that the small format and low price of the graphic art of the Swiss Kleinmeister contributed to the medium’s popularity among European travellers. Does a close view on European collections allow another, more complex perspective on the reception and distribution of Swiss art and the related role of its specific medial and material characteristics? What can be said about the collection-specific relations of graphics, watercolors, paintings, and decorative art objects of Switzerland?
2 Paths and destinations of Swiss graphic art
Kleinmeister graphic art was traded in single sheets, within illustrated books but also in literary works such as travel descriptions. Can individual trade routes be traced within this context of travel culture? Which European collections (libraries, print rooms etc.) owned (Kleinmeister) graphic art works, in which forms were they held and what role did they play within the formation of a specific
3 Swiss landscape images—identities and memories
The graphic images of the Swiss Kleinmeister are often said to have played an important role in shaping the identity of Switzerland by constructing a typical image of the country’s ‘national landscape’. What was the meaning and function of these graphic landscapes in European collections? Which role did Swiss landscapes play in other objects, for example decorative art, that were purchased by travellers?
Grand Tour travellers often purchased a great number of art objects which can be considered as conventionalized souvenirs of the places of their production along the travel routes. How were these imaginary sites of memory perceived and represented in European collections? What kinds of medial, material, and semantic relations are constructed between these collection objects on a transregional level, and which position did the objects from Switzerland occupy?
This call addresses art historians and researchers from related disciplines. Please send your proposal (max. 300 words in English, German, French, or Italian), a short CV, and a short list of keywords (max 6) no later than May 1st, 2017 to Danijela Bucher (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Miriam Volmert (email@example.com). Final selection and notification to authors will be announced no later than July 31st, 2017. Finished articles (ca. 30,000–40,000 characters including spaces and ca. 12–15 illustrations) should be submitted by 31st January 2018. No royalty will be paid for any article. Authors are responsible for all reproduction right fees.