New Book | Artisanal Enlightenment

Posted in books by Editor on December 6, 2017

From Yale UP:

Paola Bertucci, Artisanal Enlightenment: Science and the Mechanical Arts in Old Regime France (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017), 312 pages, ISBN: 978 03002 27413, $40.

What would the Enlightenment look like from the perspective of artistes, the learned artisans with esprit, who presented themselves in contrast to philosophers, savants, and routine-bound craftsmen? Making a radical change of historical protagonists, Paola Bertucci places the mechanical arts and the world of making at the heart of the Enlightenment. At a time of great colonial, commercial, and imperial concerns, artistes planned encyclopedic projects and sought an official role in the administration of the French state. The Société des Arts, which they envisioned as a state institution that would foster France’s colonial and economic expansion, was the most ambitious expression of their collective aspirations. Artisanal Enlightenment provides the first in-depth study of the Société, and demonstrates its legacy in scientific programs, academies, and the making of Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie. Through insightful analysis of textual, visual, and material sources, Bertucci provides a groundbreaking perspective on the politics of writing on the mechanical arts and the development of key Enlightenment concepts such as improvement, utility, and progress.

Paola Bertucci is associate professor of history at Yale University. She has published extensively on the public culture of science in eighteenth-century Europe, and is the author of prize-winning essays on secrecy, selective visibility, and industrial travel in the Enlightenment.

Exhibition | Modernity vs. Tradition: Art at the Parisian Salon

Posted in exhibitions by internjmb on December 6, 2017

From the Redwood Library and Athenaeum:

Modernity vs. Tradition: Art at the Parisian Salon, 1750–1900
The Redwood Library and Athenæum, Newport, 1 December 2017 – 8 April 2018

Curated by Benedict Leca

Named after the Salon carré at the Louvre, where it was held between 1725 and 1848, the Salon’s rise as the world’s preeminent regular exhibition of contemporary art was intertwined with the rise of a modern viewing public. Early presentations—first at the Palais Royal and then in the Grande Galerie of the Louvre by the 1690s (above)—were of comparatively restricted attendance. Yet already contained in them was the tension between the rule-bound tradition of academic pedagogy and the more progressive tendencies of venturesome artists pandering to popular taste.

What had begun in the 1670s as the French Académie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture’s desire to foster artistic competition and thus progress, and as an invitation to a nascent public to scrutinize and judge the products of its Academicians, had evolved by the mid-eighteenth century into one of the most charged public forums for the exchange of aesthetic and political ideas. A catalyst was the emergence of the new literary genre of art criticism in the 1740s, which from the outset contained a strongly partisan wing highly critical of official art and of the Crown’s management of national art production. Aesthetic judgements were in this way often of a piece with political critiques, thus compounding the meanings and public impact of artworks and their interpretation.

As an arm of the French Crown, the Académie suffered a similar fate during the Revolution, being abolished in 1793 only to re-emerge as the Institut national and, later, as the École des Beaux Arts. These successive institutions managed the Salon fitfully. It endured in close alliance with official arts policy during the Empire and benefited from the more permissive era of the Bourbon Restoration. Later, having fully entered the popular imaginary through the explosion of modern press coverage after mid-century, it became the defining context that gave rise to modern art.  Indeed, if the number of exhibitions and visitors doubled during Napoleon’s reign, by the last quarter of the century the Salon had reached an altogether different level of impact. Now featuring thousands of works viewed by tens of thousands of visitors, the Salon as an international cultural phenomenon can be seen as the precursor of today’s many biennales.

Seminar Series | Art and the Senses

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on December 6, 2017


From the University of Cambridge:

Art and the Senses
Department of History of Art Graduate Research Seminar Series, University of Cambridge, Lent 2018

The work of art is more than a visual object. It has surface, texture that can be touched, and emits or evokes sounds, smells, and tastes. Recently, academic studies on the senses have flourished, especially in the context of the material approach to visual studies; meanwhile, museums and art institutions have been considering new ways to augment visitor experience through the senses, and better engage with visitors who have sensory impairments; and in contemporary art, performance, video, and sound can incorporate more than one sense at a time, and calls into question the primacy of the visual. This Graduate Seminar Series, Art and the Senses, seeks to appreciate the roles of the senses in visual culture, explore the senses’ problematic and pleasurable qualities, and ultimately offer participants the opportunity to engage with their own senses.

Wednesdays at 5pm
History of Art Graduate Centre
4a Trumpington Street, CB2 1QA
Refreshments provided, all welcome

Wednesday 17 January
Nose-First: Rendering Visible the Humanist Smellscape
Kate McLean – Programme Director, Graphic Design Canterbury Christ Church University and Information Experience Design PhD Candidate RCA

Wednesday 24 January
Investigating the Invisible: Optiques and Visual Culture in the French Merveilleux-Scientifique Genre (1880–1930)
Fleur Hopkins – History of Art PhD Candidate, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Assistant Researcher at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, département des Sciences et Techniques

Wednesday 31 January
Tasting Impressionism
Dr Allison Deutsch – Junior Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London

Wednesday 7 February
In Search of Lost Scents: (Re-)constructing the Aromatic Heritage of History of Art and How to Use the Nose as a Methodological Tool
Caro Verbeek – Curator and PhD Candidate, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Embedded Researcher Rijksmuseum and International Flavors & Fragrances

Wednesday 14 February
Emergency Noises: Sound Art and Gender
Dr Irene Noy – Independent scholar

Wednesday 21 February
Touching the Renaissance: The Material Culture of Skin in Europe, 1450–1700
Professor Evelyn Welch FKC – Provost/Senior Vice President (Arts & Sciences) and Professor of Renaissance Studies in the Department of History, School of Arts & Humanities

Wednesday 28 February
Sensory Experiences in the National Gallery
In Conversation with Dr Caroline Campbell – The Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department, The National Gallery, London

Love Making
Wednesday 7 March
Illustration and the Erotics of Re-Use in Victorian Print Culture
Dr Sarah Bull – Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge

Convenors: Lizzie Marx and Lorraine de la Verpillière
Twitter: @ArtSensesCam | Facebook: ArtSenseCambridge

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