Exhibition | First Academies: Benjamin West

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on February 2, 2018

Benjamin West, Death on the Pale Horse, 1817, oil on canvas, 447 × 765 cm
(Philadelphia: PAFA, 1836.1)

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Opening next month at PAFA:

First Academies: Benjamin West and the Founding of the RA of Arts and PAFA
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 2 March — 3 June 2018

Curated by David Brigham

Investigating the role of Benjamin West in the founding of arts academies in England and the United States.

On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to recognize the role that Benjamin West (1738–1820) played in founding each of these first sustained academies in England and the United States. Born outside of Philadelphia, West traveled to Europe at age twenty-one to study painting and, rather than return home, he was lured by immediate patronage and recognition to remain in England where he would become one of the founders in 1768 of the RA, its second president, and court painter to George III. While West never returned to America, he educated three generations of American artists in his London studio, including Charles Willson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, and Rembrandt Peale.

In 1805, when PAFA was founded, West was selected as the first Honorary Academician. By lending his name to the first sustained art academy in North America, then RA President West contributed to PAFA’s nascent reputation and importance. West accepted the honor and wrote, “It is my wish that your Academy should be so indowed [sic] in all points which are necessary to instruct, not only the mind of the student in what is excellent in art—but that it should equally instruct the eye and the judgement [sic] of the public to know, and properly appreciate Excellence when it is produced….”

This exhibition explores West’s important role in the establishment of the RA and PAFA through more than sixty paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, manuscripts, and books. In addition to the founding stories of the RA and PAFA, this exhibition recognizes the other artist-founders of PAFA, West’s role as the teacher of eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century American artists, and the development of monumental history paintings such as Christ Rejected and Death on the Pale Horse.

Call for Papers | SAHGB Architectural History Workshop, 2018

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on February 2, 2018

Call for Participation from SAHGB:

The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain
Workshop for Doctoral Students and Early Career Scholars
The Gallery, London, 17 March 2018

Proposals due by 16 February 2018

The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) invites proposals for the 2018 Architectural History Workshop. This is our annual event for postgraduate students and early career scholars to share and develop their ideas; it aims to provide an informal space away from your own institution where you can discuss, debate, practice and enjoy the company of like-minded researchers working within the history of the built environment, broadly conceived.
We invite participation in a number of ‘lightning’ rounds, where contributors are asked to speak for no more than ten minutes in any appropriate format that engagingly explores and presents your research. This research can be at any stage from a research proposal that you wish to talk about, issues arising from your research, final work as you write-up, post-doctoral reflections, or anything in-between. Speakers from previous events are particularly welcome to update us on the progress of their work.

The event is limited to postgraduate students (full-time or part-time) and early career scholars (those who have completed their PhDs within the last 5 years). We particularly encourage participation from:
• Masters students considering doctoral study
• Doctoral students in relevant disciplines

We are interested in all periods and regions of study, and the full range of methodological approaches to architectural history. The society welcomes submissions of work relating to the history of the built environment from all disciplines, including but by no means limited to:
• Architecture
• Art History
• History (including urban, social and cultural history)
• Archaeology
• Anthropology
• Geography
On as diverse a range of themes as possible, including:
• Histories of design
• Histories of planning
• Histories of construction
• Histories of buildings in use
• Histories of interiors and interior design
• Histories of practice and professionalism

Alongside presentations, the workshop will feature a session on ‘Careers in Architectural History’ presented by a panel of invited speakers from museums, heritage bodies, architectural practices, and more. Speakers will be announced in the near future. The keynote speaker will be the Chairman of the SAHGB, Professor Anthony Geraghty (University of York).

If you are interested in making a contribution, please complete the submission form on our website. The closing date for applications is Friday, 16 February 2018. The result of all applications will be communicated by Tuesday, 20 February, with confirmation from the speakers requested by Thursday, 22 February. The workshop will take place on Saturday, 17 March at The Gallery, 70, Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EL. No funding is available. A contribution of £10 is requested from all attendees to cover costs (inclusive of all catering). Details of the 2017 workshop can be viewed on the Society’s website. For further information or clarification of any sort please contact the conference organizers at ahw2018@sahgb.org.uk.

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