Melinda Watt Appointed Curator of Textiles at AIC

Posted in museums by Editor on March 14, 2018

Press release (12 March 2018) from the AIC:

Melinda Watt, Chair and Christa C. Mayer Thurman Curator of Textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago (Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art).

James Rondeau, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago, announced today the appointment of Melinda Watt as the new Chair and Christa C. Mayer Thurman Curator of Textiles. Watt most recently served as Curator in the Department of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture (2016–18) and supervising curator for the Antonio Ratti Textile Center (2009–18) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she oversaw exhibitions, research, and collections management for over 16,000 Western European textiles and 500 fans and led one of the largest, most technically advanced facilities for the study and storage of textiles in any major art museum in the world. She helped define a comprehensive, inclusive strategy for the care and research of works from all of the world’s civilizations—archaeological fragments, tapestries, carpets, quilts, ecclesiastical vestments, silks, embroideries, laces, velvets, and more—from 3000 BC to the present.

Watt will now lead the Art Institute of Chicago’s internationally renowned Department of Textiles and oversee its extensive collection of more than 13,000 textiles and 66,000 sample swatches ranging from 300 BC to the present, with particular strengths in Pre-Columbian textiles, European vestments, tapestries, woven silks and velvets, printed fabrics, needlework, and lace. The department has also strong holdings in 16th- and 17th-century English needlework, printed and woven materials of the 18th and 19th centuries, American quilts and woven coverlets, Eastern textiles, and 20th-century fiber art.

In announcing this appointment, Rondeau said: “Melinda has an outstanding reputation as a talented curator, an expert researcher and respected scholar, and brilliant administrator and leader. I am thrilled for our museum and our visitors that she is joining us in this crucial position and will re-energize our ambitious efforts to grow and elevate the reputation of our renowned Textiles department and present innovative and dynamic exhibitions.”

Watt shared: “From the earliest days of my career, I have admired the supreme quality and breadth of the textile collection at the Art Institute, so it comes as a great honor to be asked to lead the Department of Textiles. This is truly a unique opportunity to augment the museum’s already stellar collection and to have an impact on the scholarly field at large.”

Watt began her tenure at The Met in 1994, in The Costume Institute as a Study Storage Assistant, and soon took on increasingly complex and leadership roles, culminating in her leadership of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center beginning in 2009 and a curatorial rise within the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts to become a full Curator in 2016. Her exhibitions at The Met include: The Secret Life of Textiles: The Milton Sonday Archive (2017–18), American and European Embroidered Samplers, 1600–1900 (with Amelia Peck, 2015–16), Elaborate Embroidery: Fabrics for Menswear before 1815 (2015), William Morris: Textiles and Wallpapers (with Connie McPhee and Alison Hokanson, 2014), Interwoven Globe: The International Textile Trade, 1500–1800, (co-curator with Amelia Peck et al., 2013–14), An ‘Industrial Museum’: John Forbes Watson’s Indian Textile Collection (2013–14), Renaissance Velvet: Textiles for the Nobility of Florence and Milan (2011–12), and European Textiles from the Collection of Friedrich Fischbach (2010).

Earlier in her career, Watt lectured and instructed at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, at New York University, and at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, NY. She has also lectured and published widely, from New York to Chicago and Copenhagen to Beijing, on subjects as diverse as Renaissance and Baroque luxury textiles, Anglo-Indian hangings, flora and fauna in English embroidery, Isabella Stewart Gardner’s pearls, mid-century American fashion, nature in western art, and dressing for 17th-century portraiture.

Watt earned her BFA, with a concentration in Art History, at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. She holds an MA in Costume Studies from New York University.

New Book | Die Fresken von Joseph Mages

Posted in books by Editor on March 14, 2018

Published by Schnell & Steiner and now available from Artbooks.com:

Angelika Dreyer, Die Fresken von Joseph Mages (1728–1769): Zwischen barocker Frömmigkeit und katholischer Aufklärung (Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2017), 312 pages, ISBN: 9783795432560, 76€ / $95.

Josef Mages (1729–1769) setzte sich in seinen Freskenausstattungen richtungsweisend mit den Reformbestrebungen der katholischen Aufklärung auseinander. Seinen vom künstlerischen Umfeld der Augsburger Kunstakademie geprägten Deckenmalereien wird hier erstmals eine umfassende Studie gewidmet, die zugleich eine wesentliche Lücke in der Erforschung des süddeutschen Barocks schließt.

Neben einer exemplarischen Künstlersozialgeschichte stehen insbesondere die jeweiligen Auftraggeber sowie ihre vorwiegend religionspolitischen Ansichten und Absichten bei der Auftragsvergabe im Vordergrund der Untersuchung. Dabei nahm die vor allem im Bistum Augsburg wesentlich an Bedeutung gewinnende Auseinandersetzung über eine aufgeklärte Erneuerung der nachtridentinischen Frömmigkeitspraxis entscheidenden Einfluss auf die ikonographischen Inhalte und formale Gestaltung der Freskomalereien von Josef Mages. Im Gegensatz zu dem maßgeblich von Lodovico Antonio Muratori (1672–1750) initiierten religiösen Wandel und seinen Auswirkungen auf die raumbestimmende Kirchenausstattung wurden die Deckengemälde in Altomünster bei Freising oder in Oberschönenfeld von den weit existenzielleren Sorgen der dortigen Konventualen geprägt. Diese können als frühe malerische Vorboten der vom katholischen Klerus mit sorgenvollem Blick verfolgten Entwicklung hin zur späteren Säkularisation gesehen werden.

Call for Papers | Collecting Dutch and Flemish Art in Germany

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 14, 2018

From H-ArtHist:

Collecting Dutch and Flemish Art in Germany, 1500–1900
Conference ANKK and RKD, Den Haag, 18–20 October 2018

Proposals due by 15 April 2018

Much of Dutch and Flemish Art was acquired by German collectors, so that today there are more of these artefacts in German collections than in those of other countries. The 2018 conference of the ANKK seeks to analyse the ways in which Netherlandish art was and is collected in the German speaking countries and how this influenced not only scholarship but also the art market.

The German organisation for the Study of Netherlandish Art and Culture [Arbeitskreis Niederländische Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte e.V.] will hold its decennial as an international conference in Den Haag in cooperation with the RKD from 18 to 20 October 2018. The RKD is currently investigating the cultural exchange between the Netherlands and Germany between 1500 and 1900 in its three-year project Gerson Digital: Germany. The basis of the project is the pioneering publication by Horst Gerson (1907–1978), Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts (Amsterdam 1983, ed. princ. Haarlem 1942), in which the circulation and imitation of Dutch paintings in Europe are processed by country.

Proposals for 20-minute papers could address—but are by no means limited to—the following topics:
• spaces of the art market for Netherlandish Art and the main art centres for the German speaking countries, public and private collections, and clerical institution
• prize formation mechanisms for Dutch and Flemish Art
• networks of artists, dealers and collectors (both private and institutional), as well as writers on art and other audiences
• new scientific methods and methodologies of research and their influence on scholarship or collecting
• ‘art agents’ and their changing roles
• the nature of collections (municipal or princely), their buildings, and shared knowledge spaces
• interdependences of primary and secondary art markets for Netherlandish art

We also aim to have one open session of lightning talks in which any future, present or past project or exhibition, unrelated to the above-mentioned panels, can be presented in exactly eight minutes. Please indicate in your abstract whether your proposal is meant for the lightning talks or the more traditional panel format. No matter which format you prefer, we also encourage junior researchers to send us their proposals. Please send an abstract of the proposed paper (maximum of 500 words) in German or English and a short curriculum vitae to both the RKD (leeuwen@rkd.nl) and the ANKK (bmuench@uni-bonn.de) by 15 April 2018.


%d bloggers like this: