Exhibition | 18th-Century Baltic Faience

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 2, 2018

Dish, eighteenth century, faience, Rörstrand
(Stockholm: Nationalmuseum)

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On view this summer in Sweden:

Colour and Form: 18th-Century Baltic Faience
Färg och form: Östersjöfajanser från 1700-talet
Läckö Castle, Lidköping, 10 June — 26 August 2018

Curated by Micael Ernstell

Eighteenth-century pieces of faience from the Baltic region seduced the market with their rich decoration and fine design. This exhibition presents faience artefacts from Nationalmuseum’s amazing collection of ceramics from the 18th century that were manufactured in the countries around the Baltic Sea.

The items in the exhibition, which Nationalmuseum is presenting in partnership with the Läckö Castle Foundation, have a vibrancy and joy that combine with the manufacturers’ ambitions for good design, both aesthetically and technically. The colour palette used by the pattern painters was a rich one, and it seduced the market for much of the 18th century. There has been strong interest among collectors since then.

Bowl, so called ‘Bispebolle’, unknown Danish artist active during the 18th century, faience (Stockholm: Nationalmuseum).

The exhibition is dominated by Swedish faience, with the Rörstrand and Marieberg factories as the most important actors. The factories had their own designers, who created many inspirational models and patterns. Production resulted in many examples of international influences. There was also movement of labour between the factories. This saw patterns and designs moving between the competitors.

The manufacturing of faience in Sweden during the 18th century was one element of the national leadership’s desire to develop the nation’s economy and avoid expensive imports. Tax rules and other privileges created the economic preconditions for Swedish faience. Another major factor in helping the Swedish factories was the Manufactory Office (Manufakturkontoret), which aimed to provide manufacturers with both economic and artistic guidance.

“We’re delighted about the long-term and rewarding partnership with the Nationalmuseum. The fact that artefacts from Rörstrand are included feels especially pleasing for Lidköping. One of the financiers of the Rörstrand faience factory was Carl-Gustaf Tessin, the owner of Läckö from 1752 until 1770,” says Magnus Lönnroth, CEO of the Läckö Castle Foundation.

There were almost 40 faience factories around the Baltic Sea in the 18th century. Although production reached a high level, the factories were mostly unprofitable. This meant that many factories only existed for a few years. The ones that started up first were the factories of Store Kongensgade in Copenhagen and Rörstrand in Stockholm. They started in the 1720s, both with a dream of being able to produce the same kind of porcelain as in China or at the Meissen factory in Dresden.

Apart from examples of Swedish manufacturing, the exhibition features artefacts from ten or so factories around the Baltic. There are examples from the Store Kongensgade factory in Copenhagen, which was founded in 1722 and is the oldest faience factory in the Nordic region. Johan Wolff came from that factory to Stockholm and founded the Rörstrand factory in 1726. Norway is also represented, as that was part of Denmark at the time.

“It’s wonderful that we can also use the exhibition to highlight the 100th anniversary of the Baltic States as independent nations with colourful pieces of faience from the factory in Reval, the modern-day Tallinn in Estonia,” says Micael Ernstell, curator of the exhibition and director of the National Museum.

Call for Papers | Built Environments and Performances of Power

Posted in Calls for Papers, graduate students by Editor on July 2, 2018

From H-ArtHist:

Built Environments and Performances of Power
44th Annual Cleveland Symposium
Cleveland Museum of Art, 26 October 2018

Proposals due by 15 July 2018

The Art History Department at Case Western Reserve University invites graduate students to submit abstracts for its 2018 Annual Symposium Built Environments and Performances of Power. We welcome innovative research papers that engage with the concept of built environments and their performative spaces, both within and without.

Architecture creates narratives, while simultaneously shaping the identities of builders and users. Monumental architecture conveys stability, which allows its patrons to emphasize authority. At the same time, occupants transform spaces through their physical presence and social dynamics. How do we engage with architectural locations and the objects found within them? How do patronage, artistic intent, and pre-existing power structures complicate the ways in which audiences connect with their environments? How does social performance vary within constructed spaces? How can architecture—and the spatial distribution of artifacts within it—complicate ideas of centrality and periphery?

Presentations may explore aspects of this theme across any time period, medium, or geographical region. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:
• Social performance and movement within built environments
• Material spatiality
• Constructed spaces and ideas of comportment
• Interactions between loci memoriae, geography, and architecture
• Space as experienced by architects, engineers, institutions, and audiences
• Viewership, liminal spaces, or construction of memory within museums
• Reconstruction of space through (re)moveable objects and their functions
• Reception within a built environment
• Theatricality and performance

Current graduate students and recent graduates in art history and related disciplines are invited to submit a 350-word abstract and a CV for consideration to clevelandsymposium@gmail.com by the extended deadline of July 15, 2018. Selected participants will be notified by the end of July. Paper presentations will be 20 minutes in length. Please direct all questions to Angelica Verduci and Jacob Emmett at clevelandsymposium@gmail.com. The three most successful papers will be awarded prizes.

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