Exhibition | Bed Furnishings in Early America

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 30, 2018

Now on view at the Wadsworth Atheneum:

Bed Furnishings in Early America: An Intimate Look
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, 26 September 2018 — 27 January 2019

Curated by Brandy Culp

Anna Tuels, Paper Template-pieced Quilt, Hourglass, 1785, New England, various worsteds, silk, and printed cottons, with a wool backing and wool batting (Wadsworth Atheneum, 1967.75).

From birth to death, the bed played a significant role in life’s daily cycles. Almost a room within a room, the bed was a place for sleeping as well as intimate activities, such as sex, childbirth, nursing, convalescence, and even death. From the seventeenth to early nineteenth century there was a bed in almost every room of the home. The ‘best bed’—today we call it the master bed—was usually located in either the distinguished parlor or ‘best’ bedchamber. These were public spaces, where guests were entertained and daily activities took place.

The fully-outfitted bedstead was one of the most expensive household items in Early America, regardless of one’s wealth. Bed hangings, counterpanes, coverlets, bed rugs, and quilts bear witness to the aspirations of their owners and makers. All are exceptional examples of handwork that reflect the skills of talented artisans, whether hired professional or homemaker, and mark the global intersections between people of various cultures. Bed Furnishings in Early America, An Intimate Look explores the evolution of privacy, intimacy, status, and global exchange through the bedstead, its textiles, and their placement within the home into the late nineteenth century.

Exhibition | Bouke de Vries: War and Pieces

Posted in exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on November 30, 2018

Bouke de Vries, War and Pieces, 2012, 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century porcelain, plastic, sprayed plaster, acrylic, steel, aluminum, gilded brass, and mixed media (installation view at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 2018).

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From the press release, via Art Daily:

Bouke de Vries: War and Pieces
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, 4 October 2018 — 6 January 2019
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, 2 February — 12 May 2019

For years, the work of celebrated artist Bouke de Vries has been shown all over Europe in museums, galleries, castles, and palaces. America won’t be left behind. Now and through the middle of 2019, several sculptures by Dutch-born de Vries will be making their stateside debut at museums in Hartford, Connecticut; Montgomery, Alabama; and Nashville, Tennessee. Foremost among them is his pièce de résistance: War and Pieces, a 26-foot-long installation inspired by the lavish decorative centerpieces of 18th-century European banqueting tables.

The first venue is the Wadsworth Atheneum, in Hartford, where de Vries is the featured artist in the 180th installment of the museum’s MATRIX contemporary art exhibition series, running from 4 October 2018 until 6 January 2019. “Because the Wadsworth Atheneum possesses such an outstanding collection of the very kind of porcelain figures and centerpieces that Bouke de Vries references in his monumental work,” observes Linda Roth, Senior Curator and Charles C. and Eleanor Lamont Cunningham Curator of European Decorative Arts, “featuring War and Pieces at our museum makes perfect sense.” Adds de Vries: “It is an honor to debut my most ambitious work at America’s first-ever museum of art, the Wadsworth Atheneum, in their longstanding and groundbreaking MATRIX series.”

From Hartford, War and Pieces travels South, to Alabama, where it will be on view at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts from 2 February to 12 May 2019.

Employing broken shards of various kinds of porcelain-ancient and modern—from Hummel thru blanc de Chine to IKEA—the artist has arranged them into apocalyptic vignettes of orchestrated destruction. Dead center is a towering nuclear mushroom cloud. Six mano-a-mano battle scenes flank the cloud, fought by armour-clad figures molded from 18th-century embodiments of Mars and Minerva by England’s Derby factory. The sugarcoated warring figures are mutating into cyborgs with colorful bionic limbs and weaponry from Transformer toys. The striking diversity among the sugar, porcelain and plastic underscores the tension between the handmade and the industrial. De Vries’s masterwork is an unforgettable commentary on the follies of war and is perhaps the most startling tablescape since Judy Chicago’s landmark Dinner Party, 1979.

London-based, de Vries first worked in fashion with John Galliano, Stephen Jones, and Zandra Rhodes before switching careers. Since then the 57-year-old artist has worked as a conservator of ceramics and glass, in addition to his pursuits as an artist since 2010. Ironically, the skills he deploys as a restorer went in a totally opposite direction for War and Pieces. Instead of reconstructing shattered porcelain, he deconstructed it, inaugurating a new status while creating new virtues. Says de Vries: “I have dreamed of sharing my approach to art—especially War and Pieces—at such prestigious museums around the United States.”

In addition, from 2 February until 9 June 2019, as part of Derived from the Decorative: Works by Faig Ahmed, Beth Lipman and Bouke de Vries at Nashville’s Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, other works by de Vries will be making their American bow. Peacock 1 and Glass Cloud are also both constructed of broken pieces of historic ceramic and glass. Bouke de Vries is represented in the United States by Ferrin Contemporary in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Exhibition | Thomas Gainsborough: Drawings at the Clark

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on November 29, 2018

Thomas Gainsborough, Landscape with Herdsman Driving Cows and Distant Buildings, mid to late 1780s, black chalk over brush and gray wash with lead white on beige laid paper, fixed with gum (Williamstown: The Clark Art Institute, gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.8.77).

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From The Clark:

Thomas Gainsborough: Drawings at the Clark
The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1 December 2018 — 17 March 2019

Though recognized as one of the most fashionable portrait painters of the eighteenth century, Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788) made hundreds of drawings of the English landscape. Abounding with foliage, cottages, and pastoral figures—shepherds driving flocks of sheep and cows drinking from pools or streams along meandering paths—Gainsborough’s landscapes present an idealized view of country life. Rather than depicting specific locales, these lyrical sheets evoke the gentle woodland and heath of his native Suffolk, in the east, and later, the mountainous Lake District of Cumbria, in the northwest. Thomas Gainsborough: Drawings at the Clark reveals the artist’s fascination with mixed-media technique: graphite, chalks, ink washes, watercolor, and oil paints intermingle on toned papers. Together, the sixteen drawings on view in the Clark’s Manton Gallery for British Art demonstrate how Gainsborough championed an imaginative approach over naturalistic detail and reveal his fascination with mixed-media technique.

The Clark Acquires Lethière’s ‘Brutus Condemning His Sons’

Posted in museums by Editor on November 29, 2018

Guillaume Lethière, Brutus Condemning His Sons to Death, 1788, oil on canvas, 23 × 39 inches
(Williamstown: The Clark Art Institute, 2018.1.1)

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In May the Clark announced this acquisition; the painting is now on display. From the press release:

For the first time since acquiring Guillaume Guillon Lethière’s masterpiece, Brutus Condemning His Sons to Death, the Clark presents the painting in its permanent collection galleries. The painting was acquired at auction in spring 2018 along with a preparatory drawing by Lethière (c. 1788) and a stipple engraving dated 1794 by Pierre Charles Coqueret (Paris, 1761–1832) after Lethière’s painting. All three works are on view in a special installation in the Clark’s permanent collection galleries. . . .

The full press release is available here

Call for Papers | The Art of Ugliness, Graduate Symposium

Posted in Calls for Papers, graduate students by Editor on November 28, 2018

From H-ArtHist:

The Art of Ugliness, 29th Annual Art History Association Graduate Symposium
Indiana University, Bloomington, 13 April 2019

Proposals due by 10 January 2019

Keynote address: “The Use Value of Ugliness” by Dr. Andrei Pop (Associate Professor, Committee on Social Thought, Art History, and the College, The University of Chicago) and Dr. Mechtild Widrich (Assistant Professor, Art History, Theory and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

Is ugliness diametrically opposed to beauty? Or is ugliness simply another aspect of the same coin systematically constructed and cultivated over centuries? While beauty has been fruitfully examined in fields ranging from philosophy to aesthetics and art history, less attention has been given to discourses concerning ugliness. We consider it imperative to reconsider ugliness at this moment to flesh out the ways in which discourses surrounding the ‘ugly’ shape ideas surrounding acceptability. Why do we define, name, or think of something or someone as ‘ugly’? Is it a psychological reaction to what we perceive as gross or disgusting? Does it violate morality? The Art of Ugliness will explore the complex social, cultural, and political aspects embedded within notions of ugliness as well as the aesthetic and philosophical implications of ‘the ugly’.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
• Changing perceptions of the nude
• The geography of decay- the ruinous landscape
• Disease and the body
• Xenophobia
• Class and the representation of the profane and abject
• Ugliness and (pseudo)scientific visual culture: phrenology, physiognomy
• Technology and the body
• Evolutionary Theories and Aesthetics
• Relationships to the ‘exotic’/ ‘other’
• The Grotesque; the monstrous; the strange

We invite papers that address ideas of ugliness and aesthetics and greatly encourage the submission of papers engaging objects from a broad variety of periods, geographies, and social groups. Paper sessions, followed by a panel response and discussion, will occur on Saturday, April 13th followed by the keynote address. Current graduate students in art history and related disciplines are invited to submit an abstract (maximum 300 words) for a twenty-minute presentation and CV to ahasympo@gmail.com by January 10th, 2019. Honoraria will be awarded to all presenters who attend from outside Bloomington.

Call for Papers | Early Modern Privacy: Notions, Spaces, Implications

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 28, 2018

From the Call for Papers:

Early Modern Privacy: Notions, Spaces, Implications
Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, Copenhagen, 9–10 April 2019

Proposals due by 2 December 2018

Pieter Bruegel the Younger, Visit to the Farmhouse, c.1620–30, oil on panel, 37 × 49 cm (Bath: The Holburne Museum).

The Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Privacy Studies (PRIVACY) at the University of Copenhagen invites applications for its inaugural conference. Our goal is to provide an opportunity to discuss and re-examine source material in order to understand practices, spaces, and ideas of privacy and related concepts that emerged in the early modern period across historical disciplines. We welcome (interdisciplinary) considerations of practice and performances of privacy and its opposites, as well as analyses of terminology, vocabulary, and languages, for example, in sources mentioning words using the prefix priv-.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers
• Willem Frijhoff (Erasmus University of Rotterdam)
• Hélène Merlin-Kajman (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3)
• Mia Korpiola (University of Turku)
• Maarten Delbeke (ETH Zurich)

We invite colleagues working within any field of Early Modern studies to submit proposals for papers in English of 20 minutes duration. Please upload paper title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, and a concise CV via PRIVACYs website no later than Sunday, 2 December 2018. Abstracts and CVs should be in English. A limited number of travel bursaries are available on a need basis; submit your travel bursary application with an estimated budget alongside your materials at the link above. For further information, please email privacy@teol.ku.dk. A final program from the conference will be published in early January.

Suggested Topics
• Legal and religious definitions of private and public
• Individuality and subjectivity in relation to private and public spaces
• The emergence of the modern home and life-cycle inside and outside a (house-)hold
• Vagrancy, poverty and homelessness
• Education and access to knowledge
• Confidentiality, gossip, secrecy and surveillance within communities
• Sexual normativity and deviance from sexual norms
• Confessional spaces
• Interior and exterior design and life
• Public and private politics

Organizing Committee
Michaël Green, Natália da Silva Perez, Anna Katharina Becker, Fredrik Torisson

Call for Papers | Antiquarian ‘Science’ in the Scholarly Society

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 28, 2018

From the Call for Papers:

Antiquarian ‘Science’ in the Scholarly Society
Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, 1–2 April 2019

Proposals due by 30 November 2018

This is workshop two of the AHRC International Networking Grant: Collective Wisdom: Collecting in the Early Modern Academy led by Anna Marie Roos (Lincoln) and Vera Keller (Oregon).

We will explore how ‘antiquarian science’ informed collecting in the early modern scholarly academy, as many members of these societies like astronomer Martin Folkes (1690–1754) also were connoisseurs and antiquaries. Folkes was Newton’s protégé, President of both the Royal Society and Society of Antiquaries of London, and he even tried to unite the two societies as they had many common members and goals.

In this workshop we will ask (inter alia):
What was the relationship between archaeological fieldwork or antiquarianism and learned travel or the Grand Tour? What does collecting on tour say about the manner and scale of personal and institutional contacts between London and the scientific world of the Continent? What tools of natural philosophy were utilised to understand buildings and artefacts? What were the implications of the collecting of ethnographic objects for political dominance and Empire?

A working session using sources from the Society of Antiquaries Library and Museum will also be part of the programme. The Society’s library is Britain’s oldest major research library for archaeology, architectural history, decorative arts (especially medieval), material culture and the historic environment. It contains books, archives, manuscripts, prints and drawings. Its accredited museum collection—which was formed before the introduction of public museums and galleries in the mid-18th century—contains prehistoric, classical and medieval antiquities, seal matrices and impressions, and paintings.

Speakers include Philip Beeley (Oxford), Dominik Collet (Heidelberg), Dustin Frazier-Wood (Roehampton), Stephanie Moser (Southhampton), Cesare Pastorino (Berlin), Anna Marie Roos (Lincoln), Edwin Rose (Cambridge), Kim Sloan (British Museum), Alexander Wragge-Morley (UCL), Elizabeth Yale (Iowa)

We welcome papers of 25 minutes duration from established and early career scholars on the themes above. Please send an abstract of 200 words to Anna Marie Roos (aroos@lincoln.ac.uk) by 30 November 2018.

New Book | The Art Market in Rome

Posted in books by Editor on November 27, 2018

From Brill:

Paolo Coen, ed., The Art Market in Rome in the Eighteenth Century: A Study on the Social History of Art (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 234 pages, ISBN: 978-9004388154, 105€ / $121.

Recent interest in the economic aspects of the history of art have taken traditional studies into new areas of enquiry. Going well beyond provenances or prices of individual objects, our understanding of the arts has been advanced by research into the demands, intermediaries, and clients in the market. Eighteenth-century Rome offers a privileged view of such activities, given the continuity of remarkable investments by the local ruling class, combined with the decisive impact of external agents, largely linked to the Grand Tour. This book, the result of collaboration between international specialists, brings back into the spotlight protagonists, facts, and dynamics that have remained unexplored for many years.

Paolo Coen (PhD, 2001) is Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at the University of Teramo. He has published monographs, essays, and articles on the Roman ‘art system’, which span from the seventeenth to early nineteenth century.


• Paolo Coen, The Art Market in Rome in the Eighteenth Century: A Study in the Modern ‘Social History’ of Art
• Peter Burke, The Social Histories of Art
• Renata Ago, The Value of a Work of Art: Minor Collections and Display
• Patrizia Cavazzini, Marketing Strategies and the Creation of Taste in Seventeenth-Century Rome
• Raffaella Morselli, Jan Meyssens’ 1649 Portfolio of Artists: The Conception and Composition of the Book Image de divers hommes d’esprit sublime (and the Inclusion of Three Italian Painters)
• Valter Curzi, Moral Subjects and Exempla Virtutis at the Start of the Eighteenth Century: Art and Politics in England, Rome and Venice
• Giovanna Perini Folesani, Sir Joshua Reynolds in Rome, 1750–1752: The Debut of an Artist, an Art Collector, or an Art Dealer?
• Paolo Coen, Brownlow Cecil, Ninth Earl of Exeter, Thomas Jenkins, and Nicolas Mosman: Origins, Functions, and Aesthetic Guidelines of a Great Drawing Collection in Eighteenth-Century Rome, Now at the British Museum
• Brian Allen, The Capture of the Westmorland and the Purchase of Art in Rome in the 1770s
• Daniela Gallo, Economic and Scholarly Appraisal of Ancient Marbles in Late Eighteenth-Century Rome
• Maria Teresa Caracciolo, Jean-Baptiste Wicar in Rome (1784–1834): Fifty Years of Purchases, Sales, and Appraisals of Works of Art

Exhibition | Secret Tiepolo

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on November 26, 2018

Seven frescoes by Giandomenico Tiepolo are on public view for the first time in Vicenza:

Secret Tiepolo / Tiepolo Segreto
Palladio Museum, Vicenza, 3 November 2017 — 31 December 2018

Curated by Guido Beltramini and Fabrizio Magani

Sette straordinari affreschi di Giandomenico Tiepolo (1727–1804) da oltre cinquant’anni anni erano conservati nelle residenze dei proprietari che coraggiosamente li salvarono dalle distruzioni belliche. Oggi gli eredi, convinti dell’opportunità di un godimento pubblico di tali capolavori, li hanno destinati al Palladio Museum. Ad essi viene dedicata una mostra, realizzata grazie alle competenze e alla collaborazione della Soprintendenza di Verona diretta da Fabrizio Magani, che la cura insieme al direttore del Palladio Museum, Guido Beltramini.

In questa vicenda s’intrecciano più storie. Quella della straordinaria arte dei Tiepolo, in grado di trasformare dalla radice la tradizione frescante veneta. Quella della difesa del patrimonio artistico negli anni cupi della seconda guerra mondiale. Ma esiste una terza storia che lega in modo indissolubile gli affreschi di Palazzo Valmarana Franco agli studi palladiani: essi infatti sono realizzati due decenni dopo la straordinaria decorazione di Villa Valmarana ai Nani, per il figlio del committente, Gaetano Valmarana. Nella dimora suburbana a poca distanza dalla Rotonda palladiana, per il padre Giustino Valmarana, i Tiepolo celebrano la naturalezza di una vita ‘moralizzata’ in campagna. Vent’anni dopo, in città, a poca distanza dal Teatro Olimpico, il registro è completamente diverso: Tiepolo concepisce per il figlio una riedizione in pittura della magnificente scena del teatro all’antica di Palladio adottando non più il registro lieve e scherzoso della vita agreste ma il linguaggio aulico, monocromo ma nondimeno guizzante, della vicina architettura palladiana.

“Siamo orgogliosi di poter contribuire alla cultura della nostra città—dichiarano Camillo e Giovanni Franco, proprietari degli affreschi—con una parte della storia della nostra famiglia.” Fu fra l’altro Fausto Franco, zio dei generosi proprietari e Soprintendente ai Monumenti, a seguire il salvataggio degli affreschi di famiglia nel 1945. Dieci anni dopo lo stesso Franco, insieme—fra gli altri—a Rodolfo Pallucchini, Anthony Blunt, Rudolf Wittkower e André Chastel, fu fra i tredici fondatori del primo Consiglio scientifico del Centro palladiano, coordinato da Renato Cevese.

Tiepolo Segreto (Vicenza, Palladium Museum, 2018), 80 pages, ISBN: 978-8899765781, 17€.

Call for Papers | Rome and Lisbon in the 18th Century

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 26, 2018

From the Call for Papers:

Rome and Lisbon in the 18th Century: Music, Visual Arts, and Cultural Transfers
National Library of Portugal, Lisbon, 28–29 March 2019

Proposals due by 10 January 2019

Jean Ranc, Portrait of John (João) V, King of Portugal, 1729, oil on canvas, 109 × 91 cm (Madrid: The Prado).

Political, diplomatic, cultural, and artistic relations—including music and the visual arts—between Rome and Lisbon in the 18th century have, at different times, aroused the interest of several scholars. However, these research fields have often been approached in parallel paths within the traditions of each of the disciplines, without establishing in most cases a true dialogue between the different areas of knowledge and disregarding cross-cutting issues. On the other hand, the study of artistic relations and cultural transfers presupposes an in-depth and up-to-date view of the historical and social context of each city in their own peculiarities. This international conference intends to promote new approaches to the history of music and the arts through multidisciplinary dialogue involving different points of view. We invite researchers at any stage of their career, with backgrounds ranging from different fields (such as political, economic, cultural and art history, musicology, literature, and philosophy, among others) to send us a proposal.

We encourage submissions on the following topics, but other related issues might also be considered:
• Politics and diplomacy
• Arts, music, and diplomacy
• Royal, aristocratic, and cardinalic patronage
• Circulation of people between Rome and Lisbon (in political, religious, scientific, intellectual, and artistic spheres)
• Portuguese in Rome and Italians in Lisbon
• Foreign communities in Rome
• Circulation of musical repertoires, works of art, books, or scientific instruments
• Formal and informal training of musicians and artists
• Professional careers in the field of visual and performing arts
• Artistic, intellectual and sociability networks
• Spaces and institutions linked to music and the arts
• Stylistic issues and performance practices

Scholars are invited to submit proposals for individual papers with a maximum length of 20 minutes, as well as thematic panels with three or four communications (maximum duration: 1h30). Proposals should be submitted in English but presentations in Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Italian are also accepted. Please include complete contact information (name, email, and phone number), institutional affiliation, an abstract (300 words maximum), and a brief biographical note (150 words max). Proposals should be submitted no later than 10 January 2019, and sent to romeandlisbon@gmail.com.

Parallel with the symposium, the National Library of Lisbon will host the exhibition From the Tagus to the Tiber: Portuguese Musicians and Artists in 18th-Century Rome, curated by Pilar Diez del Corral and Cristina Fernandes.

• Research group ‘Historical and Cultural Studies in Music’ from INET-md, Instituto de Etnomusicologia – Centro de Estudos em Música e Dança, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NOVA FCSH)
• Department of Art History, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid

Board of Directors
• Pilar Diez del Corral Corredoira
• Cristina Fernandes

Scientific Committee
• Manuel Carlos de Brito (NOVA FCSH, Lisboa)
• Elisa Camboni (Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, Roma)
• Pilar Diez del Corral Corredoira (UNED, Madrid)
• Cristina Fernandes (INET-md, NOVA FCSH, Lisboa)
• Anne-Madeleine Goulet (CNRS, Projecto Performart-Roma)
• Teresa Leonor M. Vale (ARTIS, Universidade de Lisboa)
• Rui Vieira Nery (INET-md, NOVA FCSH/Fundação Gulbenkian, Lisboa)

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