Call for Papers | Paintings, Peepshows, and Porcupines

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 22, 2019

From the Call for Papers:

Paintings, Peepshows, and Porcupines: Exhibitions in London, 1775–1851
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California, 17–18 September 2021

Organized by Jordan Bear and Catherine Roach

Proposals due by 1 April 2020

In 1820, the Romantic painter Théodore Géricault sent his now-famous image of a shipwreck, The Raft of the Medusa, by boat to London. There, it was shown at Bullock’s Egyptian Hall, a display space that also featured attractions as varied as live reindeer and Napoleon’s carriage, captured at Waterloo. This well-known episode was not an aberration or a Romantic eccentricity; it was, quite simply, business as usual. In many nineteenth-century cities, exhibiting outside of official art venues was not uncommon, nor was it necessarily an act of rebellion. Recent scholarship has challenged preconceptions about audience and cultural hierarchy in relation to Géricault’s Raft, but we are only beginning to understand the role of artworks within a broader culture of display.

This conference will assemble an international group of distinguished scholars to rethink some of our fundamental assumptions about exhibitions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It will focus on London as the center of an exhibitionary culture and as a hub of empire. It will consider a vibrant period of this culture, roughly from the opening in 1775 of the Leverian Museum, or Holophusikon, brimming with artifacts from Captain Cook’s voyages, to the staging in 1851 of the Great Exhibition, which inaugurated a new age of international shows.

The protagonist of many of the most influential art historical studies of recent decades has been the figure of the spectator, who has brought with her a revitalized engagement with the surprisingly varied modes of the reception of works of art. And while the foregrounding of the experience of the spectator, or ‘beholder’, or ‘observer’, has broadened the compass of the discipline considerably, we still hold a relatively orthodox view of the kinds of venues, events, and display practices that are deemed worthy of inquiry. Even as art historians have valorized the expressive possibilities of alternative exhibition spaces so central to avant-garde identity, the appearance of paintings in the precincts of commercial entertainment has, for many years, been consigned to a position of marginal curiosity in the history of art. Exhibition-makers are often characterized as either renegades or hucksters—as if aesthetically daring artists were not part of the market, or as if commercial displays could not contain works of aesthetic or cultural merit. Both the sheen of avant-garde rebellion and the tarnish of lucre continue to color approaches to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century displays.

Even the most adventurous of recent studies have not fully accounted for the most singular feature of the display of these works of art in the first decades of the century: their embeddedness in an exhibitionary landscape consisting of the richest imaginable array of artifacts, environments, and living creatures. Imperialist expansion and the need to justify it brought an increasingly wide range of objects to European urban centers. Moreover, these diverse displays were consumed in concert. They were part of a round of seasonal entertainments that might include viewing oil paintings in the morning and taxidermy in the afternoon—or viewing examples of both at a single venue. To recapture this context, talks given at this event will consider relationships among venues or trace the circulation of objects and visitors among multiple sites of display.

Speakers will include
• Ann Bermingham (University of California, Santa Barbara)
• Rosie Dias (University of Warwick)
• Meredith Gamer (Columbia University)
• Mark Hallett (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)
• John Plunkett (University of Exeter)

We are now seeking additional speakers to join this roster. Early career scholars and scholars from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. We anticipate that papers will be 35–40 minutes in length, and will be presented to the Huntington’s larger scholarly community. The generous support of the Huntington’s Research Department will cover economy airfare, hotel accommodation, and incidental transport expenses for speakers. To apply, please send an abstract of 250 words and a CV to huntingtonconference2021@gmail.com by 1 April 2020.

Call for Applications | Masterclass on Wax-Resin Linings

Posted in opportunities by Editor on November 22, 2019

From the programme flyer:

Conserving Canvas Initiative — The Dutch Method Unfolded: Masterclass on Wax-Resin Linings
University of Amsterdam, 29 June — 10 July 2020

Applications due by 14 December 2019

The Department of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is pleased to announce The Dutch Method Unfolded, a masterclass on wax-resin linings to be held at the UvA from 29 June to 10 July 2020. The two-week program is supported by the Getty Foundation as part of its Conserving Canvas initiative.

The goal of the masterclass is to disseminate knowledge on the history of wax-resin linings, a remedial conservation method invented in the Netherlands in the first half of the 19th century and extensively used by paintings conservators in Europe and abroad until the 1970s. The masterclass will also inform on the impact of wax-resin linings on the physical and material characteristics of paintings. Furthermore, it will provide a platform to share expertise and reflect on the consequences of the method for today’s conservation of lined paintings.

The masterclass is a joint initiative of the University of Amsterdam with the following Dutch museums: Frans Hals Museum, Amsterdam Museum, Mauritshuis, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and Van Gogh Museum, in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) and the Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL).
The masterclass is offered to a group of maximum 14 mid-career professionals in conservation including conservators of cultural heritage, art historians, curators, collection manager, and conservation scientists. The participants of the masterclass will receive funding for travel and accommodation.

The participants of the masterclass will be selected via an open call which closing date is 14 December 2019. Further information regarding registration and the program, is available here. For inquiries, please contact the program organization at wax-resin-fgw@uva.nl. Further information on the Getty’s initiative can be found here.

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