Exhibition | Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley

Posted in exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on January 31, 2020

Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1800–01, oil on canvas, 102 × 87 inches (Château de Malmaison); and Kehinde Wiley, Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps, 2005, oil on canvas, 108 × 108 inches (Brooklyn Museum, Partial gift of Suzi and Andrew Booke Cohen in memory of Ilene R. Booke and in honor of Arnold L. Lehman, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, and William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund, 2015.53), © Kehinde Wiley.

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Press release (via Art Daily) for the exhibition:

Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley
Château de Malmaison, 9 October 2019 — 6 January 2020
Brooklyn Museum, New York, January 24–May 10, 2020

Curated by Lisa Small and Eugenie Tsai

The Brooklyn Museum presents Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley, an exhibition pairing an iconic painting from the Museum’s collection—Kehinde Wiley’s Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps (2005)—with its early nineteenth-century source image, Jacques-Louis David’s Bonaparte Crossing the Alps (1800–01). By displaying the two paintings together, in dialogue with each other for the first time, the exhibition explores how ideas of race, masculinity, representation, power, and agency have played out across the history of Western portraiture. The presentation is organized by the Brooklyn Museum in collaboration with the Château de Malmaison, where the original version of David’s portrait is permanently displayed. Before traveling to the Brooklyn Museum, the two paintings were on view at the Chateau de Malmaison (Kehinde Wiley Rencontre Jacques-Louis David).

David’s famous portrait was commissioned in 1800 by King Charles IV of Spain in an effort to win the favor of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was then First Consul of France. In the two centuries since its commission, Bonaparte Crossing the Alps has inspired numerous interpretations, but none seem to resonate in contemporary culture as much as Wiley’s large-scale version. In his Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps, Napoleon is replaced with a Black man wearing camouflage fatigues and Timberland boots. By combining the role, stature, and implied historical legacy depicted in Bonaparte Crossing the Alps with visual markers of status from contemporary African American culture, Wiley challenges the art historical canon, critiquing how it has routinely overlooked the collective Black cultural experience.

David posed Napoleon in the tradition of equestrian portraits of historical commanders like Hannibal and Charlemagne, amplifying the grandeur of the portrait, which commemorated the First Consul and Reserve Army’s expedition through the Great Saint Bernard Pass, in the Alps. In the painting, Napoleon leads his soldiers from atop a rearing steed; in actuality he made this journey on the back of a mule. This is just one example of how Bonaparte Crossing the Alps constructed a strategic image of the General as a triumphant military leader while departing from historical accuracy.

In Wiley’s interpretation, the artist replaced the Italian mountainside and ready infantry with a detailed background flooded with sperm cells. To this ensemble, he added an ornate gilded frame with testicular-shaped cartouches in each corner and crowned by a carved self-portrait emerging from yonic volutes. The result transforms and challenges the grand tradition of historical portraiture established by artists like David, calling attention to the long-standing blind spots of canonical Western painting and the need to redress historical biases. The work belongs to an ongoing series of Wiley’s titled Rumors of War, begun in 2005, which includes the artist’s latest work of the same name: a monumental equestrian bronze statue in New York’s Times Square, which was unveiled in September 2019 and is now in the collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley at the Brooklyn Museum marks the first display of David’s portrait in New York, and the first time the two works have been on view together in the United States. To highlight this important occasion, Wiley collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum on the exhibition design for the U.S. presentation. A video showing Wiley on the grounds of Malmaison also accompanies the project, incorporating the artist’s perspectives on how the Western canon, French portrait tradition, and legacies of colonialism influence his own practice. When displayed together, these two works highlight the importance of re-examining representations of power across two centuries and two cultural contexts.

The exhibition also features a selection of complimentary works by Wiley, including a small-scale version of the artist’s recent monumental equestrian statue, Rumors of War. Also on display is Houdon Paul-Louis, a 2011 bust by Wiley that is part of the Museum’s collection. Several works from the Museum’s collection are also on display to provide historical context for Napoleon, including a small bronze equestrian portrait by Antoine-Louis Barye, medals struck by the Emperor to commemorate his achievements, and British prints brutally satirizing him.

Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and Musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau. The Brooklyn presentation is curated by Lisa Small, Senior Curator, European Art, and Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.

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A booklet for the exhibition at the Châteaux de Malmaison, with brief essays by Emmanuel Delbouis and Élodie Vaysse, is available as a PDF file here (in French and English).

Lecture | David Pullins, On the Sofa and French Painting

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on January 31, 2020

Next month at BGC:

David Pullins, The Sofa: Furnishing Moral Tales in Eighteenth-Century French Painting
Bard Graduate Center, New York, 18 February 2019

Etched frontispiece from Le Sopha: conte moral (Paris: edition of 1774).

David Pullins will deliver a Françoise and Georges Selz Lecture on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century French Decorative Arts and Culture on Tuesday, February 18, at 6pm. His talk is entitled “The Sofa: Furnishing Moral Tales in Eighteenth-Century French Painting.” The success of Crébillon fils’s exoticist novel The Sofa: A Moral Tale (1742) suggests the blend of celebrity and infamy that marked this relatively new furniture form, inspired by traditional Ottoman culture. Pullins’s talk links the sofa and its often opulent upholstery to the rise of new domestic spaces and new forms of bodily comportment, while tracing its innovation representations in images such as François Boucher’s Lady on her Daybed (1743) and Blonde Odalisque (1752), Gabriel de Saint-Aubin’s Private Academy (c.1755), and the contemporary genre subjects and tableaux de mode popularized by Nicolas Lancret and Jean-François de Troy.

David Pullins is an Associate Curator in the Department of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He received his MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art and PhD from Harvard University with a dissertation that addressed the training and workshop practices of eighteenth-century French painters but which took many methodological cues from the study of the decorative arts. His research has been supported by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Dumbarton Oaks, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA). Previously an Assistant Curator at The Frick Collection, he has published in The Burlington Magazine, Journal of Art Historiography, Master Drawings, Oxford Art Journal, Print Quarterly, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, as well as exhibition catalogs and edited volumes including Renoir: Between Bohemia and Bourgeoisie: The Early Years (Kunstmuseum, Basel: 2011) and Histories of Ornament. From Global to Local, edited by Gülru Necipoğlu and Alina Payne (Princeton University Press: 2016).

This event will be livestreamed. Please check back to the BGC website the day of the event for a link to the video. To watch videos of past events please visit our YouTube page.

Call for Papers | Manufacturing the Past

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 31, 2020

From ArtHist.net:

Manufacturing the Past
European University at St. Petersburg, 8–10 October 2020

Proposals due by 20 April 2020

In 2018 the international conference History and Its Images, organized by the Department of Art History of the European University at St. Petersburg, was dedicated to Francis Haskell’s seminal book of the same title, which greatly influenced the study of the visualization of the past. In 2020 we will host a second conference on the representation of the past in the arts and visual culture. Among the questions to be discussed are: how the visual arts and visual culture produce images of the past, how these images were perceived by the different communities and how they were transformed by the national context of their production.

Current study of the visualization of history, the manufacturing of a collective past, rarely deals with the Islamic world, which, during over the last fifty years has been undergoing dramatic social change as new identities are constructed and the past reconsidered. We plan to have a special panel dealing with the issues of visual presentation of history in art in Islamic countries and with the role of art and architecture in this process. The conference will focus on the following interrelated panels:

Visualizing history and ideology
Propaganda and representation of history
The role of the visual arts in the invention of history
Visual art, history and the construction of national / identity

Visualizing history in the context of the historical culture
The function of historical knowledge in the artistic context
The influence of historical studies on the production of works of art
The role of works of art in the historical teaching
Images of the past and society’s conceptions of the past
Visualizing history and the question of evidence
Visualizing history and the issue of historical memory

Visualizing history in the art of Islamic countries

Visualizing history and Orientalism

We are happy to consider proposals on other themes and subjects remain relevant to the main topic of the conference.

The proposals for twenty minutes presentation should include the following information:
1. Information about participant (full name and academic status)
2. Contact information
3. Proposal (400 words)
Proposals should be sent to: visualizinghistory2020@gmail.com by 20 April 2020.

Working languages of the conference: Russian and English

Organizing committee: Ilia Dorontchenkov, Natalia Mazur, Vladimir Lapin, Anna Korndorf, Evgeniy Anisimov, Jean-Frédéric Schaub, Maria Chukcheeva

Please note that travel and accommodation expenses of the participants of the conference organizing committee are not able to cover. We are however able to give visas support for foreign participants (invitation letter).

New Book | Fringe, Frog, and Tassel

Posted in books by Editor on January 30, 2020

From Bloomsbury:

Annabel Westman, Fringe, Frog, and Tassel: The Art of the Trimmings-Maker (London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2020), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-1781300756, $70.

The first survey of the history, design, and use of trimmings in the historic interior in Britain and Ireland which will become the standard work on the subject.

Trimmings are often overlooked as mere details of a furnished interior, but in the past they were seen as vital and costly elements in the decoration of a room. They were used not only on curtains and beds but also on wall hangings, upholstered seat furniture, and cushions, providing a visual feast for the eye with their colour and intricate detail. Sometimes more expensive than the rich fabrics they enhanced, trimmings are often the only surviving evidence of a lost decorative scheme, reapplied to replacement textiles or found as fragments in the attic.

This book, the first of its kind, traces their history in Britain and Ireland from 1320 to 1970, examining the design and usage of tassels, fringe, braid (woven lace), gimp, and cord and their dependence on French fashion. Lavishly illustrated with new photography, the substantial text links surviving items in historic houses and museums to written evidence, paintings, drawings, and other primary sources to provide a firm framework for dating pieces of less-certain provenance. The importance of the ‘laceman’, the maker of these trimmings, is also examined within an economic and social context, together with the relationship to the upholsterer and interior decorator in the creation of a fashionable room.

Annabel Westman is an independent textile historian and consultant and is the Executive Director of The Attingham Trust. Since 1980 she has specialized in the restoration of historic interiors for heritage bodies (including the National Trust, English Heritage, Historic Royal Palaces, museums and historic house trusts), researching original furnishing schemes and advising on their implementation. Over the years, she has worked on a broad range of projects, has lectured widely, and has published many articles on furnishing textiles in some of the leading art history publications. She is a trustee and member of the interiors working group for the Stowe House Preservation Trust and was appointed a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1997.


1  The Role of the Silkwoman, 1320–1550
2  The Role of the Silkman, 1550–1660
3  Baroque Exuberance, 1660–1690
4  Baroque Embellishment, 1690–1715
5  Palladian Restraint, 1715–1760
6  Neoclassical Interlude, 1760–1790
7  Regency Excess, 1790–1830
8  Victorian Extravagance, 1830–1880
9  Retrospection and Restraint, 1880–1970

Exhibition | The Cloth that Changed the World

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 29, 2020

Opening in April at the ROM:

The Cloth that Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 4 April — 27 September 2020

Made with novel cotton, vivid colours and exuberant design, the painted and printed cottons of India changed human history; they revolutionized art, fashion, and science wherever they went around the globe. Featuring pieces from the Museum’s world-renowned collection and several important international loans, this ROM original exhibition explores how over thousands of years India’s artisans have created, perfected, and innovated these printed and painted multicoloured cotton fabrics to fashion the body, honour divinities, and beautify palaces and homes.

Exploring the fascinating stories behind the making and trade of these glorious pieces past and present, The Cloth that Changed the World considers India’s textile innovations and their influences on fashion, trade, and industry around the world in places as far as Cairo, Japan, Sumatra, London, and Ottawa. They were the luxury fabric of their day, coveted by all, and one of the great inventions that drew foreigners to India’s shores hungry for more. Discover how through trade-routes, encounters, and exchange, these cloths connected cultures, inspired imitation and, quite literally, changed the world. Experience how India’s designers and makers today are innovating for new times and audiences.

Sarah Fee, ed., with a preface by Sven Beckert, Cloth that Changed the World: The Art and Fashion of Indian Chintz (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2020), 312 pages, ISBN: 978-0300246797, $50.

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This ROM blog posting from 6 July 2018 looks back to the museum’s 1970 exhibition:

The Origins of Chintz
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 8 April — 28 May 1970

“Chintz… the exotic fabric from India that caught Europe’s fancy… So popular it was banned in England and France… Revolutionized Europe’s textile printing industry.”

Thus exclaimed the brochure that accompanied the ROM’s landmark exhibition, The Origins of Chintz, which opened in April, 1970, now nearly fifty years ago. Occupying the whole of the central ground gallery, known today as Currelly’s Court, the exhibition displayed nearly 100 towering examples of Indian ‘chintz’. . . .

Half of the one hundred objects displayed in the ROM exhibition Origins of Chintz came from the ROM’s own great holdings, particularly the 1934 donation from the estate of Harry Wearne (1852–1929), a British-born textile and wall paper designer. London’s Victoria & Albert (V&A) museum loaned almost forty treasures, including its unique ‘Garrick bed’: these Indian chintz bed coverings are famous both for their grandeur and for the impassioned letters that Mr. Garrick sent to customs officials in London begging for their return; the fabrics had been impounded during the aforementioned import ban on Indian chintz, meant to protect local British silk and linen weavers. A few additional masterpieces—including a seventeenth-century hanging from a Deccan Indian court palace—came on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, and Austrian Decorative Art Museum of Vienna. . . .

The full posting is available here»

Exhibition | Artful Nature: Fashion and Theatricality, 1770–1830

Posted in exhibitions, lectures (to attend) by Editor on January 28, 2020

Opening next week at the Lewis Walpole Library:

Artful Nature: Fashion and Theatricality, 1770–1830
Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington, CT, 6 February — 22 May 2020

Curated by Laura Engel and Amelia Rauser

G. M. Woodward, ‘The Art of Fainting in Company’, 1797, hand-colored etching, Plate 7 from ‘An Olio of Good Breeding: With Sketches Illustrative of the Modern Graces!!’ (London, 1797).

Between 1770 and 1830, both fashionable dress and theatrical practice underwent dramatic changes in an attempt to become more ‘natural’. And yet this desire was widely recognized as paradoxical, since both fashion and the theater were longstanding tropes of artifice. In this exhibition, we examine this paradox of ‘artful nature’ through the changing conception of theatricality during these decades, as mirrored and expressed in fashionable dress. Theater and performance practices in the late eighteenth-century, including the vogue for private theatricals, reinforced the blurred lines between the theater and everyday life. Classical sculpture became a reference point for women, as its artistic excellence was acclaimed precisely because it seemed so ‘natural’. But when actresses, dancers, painters, or just regular fashionistas posed themselves as classical statues come to life, they acted as both Pygmalion and Galatea, both the genius artist and the living artwork. ‘Artful Nature’ refers simultaneously to the theatricality and deception typically attributed to fashionable women in the late eighteenth century, and at the same time to the potential survival strategies employed by women artists, authors, and actresses to craft their own parts. The exhibition is curated by Laura Engel, Professor of English at Duquesne University, and Amelia Rauser, Professor of Art History at Franklin & Marshall College.


Joseph Roach, Fashionable Enemies: Glamour as Argument, 1770–1830
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Thursday, 6 February, 5.30pm

Joseph Roach, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Theater and Professor Emeritus of English, Yale University, will deliver a keynote lecture in association with the opening of the exhibition Artful Nature: Fashion and Theatricality, 1770–1830.

Amelia Rauser and Laura Engel, Artful Nature
Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington, Wednesday, 13 May, 7.00pm

Amelia Rauser and Laura Engel, the curators of Artful Nature: Fashion and Theatricality, 1770–1830, discuss the exhibition. The talk is presented in collaboration with the Farmington Libraries. Space is limited, and registration is required.

Performance: Mary Berry’s Fashionable Friends
Cowles House, Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington, Friday, 15 May

Under the direction of Laura Engel, a performance based on Mary Berry’s Fashionable Friends, acted as an amateur theatrical at Strawberry Hill in November 1801, is planned for May 15, 2020 in the newly restored eighteenth-century Cowles House on the campus of The Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut.

Seminar | How to Write Articles for Publication

Posted in graduate students, opportunities by Editor on January 28, 2020

From ArtHist.net:

How to Write Articles for Publication
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 22 April 2020

Applications due by 2 March 2020

Join the editorial board of Master Drawings journal to learn strategies for translating your research into an article. A series of presentations will be followed by an interactive session in which participants will be divided into smaller groups to work closely with one of the journal’s editors. The seminar is open to 20 recent Ph.D. recipients and advanced graduate students in the history of art whose work focuses on drawings. The course takes place at The Morgan Library & Museum on Wednesday, April 22nd. The application deadline is March 2nd and should be submitted electronically with the subject header ‘Writing Seminar’ to administrator@masterdrawings.org. Participants will be notified by 1 April 2020. More information, as well as the online application form is available here. The seminar is made possible through the generous support of Baymeath Art Trust.

Call for Papers | Jewish Topographies

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 28, 2020

From ArtHist.net:

Jewish Topographies: 5th International Congress on Jewish Architecture
Technische Universität Braunschweig, 21–23 September 2020

Proposals due by 27 February 2020

Bet Tfila—Research Unit for Jewish Architecture in Europe will organize the conference Jewish Topographies: 5th International Congress on Jewish Architecture at the Technische Universität Braunschweig. The conference will focus on the meaning of the term ‘Jewish topography’ (jüdische Topographie) and also on how historical phenomena can be categorized both socially and culturally. Jewish residential areas and settlements, facilities of Jewish communities (such as synagogues, cemeteries, schools, or hospitals), or locations of companies and shops can form significant topographical networks in cities and landscapes. Jewish topographies stand in a spatial and social context with corresponding places of the non-Jewish population, in which different cultural, religious, or ethnic groups find their own spaces. Conflicts and cooperations, exclusions and limitations emerge in the spatial relationships between these locations and their respective urban and architectural design reflect the possibilities and expectations of the respective and related groups.

The conference aims at examining different levels of Jewish topographies: the spectrum of possible contributions ranges from macro studies to cross-region networks of Jewish communities or Jewish institutions and people (e. g., commercial networks, Verbandsfriedhöfe (association cemeteries)), to locations and facilities of the individual communities (e. g., Judengassen (Jews Lanes), eruv, DP-Camps), to micro studies of residential areas or individual facilities and buildings. Topographies of forced housing (such as ghettos, concentration camps, and Judenhäuser (Jewish houses) may also be discussed. Religious and profane places and objects will be viewed; synchronous and diachronic perspectives will also be welcomed. The focus of the conference is on developments after the Middle Ages. However, comparative studies on earlier epochs are as welcome as general theoretical and systematic studies, e. g., on symbolic, religious, and literary topographies. Ideas on how Jewish topographies can be appropriately researched, represented, and later conveyed may also be further subjects of discussion. The conference will be held in English.

Please send your abstract (max. 2400 characters) and your CV (max. 1200 characters) including your academic affiliation by 27 February 2020, to Dipl.-Ing. Mirko Przystawik (m.przystawik@tu-bs.de).

The academic board and the organizers will decide on acceptance by 12 March 2020. The publication of selected articles in the Bet Tfila’s Series of Publications is planned. The organizers endeavor to cover travel and accommodation costs for the speakers; this depends, however, on the approval of corresponding funding applications.

For any questions, please contact
Dipl.-Ing. Mirko Przystawik, m.przystawik@tu-bs.de
Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Knufinke, u-j.knufinke@tu-bs.de

Exhibition | Ukiyo-e Prints from the Mary Ainsworth Collection

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 27, 2020

Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760–1849), Fuji in Clear Weather (Red Fuji), from the series Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji, early 1830s
(Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ainsworth Bequest, 1950.711)

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Press release for the exhibition (via Art Daily). . .

Ukiyo-e Prints from the Mary Ainsworth Collection
Chiba City Museum of Art, 13 April — 26 May 2019
Shizuoka City Museum of Art, 8 June — 28 July 2019
Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts, 10 August to 29 September 2019
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio, 14 January — 14 June 2020

Curated by Kevin Greenwood

In 1950, the Allen Memorial Art Museum received a surprise gift of more than 1,500 Japanese woodblock prints featuring actors, courtesans, and landscapes of the ‘floating world’ of 17th- to 19th-century Japan. This bequest became a cornerstone of the Allen’s renowned Asian art collection, and 200 of the works traveled back to Japan last year for a tour of museums in Chiba (near Tokyo), Shizuoka, and Osaka. Now more than 100 of these prints are on view in Ukiyo-e Prints from the Mary Ainsworth Collection, an Oberlin exhibition that runs through June 14, 2020.

Mary Andrews Ainsworth (1867–1950) graduated from Oberlin College in 1889 and made her first sea voyage to Japan in 1906. The country had recently emerged from centuries of isolation and was beginning a period of rapid industrial development. Ainsworth, however, was attracted to an earlier Japan: that of the Edo period (1603–1868). In this more peaceful era, a world of entertainment arose—ephemeral pursuits made even more popular through the wide distribution of color woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e, or ‘pictures of the floating world’.

“The Ainsworth collection represents the history and evolution of Japanese woodblock printmaking, with high-quality examples of the major subjects, styles, and artists of ukiyo-e. Together, they convey much of the richness and complexity of Japan’s print tradition,” said Kevin R. E. Greenwood, the Allen’s Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art. “We were approached by one of Japan’s leading ukiyo-e scholars to do this exhibition, which confirms the importance of Ainsworth’s collection,” he said. “In the process of working together, we discovered some impressions not known in any other collections.”

Ukiyo-e Prints from the Mary Ainsworth Collection is presented in four sections that span the history of the medium. Early prints (1680–1770) were monochrome, often with hand-coloring added; the carbon-black ink was made from pine soot. Around 1745, with the invention of a way to register, or align, wooden blocks, artists such as Ishikawa Toyonobu began printing in two colors: red and green. These benizuri-e prints, or ‘crimson-printed pictures’, sometimes included a third color, yellow, brown, or indigo. In the 1760s, Suzuki Harunobu was the first major producer of prints using more than three blocks.

The second part of the show, Beauties and Actors (1770–1800), includes works by Kitagawa Utamaro, Chobunsai Eishi, and other artists who helped to popularize the many theaters, tea houses, and celebrities of the pleasure district in Edo (now Tokyo). Ukiyo-e artists not only made prints for sale to Japan’s growing merchant class, but also were hired to produce posters and advertisements for theatrical performances.

The third section, Hokusai and Kuniyoshi (1780–1850), highlights the rise of landscapes in Japanese printmaking, which was due in part to the introduction of a chemical pigment called Prussian blue. Six prints from Katsushika Hokusai’s series Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji are included, along with Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s prints of bridges, ferries, and heroes from history and legend.

The final section (1830–1858) is devoted to prints by Utagawa Hiroshige I. Works by this prolific artist comprise more than half of the Ainsworth collection. The exhibition presents thirty-six works by Hiroshige I, including nine from his 1830s series Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō and thirteen from his 1857 series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo—prime examples of some of the finest woodblock prints ever produced in Japan.

“This extensive exhibition and its accompanying catalogue have been years in coming to fruition,” said Andria Derstine, John G. W. Cowles Director of the Allen. “We are thrilled to present, for the first time in decades, such a large portion of our Ainsworth collection, both at the Allen and to enthusiastic audiences in Japan.”

Organized by Kevin R. E. Greenwood, Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art, with Masako Tanabe and Marie Matsuoka, Chiba City Museum of Art; Saori Oishi, Shizuoka City Museum of Art; Eri Yoshida, Weikado Bunko Art Museum; Tatsuya Akita and Yasuko Kikuchi, Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts; Hiromi Sone, Mangosteen, Inc.; and Luoying Sheng ’20, AMAM curatorial assistant in Asian art education.

Call for Papers | Museum Networks and Museum History

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 26, 2020

From the Museums and Galleries History Group:

Museum Networks and Museum History
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 16–17 July 2020

Proposals due by 6 March 2020

Networks have become an increasingly important part of the analytical toolkit used by historians of museums and collections. As scholars have moved away from narrative institutional histories, they have embraced the study of social and material networks as approaches which expand understandings of museums. In Chris Gosden and Frances Larson’s words, museums can then be seen as “innumerable sets of connections between people and objects …[which] extend over time and through space.” Such approaches have themselves been fuelled by the growth of similar ideas such as Actor Network Theory and object biographies.

These new approaches have been especially useful in recovering forms of agency beyond those of powerful institutional actors, especially curators, and have highlighted the contributions of, for example, object creators and mediators, informants and collecting assistants, as well as, sometimes, of objects themselves. They have drawn attention to the formation of new social identities and forms of expertise; have shown the extent of material flows around the world in relation to museums; revealed the role of affect and the relational in museum history; and encouraged closer attention to the different physical properties of things. There have, though, been some differences of emphasis on whether networks in museum history are a useful metaphor, a set of statistical analyses, or a theoretical model.

This conference seeks to take critical stock of the role of networks in understanding the history of museums and collections. It welcomes proposals which use networks of various sorts as tools of analysis, or which engage with the methodological/theoretical issues raised by networks and/or the rejection of network approaches. It is keen to see proposals which interrogate approaches from other disciplines. Contributions may respond to (but are not limited to):
• Networks of museum donors and makers
• Networks and empire; networks and power
• Professional networks and modern identities
• Global and transnational networks
• Networks and the role of indigenous knowledge
• Affect and the role of materiality
• Actor Network Theory and museum/collection history
• Networks of museums, collections, people, objects
• Museum practice and museum networks
• The limits of networks as analytical tools

Submissions may be for individual papers, panels of three papers, or posters. Paper proposals should be for papers of twenty minutes’ length. Proposals should be 250 words maximum and include a title as well as the name, contact details and affiliation (if applicable) of the speaker. Panel proposals should consist of a panel title, proposals for three papers, along with a rationale for the panel theme, and contact details and affiliations (if applicable) of all participants. Please indicate whether you will provide a chair for your session or not (it does not matter which). Poster proposals are also welcomed. Please follow proposal guidelines for papers while indicating clearly that a poster is proposed. All the above proposals should be sent to contact@mghg.info by 6 March 2020. Please note all speakers and poster presenters will be expected to pay the conference registration fee, but we aim to keep the fee as low as possible.

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