Call for Papers | Ma thèse en histoire de l’art en 180 secondes

Posted in Calls for Papers, graduate students by Editor on February 29, 2020

From ArtHist.net:

Ma thèse en histoire de l’art en 180 secondes
Festival de l’histoire de l’art, Fontainebleau, 5–7 June 2020

Proposals due by 15 March 2020

La 10e édition du Festival de l’histoire de l’art aura lieu à Fontainebleau les vendredi 5, samedi 6 et dimanche 7 juin 2020 avec le Japon comme pays invité. Le thème fédérateur choisi cette année est le Plaisir. Dans le cadre de cette édition, il est proposé aux doctorants de participer au concours « Ma thèse d’histoire de l’art en 180 secondes ».

Chaque candidat disposera de trois minutes (180 secondes) pour réaliser un exposé clair et concis de son projet de recherche. Les présentations réalisées par les candidats retenus devront convaincre deux jurys composés d’historiens de l’art et de professionnels. A l’issue du concours, trois prix seront attribués aux trois meilleurs orateurs.
Premier prix: 1000€
Deuxième prix: 500€
Troisième prix: 500€

Les frais de transport et d’hébergement des participants hors région parisienne seront pris en charge sur présentation de justificatifs (jusqu’à 150€).

Call for Papers | Critical Perspectives on Image and Text

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on February 29, 2020

From ArtHist.net:

Perlego: Critical Perspectives on Image and Text
University of Oxford, 3–4 July 2020

Proposals due by 1 April 2020

From writings that explore the textuality of images to the use of images in the illumination of texts, the signifying systems of image and word rub up against one another in various ways, making the meeting of text and image a long-standing area of scholarly fascination. The PERLEGO conference takes a critical approach to text-image scholarship, bringing together early career scholars working across different disciplines to explore methodological issues arising at the interface of textual and visual analysis.

With a view to initiating productive conversations about methodology, PERLEGO seeks to draw out strands of critical approaches from across research areas, time periods, and genres, to consider how integrated approaches to image and text analysis can construct robust and polyphonic histories of meaning, production, and interpretation. Hosted in July 2020 at the University of Oxford, this two-day conference unfolds as a series of panels, roundtable discussions, keynote lectures, and a hands-on session at the Ashmolean Museum.

PERLEGO invites abstracts for critical perspectives on image and text in areas including but not limited to the following:
• Visual strategies in texts
• ‘Textual’ strategies in works of art
• The idea of ‘genre’ across text and image
• The graphic act
• Hierarchies of signification
• Disciplinary hierarchies and structures of power
• Historical reconstruction and the period eye
• Text and image in colonial and postcolonial contexts
• Museum labels and taxonomies

We welcome abstracts from researchers and practitioners working in all fields, including (but not limited to): English and Comparative Literature, Art History, Modern Languages, History, Media Studies, Design Studies, and Museum Studies. Please send a 350-word abstract and a short academic bio by 1 April 2020 to perlego2020@gmail.com.

Organisers: Rebecca Bowen (Oxford), Vittoria Fallanca (Oxford), Anna Espinola Lynn (Oxford), and Sophie Koenig (Hamburg). This Conference is generously supported by the AHRC-TORCH Graduate Fund.

The Burlington Magazine, February 2020

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, journal articles, reviews by Editor on February 28, 2020

The eighteenth century in The Burlington:

The Burlington Magazine 162 (February 2020) — Northern European Art

Anton von Maron, Portrait of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, 1767, oil on canvas, 136 × 99 cm (Weimar: Stadtschloss).


• “The National Trust at 125,” p. 87.


• Gauvin Alexander Bailey, “A Bavarian Pilgrimage Shrine in Seventeenth-Century Paraguay,” pp. 115–25. The Jesuit priest Anton Sepp was one of the first Germanic missionaries to be admitted to the Spanish territories in South America. Arriving in 1691, he brought with him a copy of the miracle-working sculpture of the Virgin of Altötting in Bavaria, and in 1697 he emphasised the German character of his mission by commissioning a version of the octagonal chapel in which the original was housed.

• Clare Hornsby, “J. J. Winckelmann and the Society of Antiquaries of London: New Documents,” pp. 126–35. Three new documents in the archive of the Society of Antiquaries, published here for the first time, provide evidence about Winckelmann’s aspirations for promoting his works in antiquarian circles in England. They include the first statement in English of his theory of art history, written in 1761.


• Arthur Wheelock, Review of the exhibition De Wind is Op!: Climate, Culture and Innovation in Dutch Maritime Painting (New Bedford Whaling Museum, 2019–20), pp. 150–52.

• Olivier Bonfait, Review of Gaëtane Maës, De l’expertise artistique à la vulgarisation au siècle des Lumières: Jean-Baptiste Descamps (1715–1791) et la peinture flamande, hollandaise et allemande (Brepols, 2016), pp. 171–72.

• Anna Arabindan Kesson, Review of Sarah Thomas, Witnessing Slavery: Art and Travel in the Age of Abolition (Yale University Press, 2019), pp. 172–74.


Exhibition | De Wind is Op!

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 28, 2020

Johanes de Blaauw, Whaleship D’Vergulde Walvis (‘The Golden Whale’) Passing the Tollhouse at Buiksloot on the IJ River, North of Amsterdam, 1759, oil on canvas, 55 × 68 cm (New Bedford Whaling Museum, Kendall Whaling Museum Collection, 2001.100.4604).

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Now on view at the New Bedford Whaling Museum:

De Wind is Op! Climate, Culture and Innovation in Dutch Maritime Painting
New Bedford Whaling Museum, 2 July 2019 — 15 May 2020

Curated by Christina Connett Brophy and Roger Mandle

De Wind is OP! explores our extraordinary collections of Golden Age Dutch and Flemish paintings through a fresh lens. These works interpret around the themes of wind, climate, and sea as the drivers behind a uniquely Dutch national identity represented in maritime works of art of this period. Dutch artists arguably invented seascape painting, and were the first to specialize in this genre. Their influence reverberates in all that followed, from the work of J.M.W. Turner to Winslow Homer to New Bedford artists William Bradford and Albert Pinkham Ryder. The exhibition includes up to 50 paintings, prints, and other related artifacts drawn from the Museum’s Dutch collections, one of the largest and important of this genre outside of the Netherlands. There will also be a complementary exhibition in the fall of 2019 of European and American prints, paintings, and charts related to wind and climate themes.

The sea and seafaring shaped the Dutch collective identity. They were a political entity without precedence, and the art world followed the new cultural and societal models unique to the newly formed Dutch Republic. The Dutch were a dominant superpower in all things maritime, including worldwide trade, military strength, and whaling. They were a world emporium, trading timber, grain, salt, cloth, luxury materials throughout the global waterways. This was a time of great artistic production to keep up with a high demand for collecting, when a baker was as likely to have fine artwork in his home as a banker. Popular taste was for greatly refined compositions, exquisiteness of detail, and plausible reality. Dutch openness to innovation allowed them to manipulate their own watery landscapes with dams and wind power and to design ship modifications that maximized successful access to the Northern seas and the dramatic fluctuating climate during the Little Ice Age. Vulnerability to tidal deluge and to tempests at sea carried moral and nationalistic themes in paintings from this era. These themes and others are the foundation of the exhibition.

This exhibition was timed to coincide with the inaugural Summer Winds 2019 run by the New Bedford group Design Art Technology Massachusetts (DATMA), a creative and educational city-wide platform for discussion and exploration of wind energy. Multiple partners in the cultural sector contributed programs, exhibitions, and educational events to this initiative throughout the summer. De Wind is Op! is a major contribution to the Summer Winds project and serves as a cornerstone of summer programming events. The Museum partnered with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), Harvard Art Museums, and the Dutch Culture USA Program of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to collaborate on a major symposium in fall 2019 to examine Dutch maritime artwork in accordance with the major exhibition themes.

Dr. Christina Connett Brophy, The Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Endowed Chair for the Chief Curator
Dr. Roger Mandle, Co-Founder of Design Art Technology Massachusetts (DATMA); Former Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Art; and former President of the Rhode Island School of Design

A 41-page catalogue is available as a PDF file from the museum website.

At Sotheby’s | 1794 Charter for America’s First African Free School

Posted in Art Market by Editor on February 28, 2020

Press release, via Art Daily (27 February 2020). . .

Sotheby’s announced today that the Books & Manuscripts department will offer the 1794 land indenture for the use and benefit of New York City’s African Free School—founded by Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and others—marking the establishment of the first such school in America. Making its auction debut at Sotheby’s 24 June Books & Manuscripts sale in New York, the document is estimated to achieve between $250,000 and $350,000. The indenture will be on public view at Sotheby’s New York galleries through 29 February, coinciding with the final week of Black History Month and showcase this integral piece of American civil rights history to the public.

Richard Austin, Head of Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts Department in New York, commented: “We are thrilled to offer such a unique and historically important document in our upcoming June sale. The African Free School was an amazing symbol of the liberal democratic principles espoused by the country’s framers, and was a truly progressive institution at the time. To highlight the unprecedented achievement of the school and display the document in our galleries during Black History Month is an honor and we hope it will inspire others to reflect on the course of American history and social equality.”

Established by the New York Manumission Society—which was formed in 1785 by some of New York’s most elite and influential citizens, including John Jay and Alexander Hamilton—the African Free School was created with the aim, as they perceived it, of educating black children so that they might take their place as equals to white American citizens. As the present indenture states, the school was formed “for the humane and charitable purpose of Educating negro Children to the end that they may become good and useful Citizens of the State.” The mission of the Manumission Society in forming the school was to validate the tenet set forth in the Declaration of Independence just a few years before that “all men are created equal.” The Society also felt that education was an essential element in creating a populace capable of sustaining and furthering a democracy.

In addition to Hamilton and Jay, the New York Manumission Society counted luminaries as George Clinton, John Murray, Melancton Smith, and James Duane among its founding members. At a time when slavery was integral to the economic expansion in New York and America, these Founding Fathers and others began their mission of abolishing slavery in the state of New York by protesting the relatively common practice of kidnapping black New Yorkers—slaves and free men and women alike—in order to sell them into servitude elsewhere. The Society also provided legal assistance to free and enslaved blacks who were being abused, and in 1785 successfully lobbied for a law prohibiting the sale of imported slaves in the state of New York—before the state passed a gradual emancipation law in 1799. Slavery was officially abolished in New York State on July 4, 1827.

The African Free School was instituted on 2 November 1787, but was not built until 22 July 1794. Upon the land documented in the present indenture, a single-room schoolhouse was erected in lower Manhattan that would house around forty students, the majority of whom were the children of slaves. The members of the Manumission Society raised funds—or, in many instances, provided the funds themselves—for teachers’ salaries, supplies, and, eventually, for the creation of new buildings required to house the growing student population. In 1809, the trustees of the school hired Charles Andrews, and under his ardent leadership the school experienced significant expansion, with enrollment reaching 700 students by the end of his tenure.

By 1835, the African Free School model proved so successful that a total of seven schools were established throughout the city, which were then absorbed into the New York City public school system. By that time, the African Free School of New York had educated thousands of children, many of whom went on to become prominent abolitionists, artists, and entrepreneurs.

Call for Papers | Inside the Temporary Exhibition

Posted in Calls for Papers, graduate students by Editor on February 27, 2020

From the Call for Papers for this graduate student symposium, the full version of which includes Italian and French versions, via ArtHist.net:

Inside the Exhibition: Temporalità, Dispositivo e Narrazione
Swiss Institute and Istituto Nazionale di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte (Palazzo Venezia), Rome, 16–17 June 2020

Proposals due by 19 April 2020

Now more than ever, temporary art exhibitions saturate museum spaces worldwide, shaping the discourse between public institutions and academia, and implicating an ever-growing and ever-changing international audience. The eighth doctoral study day organised by RAHN intends to reflect on the research opportunities afforded by the temporary display of artworks, from the early modern period to present day (15th–21st century).

In this wide time frame, temporary exhibitions have acquired multifarious meanings, shaping art-historical discourse. For example, the first public displays of paintings organised in the pronaos of the Pantheon, or in the cloisters of Roman churches for the festivals of patron saints, were tied to the religious context in which they took place. However, these displays were also key in the development of another ‘cult’, that of the artist, favouring the commercial interests of private collectors or of ante litteram curators, such as Giuseppe Ghezzi (1634–1721). With the formation of modern states, public exhibitions’ narratives were informed by different ideological programmes, which were inspired by, and in turn influenced contemporary art-historical debate. In this light, the temporary display of artworks offers an insight into the exhibition’s producing culture itself, and a unique opportunity for research.

The study day intends to focus on the ephemerality of art exhibitions, following a diachronic and interdisciplinary methodological approach inspired by Francis Haskell’s pioneering work on the subject (2000). When an artwork is put on display, its physical shift corresponds to a process of intellectual de- and re-contextualisation, through which the object acquires new meaning(s), imparted by the other objects with which it is put in dialogue, the space in which it is placed, and its audiences. With this in mind, we invite applicants to consider the following questions:

What affects such processes of de- and re-contextualisation? What happens when an art work is placed on temporary display? How does this influence the intellectual discourse surrounding the object and / or the exhibition? What interests are at stake in the organisation of artistic displays? What are their audiences, intended message and reception?

We welcome papers engaging with such questions, including, but not limited to the following contexts:
• the origins of art exhibitions and their cultural context (public, private, religious, secular, etc.)
• the artwork, its display, and fruition in the museum space
• the relationship between artistic historiography and exhibitions
• the art market: galleries, art fairs, and their exhibition spaces
• reception and critical discourses, the exhibition’s audiences and ‘verbal contexts’ (Pomian, 1986)

The application is open to doctoral students in the history of art and architecture enrolled in Italian and international institutions. We welcome 20-minute long papers focusing on methodological questions through a specific case study or proposing a theoretical approach to the subject. The proposals can be submitted in Italian, English, or French. To apply, please send a 250-word abstract and a 1-page academic CV by 19 April 2020 to the organisers: giornatadottorale.rahn@gmail.com.

Essential Bibliography
• Francis Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum: Old Master Paintings and the Rise of the Art Exhibition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).
• Krzysztof Pomian, “Pour une histoire des semiophores. À propos des vases des Médicis,” Le Genre humain 14 (1986): 17–36.

Exhibition | Highlights from the Dietrich American Foundation

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on February 26, 2020

Punch Bowl with View of Hongs of Canton, ca. 1790, made in China
(Dietrich American Foundation)

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Now on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art:

A Collector’s Vision: Highlights from the Dietrich American Foundation
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1 February — 7 June 2020

A rare selection of American art from the 1700s and 1800s, including portraits of George Washington, a teapot made by Paul Revere, and silver from colonial Philadelphia. Explore H. Richard Dietrich Jr.’s vision as a collector and his foundation’s mission to share important examples of American art with the public.

H. Richard Dietrich Jr. (1938–2007) began to collect American art and artifacts for himself as a young man and later to furnish his home in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He saw his extensive collection as a tool for understanding American history, often acquiring objects by known makers or with a strong family history. In 1963 he established the Dietrich American Foundation, to which he contributed much of his wealth, energy, and time. The foundation has lent works from its collection to more than a hundred institutions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In addition to pursuing a career in business, Dietrich devoted his time to the museum—as a patron and a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the American Art Advisory Committee—as well as to other public institutions in the region. The foundation’s long-term loans to the museum, including objects in this exhibition, began in 1966 and continue to this day.

The catalogue is distributed by Yale University Press:

H. Richard Dietrich III and Deborah Rebuck, eds., with contributions by H. Richard Dietrich III, David Barquist, Edward Cooke, Michael Dyer, Kathleen Foster, Morrison Heckscher, Philip Mead, Lisa Minardi, Deborah Rebuck, and William Reese, In Pursuit of History: A Lifetime Collecting Colonial American Art and Artifacts (Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Dietrich American Foundation, 2020), 304 pages, ISBN: 978-0876332931, $50.

This book showcases highlights from the Dietrich American Foundation, established in 1963 by H. Richard Dietrich Jr. and focused on 18th-century American fine and decorative arts. Essays explore the formation of the collection and its many areas of strength, enhancing current understandings of colonial history and material culture. The volume’s coeditor, H. Richard Dietrich III, unfolds an American story of a family’s entrepreneurship and speaks to his father’s varied yet interconnected collecting interests, as well as the common threads that unified them. An array of specialists explore the scope and uncommon richness of the foundation’s holdings, of which books and manuscripts account for half. Chinese export wares, furniture, silver, fraktur, and other decorative arts, and paintings of historical importance speak in varied ways to the nature of colonial identity, while objects related to the whaling trade signal the new nation’s maritime focus.


Lecture | Kate Smith, On Loss and Dispossession

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on February 25, 2020

From Eventbrite:

Kate Smith, Loss and Dispossession in the Long Eighteenth Century
University of Edinburgh, 17 March 2020

Dr Kate Smith (University of Birmingham) delivers the inaugural lecture for the Material Culture in the 17th and 18th Centuries Research Group. Histories of material culture have often focused on questions of presence: how objects in the past were made, purchased, used and repaired. In contrast, Kate Smith’s paper will explore what happened when objects were absent. More particularly, it will examine how eighteenth-century Britons developed systems to deal with loss and what such systems required of them. It will show that, when faced with loss, individuals were called upon to recall their possessions and describe them in full. To make their possessions recognisable to others, and thus increase the possibilities of reclamation, eighteenth-century Britons had to draw out the salient features of missing things. In doing so, they reveal much about what they imagined their possessions to be. The paper considers questions of description, attention, memory and the self to show the complex knowledge, practices and systems constructed and utilised in response to loss. Register here.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020, 17.30–19.00
Playfair Library Hall
South Bridge, Edinburgh

Call for Papers | Piranesi @300

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on February 24, 2020

From the Call for Papers, which also includes Italian and French versions:

Piranesi @300
Rome, 27–30 January 2021

Proposals due by 30 April 2020

Organized by Mario Bevilacqua and Clare Hornsby

Concluding the year celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778), this conference aims to reveal new aspects of his life and works, their contexts, and critical fortune, and we are seeking proposals for a comparison of interdisciplinary themes and innovative methodologies.

Some ideas of themes that could be addressed:

Piranesi as Artist, Theorist, Entrepreneur, and Merchant
Many aspects of Piranesi’s life and work still remain in the shadows: we hope to discover new documentary data, new drawings, new interpretations, new networks.

Piranesi and History
The Mediterranean civilizations, the fall of the Empire, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Egypt, Etruria, Greece, Rome. From the fall of the Empire to the Renaissance. Piranesi and the texts of his books, the birth of archaeology, the philosophy of history in 18th-century Europe.

Piranesi: Europe, America, the World
Piranesi as ‘global’ artist. His lasting reputation – from Rome across 18th-century Europe – takes on different aspects in different European contexts: England, France, Germany, Russia – and in the more distant United States and Latin America, Australia and Japan, maintaining close yet changing relationships with art, literature, photography and cinema.

Piranesi as Architect: Monument, City, Utopia
Though constantly designing, he was the architect of only one building, S. Maria del Priorato on the Aventine hill yet Piranesi always signed himself ‘architect’. His vision of Roman architecture and of the ancient metropolis states certainties and raises concerns about the dystopian future of the global city.

Piranesi in the Global 21st Century: New Methods for New Paths of Research
We can ask questions about Piranesi in the context of contemporary scenarios. His work continues to provoke reflection, inspire new projects and interpretations.

The languages of the conference are English, Italian and French, and the event will be open to the public. We invite doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, established scholars to submit proposals for papers that contain new research or use new approaches. These will fall into two groups:
1) 15-minute presentations on one event, object, or discrete theme
2) 30-minute presentations on wider issues

Please send a 250-word CV and an abstract in English, French, or Italian of either 500 words (for a 15-minute talk) or 1000 words (for 30-minute talk); the abstract should make clear the new content of the contribution. Submissions should be sent to Piranesi300@gmail.com by April 30th 2020. We plan to offer accommodation in Rome to speakers at the conference though we are not able to assist with travel costs. We propose to publish a volume of the papers of the conference.

Supporting Institutions
Centro Studi Cultura e Immagine di Roma / Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale
Istituto Centrale per la Grafica
The British School at Rome
Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médicis

Conference Organisers
Mario Bevilacqua and Clare Hornsby

Scientific Committee
Francesca Alberti (Académie de France à Rome), Fabio Barry (Stanford University), Mario Bevilacqua (Università degli Studi di Firenze, CSCIR), Clare Hornsby (British School at Rome), Giorgio Marini (Ministero Beni Culturali), Heather Hyde Minor (Notre Dame Rome), Susanna Pasquali (La Sapienza Roma), Frank Salmon (Cambridge University), Giovanna Scaloni (Istituto Centrale per la Grafica).


Exhibition | Piranesi 300

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on February 24, 2020

From the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin:

Piranesi 300
Kunstbibliothek, Berlin, 5 October 2020 — 7 February 2021

The Kunstbibliothek is celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Italian architectural visionary Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) with a special exhibition at the Kulturforum. The exhibition revolves around the Kunstbibliothek’s unique collection of drawings by Piranesi and the ornate books he published, as well as the rich collection of prints held by the Kupferstichkabinett. In collaboration with early career researchers from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Kunstbibliothek has conceived of the exhibition as a stage on which Piranesi appears in all his roles—as archaeologist, designer, scholar, set designer, and visionary.

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