Call for Papers | British Art and Natural Forces

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 5, 2020

From PMC:

British Art and Natural Forces: A State of the Field Research Programme
Paul Mellon Centre, London, October–November 2020

Proposals for various formats due by 30 June 2020

J.M.W. Turner, The Evening of the Deluge, ca. 1843, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches (London: National Gallery of Art, Timken Collection, 1960.6.40).

In the year 2020, the Paul Mellon Centre marks its 50th anniversary as an institution dedicated to the study of British art and architecture. It is a year in which artistic practice and the practice of art history have met with the unprecedented force of a global pandemic. In the midst of this crisis, the PMC is initiating a major, multi-part programme of research events that focuses on the encounter between artistic or art historical practice and the forces of the natural world, and places such encounters in both contemporary and historical perspectives.

In doing so, we hope not only to respond to the exigencies of the current moment, but to foreground some of the most vital activities and conversations taking place within the field of British art studies. In recent years, scholars have concentrated with new intensity on the overlaps between artistic, geophysical, biological and ecological bodies of knowledge.

The theme also speaks to many of the new interdisciplinary collaborations that are currently shaping art-historical practice, which have seen scholars of the visual arts working across different subject-fields to explore natural histories, indigenous forms of knowledge, animal studies, concepts of the post-human and revitalized theorisations of the sublime.

Finally, the theme of this series exploits the astonishingly rich and diverse representations of natural forces found throughout the history of British art, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day. The programme will seek to explore such representations in the light of current debates and theoretical frameworks, and with the acknowledgement that human agency and reflexive awareness are natural forces in their own right.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute research papers dealing with any period or category of British art and visual culture, and that address the ways in which artistic or art-historical thinking and practice have shaped or been shaped by the encounter with natural forces, whether benign or cataclysmic, short- or long-term, visible or invisible. We also welcome proposals from artists and others whose contributions might take unexpected forms.

Schedule and Format

The events in this programme will be hosted over October and November of 2020. They may encompass virtual, in-person, audio, and print modes: the formats will be confirmed in the early autumn, and will take shape in line with UK government advice on public gatherings. Spanning eight weeks, the events will be sequential in character, and are designed to forge and facilitate a set of expansive conversations that unfold over time.

How to Submit

Please send proposals of 400 words maximum together with a short biography of no more than 100 words to events@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk by 30 June 2020.

Online Public Lecture Course | Georgian Provocations

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 5, 2020

From PMC:

Georgian Provocations: Six Iconic Works of Art from Eighteenth-Century Britain
Paul Mellon Centre, London, 28 May — 9 July 2020

Georgian Provocations is a one-off summer public lecture course, delivered online, and designed to provide an accessible and stimulating introduction to the art of the period. In this series of six 30-minute lectures, Hallett and Postle focus on six seminal paintings from the Georgian era and investigate their contents, contexts, and impact. Together, they reveal many of the ideas and issues that coursed through British visual culture between the 1730s and the 1790s, and demonstrate the riches that continue to be gained from looking intensively at an individual work of art. Lectures will be released weekly from 28 May to 2 July at 3pm (GMT).

An associated conversation on July 9 will be streamed live via Zoom Webinar at 6pm (GMT), providing a Q&A session with series presenters Mark Hallett and Martin Postle, who will talk about the pictures they focused upon in their lectures and their respective approaches to discussing the works in question.

28 May 2020
Mark Hallett, Walking the Streets: William Hogarth’s The Four Times of Day by William Hogarth (1736–38)

4 June 2020
Martin Postle, Variations on a Theme: Richard Wilson’s The White Monk (ca. 1755–65)

11 June 2020
Martin Postle, All Done from Nature: George Stubbs’s Whistlejacket (1762)

18 June 2020
Martin Postle, The Artist as Intellectual: Joshua Reynolds’s Self-Portrait as President of the Royal Academy (1780)

25 June 2020
Mark Hallett, Displaying the Hero: John Singleton Copley’s The Death of Major Peirson (1784)

2 July 2020
Mark Hallett, Making an Impact: Thomas Lawrence’s Arthur Atherley (1792)

9 July 2020
Georgian Provocations: A Conversation, streamed live via Zoom Webinar at 6pm (GMT); register via Eventbrite here.

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