Online Symposium | The Politics of the Portrait, in Three Parts

Posted in conferences (to attend), online learning by Editor on July 22, 2021

Titus Kaphar, Enough About You, 2016, oil on canvas with an antique frame, on loan from the Collection of Arthur Lewis and Hau Nguyen, Courtesy of the artist, photo by Richard Caspole. More information is available here.

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From the YCBA:

The Politics of the Portrait, in Three Parts
Online, Yale Center for British Art, 23 July — 17 September 2021

Featuring artists, collectors, curators, and scholars, The Politics of the Portrait is a three-part online symposium that considers potential solutions and alternatives regarding the history, display, and making of portraits and the role of representation in today’s sociopolitical climate.

In 2020 the Yale Center for British Art began a research project on Elihu Yale with Members of his Family and an Enslaved Child (ca. 1719), a painting in the collection that depicts one of Yale University’s founders with an enslaved child. This project became a springboard for this online series of conversations among artists, collectors, curators, and scholars to consider potential approaches, revisions, and additions to the canon of art history, curating, and artmaking.

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Part 1 | Art History: Hierarchies of Representation
Friday, 23 July 2021, 12–1:30pm

Tilly Kettle, Dancing Girl, 1772, oil on canvas (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection).

Zirwat Chowdhury, Bridget R. Cooks, and Edward Town discuss potential approaches to and revisions of frameworks that are commonly used for telling the history of portraiture with a particular focus on the Black figure. How might we restructure art history to make it a more decentralized, inclusive discipline? What scholarly initiatives have been effective at countering systemic marginalization in the representation of Black and Brown bodies in Western art? How can we overcome the problem that there are few records—material, textual, or visual—of many of the Black figures represented in Western art? Notwithstanding these absences, what work is being done to center the lives of Black figures in historical portraits? What can we learn about these figures from close looking and study in museums?

Zirwat Chowdhury is Assistant Professor of 18th- and 19th-century European Art at the University of California, Los Angeles. Bridget R. Cooks is Associate Professor at the University of California, Irvine. Edward Town is Head of Collections Information and Access at the Yale Center for British Art. The conversations is moderated by Maryam Ohadi-Hamadani, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center.

To join us for this program, please register here.

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Part 2 | Curatorial Practice and the Museum: Contextualization and Narratives
Friday, 6 August 2021, 12–1:30pm

Curators Liz Andrews, Christine Y. Kim, Denise Murrell, and Keely Orgeman discuss their recent projects and upcoming exhibitions and consider the ethical, practical, and historical implications of displaying portraits and figurative artworks in museums.

Liz Andrews is Executive Director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. Christine Y. Kim is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Denise Murrell is Associate Curator of 19th- and 20th-Century Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Keely Orgeman is Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery. The conversation is moderated by Maryam Ohadi-Hamadani, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Yale Center for British Art.

To join us for this program, please register here.

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Part 3 | In Conversation: Titus Kaphar and Art Collectors Arthur Lewis and Hau Nguyen
Friday, September 17, 2021, 12–1pm

Titus Kaphar, Arthur Lewis, and Hau Nguyen discuss Kaphar’s practice and the importance of supporting emerging artists, artists of color, and local art communities. The conversation is moderated by Abigail Lamphier, Senior Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art.

Kaphar is an American artist whose paintings, sculptures, and installations examine the history of pictorial representation. Kaphar physically manipulates his canvases by cutting, shredding, twisting, breaking, and tearing his paintings and sculptures, reconfiguring them into works that reveal unspoken truths about the nature of history, often in an effort to consider overlooked subjects. By transforming these styles and mediums with formal innovations, he emphasizes the physicality and dimensionality of the canvas and the materials. His practice challenges art historical images and the narratives they normalize.

Kaphar received an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2006 and is a distinguished recipient of numerous prizes and awards including a MacArthur Fellowship (2018), an Art for Justice Fund grant (2018), a Robert R. Rauschenberg Artist as Activist grant (2016), and a Creative Capital grant (2015). His work appears in the collections of the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, and several New York City museums, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Kaphar lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. In 2015, he cofounded NXTHVN, a 40,000-square-foot nonprofit arts incubator located in two former manufacturing plants in the Dixwell neighborhood of New Haven. NXTHVN offers fellowships, residencies, and other professional development opportunities to artists, curators, and students in the local community and beyond.

Lewis and Nguyen have built an art collection celebrated for its focus on contemporary women artists and artists of color and were named in the top 200 art collectors by ArtNews in 2020. Over the last thirteen years, the couple have intentionally focused on supporting a wide range of black artists and developing their local art community in Los Angeles. As a result, the core of Lewis and Nguyen’s collection features both emerging and established artists including Genevieve Gaignard, Jennie C. Jones, Titus Kaphar, Kerry James Marshall, Ebony G. Patterson, and Amy Sherald.

Lewis and Nguyen are further renowned for their intentional approach to collecting, which extends beyond building the market value for artworks. Seeing the role of the collector as one of guidance and care, the couple are active in the artist community and enjoy personal relationships with many artists represented in their collection. Lewis is creative director of United Talent Agency’s fine arts group and the UTA Artist Space in Beverly Hills, California. He is a member of the boards of the Hammer Museum and the Underground Museum in Los Angeles, as well as New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem. Nguyen is the owner and creative director of boutique hair salons.

In October 2020, Lewis and Nguyen lent Kaphar’s Enough About You (2016) to the Yale Center for British Art. This artwork was on view in the Center’s galleries for eight months in place of the eighteenth-century group portrait Elihu Yale with Members of his Family and an Enslaved Child. To learn more about why this change was made and a description of the ongoing research into this group portrait, visit New light on the group portrait of Elihu Yale, his family, and an enslaved child.

Online Conference | Travel and Archaeology in Ottoman Greece

Posted in conferences (to attend), online learning by Editor on July 22, 2021

The Hyperian Fountain at Pherae, Edward Dodwell, Views in Greece (London 1821), p. 91.

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From the conference programme:

Travel and Archaeology in Ottoman Greece in the Age of Revolution, c.1800–1833
Online, British School at Athens, 16–17 September 2021

Organised by Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis

Registration due by 20 August 2021

The bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence of 1821 offers a timely opportunity for a re-evaluation of travel and archaeology in the age of revolution. The conference foregrounds diversity and small-scale engagements with the landscape and material past of Ottoman Greece at a time of political tension and explosive violence. The conference will explore the perspectives of both foreign travellers and local inhabitants in order to tease out diverse voices, keeping a sharp focus on the effects of ethnicity, race, gender, and social status.

Within this inclusive intellectual framework we will pose a series of questions to analyse the mediating role of the Greek landscape and its antiquities between travellers and local inhabitants in all their diversity. How did major intellectual and cultural developments of the late eighteenth century, ranging from revolutionary politics in France and America to scientific and museological developments, intersect with actual encounters ‘on the ground’ in Ottoman Greece, specifically with the landscape, local inhabitants, and small-scale objects and antiquities? How did the ethnic, cultural, and religious identities of Ottoman communities affect local perceptions of contemporary travel and the classical material past? How did status (including slave status) and gender shape encounters with the Greek landscape and its antiquities, not least with idealising white sculptured male bodies? How did archaeological-focused travel, with its emerging sophisticated discourses, intertwine with travel undertaken for scientific, military, and Romantic aims?

In this way the conference will give prominence to hitherto marginalised perspectives drawing on recent work to decolonise Ancient Mediterranean Studies, including sensory approaches to access silenced voices, and will develop a micro-cultural history of travel and archaeology in Ottoman Greece in this tumultuous period.

Hosted via Zoom, the conference is free and open to all who are interested, but registration is essential. Speakers’ full papers will be pre-circulated to registered participants at the end of August. To register for the conference, please email Dr Jenny Messenger at jenny@atomictypo.co.uk by 20 August. For Dr Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis’ lecture, registration is separate: a link to register will be available in the ‘Events’ section of the BSA website approximately one month in advance.

T H U R S D A Y ,  1 6  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 2 1

13.00  John Bennet and Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis, Welcome and Introduction

13.15  Panel 1: Travel as a Kaleidoscope of Perspectives
Chair: Estelle Strazdins (University of Queensland)
• Charalampos Minaoglou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Traveling in Europe, Exploring Greek Identity: Orientalism and ‘Westernism’ in Constantine Karatzas’ Diaries
• Federica Broilo (Universitá Degli Studi Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’), Simone Pomardi and the Rediscovery of the Modern Greek Landscape
• Jason König (University of St Andrews), Mineralogy, Ethnography, Antiquarianism: Images of Collecting in the Travel Writing of Edward Daniel Clarke
• Ayşe Ozil (Sabanci University), Local Greek Travel-Writing, Antiquities, and the Diverse Social Landscape in the Post-Revolutionary Ottoman Empire

14.15  Break

14.30  Panel 2: Ottoman Spaces and Identities
Chair: Edhem Eldem (Boğaziçi University and Collège de France)
• Nikos Magouliotis (ETH Zurich, Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, PhD Candidate), Inside the Villager’s House: Views of European and Greek Authors on the Vernacular Architecture of Late-Ottoman Greece, ca. 1800–30
• Zafeirios Avgeris (Uppsala University, MA Candidate), From Text to Space: Mapping Sir William Gell and Edward Dodwell as Data Layers on an Ottoman Landscape
• Emily Neumeier (Temple University, Philadelphia), Orientalism in Ottoman Greece
• Elisabeth Fraser (University of South Florida), Louis Dupré in Ottoman Greece: Multiple Identities, Contradictory Encounters

15.30  Break

17.30  British School at Athens Public Lecture
• Alexia Petsalis-Diomidis (University of St Andrews), From Ottoman Smyrna to Georgian London: Travel, Excavation, and Collecting of Levant Company Merchant Thomas Burgon (1787–1858)

F R I D A Y ,  1 7  S E P T E M B E R  2 0 2 1

13.00  Panel 3: Individuals Collecting Antiquities
Chair: Ayşe Ozil (Sabanci University)
• Estelle Strazdins (University of Queensland), Imagining Ethiopians in the Age of Revolution: Arrowheads from the Marathon Sôros and the Statue of Rhamnoussian Nemesis
• Alessia Zambon (Université Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines, Paris), ‘Je vois qu’à Paris on a une bien fausse idée des Grecs…’: Fauvel’s Perception of the Greeks and of the Greek Revolution
• Irini Apostolou, (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), In Search of Antiquities: The Travels of Alexandre and Léon de Laborde during the Greek War of Independence of 1821
• Michael Metcalfe (The Syracuse Academy), Ancient Inscriptions and British Travellers to Ottoman Greece, 1800–21

14.00  Break

14.15  Panel 4: Antiquities and Official Discourses
Chair: Elisabeth Fraser (University of South Florida)
• Edhem Eldem (Boğaziçi University and Collège de France), ‘Viewing and Contemplating’ (Seyr ü Temaşa): Foreign Travelers and Antiquarians and the Sublime Porte, ca 1800–30
• Aikaterini-Iliana Rassia (King’s College London), Andreas Moustoxydes (1785–1860) and Kyriakos Pittakis (1798–1863) and the Rescue of Greek Antiquities

14.45  Break

15.15  Panel 5: Forms of Philhellenism
Chair: Jason König (University of St Andrews)
• Mélissa Bernier (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, PhD candidate), Samuel Gridley Howe’s Travels: Classical, Romantic, and Philanthropic Philhellenism, 1800–30
• Fernando Valverde (University of Virginia), Greece in the Age of Revolution: An Intimate Poetics of Landscape, Travel, and Liberty

15.45  Break

16.00  Conclusions and Future Directions
• Breakout Rooms
• Roundtable Discussion


Exhibition | 1821: Before and After

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 22, 2021

Kozis Desyllas, Portrait of Athanasios Diakos, detail, ca. 1870
(Athens: Benaki Museum)

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Now on view at the Benaki Museum:

1821: Before and After
Benaki Museum, Athens, 3 March — 7 November 2021

Curated by Maria Dimitriadou and Tassos Sakellaropoulos

The Benaki Museum—in cooperation with the Bank of Greece, the National Bank of Greece, and Alpha Bank—presents a major anniversary exhibition to celebrate the bicentenary of the pivotal year in modern Greek history, 1821, the year when the revolution which resulted in the country’s independence was declared. 1200 objects unfold more than a century of history, from the 1770 ‘Orlov Revolt’ until the 1880s.

Map of Greece, late 17th or early 18th century, tempera on wood (Athens: Benaki Museum)

Paintings, sculpture, personal items belonging to key revolutionaries, historic documents, and heirlooms are arranged in three sections. The first part (1770–1821) brings to life the progress towards a national revolution. Section two (1821–1831) showcases the events of the War of Independence and its conclusion, and section three (1831–1870) addresses the creation of the modern Greek state and its development during its first half-century.

The show presents objects held in the collections of the three banks and the Benaki Museum, itself a rich repository created on bonds of trust with the families of those who held centre-stage in the Greek Revolution. Loans have also been secured from important museums and private collections in Greece, France, and the United Kingdom.

The exhibition is included in the National Program of Bicentennial Celebrations coordinated by the ‘Greece 2021’ Committee.

An online preview is available here»

Maria Dimitriadou and Tassos Sakellaropoulos, eds., 1821 Πριν και Μετά / 1821 Before and After (Athens: Benaki Museum, 2021), 1218 pages, ISBN: 978-9604762828 (Greek) / ISBN: 978-964762835 (English), 45€.

More than 1200 objects gathered in the exhibition and spread across the 1218 pages of the accompanying catalogue showcase one hundred years of modern Greek history, between 1770 and 1870. The period begins with the moral and economic preparations for the liberation of the Greeks, reaches an apex with the 1821 Revolution, and concludes with the first decades of the operation and development of the new Greek state. The catalogue offer a fascinating journey of history and art, revealing why this adventurous century remains so deeply engaging, even now. These works create a meaningful assemblage that traces the enchanting story of modern Greeks and brings to the fore the reasons of their very existence, their perseverance, and how far they have travelled: all the positive elements that have shaped modern Hellenism.

Copies are available here»

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