AHA Statement Condemning the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Posted in Member News by Editor on March 23, 2022

While Enfilade is no longer an official extension of HECAA or part of its communication strategies, I am very glad the site remains affiliated with an organization that has been hugely formative for me and so many others. And I’m glad to see HECAA as a signature to the following statement (along with dozens of other academic societies), as noted in an email sent to HECAA members on 22 March. CH

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Last week, the HECAA board voted to sign the American Historical Association (AHA) statement that condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine. You will find the full text of the statement below, and you can also read it here.

Best regards,
HECAA Officers and Board

American Historical Association (AHA) Statement Condemning Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The American Historical Association condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine. This act of overt military aggression violates the sovereignty of an independent Ukraine, threatening stability in the broader region and across the world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetorical premise for this brutal violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty is anchored by a set of outlandish historical claims, including an argument that Ukraine was entirely a Soviet creation. In fact, Ukraine’s distinct language and culture date back over many centuries. Ukraine has been a crossroads of the region, connected to countries and cultures to the west as well as Russia to its east.

Over time, Ukrainians have contested both Russification and Sovietization. President Putin grossly simplifies and distorts Ukraine’s history, essentially erasing its distinct past and rendering it indistinguishable from Russia.

The AHA emphatically opposes this unprovoked act of military aggression; that the war is based on such a distorted and tendentious misreading of history makes it all the more deplorable. We vigorously support the Ukrainian nation and its people in their resistance to Russian military aggression and the twisted mythology that President Putin has invented to justify his violation of international norms.

The following organizations have signed onto this statement:

American Catholic Historical Association
American Folklore Society
American Musicological Society
American Political Science Association
American Society for Environmental History
American Society for Theatre Research
Association for Documentary Editing
Association for Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art
Austrian Studies Association
Berkshire Conference of Women Historians
College Art Association of America
Conference of Latin American History
Executive Committee of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Forum on Early-Modern Empires and Global Interactions
French Colonial Historical Society
German Studies Association
Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture
Historical Society for Twentieth Century China
Hungarian Studies Association
Immigration and Ethnic History Society
National Council of Teachers of English
National Council on Public History
North American Conference on British Studies
The Officers of the Medieval Academy of America
Polish American Historical Association
Renaissance Society of America
Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
Shakespeare Association of America
Sixteenth Century Society & Conference
Society for Austrian and Habsburg History
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Society for Ethnomusicology
Society for Music Theory
Society for the History of Discoveries
Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender
Society of Architectural Historians
Society of Biblical Literature
Urban History Association
Western Society for French History
World History Association

War in Ukraine | On Ukraine’s Cultural Heritage and Art Now

Posted in the 18th century in the news by Editor on March 22, 2022

A selection of essays addressing the crucial role of art and culture in the war . . . Information on sites where one can contribute include Forbes, UNICEF, The Art Newspaper, HyperAllergic, and the Global Heritage Fund.

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From The Conversation:

Gauvin Alexander Bailey, “Ukraine: Heritage Buildings, If Destroyed, Can be Rebuilt But Never Replaced,” The Conversation (14 March 2022).

The tragic loss of life and desperate living conditions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine have gripped the world’s attention. However, another threat looms for the country’s heritage architecture, including United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage monuments of global significance. These buildings lie directly in the line of fire as Russian forces advance on Kyiv and increase bombardments near Lviv. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has called for the protection of these testimonies to the country’s “rich history.” . . .

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Bailey’s essay includes a link to Evan Rail’s article:

Evan Rail, “‘This Is Everyone’s Culture’: Ukraine’s Architectural Treasures Face Destruction,” The New York Times (11 March 2022). The country’s vast array of historic buildings, artworks and public squares are an integral part of Ukraine’s cultural identity. Amid the violence of war, many are being reduced to rubble.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brought searing images of human tragedy to witnesses around the world: thousands of civilians killed and injured; broken families, as mothers and children leave in search of refuge while fathers and other men stay behind to defend their country; and millions of refugees having already fled to neighboring countries, after just two weeks of war. In addition to that human suffering, a second tragedy comes into focus: the destruction of a country’s very culture. Across Ukraine, scores of historic buildings, priceless artworks and public squares are being reduced to rubble by Russian rockets, missiles, bombs and gunfire. . . .

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From The Washington Post:

Max Bearak and Isabelle Khurshudyan, “‘All Art Must Go Underground:’ Ukraine Scrambles to Shield Its Cultural Heritage,” The Washington Post (14 March 2022).

Emptying a museum is a gargantuan task, and the entire workforce of the Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv had been at it for a week before the final piece—a century-old portrait of the museum’s namesake—was taken down, leaving the last of its walls bare.

Ihor Kozhan, the director of the grand gallery opposite Lviv’s opera house, explained the rush. “There is an egomaniac in Moscow who doesn’t care about killing children, let alone destroying art,” he said. “If our history and heritage are to survive, all art must go underground.”

Across Ukraine, artists, gallerists, curators and museum directors are desperately but carefully unhooking, wrapping and stashing away the country’s hefty cultural endowment as Vladimir Putin’s onslaught closes in. Statues, stained-glass windows and monuments are being covered with shrapnel-proof material. Basement bunkers are crammed with paintings. . . .

Saving art was secondary only to saving lives, many of those interviewed said, because Ukrainians’ pride in their culture serves as a deep well of inspiration for its resistance to invasion. Putin has made it clear that he considers Ukraine to be part of greater Russia, a contention artists here say denies Ukraine’s distinct heritage.

“With each invasion, some loss of culture is inevitable,” said Taras Voznyak, director of the Lviv National Art Gallery. “Putin knows that without art, without our history, Ukraine will have a weaker identity. That is the whole point of his war—to erase us and assimilate us into his population of cryptofascist zombies.” . . .

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From The Washington Post:

Peggy McGlone, “A Lab in Rural Virginia Is Racing to Preserve Ukraine’s Cultural Heritage,” The Washington Post (19 March 2022).

In the southwest corner of rural Virginia, about 5,000 miles from the war zone, a small but mighty team of archaeologists, historians and high-tech mapping experts are using sophisticated satellite imagery to help to protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage. Housed in the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, the Cultural Heritage Monitoring Lab is the museum world’s version of a war room: a network of computers, satellite feeds and phones that represents one of the newest tools being employed to protect national treasures threatened by natural disasters or geopolitical events.

Created last year in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Cultural Rescue Initiative—a world leader in this field—the lab is compiling imagery of Ukraine’s cultural sites to help track attacks on them. The goal is to quickly alert officials in Ukraine of damage, in case action can be taken—perhaps to protect artifacts exposed to the elements, or to board up stained-glass windows in the wake of a direct hit on a church—and to document the devastation.

“It’s a 24/7 operation,” director and archaeologist Hayden Bassett said, adding that the staff of six has been working 12 and 18 hours at a stretch to maintain their rapid response. “Even though we might not be staring at a screen at 3am, our satellites are imaging at 3am.”

Using their database of 26,000 cultural heritage sites—including historic architecture, cultural institutions such as museums and archives, houses of worship and places of archaeological significance—Bassett and his team of art historians, analysts and techies have identified several hundred potential impacts in the conflict’s first few weeks. . . .

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From NPR:

Lauren Frayer and Olena Lysenko, “How Some People Are Trying to Make Art, Not War, in Ukraine Right Now,” NPR Morning Edition (17 March 2022).

[Lyana] Mytsko [director of Lviv Municipal Arts Center] says artists and musicians keep contacting her and asking how they can help. Here’s what she tells them: “Art is not an extra little thing—a sidebar—in this war. Putin has said Ukraine is not a real country—that it doesn’t have a real culture of its own. Go out and prove him wrong” . . . .

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From i:

Isabella Bengoechea, “Ukraine War: Cancelling Russian Culture Is a Mistake and Helps No One But Putin, Say Art Lovers,” The i Paper (21 March 2022). Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, told i: “Swan Lake is for everybody.”

Since Russian bombs began falling on Ukraine, the world has united to make known its disgust for Vladimir Putin’s regime through sanctions targeting Russia’s economy, its business, military and its elites. However, high culture, traditionally a jewel in the crown of Russia’s soft power, has not escaped scrutiny. Russian performers have been dropped. Musicians have been told to denounce Mr Putin. Performances of Russian works have been cancelled—literally and figuratively—across the West. Vissi d’arte has been tried and found wanting, as the theatre of war bleeds into the concert halls and opera stages of the world.

This month, the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra cancelled a Tchaikovsky evening because of the conflict, while the Russian composer’s 1812 Overture was dropped from the Royal Albert Hall’s Classical Spectacular concerts, by Japan’s Chubu Philharmonic, by the Akashi Philharmonic and the Zagreb Philharmonic.

Switzerland’s Théâtre Bienne Soleure replaced Tchaikovsky’s Ukraine-based romantic opera Mazeppa over concerns about depicting war on stage, while the Polish National Opera cancelled a performance of Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov, about the downfall of a murderous tsar. Then two university ensembles, Trinity Orchestra and UCD Symphony Orchestra, said they would remove all music by Russian composers from the repertoire.

“This is a mistake,” said Maksym Tymoshenko, President of the Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music in Kyiv, whose musicians made headlines this month staging an outdoor concert in the city’s Independence Square. Mr Tymoshenko told i: “We disagree with banning Russian music. We don’t think it’s appropriate or reasonable. That you cannot perform great works of art, whether 1812 or others, is very twisted logic. Modern Putin’s Russia has nothing to do with the great Russian culture. By banning it we are not doing anybody a favour.” . . .


New Book | Worn: A People’s History of Clothing

Posted in books by Editor on March 21, 2022

From Penguin Random House:

Sofi Thanhauser, Worn: A People’s History of Clothing (New York: Pantheon, 2022), 400 pages, ISBN: ‎978-1524748395, $30.

In this panoramic social history, Sofi Thanhauser brilliantly tells five stories—Linen, Cotton, Silk, Synthetics, Wool—about the clothes we wear and where they come from, illuminating our world in unexpected ways. She takes us from the opulent court of Louis XIV to the labor camps in modern-day Chinese-occupied Xinjiang. We see how textiles were once dyed with lichen, shells, bark, saffron, and beetles, displaying distinctive regional weaves and knits, and how the modern Western garment industry has refashioned our attire into the homogenous and disposable uniforms popularized by fast-fashion brands.

Thanhauser makes clear how the clothing industry has become one of the planet’s worst polluters and how it relies on chronically underpaid and exploited laborers. But she also shows us how micro-communities, textile companies, and clothing makers in every corner of the world are rediscovering ancestral and ethical methods for making what we wear. Drawn from years of intensive research and reporting from around the world, and brimming with fascinating stories, Worn reveals to us that our clothing comes not just from the countries listed on the tags or ready-made from our factories. It comes, as well, from deep in our histories.

Sofi Thanhauser teaches in the writing department at Pratt Institute. She has received fellowships from the Fulbright Program, MacDowell, and Ucross Foundation. Her writing has appeared in Vox, Essay Daily, and The Establishment, among other publications.



1  The Last Linen Shirt in New Hampshire
2  Underthings

3  Texas Fields
4  The Fabric Revolution
5  Drought

6  Yangtze Silk
7  Costume Drama
8  The Rise of Mass Fashion

9  Rayon
10  Nylons
11  Export Processing Zones

12  Army of the Small
13  Woolfest
14  Weavers



Call for Papers | CSECS, ECSSS, NEASECS 2022

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 20, 2022

Jean Siméon Chardin, Attributes of the Sciences, 1731, oil on canvas, oil on canvas, 140 × 220 cm
(Paris: Musée Jacquemart-André)

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From the Call for Papers for the conference. And please note the separate due date for NEASECS soliciting panels (April 8) with paper proposals due by May 6; send to neasecs@gmail.com. Art history panels and papers are encouraged!

Experiencing Modernity; Modernity of Experimentation
Expérience de la modernité; Modernité de l’expérimentation
Canadian Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (CSECS) in collaboration with the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society (ECSSS) and the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (NEASECS)
University of Ottawa / Delta Hotel by Marriott, Ottawa City Centre, 26–29 October 2022

CSECS paper proposals due by 15 April 2022 / NEASECS panels due 8 April and papers due 6 May 2022

In the years leading up to the eighteenth century, the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns sparked a passionate debate in which the concept of modernity featured prominently. This was not the first time the concept of the ‘modern’, as a present that contrasted with the remote past, was invoked, but it marks a significant, perhaps defining, development or consolidation of the idea. At issue in the Quarrel was the question of whether or not ancient learning, thought, and literary achievement had been overtaken and superseded by modern thinkers and writers. The Quarrel brought into focus the very idea of modernity itself, of novelty and newness. Was the new century in some fundamental way new and different from previous eras, whether in its socio-political organization; its understanding of nature and the cosmos; its conception of art, literature, and the aesthetic; or its invention of new technologies and material processes? How was the world of the eighteenth century different from what came before it? When and where did this modernity begin? Are we to see this as a heroic narrative of progress, or does it also manifest a dark, destructive dimension that undermined and defeated optimistic visions of the future?

Two features that stand out in this project of self-conceptualization are a sense of historical difference from the past and a drive to record human experience—in dictionaries and encyclopedias—or to measure it by experimentation. Our conference title highlights the interplay between these two terms, for historically, ‘experimentation’ and ‘experience’ are closely related. Indeed, in modern French the word expérience is almost interchangeable with expérimentation, and in English, the earliest meaning of ‘experience’ was an action of putting something to the test (“to make experience of: to make trial of” [OED]). An experience is also an observation of facts or events, and in more recent usage it refers to what a person might subjectively encounter, undergo, live through, and be affected by. We invite conference participants to explore all these facets of the experience of modernity in the eighteenth century.

For explorers, scholars, and creators of the eighteenth century, modernity demanded to be experienced and experimented with, and it came to be defined by a multiplicity of experiments. In the sciences and philosophy, this trend is especially clear, with the development of ‘experimental philosophy’, deriving from Bacon, Newton, and Locke, which made possible the development of new fields of knowledge, new understanding of the grounds of knowledge, and new technologies and practices—in manufacturing, medicine, and military art, for example.

But experimentation in the period is also manifested in field research: that of travelers who set out to meet other cultures, that of correspondents of the academies and learned societies who described the natural world around them, that of inventors and innovators who came to present the fruit of their work to assemblies. Experimentation, here, evolved beyond the collection of ‘curiosities’, to be displayed in cabinets (a matter of spectacle and wonder), to become research, in the sense that we still understand it today, that is to say a deliberate, controlled testing of phenomena in order to bring about predicted effects.

In the fine arts and literature, experimentation took many forms, such as the development of new genres (domestic tragedy, bourgeois drama, prose fiction) and the transformation and mixing of existing ones (georgic, the mock-heroic). Artistic experiments like these were designed to elicit new pleasures and to stimulate new effects in audiences, of moral transformation or aesthetic response. But artists in the period went further: the eighteenth century was also a laboratory of media, as artists endeavoured to exploit the technical discoveries of their time, from the magic lantern to the ocular harpsichord.

We could extend this intellectual and cultural survey almost indefinitely, taking in politics, law, moral inquiry, economics and other nascent social sciences. But modernity was also experienced as difference and alterity: gender, ethnicity, race, and foreignness, for example, figured prominently in the imagining and experience of modernity, as projections of anxieties, fears, and hopes about profound cultural and social change. Financial volatility and novel instruments of credit, for example, were often allegorized as fickle, valetudinarian women, and innovation and novelty were often stigmatized xenophobically as ‘foreign’. Conversely, the inhabitants of Africa and the Americas suffered often calamitous consequences in their encounters with the modernity of an alien culture and alien intruders. This darker side of the experience of modernity will be equally prominent in our exploration of the CSECS 2022 conference theme.

A key dimension of this experience of modernity, for us today, is the ongoing contact between European explorers, empire builders, and colonizers and the indigenous nations who confronted them. The 2021 CSECS conference in Winnipeg mounted an ambitious program of inquiry into the ‘Indigenous Eighteenth Century’, and it is our aim at the Ottawa conference to build on this important work. Thus, the conference organizers particularly invite panels and roundtables that focus on non-European perspectives on the European project of modernity.

Topics related to the conference theme might include, but are not limited to, the following:
• the experimental sciences in dialogue with artistic production
• the idea of innovation in literature and the arts
• experience and the modern novel
• empirical and moral philosophy as sciences of humanity
• enlightenment and the critique of modernity
• travel writing—both real and imagined.
Lettres persanes (301 years later)
• economic experiments; financial modernity
• conjectural history as experimental or speculative historiography
• constitutional experimentation
• experience of gender; gender and modernity

In keeping with past practice at CSECS conferences, panel and paper proposals on current research unrelated to the conference theme will be equally considered. Deadline for submission of panel proposals: 15 March 2022. Deadline for submission of individual paper proposals: 15 April 2022.

NEASECS soliciting panels are due April 8, with paper proposals due by May 6; please either send to neasecs@gmail.com. Art history panels and papers are encouraged!

All those presenting at the conference must be members in good standing either of CSECS, ECSSS, or NEASECS. Paper proposals should include title, 150-word summary, and brief biographical note indicating the presenter’s name, email, academic status, and institutional affiliation. Panel proposals should include titles and 150-word summaries of both panel and individual papers, and brief biographical notes for all presenters (normally three) and respondents (if any), including names, email addresses, academic statuses, and institutional affiliations. Please send your proposals to csecs-scedhs2022@uottawa.ca. Participants may present papers in English or French and will be invited to submit articles based on their papers in either language to Lumen, the official journal of CSECS, for publication.

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Note (added 20 March)The original posting did not include the separate due dates for NEASECS submissions.

Online Talk | Gus Casely-Hayford on Crafting the New V&A East

Posted in lectures (to attend), museums, online learning by Editor on March 19, 2022

From The Institute of Fine Arts:

Gus Casely-Hayford | Making a Museum: Crafting a New V&A for East London
Online, The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 21 March 2022, 2pm ET

The Institute of Fine Arts invites you to a lecture by Dr. Gus Casely-Hayford, Director of the V&A East, a new museum and collection center in London. This virtual program takes place on Monday, 21 March 2022, at 2pm (Eastern Time).

Advanced registration is required–and available here.

A curator and historian who writes, lectures, and broadcasts widely on culture, Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, OBE, Prof by Practice, SOAS, University of London (the leading Higher Education institution in Europe specializing in the study of Asia, Africa, and the Near and Middle East), is the founding Director of V&A East, a museum and collection center presently under construction. He was previously the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

Over the course of his career, Casely-Hayford has been a constant champion for the arts. He has presented two television series of The Lost Kingdoms of Africa for the BBC (and wrote the companion book), two television series of Tate Britain: Great Art Walks for Sky, and has worked for every major British TV channel. His TED talk on Islamic culture has been viewed more than a million times. Former Executive Director of Arts Strategy, Arts Council England (Britain’s major arts funder) and ex-Director of the Institute of International Contemporary Art, he has offered leadership to both large and medium scale organizations. Dr Casely-Hayford has lectured widely on art and culture, including periods at Sotheby’s Institute, Goldsmiths, Birkbeck, City University, University of Westminster, and SOAS. He has advised national and international bodies on heritage and culture including the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch, and Norwegian Arts Councils. In 2005 he deployed these leadership, curatorial, fundraising, and communications skills to organize the biggest celebration of Africa Britain has ever hosted with Africa 2005 when more than 150 organizations put on over 1000 exhibitions and events to showcase African culture.

Amongst a range of honors, he has been awarded a King’s College cultural fellowship for service to the arts and a SOAS Honorary Fellowship for service to Africa. He speaks widely, gave a SOAS Centenary lecture, judged the Art Fund’s British Museum of the Year award, advised the Royal Shakespeare Company on their production of Hamlet, and is a member of English Heritage’s ‘Blue Plaques Group’.

This program is made possible with generous funding from the Paul Lott Lectureship.

Internal render view of the central public collection hall in new V&A East Storehouse at Here East, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. © Diller Scofidio + Renfro, 2018.

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From the V&A:

One of the world’s most significant new museum projects, V&A East will comprise two sister sites currently under construction in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. Opening at Here East in 2024, V&A East Storehouse offers a new immersive experience, taking visitors behind the scenes and providing unprecedented public access to V&A collections. A short walk across the park, opening in 2025, V&A East Museum celebrates global creativity and making relevant to today’s world. Both sites are part of East Bank, the Mayor of London’s £1.1 billion Olympic legacy project, which will create a new arts, innovation and education hub in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. . . .

Additional information is available here»

Exhibition | Flora Yukhnovich: Thirst Trap

Posted in catalogues, exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on March 16, 2022

Flora Yukhnovich, I’ll Have What She’s Having, 2020, oil on linen, 170 × 220 cm. Estimated to sell for £60,000–£80,000, the painting sold for £2,253,500 (Sotheby’s London, 14 October 2021).

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After only a handful of solo exhibitions, beginning in 2017, the British artist Flora Yukhnovich (b. Norwich 1990) has recently emerged as a leading contemporary painter, receiving coverage in both visual arts media and the popular press. The New York Times recently included her in a piece about speculators hoping to to ‘flip’ art at auction (in October, her painting I’ll Have What She’s Having sold at Sotheby’s for $3.1million).

I note Yukhnovich here at Enfilade because of her engagement with eighteenth-century painting, an engagement she attributes to Mary Sheriff. In a 2020 interivew with Immediations, published by The Courtauld, Yukhnovich references both Fragonard: Art and Eroticism (University of Chicago Press, 1990) and Enchanted Islands: Picturing the Allure of Conquest in Eighteenth-Century France (University of Chicago Press, 2018).

As Yukhnovich describes her artistic development during the interview:
“I then began looking at decorative design. At first it was about the very flatness of it, which I really enjoyed. Then it became about the ways in which paint itself can do things, like create drop shadows, or the different ways in which paint can be used to construct space. It became apparent to me that I was gravitating toward these things because they were related to femininity in a way, but they also all happened to be derived from a Rococo aesthetic. When I found [Sheriff’s] book on Fragonard, I realised that a lot of the Rococo seemed to tap into all these different elements that I had been looking at. The aesthetic of the Rococo feels very familiar to me, and there are lots of things that I, as a woman and also as a girl growing up, interacted with which seem to have a Rococo sensibility to them. I do not feel like that about many other art historical movements. That is why I landed on it. It was about a lot of different interests coming together.”


Flora Yukhnovich, Siren Song, 2022.

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From the press release for the the exhibition now on view in London at Victoria Miro:

Flora Yukhnovich: Thirst Trap
Victoria Miro, London, 1–26 March 2022

Flora Yukhnovich is acclaimed for paintings that, fluctuating between abstraction and figuration, transcend painterly traditions to fuse high art with popular culture and intellect with intuition. While in the past she has adopted the language of Rococo, dynamically reimagining aspects of works by eighteenth-century artists such as Tiepolo, Boucher, Lancret, and Watteau, new paintings draw upon various depictions of the Roman goddess Venus in mythology, art history, and contemporary culture. Rather than focus on individual points of reference, each work synthesises a multitude of influences that convey the shifting representations and significations of Venus herself. Here the Venus who embodies idealised female form and is goddess of love, maternal care, sexual reproduction, and erotic desire, meets the Venus of violent origin and hybrid gender—promiscuous and vengeful.

In Greco-Roman mythology, Venus emerges fully formed when Cronus throws Uranus’s dismembered testicles into the sea; she is carried to land from the boiling spume in a shell. The artist says, “I was immediately drawn to the idea of her body being made of water… this fluidity of form feels like a very painterly concept to me, a bit like creating seemingly solid figures out of wet paint. There is a tendency for water and the sea to be spoken about as female—fluid and soft but also capricious and destructive. I like the potential for strength or force in that association and it’s something I try and bring to these paintings.”

Travelling back and forth through art, mythology and philosophy, and echoing Venus’s storied representations through time, Yukhnovich’s references are revealed to be equally as fluid. One influence is Rubens’s The Feast of Venus, 1636–37, in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, which depicts the festivities of Veneralia—the ancient Roman festival celebrated on 1 April to honour Venus Verticordia, an epithet that alludes to the goddess’s ability to change hearts from lustful to chaste. Venus as an embodiment of propriety contrasts with her promiscuity in another source painting, Boucher’s Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan, c.1754, in the Wallace Collection, which captures the moment when Vulcan, on hearing of his wife’s infidelity with Mars, ensnares the adulterous couple in a golden net, inviting other gods to enjoy their humiliation.

Such divergent attributes are enfolded with allusions in contemporary culture, from Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita to Doja Cat, which demonstrate the enduring potency of Venus as symbol and spirit. In Yukhnovich’s paintings these references are never revealed explicitly. Rather, they are conveyed compositionally or chromatically: variation is a driving force, her virtuosic mark-making—ranging from delicate flourishes to dramatic and muscular brushstrokes—heightens a sense of rhythmic sensuality. Bubbles—by definition one substance contained by another—are a recurring motif in these works; effervescent, capricious, unstable, or transformative, they denote changing states that mirror Venus’s turbulent arrival in mythology and her ever-shifting presence in culture thereafter. Paint, in Yukhnovich’s hands, becomes the perfect vehicle to conjure the multiplicity of a subject which, characterised by flux and transformation, is as elusive as it is seductive.

Born in 1990, Flora Yukhnovich completed her MA at the City & Guilds of London Art School in 2017. She had her first solo exhibition at Brocket, London, in December 2017 and has recently exhibited at Parafin, London, GASK, the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region, Czech Republic, the Jerwood Gallery Hastings, and at Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds Arts University, UK. Previous solo exhibitions with Victoria Miro include The Venice Paintings and Barcarole, both held in 2020. Collections include Government Art Collection and The David Roberts Art Foundation. In 2018 she completed The Great Women Artists Residency at Palazzo Monti, Brescia. Work by the artist will feature in the survey exhibition Impressionism: A World View; Yukhnovich’s painting will be exhibited in galleries dedicated to ‘Contemporary Neo-Impressionists’, on view at The Nassau County Museum of Art, NY, from 19 March to 10 July 2022. In 2023 Yukhnovich will be the first artist to take part in a new series of solo exhibitions responding to the collections of The Ashmolean, Oxford, titled Ashmolean NOW.

Call for Papers | Tracing Material Cultures in Early America

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 14, 2022

As announced by CAA:

Objects, Pathways, and Afterlives: Tracing Material Cultures in Early America
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, 20–22 April 2023

Organized by Christine DeLucia, Tiya Miles, Scott Manning Stevens, and Jennnifer Van Horn

Proposals due by 15 May 2022

This two-and-a-half-day symposium in April 2023 at the Huntington Library will articulate new pathways forward in American material cultures, broadly defined in terms of subject matter, hemispheric geography, and time period (from roughly 1500 to 1860). We invite holistic thinking about existing fault lines in object study and the generative spaces around issues of power, absence, representation, labor, hybridity, and materiality. Recognizing that ‘early’ America itself has been contested in productive ways, we ask what work ‘early’ American objects can help effect along the lines of contemporary visual sovereignty as well as cultural preservation and knowledge production.

As critical reckonings with the enduring legacies of white supremacy and settler colonialism that shaped early America continue to impact communities today, we seek to create a space for creative learning to investigate: How do we do this work? How do we interpret this work with and for multiple publics? How can we better engage younger community members and college students with materials collected by museums? What through-lines can museums elucidate between historical materials and contemporary Indigenous and African American artists and knowledge keepers?

Symposium participants can engage with the Huntington’s Fielding Collection of Early American Art as a resource and point of departure, but talks do not have to respond directly to works in the collection.

We invite proposals for 20–30 minute papers addressing these themes from people in many fields, including but not limited to African Diaspora, Archaeology, Art History, History, Indigenous Studies, Material Culture, and Museum Studies. Cross-disciplinary and comparative studies are also welcome. To submit, please email abstracts of no more than 200 words, along with a short (2 page) CV, to objectspathwaysafterlives@huntington.org by 15 May 2022.

Travel and accommodations will be provided for speakers arriving from outside the Los Angeles area, and meals will be provided for all. Graduate students outside the Los Angeles area who want to attend the conference are welcome to apply for grants to cover travel and lodging. To be considered, email objectspathwaysafterlives@huntington.org a 300-word statement detailing your research interests and outlining how attending the conference will further your scholarly or career development, along with a short (2-page) CV by 15 May 2022.

Online Lecture | Susan Lahey on Chinese Porcelain in Canada

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on March 14, 2022

From Events in the Field:

Susan Lahey | Chinese Porcelain in Canada in the 18th and 19th Centuries: Examples in Nova Scotia and Quebec Collections
Online, Canadian Society of Decorative Arts, 3 April 2022, 3pm (EDT)

Did you know there are more than 69,000 fragments of Chinese blue and white porcelain in the archaeological collection of Nova Scotia’s Fortress of Louisbourg? Or that Chinese famille rose porcelains were imported to Canada from the famous Imperial kilns of Jingdezhen? Join Asian art expert Susan Lahey, MA, ISA CAPP, for a visually engaging presentation exploring Chinese porcelain in museum collections from Quebec and Nova Scotia. Not only will she examine the history of when and how these pieces arrived in Canada, but also provide a brief background on the development of blue and white in China. The significance of these porcelain wares and the symbolism of decoration depicted on them will be discussed in a way that is entertaining to a broad audience of both Western and Chinese porcelain connoisseurs alike. Sunday, 3 April 2022, 3pm (EDT).

Register here»

Susan Lahey, MA, ISA CAPP, is a certified, professional appraiser with more than two decades of experience, specializing in Chinese decorative and fine art. Ms. Lahey holds an Honours BA in Chinese Studies from the University of Toronto; an MA in Classical Chinese Literature from the University of British Columbia; and a Post-Graduate Diploma with Distinction in Asian Art from the School of Oriental & African Studies/Sotheby’s in London, England.

CSDA/CCAD Sundays are regular online events hosted by the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts (csda-ccad.org) featuring a wide range of makers, collectors and other topics of interest to lovers of the decorative arts and crafts.

Conference | Fragile Splendour

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on March 14, 2022

From Haughton International:

Fragile Splendour: Prestige, Power, and Politics from the Medici to the Present Day
The British Academy, Carlton House Terrace, London, 29–30 June 2022

Vase ‘E de 1780’ Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, 1781 (London: Wallace Collection C334 004).

We have great pleasure in announcing that this year’s Haughton International Seminar, entitled Fragile Splendour: Prestige, Power & Politics from the Medici’s to the Present Day, will again take place at The British Academy, 11 Carlton House Terrace, on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th June. Each year we draw together eminent international speakers to share their knowledge and passion with an appreciative audience. Information regarding this exciting seminar can be viewed on our website here. Tickets can be purchased online via this link. We look forward to welcoming you in June.

Cost of the two-day seminar: £110 (inc VAT). Cost of the two-day seminar including champagne reception and dinner at The Athenaeum on Wednesday, 29th June: £190 (inc VAT). Student tickets for the two-day seminar (on production of ID): £60 (inc VAT). Booking in advance through the website is essential due to limited numbers. The box office opens on Tuesday, 1st March. Below is a preliminary programme (subject to change).

W E D N E S D A Y ,  2 9  J U N E  2 0 2 2

8.45  Registration

9.15  Welcome Address

9.30  Morning Session
• Gregory Irvine — The Art of War, the Arts of Peace: Patronage and Production of Luxury Crafts for the Samurai
• Timothy Schroder — Diplomatic Gifts in Gold
• Mathieu Deldicque — Prestige Despite Disfavour: The Prince de Condé and Chantilly Porcelain
• Helen Jacobson — The Art of Giving: Diplomacy at the Bourbon Court

1.00  Lunch Break

2.15  Afternoon Session
• Timothy Wilson — The Medici and Maiolica in the Time of the Florentine Republic
• Amin Jaffer — Attributes of Splendor: Jewels and the Projection of Power in Royal India

3.55  Face-to-Face: Rosalind Savill in Conversation with Brian Haughton

4.45  Q&A Session

6.30  Drinks Reception at The Athenaeum Club (for dinner guests only)

7.15  Dinner (dress code is smart with ties for gentlemen; no denim or training shoes)

T H U R S D A Y ,  3 0  J U N E  2 0 2 2

9.00  Arrival

9.15  Morning Session
• Samuel Wittwer — Polishing the Crown: The Influence of Artists and Scholars on Royal Berlin Porcelain Orders
• Leslie Greene Bowman — Thomas Jefferson at Monticello: Prestige, Power, and the ‘Peculiar Institution’ of Slavery
• Eva Stroeber — For Sultans, Grand Dukes, and German Princes: Chinese Porcelain as Diplomatic Gift
• Rose Kerr — How Chinese Emperors Used Ceramics to Support their Power and Prestige

1.00  Lunch Break

2.15  Afternoon Session
• Johann Kräftner — Rebuilding a Collection: 20 Years of Working with Palaces, Paintings, Sculpture, Furniture, and Porcelain
• Julia Weber — Augustus the Strong and the ‘Red Porcelain’ from Saxony
• Judy Rudoe — Jewellery, Politics, and National Identity: Princess Alexandra and Her Wedding Gifts

4.30  Q&A Session

New Book | Chiswick House Gardens

Posted in books by Editor on March 12, 2022

From Liverpool UP:

David Jacques, Chiswick House Gardens: 300 Years of Creation and Re-creation (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2022), 248 pages, ISBN: 978-1800856219, £40.

The grounds at Chiswick House are amongst the most iconic of all the historic gardens of Europe. In the 1720s they reflected Lord Burlington’s innovative ideas on Palladianism and antique gardens, whilst the area transformed by William Kent to give a rustic appearance in the early 1730s has been recognised as one of, or perhaps the, birthplace of the landscape garden. The grounds were periodically brought to the forefront of taste, reaching another high point as the venue for spectacular garden parties under the 6th Duke of Devonshire. As a garden of many periods it has given rise to passionate national debates since World War II on the principles of restoration, and as a public park it has been an important project assisted by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Its renewed high state of keeping and its tranquil beauty belies its ‘deep’ history of intellectual debate, social tensions and practical difficulties.

The book concentrates on the four main periods when Chiswick gardens were in the national spotlight, two when being in the forefront of taste and two concerning the restorations, the first being in the 1950s when the whole question of garden restoration was entirely new. The second restoration, on and off since 1988 intersects with the development of a philosophical stance and national policy on the restoration of parks and gardens. There is much of interest for art and architectural historians, garden historians, social historians and those local and international visitors who enjoy the finest public park in West London.

David Jacques is an independent scholar and part-time lecturer at the Institute for Historical Research.


Image Credits
About the Book

1  ‘His Lordship’s Fine Genius’
2  ‘A Picture of Watteau’
3  English Palladianism
4  The Public Park Initiative

Appendix A: The Owners of Chiswick House Gardens
Appendix B: The Head Gardeners at Chiswick House
Appendix C: Chronology


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