Thematic Route | Women as Art Promoters and Patrons at the Prado

Posted in conferences (summary), conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on December 28, 2022

This thematic route is one tangible result of a symposium held in March of this year, which focused on the period 1451 to 1633; a second symposium addressing the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is scheduled for 6–7 March 2023 (see the note at the end of this posting and a separate posting).

El Prado en femenino
The Female Perspective: The Role of Women as Promoters and Patrons of the Arts at the Prado
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 14 December 2022 — 9 April 2023

Developed with Noelia García Pérez

In collaboration with the Ministry of Culture’s Institute for Women, from today (14 December 2022) until 9 April 2023 the Museo Nacional del Prado is offering a new perspective on its permanent collection through a thematic route devised with the academic supervision of Noelia García Pérez, associate professor of art history at the University of Murcia. The result is a fresh viewpoint and one that encourages us to focus on the role of women as promoters and patrons of the arts.

Among all European museums, the Prado is probably the one in which women have played the most decisive role with regard to its configuration, either as collectors and promoters or through their key contribution to its foundation and existence. Works such as Van der Weyden’s Descent from the Cross, Titian’s Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg, the superb bronze sculptures of Philip II and Mary of Hungary commissioned from Pompeo and Leone Leoni, and The Holy Family with Saints by Rubens would not be present in the Prado’s collection without women’s involvement.

The works included in this thematic route are associated with women who were not only notable for their activities as patrons but also in the promotion of the artists who worked in their service. One particularly notable example is that of Isabel Clara Eugenia (1566–1633). The Prado houses dozens of works directly resulting from her patronage, in addition to the fact that the Museum’s close connections with Rubens is particularly allied to the promotion and dissemination of his career on the part of the Archduchess, who was governor of the Southern Netherlands. This explains why the Prado houses the largest collection of works by Rubens in the world.

The Female Perspective reflects the first edition of the symposium Key Women in the Creation of the Prado’s Collections: From Isabella I of Castile to Isabel Clara Eugenia (Protagonistas femeninas en la formación de las colecciones del Prado: De Isabel I de Castilla a Isabel Clara Eugenia), which took place in March this year and will be followed by Key Women in the Creation of the Prado’s Collections, Part II: From Elisabeth of France to Mariana of Neuburg (Protagonistas femeninas en la formación de las colecciones del Museo del Prado II: De Isabel de Borbón a Mariana de Neoburgo), to be held on 6 and 7 March 2023.

The full press release is available here»

The Female Perspective: Women Art Patrons of the Museo del Prado (Madrid: Prado, 2022), 160 pages, €10.

Online | Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade

Posted in conferences (summary), lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on March 19, 2021

Presented by the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Harvard Art Museums, and Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture:

Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures
Online conference in four parts: 9–23 April 2021

Organized by Sarah Mallory, Kéla Jackson, and Rachel Burke, together with Joanna Sheers Seidenstein

Registration is now open for the conference Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures, presented by the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Harvard Art Museums, and Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture. This four-partprogram explores efforts by art museums to deploy their spaces and their collections—which are often enmeshed with colonialism and exploitation—to present more complete narratives of and perspectives on slavery and its legacies. This conference is organized by Sarah Mallory, Kéla Jackson, and Rachel Burke, all doctoral students in Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture, and Joanna Sheers Seidenstein, the Stanley H. Durwood Foundation Curatorial Fellow in the Division of European and American Art, at the Harvard Art Museums. We hope you will attend!

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Part 1 | Exhibiting Slavery and Representing Black Lives
Friday, 9 April 2021, 1–3pm EST

Curators will discuss their work on groundbreaking projects in the Netherlands and the United States, namely the Rijksmuseum’s current Slavery exhibition, the Rembrandthuis Museum’s exhibition Here: Black in Rembrandt’s Time, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s reinstallation of its permanent collection, and the Museums Are Not Neutral initiative. They will reflect on the broader call for museums to recognize the relationship of their collections to slavery and to present-day racial injustice. Speakers include Maria Holtrop (Curator of History, Rijksmuseum), Stephanie Archangel (Junior Curator, History Department, Rijksmuseum), Diva Zumaya (Assistant Curator, European Painting and Sculpture, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), and La Tanya S. Autry (cultural organizer, co-producer of Museums Are Not Neutral, founder of the Black Liberation Center, and independent curator).

For more information and to register, please click here»

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Part 2 | De-centering/Re-centering: Forging New Museological and Historical Narratives
Friday, 16 April 2021, 1–3 pm EST

This session brings together historians and art historians whose work has, on the one hand, been grounded in art museum collections and, on the other, challenged traditional museological narratives of slavery’s legacies in the Netherlands and the Americas. Speakers include Vincent Brown (Charles Warren Professor of American History, Professor of African and African American Studies, and Founding Director of the History Design Studio, Harvard University), Pepijn Brandon (Assistant Professor of Economic and Social History, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Senior Researcher, International Institute of Social History), Elmer Kolfin (Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam), and Claudia Swan (Mark Steinberg Weil Professor of Art History & Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis).

For more information and to register, please click here»

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Part 3 | History, Memory, and Legacy: Jamaica Kincaid, Rosana Paulino, and Cheryl Finley in Conversation
Friday, 23 April 2021, 11am–noon EST

Renowned writer Jamaica Kincaid and groundbreaking visual artist Rosana Paulino will discuss their explorations of the legacies of slavery in their work. They will be joined in conversation by eminent art historian Cheryl Finley.

For more information and to register, please click here»

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Part 4 | The Work of Objects: Interpretation within and beyond Museum Walls
Friday, 23 April 2021, 1– 2:30pm EST

This session includes brief talks, followed by a roundtable discussion, by academics and museum professionals who focus on Dutch and American art and history. Speakers will discuss specific objects—ranging from the 17th to the 21st century—that have posed interpretive and museological challenges. They will also present new possibilities for considering the relationship between slavery’s past and present-day racial injustice. Speakers include Justin Brown (Ph.D. candidate, Department of the History of Art, Yale University), Ana Lucia Araujo (Full Professor and Associate Chair, Department of History, Howard University), Makeda Best (Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography, Harvard Art Museums), Nancy Jouwe (Chairwoman, BAK [basis voor actuele kunst] Supervisory Board, Utrecht; co-founder, Framer Framed; and co-founder, Mapping Slavery), Imara Limon (Curator, Amsterdam Museum), Adam Tessier (Barbara and Theodore Alfond Director of Interpretation, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), and Lea van der Vinde (Curator, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis).

For more information and to register, please click here»

Journal18, #9 Field Notes (Spring 2020)

Posted in conferences (summary), journal articles by Editor on April 11, 2020

The ninth issue of J18 is now available (and be sure to check out the latest offerings in J18’s Notes & Queries). . .

Journal18, Issue #9: Field Notes (Spring 2020)
Issue Editor: Amy Freund

How do we understand the field of eighteenth-century art today? What are its objects of study, and how do we think, write, and teach about them? Where, and when, do we locate ‘the eighteenth century’? This issue of Journal18, emerging from a conference organized by the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture (HECAA) in Dallas, TX (November 2018), maps out the questions and approaches driving the field today, and proposes new directions for its future.

HECAA was established in 1993 at a vibrant moment in the evolution of the ‘new’ art history in the United States, in an effort to carve a place for the study of eighteenth-century art in a discipline that had only just begun to acknowledge it. A quarter of a century later, buoyed by a membership that had increased ten-fold and an utterly transformed publishing landscape (including the founding of Journal18), an anniversary conference was convened at an exciting but also challenging moment in the field. Hosted by the Department of Art History at Southern Methodist University, the HECAA at 25 conference convened 160 scholars of eighteenth-century art to survey its history, present current research and pedagogical initiatives, and consider possible trajectories for its future.

These Field Notes take two different forms. Four research essays by emerging scholars who presented their work at the conference—on French typefaces, Korean folding screens, British ceiling painting, and American veneer furniture—showcase new scholarly directions. A parallel roundtable discussion by conference participants brings to light the most pressing issues facing, and defining, the present and future of the field—among them the importance of place and the possibilities of a ‘global eighteenth century’, the turn toward materiality and material culture, the centrality of the work of female artists, and the impact of the digital humanities on teaching and scholarship.

Amy Freund, Southern Methodist University


The Bignon Commission’s Measured Bodies: Inventing Typeface and Describing the Mechanical Arts under Louis XIV
Sarah Grandin

Tactile Vision in Eighteenth-Century Korean Still-Life, or Ch’aekkŏri
Irene Choi

A New Golden Age: Politics and Mural Painting at Chatsworth
Laurel O. Peterson

The Nature of American Veneer Furniture, circa 1790–1810
Jennifer Y. Chuong


Reflections on HECAA at 25: A Roundtable Discussion
Jeffrey Collins, Elisabeth Fraser, Elizabeth Mansfield, Amelia Rauser, Kristel Smentek & Wendy Bellion, Paris Spies-Gans, Nancy Um, and Amy Freund

Cover image: Steel type punches of the romain du roi, Cabinet des poinçons de l’Imprimerie nationale, Douai. © Photo by Sarah Grandin.

New Book | A Passion for Porcelain

Posted in books, conferences (summary) by Editor on April 9, 2020

Published by the Gardiner Museum in association with Arnoldsche and distributed by ACC Art Books:

Karine Tsoumis and Vanessa Sigalas, eds., A Passion for Porcelain: Essays in Honour of Meredith Chilton (Stuttgart: Arnoldsche, 2020), 208 pages, ISBN: 978-3897905849, $50.

A Passion for Porcelain brings together papers delivered at an international symposium held in 2018 at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum in honour of Meredith Chilton, C.M., one of the foremost scholars and curators of eighteenth-century European porcelain. Authored by leading scholars in the field, the essays take us on a journey from France (Sèvres), to Japan via Boston, where we encounter both revered artists and anonymous makers, together with passionate collectors past and present. The contributions also explore the medium of porcelain in the context of artistic rivalry and gift exchange, as an object of fashion and scientific curiosity and as a symbol of status and power. Together, the essays reveal the versatility of the medium, changing perceptions, and endless possibilities for porcelain scholarship.

With contributions by Daniel Chen, Katharina Hantschmann, Peter Kaellgren, Sebastian Kuhn, Claudia Lehner-Jobst, Thomas Michie, Jeffrey Munger, Linda Roth, Rosalind Savill, Vanessa Sigalas, and Karine Tsoumis.

Conference Papers | Académies d’art et mondes sociaux, 1740–1805

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on June 16, 2019

Conference papers from the study day on ‘Académies d’art et mondes sociaux, 1740–1805’, held last November in Rouen, are now available from the ACA-RES website. Also please note that the research programme’s next conference will be held in Paris 26–28 March 2020. Proposals for papers related to ‘Art Academies and Their Networks in the Age of Enlightenment’ are being accepted until 6 September 2019.

Journées d’étude III: Académies d’art et mondes sociaux, 1740–1805
Hôtel des Sociétés Savantes, Rouen, 29–30 November 2018

Jean-Jacques Lequeu, Études de l’œil (detail), 1798.

Nouer des liens entre arts, belles-lettres et sciences: entre interaction et distanciation
En partenariat Université Toulouse – Jean Jaurès ; Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art, Paris ; Les musées de Rouen

Les troisièmes journées d’étude du programme ACA-RES se sont tenues les 29 et 30 novembre 2018 à Rouen, en voici le compte rendu synthétique et les différents articles auxquels il renvoie :

• Anne Perrin Khelissa and Émilie Roffidal, « Nouer des liens entre arts, belles-lettres et sciences : entre interaction et distanciation », Les papiers d’ACA-RES, Actes des journées d’étude, 29–30 novembre 2018, Rouen, Hôtel des Sociétés Savantes, mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : perrin khelissa-roffidal-2019)

1. Architecture, peinture, sculpture, des sœurs jumelles ?

• Émilie d’Orgeix, « L’ingénieur, les écoles du génie et les arts », à venir
• Dominique Massounie, « La place de l’architecture et de l’École des arts de Jacques-François Blondel dans l’histoire des académies artistiques provinciales du XVIIIe siècle », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : massounie-2019)
• Théodore Guuinic, « L’École des arts, ponts et chaussées de Montpellier sous la Révolution, 1787–1796 : un enseignement conjoint des sciences et des arts », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : guuinic-2019)

2. L’art est-il utile à l’économie ?

• Aude Gobet, « Jean-Baptiste Descamps, les négociants et les manufactures à Rouen au XVIIIe siècle, 1741–1791 », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : gobet-2019)
• Moïra Dato, « État des lieux sur la question des rapports entre l’école de dessin et la Grande Fabrique à Lyon : les dessinateurs et marchands fabricants en étoffes d’or, d’argent et de soie », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : dato-2019)
• Céline Paul, « La Société d’agriculture, des arts et des sciences de la Haute-Vienne et la mise en place progressive d’un enseignement du dessin », à venir

3. Arts et lettres, quelles rencontres possibles ?

• Émilie Roffidal, « Marseille, contacts et relations inter-académiques : les liens entre l’Académie des sciences et belles-lettres et l’Académie de peinture et de sculpture », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : roffidal-2019)
• Véronique Krings, « Anne-Marie d’Aignan, marquis d’Orbessan, un curieux toulousain, entre arts, littérature et antiquarisme », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : krings-2019)
• Julie Lablanche, « Échos de la vie artistique et des progrès techniques dans les éloges, discours et mémoires de l’académie de Besançon », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : lablanche-2019)

4. Quelles sciences pour les arts ?

• Nelly Vi-Tong, « Entre les sciences et les arts : les ambitions pédagogiques de l’Académie des sciences, arts et belles-lettres de Dijon », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : vi-tong-2019)
• Flore César, « Des arts dans une ville de sciences, des sciences dans une école d’art : la Société des beaux-arts de Montpellier, 1777–1784 », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : cesar-2019)
• Jérôme Lamy, « Sciences, arts et belles-lettres, les académies entre ‘travail aux frontières’ et ‘objets frontières’ à l’époque moderne », mis en ligne juin 2019 (PDF à télécharger : lamy-2019)

Exhibition | Madame de Maintenon

Posted in books, catalogues, conferences (summary), exhibitions by Editor on April 28, 2019

Now on view at Versailles:

Madame de Maintenon: In the Corridors of Power
Château de Versailles, 16 April — 21 July 2019

Curated by Alexandre Maral and Mathieu da Vinha

The first exhibition entirely devoted to the Marquise of Maintenon, on the tercentenary of her death on 15 April 1719, recounts the extraordinary life of Françoise d’Aubigné (1635–1719). She was born in a prison yet went on to become the Sun King’s wife in 1683.

The different stages of her life are shown in around 60 works from the collections of Versailles and other museums, including paintings, drawings, engravings, books, sculptures, medals, and so on. The visit passes through the four adjoining rooms of the apartment she lived in from 1682 until 1715, on the first floor of the Palace’s central section.

The scenography returns the walls to their original colours at the time. They are richly draped in alternating silk panels as described in the Furniture Store-House inventories from 1708: red damask, crimson damask, and red taffeta for the second antechamber; green and gold damask for the bedroom; and crimson and gold flower damask for the Chambers. This installation was made possible thanks to the restoration of these wall hangings by Tassinari et Chatel, the nation’s oldest silk manufacturer, founded in Lyon by Louis XIV.

The exhibition is curated by Alexandre Maral (Head Curator for Heritage and Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles) and Mathieu da Vinha (Scientific Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles), with scenography by Jérôme Dumoux.

Alexandre Maral and Mathieu da Vinha, Madame de Maintenon: Dans les allées du pouvoir (Paris: Hazan, 2019), 192 pages, ISBN: 978-2754110723, 35€.

The exhibition brochure (in French and English) is available as PDF file here

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Symposium | Madame de Maintenon, 1719–2019
Château de Versailles, 21–23 March 2019

This international symposium offered a fresh look at this multifaceted historical figure, reviewing the biographical aspects of the Marquise, as well as her correspondence and the literary and iconographic legend surrounding her.

Details along with audio recordings are available here.

Conference | HECAA Sessions at UAAC, 2018

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on November 10, 2018

Thanks to Christina Smylitopoulos for again chairing this year’s HECAA sessions at UAAC. Next year’s conference is scheduled for Québec City. Full program details for 2018, including abstracts and speaker information, is available here.

Universities Art Association of Canada / l’association d’art des universités du Canada
University of Waterloo, Ontario, 25–27 October 2018

F R I D A Y ,  2 6  O C T O B E R  2 0 1 8

HECAA Open Session, Part 1, 2:00–3:30
Chair | Christina Smylitopoulos (University of Guelph)
1  Sarah Carter (McGill University), Physiognomies of Genius: Competition and Friendship in Aphorisms on Man
2  Andrea Korda (University of Alberta), The Eclipse of Visual Education? Object Lessons from Pestalozzi to Mayo
3  Loren Lerner (Concordia University in Montreal), The Infant, the Mother, and the Breast in the Paintings of Marguerite Gérard

HECAA Open Session, Part 2, 4:00–5:30
Chair | Christina Smylitopoulos (University of Guelph)
1  Caroline Murphy (MIT), Sensation and Sacred History: The Museo Sacro in Eighteenth-Century Rome
2  Alena Robin (Western University), Transatlantic Perspectives of a Passion Series by Mexican Painter José de Ibarra
3  Justina Spencer (Carleton University), Sartorial Alterity and the Cartographic Impulse: Costume Illustrations in French Travel Memoirs of the Ottoman Empire

OpEd | HECAA at 25 Conference Recap

Posted in conferences (summary), opinion pages by Editor on November 6, 2018

Back home from the HECAA at 25 Conference in Dallas, I feel my mind still whirling from what was perhaps the best conference I’ve ever attended. As strange as it may sound, a previous contender for me had been CSECS 2001 in Saskatoon, which included an extraordinary panel on ‘Post-Mortem Investigations: Then and Now’, organized around Samuel Johnson’s autopsy, a session that included not only Anita Guerrini, Helen Deutsch, and John Bender but also medical doctors and a dissected corpse(!), all with an eye toward anatomical similarities and differences across the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries. The HECAA at 25 Conference brought the past and present into conversation in no less compelling ways, even with no cadaver. Indeed, I’m left with a clear distillation of something like pure vitality.

Having edited Enfilade since 2009, I’m aware of how irregular it is for me to chime in with anything more than a few words introducing a posting. From the start, I was keen to build a platform for the sharing of news related to the long eighteenth century with a very light editorial voice. In 2009 blogs were often derided as self-indulgent means for sharing breakfast and shampoo preferences, and I was set on staying out of the way. If it was clear to me that there were lots of exciting things happening in the field of eighteenth-century art, architecture, and visual studies, it was equally true that we as scholars were doing a particularly bad job of telling others (even ourselves) about those exciting things. Building out that communication piece seemed like a useful service to HECAA.

Rather stupidly, I hadn’t grasped that the nature of the web would very quickly transform a communication mechanism built for a small organization into one with a world-wide audience. And yet, if HECAA members constitute only a small minority of Enfilade readers, the connection between the platform and the organization remains important. And that’s why I feel compelled to report back about the conference. The views shared here are entirely my own as I am in no way speaking for the organization. And crucial, I think, for everyone reading—even if you aren’t a HECAA member—the successes of the conference readily pertain to other academic events.

Three things stand out for me: coherence of the program, communicative opportunities thoughtfully embedded into the schedule, and connections with extraordinary works of art and artifacts added not simply as incidental after-thoughts. First, the very simple decision to include no concurrent sessions meant that participants had a shared experience over the course of the three or four days. It meant that sessions unfolded as part of an ongoing conversation. It meant that the usual conference chaos resulting from choices (where am I trying to go? What did you just hear? You should have been in that session!) was entirely abrogated. Revelatory plenary addresses by Melissa Hyde and Daniela Bleichmar weren’t exceptional events that brought everyone together but extended versions of the kinds of talks others gave (amazing talks actually), with all of us engaged together. Second, time for good conversations, in a variety of settings, was carefully planned. Along with the usual coffee and lunch breaks, there were lively receptions, a boisterous evening of food and drink (with the restaurant all to ourselves and dinner served family style), and as an experiment of sorts, structured break-out sessions with preassigned groups. The efficacy of the group discussions presumably varied, but the activity stands out for me as hugely successful. Some of the most interesting ideas I heard discussed all weekend came out there (thanks goes not only to my group’s facilitators Amber Ludwig and Susanna Caviglia but also Aaron Wile for asking an opening question that couldn’t have been more effective). Third, time for looking at art was built into the schedule, with opportunities for exploring the strong holdings of the Meadows Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Kimbell Art Museum. How many art historical conferences have I attended where actual art was absent from the schedule? Too many.

All three qualities are widely applicable, and organizers should consider them. But there’s another crucial point to all of this, and it’s central to why I’m writing: the conference worked because HECAA is an amazing community of scholars. The final session on Saturday was aimed at thinking about the future of the field of eighteenth-century art studies. It was thought-provoking and (interestingly) the point at which some of the most significant points of difference emerged. To that conversation, I would like to add a modest addendum. For any discussion of what the ‘field’ might best do in the next five, ten, or twenty-five years is necessarily premised on there being a community to do that work. And here, I’m careful not to conflate HECAA with the whole study of eighteenth-century art and architecture (readers of Enfilade prove the point). But it’s no small matter to build a vibrant academic society characterized by goodwill, intellectual hospitality, and the nurturing of scholars along all stages of a career.

That should be celebrated, even as it also bestows responsibilities, obligations to both the present and the future. Organized by Amy Freund—brilliant and indefatigable—the conference underscores the impact an individual can have for a community (with thanks to all who served on the organizing committee). Taking a long view, HECAA has benefited tremendously from founding members who have remained committed to the organization for decades. The impact of Mary Sheriff was profound. I also can’t help mentioning Michael Yonan, who deserves the lion’s share of credit for what the organization has become; he was an enormously effective president at a time when things could have taken a rather different turn. Other officers—treasurers Jennifer Germann and Christina Lindeman and our current president Amelia Rauser—have been adept and sagacious. J18, an online journal affiliated with HECAA, launched by Noémie Etienne, Meredith Martin, and Hannah Williams offers another example of a few people making a huge contribution.

My point is that scholarship—whether conducted by the university professor, the museum curator, or the independent scholar—is a communal activity. My plea as we think forward to the future of HECAA is how to further cultivate that conviviality. I want to say very clearly that HECAA’s health didn’t just happen; examples of numerous academic organizations, big and small, in decline reinforce the point. As conversations happen around delineating future goals and projects, I would here note just one priority that resonates for me (admittedly one among several): widening the membership base with an egalitarian eye toward inclusion. The future of higher education will depend not only on tenured-track positions but ever growing numbers of affiliated faculty and adjuncts. I deeply want HECAA to be an intellectual home for independent scholars, for instructors at community colleges, a welcome place not only for curators at large museums but also directors of small house museums and members of the heritage community, for scholars who will have limited travel budgets for conferences. The goal is perfectly aligned with the core values of the organization. Conversations, for example, about how or why everyday museum visitors may feel comfortable or uncomfortable, at home or alienated by eighteenth-century exhibitions go directly to questions of higher education and the museum landscape broadly conceived. I want the field to matter not only for students at a prestigious liberal arts college or an R1 university, and part of that project means building out a wider community of scholars and museum professionals. Addressing how the eighteenth century matters today requires us to attend to questions of audience, constituency, and sociability.

The HECAA at 25 Conference manifestly demonstrated the organization’s capacity to be a profoundly supportive, stimulating community. Thanks to all of you who have helped forge that community. Thanks to all of you who were there in Dallas for such an extraordinary conference.

Craig Hanson

Study Day Results | Fonder les institutions artistiques

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on May 6, 2017

PDF files for each presentation are available at the ACA-RES website:

Fonder les institutions artistiques : l’individu, la communauté et leurs réseaux en question
Centre Allemand d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris, 8–9 December 2016

Les premières journées d’étude du programme ACA-RES (Les académies d’art et leurs réseaux dans la France préindustrielle) se sont tenues les 8–9 décembre 2016 au Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art Paris, autour du thème : Fonder les institutions artistiques : l’individu, la communauté et leurs réseaux en question.

L’objectif  de la rencontre était d’interroger la genèse des institutions académiques  au XVIIIe siècle, en  mettant l’accent sur l’articulation entre actions individuelles et logiques collectives; initiatives personnelles et cadres structurels; histoire locale, régionale, et mouvement d’entraînement à l’échelle française. Il s’agissait de revenir aux sources du phénomène de fondation d’écoles de dessin et d’académies d’art, qui pointe à partir des années 1740 à Rouen et à Toulouse et s’étend ensuite sur tout le territoire du royaume.

Première rencontre d’une série de trois préparant la tenue d’un colloque de synthèse en 2019, les discussions font aujourd’hui l’objet d’une diffusion sur la page Hypothèses du programme de recherche, dans la rubrique Les papiers d’ACA-RES. Ces actes sont un point d’étape dans la réflexion : ils rendent compte des questionnements soulevés et offrent un matériel documentaire qui pourra être complété et réinterrogé par la suite. Au présent compte-rendu s’adjoignent donc les « Brefs historiques » des écoles de chaque ville traitée, et les articles issus des communications. Laissés volontairement in progress, ils sont une invitation à rejoindre et prolonger la discussion.

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Anne Perrin Khelissa et Émilie Roffidal, Fonder les institutions artistiques : l’individu, la communauté et leurs réseaux en question

Séance de travail 1 : Les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Mikaël Bougenieres, L’École de dessin de Cambrai : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Marjorie Guillin, L’Académie royale de peinture, sculpture et architecture de Toulouse : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Ariane James-Sarazin, Les écoles de dessin à Angers : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Gaëtane Maës, L’École de dessin de Lille : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Gaëtane Maës, L’Académie de peinture et de sculpture de Valenciennes : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Elsa Trani, De la Société des beaux-arts à l’École centrale de Montpellier : les hommes et leurs réseaux
• Nelly Vi-Tong, L’École de dessin de Dijon : les hommes et leurs réseaux

Séance de travail 2 : Les statuts et règlements
• Mikaël Bougenieres, L’École de dessin de Cambrai : les statuts et règlements
• Marjorie Guillin, L’Académie royale de peinture, sculpture et architecture de Toulouse : les statuts et règlements
• Ariane James-Sarazin, Les écoles de dessin à Angers : les statuts et règlements
• Gaëtane Maës, L’École de dessin de Lille : les statuts et règlements
• Gaëtane Maës, L’Académie de peinture et de sculpture de Valenciennes : les statuts et règlements
• Elsa Trani, De la Société des beaux-arts à l’École centrale de Montpellier : les statuts et règlements
• Nelly Vi-Tong, L’École de dessin de Dijon : les statuts et règlements



Conference | HECAA Sessions at UAAC, 2016

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on December 22, 2016

This posting is three months late, but in wrapping up year-end business, I think it’s important to note that HECAA has been represented at UAAC since 2013. Again, thanks so much to Christina Smylitopoulos for organizing this year’s session (actually two panels this year as a result of lots of strong proposals)! Next year’s conference meets October 12–15. CH

Universities Art Association of Canada / l’association d’art des universités du Canada
Université du Québec, Montréal, 27–30 October 2016

HECAA Open Sessions (Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture)
Chaired by Dr Christina Smylitopoulos, University of Guelph

David Mitchell (PhD candidate, McGill), The Colour of Death: Polychrome Anatomies in Print and Wax

While it was a convention of early modern art theory that colour was evocative of animate life, my paper focuses on eighteenth-century anatomical models in order to investigate an alternate set of implications for polychrome effect. In such works, dead flesh served as reference for investigation of the animating force of physiological mechanism. Documentation of protracted legal battles in France over technological patent for both coloured mezzotint and anatomical waxwork offers, I argue, a discourse of colour plotted in counterpoint to art theory’s promotion of the animate force of coloris. And the elaboration of this other colouristic semantics related pigmented substance, craft, and authority in shifted configuration.

Ersy Contogouris (Adjunct Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal), James Gillray’s Preparatory Drawings for Connoisseurs Examining a Collection of George Morland’s

In 1807, James Gillray published a satire on the phenomenal success of George Morland, painter of rustic genre scenes, whose early death three years earlier had led to a great increase in the demand for his works and to the circulation of countless forgeries. This paper will examine the ten preparatory drawings—a uniquely large number—that survive for his Connoisseurs Examining a Collection of George Morland’s. Their analysis enriches our understanding both of the caricature itself and of the nature of Gillray’s recurring criticism of the late eighteenth/early nineteenth-century art market, and provides us with an unprecedented view into Gilray’s creative process, revealing the many steps involved in developing an idea into a caricature, the role of writing in Gillray’s thought process, and the struggle to find the perfect title. Taken together, these drawings invite us to rethink some of the accepted notions regarding caricature.

Catherine Girard (Visiting Assistant Professor, Williams College), Mirrored Surfaces: Painting and Reflexivity in French Royal Interiors

The addition of mirrors alongside paintings was a major transformation of eighteenth-century interiors that enhanced the reflexivity of richly decorated spaces. French aristocratic hunters were at the heart of this intensified dialogue between interiors and interiority, as large mirrors and genre paintings showing figures that looked and behaved like them adorned the increasingly specialized rooms that were conceived and built for their after-hunt parties in royal residences. This paper explores the reflexive quality of such spaces created in France during the Rococo moment. While the meals taken outdoors by royal hunters reenacted a concomitant architectural quest for intimacy, the pictures painted for hunting dining rooms allowed the same participants to extend the corporeal sensations imprinted by the pursuit and kill to the in situ experience of paintings. The role of illusion in representation was thus expanded to entire rooms, telescoping the outdoors into newly articulated, intimate, and proto-immersive interiors.

Ryan Whyte (Assistant Professor, OCAD University), En sens contraire: Paradoxes of Reversal in French Reproductive Prints of the Ancien Régime

In French printmaking in the Ancien Régime, the reversal of the image inherent in the printmaking process was so rarely remarked on that modern scholarship has responded with corresponding silence on the subject. This paper addresses those lacunae by examining exceptional cases where the printmaker corrected reversed images in reproduction because the reversal rendered some aspect of the composition strange, usually right-handed subjects made left-handed. Such correction occurred within multiple and contradictory artistic and social contexts, including period notions of handedness, at a time when progressive educational discourse, bound up in neoclassical conceptions of virtue and social reform rejected traditional prejudices against left-handedness and promoted the teaching of ambidexterity. Yet the perception of the inherent reversibility of the composition, in which the ‘corrected’ representation of handedness was the exception that proved the rule, was reinforced both by printmaking processes and by the predominance of dematerialized, literary conceptions of composition.

Stéphane Roy (Associate Professor, Carleton University), Révolution et marché de l’art : transformations et continuité

« Quand la guillotine fonctionne […] il est rare que l’art s’épanouisse ». Ainsi s’exprimait l’auteur anonyme de la notice « Beaux-arts » de l’Histoire et dictionnaire de la Révolution française (1987), faisant écho à une longue tradition historiographique selon laquelle la production artistique de la période révolutionnaire a marqué une rupture complète avec les modèles académique et philanthropique d’Ancien Régime. Les historiens ont montré, depuis, que la situation des arts était plus complexe et que la période révolutionnaire avait produit un corpus d’œuvres appréciable. Mais qu’en est-il du marché de l’art ancien au cours de cette même période? Les fluctuations du politique ont-elles eu une influence sur les goûts? Un nouveau public a-t-il pris le relais des collectionneurs d’Ancien Régime? Peut-on parler d’une transformation radicale ou d’une continuité des goûts? Un examen des catalogues de vente mettra au jour une culture visuelle peu connue de cette période charnière.

Cette étude s’inscrit dans le cadre d’une enquête sur l’évolution des goûts en France à la fin du 18e siècle, saisie plus particulièrement à travers l’inventaire et l’analyse des ventes publiques d’œuvres d’art pendant la période révolutionnaire.

Alena Robin (Associate Professor, The University of Western Ontario), Carmelite Preaching in Guadalajara

Signed and dated in 1747 by Antonio Enríquez, a painter active in the second half of the eighteenth century in Nueva Galicia (now Mexico), a huge painting recently appeared in the collection of the Museo Regional de Guadalajara. The painting was registered in the 1931 inventory without a photograph, as was the rest of the collection, and it was most likely forgotten until now. The painting is currently kept in a corner of the storage room of the museum, sectioned in two, and rolled up. The purpose of this presentation is to uncover the complex composition of this painting in relation to the settling of the male Carmelite order in Guadalajara. Issues of the reality of painting in the so-called periphery will be addressed through the figure of Antonio Enríquez. Questions of patronage will also be raised as an inscription on the canvas points towards the benefactor of the painting.

Isabelle Masse (PhD Candidate, McGill University), Entre pastel et photographie : les portraits de Gerrit Schipper au Bas-Canada, 1808–10

Le pastelliste néerlandais Gerrit Schipper (1775 – c.1825) débarque à Philadelphie en 1802, à l’endroit et au moment où l’inventeur John Isaac Hawkins (1772–1855) brevète un nouveau modèle de physionotrace, un appareil reproduisant mécaniquement les visages de profil. Shipper qui travaille avec une semblable « machine à dessiner » se déplace de ville en ville annonçant dans les journaux locaux que sa « nouvelle méthode pour peindre au pastel » produit des « ressemblances exactes ». Le physionotrace suscite en effet des prétentions de vérité qui le font souvent considérer dans la littérature comme étant protophotographique. Ainsi, les rigoureuses effigies en miniature réalisées par l’artiste se situent à la frontière de deux médiums, le pastel et la photographie. À l’aide d’un corpus créé au Bas-Canada entre 1808 et 1810, cette communication fait valoir que la double médialité des portraits est révélatrice des profondes transformations que subit le médium du pastel à l’aube du XIXe siècle.

Paul Holmquist (Independent Scholar; Carleton University, Contract Instructor), ‘Elle fond les Villes’: The Physiognomy of Reconnaissance in Claude-Nicolas Ledoux’s Ideal City of Chaux

This presentation examines the conception of reconnaissance in eighteenth-century France as a central principle of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux’s theory of architectural expression. Connoting ‘gratitude’ as well as ‘recognition’, reconnaissance is asserted by Ledoux as part of the moral effect of his architecture parlante with respect to nature as a providential order, and society as embodying the common good. I argue that the significance of reconnaissance for Ledoux can best be understood in light of Rousseau’s conception of gratitude as the love for what in turn loves and preserves one’s self, and the origin of conscience. Through an analysis of key projects of Ledoux’s ideal city of Chaux I will show how the evocation of reconnaissance in the spectator underlies Ledoux’s ambition to inculcate civic and personal virtue, and entails an essential reciprocity with the expressivity of architecture that challenges any reduction of his character theory to one of mere affect or signification.

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