Introducing: Clerks of the Pinterest Boards

Posted in site information by Editor on April 23, 2013

I’m delighted to introduce two new Enfilade interns: Katrina London and Debs Wiles. For the next six months they’ll be exploring the scholarly potential of Pinterest. As Clerks of the Pinterest Boards, they’ll not only be pinning themselves but also helping us think through issue of organization and anticipating pitfalls. In fact, they’ve been working on all of this already for several weeks now. I’m thrilled at their interest and enthusiasm. Welcome aboard!

For an introduction and invitation to HECAA’s Pinterest boards, please see this posting.

-Craig Hanson

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Katrina London

Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 10.00.44 AMI am delighted to join Enfilade as a Clerk of the Pinterest Boards. I recently earned my master’s degree in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture at the Bard Graduate Center, where I specialized in the decorative arts of eighteenth-century France. Also at the Bard Graduate Center, I was a contributor to the exhibition and catalogue Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened earlier this month. I currently work in the Academic Programs department at the Bard Graduate Center as a program assistant for an NEH Summer Institute directed by Professor David Jaffee, and I am considering doctoral programs in art history.

Deborah (Debs) Wiles

Debs WilesI came to horticulture as a career change. The more I learned about gardening and gardens, the more interested I became in the history of gardening. This led me to complete an MA in garden history at the University of Greenwich in London where I studied the history of Kensington Gardens and the evolution of the country house garden from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth centuries. I’ve since continued to research the biography of seventeenth-century traveler Celia Fiennes. I look forward to exploring ways to use social media as a scholarly tool!

Trying to Think Seriously about Pinterest, Part 2

Posted in opportunities, site information by Editor on January 17, 2013

From the Editor
Open Position: Clerk of the Pinterest Boards

Silivered brass pins, 1620-1800 (London: V&A Museum, given by R. J. Andrews, #123D-1900)

Silivered brass pins, 1620-1800 (London: V&A Museum, given by R. J. Andrews, #123D-1900) Pinned to Cheryl Leigh’s Pinterest Board, 18th-Century Accessories

Last May I invited Enfilade readers to consider how Pinterest might be put to better use for scholars of the eighteenth century. Over the past few months, I’ve grown even more bullish, optimistic about the potential utility of pinning images with texts (organized under headings) and then distributing those pins via a social network (recent stats for Pinterest usage are available here). Pinterest Business accounts were launched in November, and while these may not be precisely the model for establishing scholarly credibility, the offering suggests Pinterest may slowly be growing up. If art historians are well placed to say what’s wrong with most of what happens on Pinterest, it seems to me we might also start contributing models for making a tool like this work better.

For all of these reasons, I’m now accepting applications for a volunteer position I’ve dubbed Clerk of the Pinterest Boards. I’m especially interested in exploring the following problems:

• How and to what extent might Pinterest be used in the production of knowledge, particularly in terms of collecting information (visual and textual information) and presenting that information together?

• How can we make a Pinterest board into something more than merely a collection of ‘pretty’ pictures?

• Are there things Pinterest could do that other digital formats (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, &c.) don’t do or don’t do well?

• How might we increase broad interest in the art and architecture of the eighteenth century via Pinterest?

I’m envisioning this position as extremely flexible and open-ended. As an experiment, it should probably run for at least a year, but the amount of work should be minimal to modest, perhaps an hour or two each week. For the best candidates, you’re probably already spending this much time on exactly the kinds of searches the positions would require; I just need you to start pinning those results and giving some thought to larger questions of organization and goals.

To apply, please send a message of interest and a recent CV to me at CraigAshleyHanson@gmail.com. As always, comments and feedback are welcome.

— Craig Hanson

P.S. — If this talk of pins brings to mind Adam Smith’s example of a “trifling manufacture,” all the better; you’re in the right place.

Supporting HECAA: Dues and Contributions via PayPal

Posted in Member News, site information by Editor on November 14, 2012

From the President

After some remarkable digital wrangling by our treasurer, Jennifer Germann, we are once again able to receive HECAA dues via PayPal! So, if you’re a regular reader, please consider making a contribution to the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art & Architecture. The organization needs your financial support to pursue its mission, an important part of which includes modest grants for graduate students through the Vidal and Wiebenson Awards. For current members, now is a good time to send in your dues for 2013 (just $20/$5 for graduate students), and if you didn’t pay dues for 2012, please consider making an additional contribution (also easily done via PayPal). You may also pay by mailing Jennifer a check, as directed on the membership page.

Anyone interested in the eighteenth century is welcome as a HECAA member. So if you’re reading, consider joining!

— Michael Yonan

Enfilade at Three — Buy a Book and Open a Door

Posted in anniversaries, books, opinion pages, site information by Editor on June 22, 2012

From the Editor

Enfilade turns three today, and to celebrate, I’m announcing a campaign to establish June 22 as Buy-an-Art-Book Day. As I’ve said repeatedly, you deserve credit for making this site so much more than I could have possibly envisioned when I stepped on-board several years ago as newsletter editor. With more than 220,000 hits on some 1300 posts, Enfilade attests to the global depth of interest in eighteenth-century art — both among scholars and a wider, engaged public. The site now receives around 10,000 hits each month with some 1500 from returning visits. In short, there are hundreds of you who read Enfilade on a regular basis, and the site’s success depends on you. Thank you!

With these numbers in mind, it seems to me that Enfilade readers could mobilize to make an impact — modest perhaps but still an impact. In transitioning from traditional print formats to the digital realm, academic publishing, particularly art historical publishing, faces tremendous challenges. With the ‘business’ of the academy more generally plagued by questions of sustainability, it’s easy to see how hard decisions about budgets have wreaked havoc on the sales of books (when major universities are cutting whole departments, declining library budgets may seem relatively benign, but in both cases, fewer books will be sold). For most of us, such gloomy observations are all too familiar, and you don’t turn to Enfilade for more bad news. Today is after all a birthday celebration!

So as a gesture of positive action, I’m asking all of you to buy a book today (and fellow bloggers to spread the word). It’s easy to think that it won’t matter, but it does. Most people are astounded to learn just how small the circulation numbers are for art history books published by university presses. However humbling it may be for those of us who spend years of our lives producing a book, it’s not uncommon for only 400 or 500 copies to be sold. Surpass 1000 and you’re a superstar. There’s a tendency to assume that university presses receive generous funding from their host universities. It’s almost never the case. If they’re not in the business to turn huge profits, they must still be economically viable. Several years ago, I heard Susan Bielstein, executive editor at the University of Chicago Press, give a talk on the nuts and bolts of publishing. How did she begin? By asking members of her audience (almost entirely composed of art historians) to go buy a book. She was entirely serious. So am I.

Many of you buy lots of art history books already. Bravo! Buying a book today won’t be any major change for you. As I think about my own buying habits, they tend to go something like this: I buy discounted display copies at conferences, I buy things I need for an upcoming talk, I buy remaindered copies of books I should have bought a year or two earlier, or I buy used copies I need for an article via Amazon. None of that’s what I have in mind in launching Buy-an-Art-Book Day. Those used books do nothing to help the authors or the university presses who produced them. For that matter, new purchases through Amazon often result in smaller royalties than buying from the publisher directly. Ever wonder who shoulders the expense of that reduced price? Yes, the publisher and the writer.

If 200 or 300 of you buy an art history book this week — ideally one treating the eighteenth century and, better yet, one written by a HECAA member — it would send a strong message that there is an eager audience for such books. Whether you spend $6 or $1000, buy a book.

I like the metaphor of an enfilade because of the way it suggests an open — almost limitless — vista, with each room leading to a deeper, more intimate experience. But such a vision is premised on those doors being opened. Reading a book — buying a book — is one way we turn the handle, one way we open doors to the eighteenth century.

-Craig Hanson

Greetings from Venezia!

Posted in site information by Editor on January 14, 2012

My apologies for the recent interruption in posting. I’m in Venice with fourteen students for our January term and just haven’t been able to spend as much time with the site as I had envisioned (traveling with an eighteen-month old has added its own further complications, if also joys).

Regular posts should resume soon, and I’ll include some of the terrific eighteenth-century offerings I’ve encountered — often as lovely surprises alongside materials from very different periods. In the short-term, thanks for your patience. I’ll be back soon. -CH

Meet Our New Intern: Ashley Hannebrink

Posted in graduate students, site information by ashleyhannebrink on December 4, 2011

I’m happy to introduce Enfilade’s current intern, Ashley Hannebrink, who already has lots of great ideas in store for the next couple of months. -CH

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I am thrilled to join Enfilade as an intern, especially as I have found the resource to be so valuable in my own studies. I recently completed my M.A. in History of Art at University College London, where I focused largely on eighteenth- and nineteenth- century French visual cultural. My dissertation, under the supervision of Dr. Mechthild Fend, addressed animated statues in Watteau’s fêtes galantes, exploring how material metamorphosis- between paint and marble, flesh and stone -may offer new ways for understanding broader historical transformations unfolding in Regency France. In particular, I was concerned with the intersection between the erotics of sculpture and that of narratives of change. My engagement with questions of materiality, especially the fascinating eighteenth-century phenomenon of statues ‘coming to life’, emerged out of a thematic interest in matters of sexuality and gender, as well as art and politics, which I developed not only in the field of art history as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, but also as a student at Stanford Law School. Other primary interests concern eighteenth-century Western European art in a global context and postcolonial theory, especially with regards to turquerie.

Seeking to explore such questions in the context of British art and architecture of the period, I am currently interning at Dr. Johnson’s House in London and working at The Georgian Group, an architectural conservation charity. I plan to return to art historical studies in the future, however, and, in the interim, am excited about the chance to remain involved in the field. In particular, I look forward to deepening my familiarity with the work of various scholars through contributing to the site, and, in turn, refining my own research interests. I am grateful to Dr. Hanson and HECAA for such a fantastic opportunity and look forward to supporting Enfilade! -AH

Meet Our New Intern: Amanda Strasik

Posted in graduate students, site information by Editor on September 8, 2011

I’m glad to report that the Enfilade internship program is off to a fabulous start. Freya Gowrley did a brilliant job getting things rolling, and she now passes the baton on to Amanda Strasik. Welcome, Amanda! -CH

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As a graduate student immersed in the world of the classroom, I was delighted to learn of an internship with HECAA and Enfilade that would not only expose me to the current happenings in the fields of eighteenth-century art and architecture, but also allow for me to begin developing my professional voice as a burgeoning art historian.

In 2007 I received my B.A. from The George Washington University with a degree in international affairs and art history. The interdisciplinary scope of art history and the dynamic nature of research itself hooked me, and, in 2010, I earned my M.A. degree in art history from the University of Florida under the supervision of Dr. Melissa Hyde. In my M.A. thesis, “Portraying the Queen: Public and Private Representations of Marie-Antoinette in Late Eighteenth-Eentury France,” I argue that the portraits of Marie-Antoinette from the 1780s showed a marked shift toward the queen’s increasing embrace of a private identity in accordance with Rousseauian notions of bourgeois maternal domesticity. By subscribing to Rousseauian thought, Marie-Antoinette was able to claim a degree of selfhood not traditionally allowed to French queens, while she inhabited an inherently ambiguous position in terms of her relation to the absolutist state as well as within her own family at Versailles.

Presently, I am a first-year Ph.D. student at the University of Iowa under the guidance of Dr. Dorothy Johnson. It is here that I plan to pursue a specialization in artworks from eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century France, paying close attention to issues of gender and the representation of the female body, questions of agency in the production of portraiture, and controversies relating to courtly display in the public and private spheres.

I would especially like to thank Dr. Craig Hanson and HECAA for inviting me to serve as your student contributor. I look forward to spending the next two months with you! -AS

Follow Us to the Eighteenth Century

Posted in site information by Editor on August 11, 2011

Note from the Editor

Palladian Bridge, Prior Park, 1755 (Photo Stephen McKay, Wikimedia Commons)

I’m happy to report that the internship program is off to a terrific start! Now in the final weeks of her two-month position, Freya Gowrley has done a fabulous job, pointing out new resources, keeping tabs on other sites, and putting together posts of her own.

In addition, Freya has single-handedly guided us into the realm of social media. I know, many of you are wondering what took so long! I’m completely to blame for the delay, but finally Enfilade is available via Twitter and Facebook.

As you may have already noticed, at the bottom of each posting, there’s now a +Share button: with a couple of clicks, you can send postings to your email account, your LinkedIn page, or your own Twitter feed. So if you use any of these resources, add us as we meet your needs. Friend us, Like us, Tweet us. Follow us to the eighteenth century. -CH

Introducing Enfilade’s First Intern: Freya Gowrley

Posted in graduate students, site information by Freya Gowrley on July 8, 2011

I’ve been delighted by the emails I’ve received expressing interest in Enfilade’s new internship program. At least tentatively, I have the spot filled until the end of the year. And this morning, I’m really excited to introduce our first intern, Freya Gowrley — or more precisely, to allow her to introduce herself. Welcome aboard, Freya! -CH.

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I am thrilled at the chance to work with HECAA and Enfilade. As an English postgraduate student, I had worried I would be unable to be as involved with HECAA, an American society, as I would have liked (unfortunately, there is no equivalent British society for historians of eighteenth-century art and architecture), so I was therefore delighted to read in the second birthday post news of a forthcoming internship that could be completed from any location. I would particularly like to thank Dr. Hanson for this exciting opportunity to get involved with both Enfilade and HECAA itself, and I hope to make a valuable contribution to the team.

I completed my BA in the History of Art at the University of Warwick last year, staying on to complete my MA in ‘British Art and Its Histories’. I am due to submit my thesis in mid-September. My principal research interests revolve around the art and aesthetic theory of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, with a particular emphasis on classicism and the artistic appropriation of other cultures as designators of taste. In broader terms, my research deals with ‘reception theory’ or the way in which certain cultures receive the cultures of another time and place, whilst investigating what this reveals to the historian or art historian about the society under question. Methodologically, I am also interested in the intersection between visual and material culture and how the ‘social life of things’ may be related to art historical discourse.

In my MA thesis, “Taste a-la-Mode: Representing the Consumption of Foreignness in the Long Eighteenth Century,” I explore the manner in which the consumption of foreignness was presented in the visual culture of eighteenth-century Britain. By examining the significance of the recurring symbolic triumvirate of black page boy, exotic pet and tea equipage, I intend to demonstrate a consequential relationship between the consumption of foreign luxuries and the construction and maintenance of respectability during this period, hence the inclusion of such imagery in works satirising the social pretensions of the fashionable elite. I hope to expand and develop the themes of the thesis with a forthcoming AAH session, co-convened between myself and Dr. Viccy Coltman, which will examine the dialogue between nationalism and cosmopolitanism in eighteenth-century British art and its art histories. In addition to being an active member of the Association of Art Historians, I sit on the Student Members Committee.

As of September, I will be a doctoral student at the University of Edinburgh, working toward a PhD in the History of Art with my supervisor, Dr. Coltman. My research will examine female engagement with classical antiquity during the eighteenth century, primarily in relation to its collection, consumption and display as a form of self-representation. I also hope to examine the commissioning of neo-classical works of art and architecture, looking as well at how women were able to engage the Hellenistic world outside of traditionally masculine (or, at least perceived as such) institutions such as the Grand Tour or the Society of Dilettanti.

Again, I appreciate the opportunity and welcome your ideas and comments! -FG.


Enfilade Turns Two!

Posted in graduate students, opportunities, site information by Editor on June 22, 2011

An 18th-century balloon takes off (Library of Congress); illustration from Jane E. Boyd, "Artificial Clouds and Inflammable Air: The Science and Spectacle of the First Balloon Flights, 1783," 'Chemical Heritage Magazine' (Summer 2009); click to access the article.

After two years and 123,595 hits, I continue to be amazed at how much more the site has become than I ever initially imagined. Thanks to all of you for your kind input, your generosity in sharing news, and above all for your support in reading. To mark the anniversary, I want to make two plugs: one a familiar refrain, the other an announcement regarding the launch of an internship program.

First, if you’re a regular reader, please consider making a financial contribution to the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art & Architecture. Enfilade is produced at absolutely zero costs to HECAA, but the organization needs financial resources to pursue its mission, an important part of which includes modest grants for graduate students. Anyone interested in the period is welcome to become a member; so if you’re reading, consider joining. For current members, now is a good time to send in your dues for 2011 if you’ve not yet done so (just $20/$5 for graduate students). Please also think about making an additional donation to help fund the Dora Wiebenson Prize or the Mary Vidal Memorial Fund. Checks should be sent directly to Denise Baxter (the transition to our new treasurer Jennifer Germann will occur soon, but for now Denise is still glad to cash your checks).

Second, I’m pleased to announce that Enfilade is now accepting applications for a new student internship program. The intern positions are intended to provide art historical experience for M.A. students in Art History, Architectural History, Museum Studies, or other related disciplines (exceptional upper-level undergraduates will also be considered). Duties will primarily consist of researching potential postings, gathering information about upcoming exhibitions, conferences, forthcoming books, &c. Depending upon an intern’s interests, expertise, and location, other projects are also possible. Starting dates are flexible. The internship runs for 8 weeks with the possibility of an extension. Students are expected to work a minimum of 5 hours per week. The position is unpaid, though it will include a one-year HECAA membership. Given the nature of the work, the internship can be completed from anywhere. Requirements:

  • Basic computer skills with online access
  • A minimum of five art history courses
  • Strong writing skills
  • Fluency in English, though additional languages are certainly advantageous

Application materials:

  • Cover letter explaining the applicant’s interests, skills, and plans for the near future
  • C.V.
  • Writing sample of 3-5 pages

Applications should be sent to CraigAshleyHanson@gmail.com

As with everything with Enfilade, the internship program is an experiment. We’ll see how it goes and adjust accordingly. By all means feel free to send your own ideas, thoughts, and concerns. And again, thanks for reading! -CH.