Enfilade

Cambridge Launches Inquiry into Historical Links to Slavery

Posted in today in light of the 18th century by Editor on May 1, 2019

I learned of this press release from the University of Cambridge through The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) issue 426 (30 April 2018), which also notes that the University of Glasgow recently completed a similar study of its own historical ties to slavery. The report “Slavery, Abolition and the University of Glasgow,” published in September 2018, concludes that “although the University of Glasgow never owned enslaved people or traded in the goods they produced, it is nonetheless clear that the university received significant financial gifts and support from people who derived some or occasionally much of their wealth from slavery. . . The issue facing the university today is how to address this history? We deeply regret that during a crucial period of its growth and development the University of Glasgow indirectly benefitted from racial slavery, and this is a past which clashes with our proud history of support for the abolition of both the Slave Trade and slavery itself. We believe that what is most important, however, is how we intend to use our knowledge of this past in a ‘Programme of reparative justice’.” CH

From the Cambridge press release (30 April 2019) . . . .

Josiah Wedgewood, Emancipation Badge, 1787, jasperware, commissioned by the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, designed by Henry Webber and modelled by William Hackwood (Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum).

The University of Cambridge will conduct an in-depth academic study into ways in which it contributed to, benefited from or challenged the Atlantic slave trade and other forms of coerced labour during the colonial era.

The two-year inquiry will explore University archives and a wide range of records elsewhere to uncover how the institution may have gained from slavery and the exploitation of labour, through financial and other bequests to departments, libraries, and museums. It will also investigate the extent to which scholarship at the University of Cambridge, an established and flourishing seat of learning before and during the period of Empire, might have reinforced and validated race-based thinking between the 18th and early 20th century.

A specially commissioned Advisory Group appointed by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope, has been asked to recommend appropriate ways to publicly acknowledge past links to slavery and to address its impact. The eight-member Advisory Group overseeing the work is being chaired by Professor Martin Millett, the Laurence Professor of Classical Archaeology, and draws its membership from relevant academic departments across the University. The panel will call on further external expertise as necessary. The inquiry will be conducted by two full-time postdoctoral researchers, based in the Centre of African Studies, part of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The research will examine specific gifts, bequests, and historical connections with the slave trade. Researchers will also look into the University’s contribution to scholarship and learning that underpinned slavery and other forms of coerced labour.

Professor Millett said: “This will be an evidence-led and thorough piece of research into the University of Cambridge’s historical relationship with the slave trade and other forms of coerced labour. We cannot know at this stage what exactly it will find but it is reasonable to assume that, like many large British institutions during the colonial era, the University will have benefited directly or indirectly from, and contributed to, the practices of the time. The benefits may have been financial or through other gifts. But the panel is just as interested in the way scholars at the University helped shape public and political opinion, supporting, reinforcing and sometimes contesting racial attitudes which are repugnant in the 21st century.”

Professor Toope, the Vice-Chancellor, said: “There is growing public and academic interest in the links between the older British universities and the slave trade, and it is only right that Cambridge should look into its own exposure to the profits of coerced labour during the colonial period. We cannot change the past, but nor should we seek to hide from it. I hope this process will help the University understand and acknowledge its role during that dark phase of human history.”

The Advisory Group’s work comes amid a wider reflection taking place in the United States and Britain on the links between universities and slavery. It is among a number of race equality initiatives currently being pursued at the University of Cambridge. In February, the Centre of African Studies hosted a round table on ‘Slavery and its Legacies at Cambridge’. The Advisory Group is expected to deliver its final report to the Vice-Chancellor in autumn 2021. Alongside its findings on historical links to the slave trade, the report will recommend appropriate ways for the University to publicly acknowledge such links and their modern impact.

Exhibition | Image Control: Understanding the Georgian Selfie

Posted in exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on April 14, 2019

Now on view at No. 1 Royal Crescent:

Image Control: Understanding the Georgian Selfie
No. 1 Royal Crescent, Bath, 13 April 2019 — 5 January 2020

As the Age of Instagram erodes our mental well-being with manipulated and curated images of ideal lifestyles and standards, Image Control explores the way Georgians manipulated their own images to convey certain messages. By using these techniques, we aim to create our own manipulated images of historical figures to show how easy it is to create a fictionalised version of our lives today.

The exhibition is supported by new art commissions: we have commissioned three artists to create a portrait of Henry Sandford—the house’s first resident—to be displayed in the main house. There is an exhibition guide showing a recommended route, starting with the exhibition room and leading into the house, giving visitors a deeper understanding of the portraits and images throughout.

The project team included Lizzie Johansson-Hartley, Museum Manager, No.1 Royal Crescent; Dr Amy Frost, Senior Curator, Bath Preservation Trust; Isabel Wall, Assistant Curator, Bath Preservation Trust; Polly Andrews, Learning and Engagement Officer, Bath Preservation Trust; Katie O’Brien, Gallery Director, 44AD; and Amina Wright, Art Lecturer and Historian.

The earlier, working title of the project was Image Control: The Power of Perception Then and Now. The artist’s brief is available as a PDF file here.

 

Exhibition | Yinka Shonibare CBE: The American Library

Posted in exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on March 30, 2019

Yinka Shonibare CBE, The American Library, 2018; hardback books, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, gold foiled names, headphones, interactive application; installation view at The Cleveland Public Library, 2018; commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. © Yinka Shonibare CBE. Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York and FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art with funds from VIA Art Fund, Cleveland Public Library and The City of Cleveland’s Cable Television Minority Arts and Education Fund. Photography by Field Studio.

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Press release (via Art Daily) for the exhibition:

Yinka Shonibare CBE: The American Library
The Cleveland Public Library, 14 July — 30 September 2018
Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College, 25 October — 14 December 2018

Speed Art Museum, Louisville, 29 March — 15 September 2019

Opening on March 29, 2019, 21c Museum Hotel and the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky will present a co-curated exhibition of British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE’s The American Library, a large-scale installation of thousands of books covered in the artist’s signature textiles with the names of people who have contributed to our collective understanding of diversity and immigration in the United States embossed in gold on the spines. The immersive installation will be on view in the Speed Art Museum’s original galleries from 1927, which formerly housed an art library, activating the historic space. Additional works by Shonibare from the 21c Museum Hotel and Speed collections will provide further context. Commissioned by Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, the work was recently on view at the Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College, North Carolina ahead of its forthcoming presentation at the Speed Art Museum this spring. This exhibition marks the first time the Speed Art Museum and 21c Museum Hotel have co-organized a major exhibition.

The American Library is inspired by ongoing debates about immigration and diversity in the United States. The installation comprises bookshelves holding over 6,000 volumes covered in Shonibare’s signature Dutch wax printed cotton, a material whose mixed origins reflect the history of colonization, and are printed with gilded names of figures who have made significant contributions to American culture and/or have influenced public discourse on immigration. The selected names, which include W. E. B. Du Bois, Maria Goeppert Mayer, Steve Jobs, Bruce Lee, Ana Mendieta, Joni Mitchell, Toni Morrison, Barack Obama, Steven Spielberg, Carl Stokes, Donald Trump, and Tiger Woods, fall into the following categories: people who immigrated or whose parents immigrated to the U.S., African Americans who relocated or whose parents relocated out of the American south during the Great Migration, or people who have spoken out against immigration, equality, or diversity in the United States. In the gallery, visitors can access a website that provides additional information on each individual represented on the shelves.

“We at 21c are thrilled to collaborate with the Speed to present The American Library,” says 21c Chief Curator and Museum Director Alice Gray Stites. “In the face of the growing refugee crisis and resistance to immigration across the globe, we feel an urgency to share this work that celebrates the spectrum of voices that have created our nation’s culture and history, while simultaneously acknowledging that there are others who have spoken out against diversity. We hope this exhibition will provide opportunities to better understand the complexity of these political and cultural debates.”

“It feels both timely and meaningful to be collaborating with 21c on an exhibition that acknowledges the many facets of the debate surrounding immigration and the innumerable ways that the United States has benefited from the contributions of migrants and immigrants,” says Miranda Lash, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed Art Museum. “Empathy is often enhanced by education, and Shonibare’s masterful installation of books, and his online database of names, illuminates that this country was built by individuals coming from many different backgrounds and places.”

Yinka Shonibare CBE’s work examines race, class, and cultural identity and explores the history of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalization. Working across media, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, and installation, Shonibare’s work provides insightful political commentary on the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories. In addition to The American Library, the 21c and Speed exhibition will feature other works by Shonibare, including:

Yinka Shonibare CBE, ‘The Age of Enlightenment — Gabrielle Émile Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet’, 2008; life-size fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media (Collection of Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, 21c Museum Hotels, and Collection of Jim Gray, © Yinka Shonibare CBE).

The Three Graces (2001), depicting three headless mannequins dressed in Shonibare’s signature Dutch wax fabric, was inspired by a photograph of three women in Edwardian dress that the artist found in the archives of the Hendrik Christian Andersen Museum in Rome, Italy. As a trio, the sculptures allude to the archetype of ‘The Three Graces’ found in classical ancient Greek sculpture, while their Edwardian dresses speak to the history of Great Britain’s colonization of the African continent.

The Age of Enlightenment — Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet (2008), a sculpture from Shonibare’s series inspired by key historic figures and thinkers from the 18th century, presented as headless mannequins, dressed in his signature Dutch wax fabrics, questions and interrogates the ideas embraced during the Age of Reason that supported and justified colonial expansion. This sculpture depicts female mathematician, physicist, and author Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet and comments upon her status and treatment as an intellectual woman in this period.

Food Faerie (2010) is a sculptural representation of a winged child carrying mangoes in a leather pouch, with one arm held aloft as if holding a spear. Dressed in the style of Victorian England and Dutch wax fabric designed by the artist, this sculpture examines how identity is shaped by both mythology and by capital markets, alluding to England’s colonial control of regions and resources in West Africa.

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (2008) combines references to Goya’s 18th-century critiques of the Spanish Church and State with allusions to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Shonibare questions the ongoing impact of the theories of the Enlightenment period on world history and on contemporary geo-politics.

 

Cantor Art Center Acquires Works by Kaphar and Suh

Posted in museums, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on February 25, 2019

From the Cantor Arts Center press release, via Art Daily:

Titus Kaphar, Page 4 of Jefferson’s ‘Farm Book’, January 1774, Goliath, Hercules, Jupiter, Gill, Fanny, Ned, Sucky, Frankey, Gill, Nell, Bella, Charles, Jenny, Betty, June, Toby, Duna (sic), Cate, Hannah, Rachael, George, Ursula, George, Bagwell, Archy, Frank, Bett, Scilla, ? , 2, 2018; oil on canvas on support panel (Stanford: Cantor Arts Center / © Titus Kaphar).

With the recent acquisition of the painting, Page 4 of Jefferson’s ‘Farm Book’, January 1774 . . ., by Titus Kaphar, and the monumental hanging sculpture, Cause & Effect, by Do Ho Suh, the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University has added two significant works to its collection that reference how forced and unforced global migration transform personal and cultural identity.

The acquisition of these works supports the vision of Susan Dackerman, the John and Jill Freidenrich Director of the Cantor, to bring the museum firmly into the 21st century through acquisitions, exhibitions, and programs that feature concerns relevant to the everyday lives of students and other visitors. “I think art, artists, and art history have the potential to challenge a culture’s preconceived notions of itself and enlighten us to other ways of understanding the world,” she said. “Having these art works at the museum will enable us to have conversations about difficult topics from multiple points of view.”

Page 4 is what Kaphar calls a ‘visual reparation’ and belongs to a series of tar portraits imagining enslaved sitters as freed men and women. By representing them in historical dress reflective of a status above the one they lived, Kaphar visually frees his sitter from enslavement. The face of the subject is obscured by the use of tar, which suggests the sitter’s invisibility. “Kaphar’s artistic practice actively engages with art history in order to investigate its representational inequities, with regard to both what is represented, and who is doing the representing,” said Aleesa Alexander, assistant curator of American art.

In the case of Page 4, the painting was created with specific reference to Thomas Jefferson’s ‘Farm Book’, which contains lists of Jefferson’s slaves, many identified only by their first names. The full title of the painting is Page 4 of Jefferson’s ‘Farm Book’, January 1774, Goliath, Hercules, Jupiter, Gill, Fanny, Ned, Sucky, Frankey, Gill, Nell, Bella, Charles, Jenny, Betty, June, Toby, Duna (sic), Cate, Hannah, Rachael, George, Ursula, George, Bagwell, Archy, Frank, Bett, Scilla, ? , 2. While Kaphar’s style references the traditional genre of portraiture, his methods of addressing the canvas’s surface—through cutting, nailing, and covering his figures with tar—is decidedly contemporary. “Given that Stanford was also built on a farm, and that the Stanfords employed Chinese laborers, having this piece in our collection will generate interesting parallels worthy of exploration and discussion,” said Alexander. Page 4 is the first work by Kaphar to enter the Cantor’s collection and will be on display in the exhibition The Medium Is the Message: Art since 1950 February 23–August 18, 2019.

Do Ho Suh, Cause & Effect, with Suh’s Screen in the background, as installed at the Cantor Arts Center.

Cause & Effect is composed of hundreds of small, colorful, acrylic figures, which form a monumentally-scaled, cone-shaped chandelier suspended from the ceiling and reaching almost to the floor. The interconnectedness of the figures, which sit upon each other’s shoulders, suggest the weight and inescapability of one’s history. Suh’s work, which often references domestic architecture and decoration, questions cultural and aesthetic differences between his native Korea and his adopted homes in the United States and Europe. “Adding this visually compelling and complex work to our collection will allow us to continue to have important discussions about transnational identity and how we comprehend the past while living in the present,” Dackerman said.

Cause & Effect is a bold and important work, signaling the Cantor’s commitment to exhibit more works of contemporary art by artists from Asia,” said Padma D. Maitland, Patrick J. J. Maveety Assistant Curator of Asian Art. This is the first work by Suh to be added to the Cantor’s collection and is on display with two other works by the artist in the exhibition Do Ho Suh: The Spaces in Between.

Exhibition | Bouke de Vries: War and Pieces

Posted in exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on November 30, 2018

Bouke de Vries, War and Pieces, 2012, 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century porcelain, plastic, sprayed plaster, acrylic, steel, aluminum, gilded brass, and mixed media (installation view at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 2018).

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From the press release, via Art Daily:

Bouke de Vries: War and Pieces
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, 4 October 2018 — 6 January 2019
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, 2 February — 12 May 2019

For years, the work of celebrated artist Bouke de Vries has been shown all over Europe in museums, galleries, castles, and palaces. America won’t be left behind. Now and through the middle of 2019, several sculptures by Dutch-born de Vries will be making their stateside debut at museums in Hartford, Connecticut; Montgomery, Alabama; and Nashville, Tennessee. Foremost among them is his pièce de résistance: War and Pieces, a 26-foot-long installation inspired by the lavish decorative centerpieces of 18th-century European banqueting tables.

The first venue is the Wadsworth Atheneum, in Hartford, where de Vries is the featured artist in the 180th installment of the museum’s MATRIX contemporary art exhibition series, running from 4 October 2018 until 6 January 2019. “Because the Wadsworth Atheneum possesses such an outstanding collection of the very kind of porcelain figures and centerpieces that Bouke de Vries references in his monumental work,” observes Linda Roth, Senior Curator and Charles C. and Eleanor Lamont Cunningham Curator of European Decorative Arts, “featuring War and Pieces at our museum makes perfect sense.” Adds de Vries: “It is an honor to debut my most ambitious work at America’s first-ever museum of art, the Wadsworth Atheneum, in their longstanding and groundbreaking MATRIX series.”

From Hartford, War and Pieces travels South, to Alabama, where it will be on view at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts from 2 February to 12 May 2019.

Employing broken shards of various kinds of porcelain-ancient and modern—from Hummel thru blanc de Chine to IKEA—the artist has arranged them into apocalyptic vignettes of orchestrated destruction. Dead center is a towering nuclear mushroom cloud. Six mano-a-mano battle scenes flank the cloud, fought by armour-clad figures molded from 18th-century embodiments of Mars and Minerva by England’s Derby factory. The sugarcoated warring figures are mutating into cyborgs with colorful bionic limbs and weaponry from Transformer toys. The striking diversity among the sugar, porcelain and plastic underscores the tension between the handmade and the industrial. De Vries’s masterwork is an unforgettable commentary on the follies of war and is perhaps the most startling tablescape since Judy Chicago’s landmark Dinner Party, 1979.

London-based, de Vries first worked in fashion with John Galliano, Stephen Jones, and Zandra Rhodes before switching careers. Since then the 57-year-old artist has worked as a conservator of ceramics and glass, in addition to his pursuits as an artist since 2010. Ironically, the skills he deploys as a restorer went in a totally opposite direction for War and Pieces. Instead of reconstructing shattered porcelain, he deconstructed it, inaugurating a new status while creating new virtues. Says de Vries: “I have dreamed of sharing my approach to art—especially War and Pieces—at such prestigious museums around the United States.”

In addition, from 2 February until 9 June 2019, as part of Derived from the Decorative: Works by Faig Ahmed, Beth Lipman and Bouke de Vries at Nashville’s Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, other works by de Vries will be making their American bow. Peacock 1 and Glass Cloud are also both constructed of broken pieces of historic ceramic and glass. Bouke de Vries is represented in the United States by Ferrin Contemporary in North Adams, Massachusetts.

On Stage | Hogarth’s Progress, A Double Bill

Posted in lectures (to attend), today in light of the 18th century by Editor on August 28, 2018

Coming to the Rose Theatre, Kingston:

Hogarth’s Progress: The Art of Success and The Taste of the Town
A Double Bill by Nick Dear, Directed by Anthony Banks
Rose Theatre, Kingston, London, 13 September — 21 October 2018

Written by BAFTA Award-winning playwright Nick Dear and directed by Anthony Banks, Hogarth’s Progress is a highly imaginative and entertaining double bill of comedies. Following one of Britain’s most irreverent and celebrated artists on two monumental pub crawls, the plays explore the extraordinary lives of William Hogarth and his wife Jane at a time when culture escaped from the grasp of the powerful into the hands of the many.

The Olivier Award-nominated comedy The Art of Success, in its first major revival, compresses the newlywed William’s rise to fame into a dizzying and hilarious night out through 18th-century London’s high society and debauched underworld.

A world premiere, The Taste of the Town catches up with the Hogarths in Chiswick some 30 years later. Now hugely successful, William and Jane are still at odds with the world and with each other. Facing public ridicule for what he considers his finest painting, William sets out to confront his fiercest critic, but there’s always time for one more pint on the way.

Bryan Dick (The Art of Success) and Keith Allen (The Taste of the Town) star as the younger and older William Hogarth. . .  They are joined on stage by Ruby Bentall, Emma Cunniffe, Ben Deery, Jack Derges, Ian Hallard, Susannah Harker, Jasmine Jones, Sylvestra Le Touzel and Mark Umbers. Each play can be seen as a single performance or enjoyed together, either over different days or as a thrilling all-day theatrical experience.

P R O G R A M M I N G

Hogarth’s World
Wednesday, 26 September, post-show
A fascinating exploration of the uneasy relationship between a new generation of creative power players and the established powers of parliament and the crown. Dr Karen Lipsedge’s teaching focuses on 18th-century literature and culture. Professor Norma Clarke is a literary historian and author, who has recently chronicled of the 18th-century novelist, poet and playwright Oliver Goldsmith and his contemporaries.

Hogarth’s Art
Sunday, 30 September, post-show
An enlightening conversation about William’s subjects, techniques and styles, and how his creative legacy influences our world today. Chaired by Kingston School of Art’s Geoff Grandfield.

Hogarth’s Women
Saturday, 6 October, post-show
Join us for a discussion about the relationship between Jane and William Hogarth, the status of women in 18th-century London, and the emergence of the Blue Stocking Society. Dr Jane Jordan’s research is on literature and history, especially the legal status of British women and of prostitution. Dr Karen Lipsedge’s research focuses on 18th-century domestic spaces and gender roles and their representation in the British novel.

Lubaina Himid Wins the 2017 Turner Prize

Posted in today in light of the 18th century by Editor on December 7, 2017


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Lubaina Himid, this year’s Turner Prize winner, engages various themes relevant to the eighteenth century—from porcelain to slavery to Hogarth—within the larger context of African diasporan contributions “to the richness and layering of European culture.” The work is on display at Ferens Art Gallery, Hull for a few more weeks.

Turner Prize 2017
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, 26 September 2017 — 7 January 2018

Turner Prize, one of the world’s most renowned art prizes, is awarded by Tate to an artist who has exhibited outstanding work in the previous year. The four shortlisted artists for 2017—Hurvin Anderson, Andrea Büttner, Lubaina Himid, and Rosalind Nashashibi—will exhibit their work at Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, from September with the overall winner announced in early December. Through genres such as portraiture, landscape and still life, the four artists explore how art is able to respond to political and social upheaval.

The NEH and NEA Are National Treasures: Save Them

Posted in today in light of the 18th century by Editor on January 20, 2017

My standard for publishing posts with advocacy ambitions is relatively high: namely I need to be convinced that the matter at hand will potentially inflict significant blows to the work of academics and museum professionals as related to the eighteenth century, or that some important material inheritance related to the eighteenth century is endangered. Threats to the NEH and the NEA are hardly new, but given the now entirely extraordinary context of American politics, such threats could be realized. As the National Humanities Alliance notes, there’s nothing inherently partisan about this issue, and coalitions of Republicans and Democrats care deeply about these organizations. Now is the time to vocalize how important we believe the NEH and NEA to be for the common good of the United States. Craig Hanson

From the NHA (19 January 2017). . .

nha_logo_primary_icon_webNews broke this morning that the in-coming Trump Administration has a budget blueprint that proposes the elimination of NEH, along with other cultural agencies, and a major downsizing of others. This news has elicited great concern from the humanities community, and it is undoubtedly time to rally support for the National Endowment for the Humanities. That said, this blueprint is not an official proposal.  The Trump Administration will be shaping its budget request over the coming months with broad input and we look forward to an opportunity to demonstrate the value of federal funding for NEH.

We are also heartened by Republican support in Congress, which has been strong over the past few years. Indeed, Republican-controlled appropriations committees have supported increases for both NEA and NEH for the past two fiscal years. More broadly, many Republicans have opposed far more minor cuts to the agency.

Consistently, Members of Congress have been compelled by advocacy that points out that:

• Through a rigorous peer-review process, NEH funds cutting-edge research, museum exhibits that reach all parts of the country, and cultural preservation of local heritage that would otherwise be lost.

• NEH’s Standing Together initiative funds reading groups for veterans that help them process their experiences through discussions on the literature of war; writing programs for veterans suffering from PTSD; and training for Veterans Affairs staff to help them better serve veterans.

• NEH grants catalyze private investment. Small organizations leverage NEH grants to attract additional private, local support. NEH’s Challenge Grant program has leveraged federal funds at a 3:1 ratio to enable organizations to raise more than $3 billion in private support. State Humanities Councils, meanwhile, leverage $5 for every dollar of federal investment. Grants through the Public Programs division have leveraged more than $16 billion in non-federal support, an 8:1 ratio.

We ask you now to send a message to your Members of Congress and the President-Elect to make clear that you, as a constituent, value the humanities.

Going Forward

Going forward, we will call on you again as the Congressional appropriations process for FY 2018 begins. We also encourage you to join us for our Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day on March 13th and 14th. Our goal is for constituents to visit Members of Congress from all 50 states to ensure that Congress serves as a stopgap to any efforts to defund NEH. Finally, we encourage you to spread word on social media. The more advocates receiving our alerts, the stronger our collective impact!

Note (added 20 January, 7am EST) — Jennifer Germann usefully notes this petition related to upcoming NEA funding.

IKEA and the Eighteenth Century

Posted in today in light of the 18th century by Editor on August 18, 2016

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If this recent IKEA advertisement (uploaded to YouTube on 31 July 2016) depends more upon conventions for period films set in the eighteenth century than eighteenth-century sensibilities themselves, it might nonetheless be an interesting way to raise questions in the classroom of what exactly the century signals to people at a popular level today. Thanks to former Enfilade intern Caitlin Smits for drawing my attention to it (where would we be without bright former students?!).  –Craig Hanson

 

 

Exhibition | The Artistry of Outlander: Costumes and Set Designs

Posted in exhibitions, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on July 20, 2016

From The Paley Center:

The Artistry of Outlander: Costumes and Set Designs
The Paley Center for Media, Los Angeles, 8 June — 14 August 2016

IMG_20160607_064307The Artistry of Outlander takes visitors into the world of the critically acclaimed STARZ and Sony Pictures Television series Outlander, showcasing many iconic costumes designed by Emmy-winning costume designer Terry Dresbach. Fans can step into 18th-century Parisian society, where they will be able to view actual set pieces from Outlander production designer Jon Gary Steele, life-size episodic photography, and behind-the-scenes video segments.

An extended description, with photographs, is provided by Amy Ratcliffe, writing for Nerdist (8 June 2016).

During a panel after the exhibit preview, Dresbach and Steele revealed they’ve been wanting to tackle 18th-century Paris for practically their entire careers. In fact, they longed to specifically work on Outlander. “Gary and I have been planning to do this show for about 25 years,” Dresbach said. She joked that she had to marry somebody (Outlander executive producer Ronald D. Moore) to make it happen, “It was all to get to Outlander.” Dresbach introduced Steele to Gabaldon’s book in the early ’90s, and they’ve been dreaming about it since. . . .

The sets in 18th-century France were so opulent and vivid, you’d think they were shot on location. That wasn’t the case. Most sets were built in a stage—including Claire and Jamie’s apartment, Master Raymond’s apothecary, and King Louis’ star chamber. They shot some exteriors in Prague, but for the most part, Steele got to dream the world into creation. “As designers, we want to build. It’s all from the ground-up. You create the whole thing. You control the color, the floor, the walls, the ceiling. That is so much more fun. It’s on stage, so it’s better in many ways for all of production,” Steele said. . .

Ratcliffe’s full piece is available here»

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