Symposium | Les nomenclatures stylistiques

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 12, 2018

From H-ArtHist:

Les nomenclatures stylistiques à l’épreuve de l’objet:
Construction et déconstruction du langage de l’histoire de l’art
Rome, 24–26 October 2018

2 4  O C T O B R E  2 0 1 8

Institut suisse à Rome
Via Ludovisi 48

9.30  Accueil des participants et Introduction

10.00  Gabriel Batalla-Lagleyre (Université de Bourgogne), L’invention du « Grand Siècle », période et style: La République et l’art français sous Louis XIV, 1871–1958

Pause café

11.30  Laura Moure Cecchini (Colgate University), Can the Baroque Be Classical? The Seicento and the Return-To-Order in 1920s Italian Painting

12.30  Isaline Deléderray-Oguey (Universités de Neuchâtel et d’Aix-Marseille), Le Liberty, entre historicisme et modernisme: la difficile définition d’un style

15.30  Discussions in situ

19.00  Conférence inaugurale — Institut suisse à Rome, avec le Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut Rome
Stijn Bussels (Leiden University) and Bram van Oostveldt (Universiteit van Amsterdam), What Does Style Do? Classification and Impact of Neoclassical Ensembles, 1750–1820

2 5  O C T O B R E  2 0 1 8

Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médicis
Viale Trinità dei Monti 1

9.15  Accueil des participants

9.30  Michèle-Caroline Heck (Université Paul-Valéry-Montpellier), Entre manière et goût: l’émergence de la notion de style

Pause café

11.00  Christian Michel (Université de Lausanne), « Beau comme l’antique », une conception du temps historique

12.00  Maude Bass Krueger (Leiden University), Historicism as a Site of Transfer between Past and Present: Architecture, Decorative Arts, and Fashion

14.30  Sarah Linford (Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma), « Comme si » : rationalité et fiction de la nomenclature stylistique

16.00  Discussions in situ

2 6  O C T O B R E  2 0 1 8

Bibliotheca Hertziana
Via Gregoriana 22

9.00  Accueil des participants

9.15  Olivier Bonfait (Université de Bourgogne), La peinture de réalité: quelle réalité ?

10.15  Giovanna Targia et Karolina Zgraja (Universität Zürich), Le categorie stilistiche wölffliniane in Renaissance und Barock: genealogia e applicazioni

Pause café

11.45  Matthew Critchley (ETH Zürich), Wittkower’s Ricetto and Blunt’s Baroque: Mutual Dependency of Object and Percept in the Rhetoric of Architectural History

14.00  Claudia Conforti (Università degli Studi di Roma « Tor Vergata »), Le parole per dirlo: descrivere l’architettura del secondo Novecento

15.30  Discussions in situ

19.00  Conférence de clôture — Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médicis (Viale Trinità dei Monti 1)
Caroline van Eck (University of Cambridge), Style Formation in the Age of Neo-Classicism: From Animism to Zoomorphy

Atelier de recherche en histoire de l’art organisé par
Istituto svizzero di Roma
Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médici

En collaboration avec
Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut Rome

Comité scientifique
Simon Baier (Universität Basel), Claudia Conforti (Università degli Studi di Roma « Tor Vergata »), Jérôme Delaplanche (Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médicis), Maarten Delbeke (ETH Zürich), Michèle-Caroline Heck (Université Paul-Valéry-Montpellier), Valérie Kobi (Istituto Svizzero di Roma), Sarah Linford (Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma), Christian Michel (Université de Lausanne), Caroline van Eck (University of Cambridge), Tristan Weddigen (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte)

Patrizia Celli, patrizia.celli@villamedici.it
Valérie Kobi, valerie.kobi@istitutosvizzero.it


Display | Eye Contact: Portraits in the Global Age

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 10, 2018

From the Thoma Foundation:

Eye Contact: Portraits in the Global Age
Thoma Foundation, Art House, Santa Fe, New Mexico, from 10 August 2018

Robert Wilson, ‘Lady Gaga: Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière’, 2013, high-definition video on plasma monitor.

For the first time, Art House will exhibit works from the Thoma Foundation’s diverse collections of Spanish colonial painting and digital art in tandem. Opening August 10, Eye Contact approaches portraiture as a sociological art. While portraits are created to commemorate individual identity, they are also reflections of the economic, political, and cultural forces around them, such as world trade, colonialism, and advances in technology.

The three artworks on view span more than two centuries, from 1776 to 2015, with the recent acquisition Lady Gaga: Mademoiselle Caroline Riviere, 2013 as a centerpiece. Robert Wilson’s video portrait depicts the subject in the guise of an early 19th-century French aristocrat. It is a powerful and ironic meditation on the ability of portraits to denote immortality. Styled in accordance with the famous 1806 painting of Rivière in the Louvre by neoclassical artist Jean Auguste Dominque Ingres, Lady Gaga inhabits the persona of the original sitter, an elegant teenager who died within a year of the work’s completion. Standing in front of a computer-generated landscape, Lady Gaga holds the foreknowledge of Caroline Rivière’s tragic demise, her Gothic pose, intense eye contact, and expression conveying her awareness that even fame fades with time. Wilson is best known for his spectacular, modernist operas, among them the 1976 production Einstein on the Beach, and has been described by The New York Times as “America’s—or even the world’s—foremost avant-garde ‘theater artist.’”

Unlike Lady Gaga and the aristocrat Caroline Rivière, little is known about the woman depicted in Andrés Solano’s Portrait of Ana Josepha de Castañeda y de la Requere from 1776. The inscription on her portrait notes that she was the wife of Juan Lázaro Merino y Zaldo, most likely a sugar planter in the town of Trinidad in central Cuba. While Josepha is forthright and relatively unadorned, the extravagance of her picture frame reflects her position as a wealthy peninsular, a Spanish-born Spaniard residing in the New World or the Spanish East Indies. The gilt rococo embellishments of the frame contrast with Josepha’s frank appearance. Her bloodline is denoted in the painting’s inscription, documenting her caste at a time when cultures, identities, religions, and ideas were mixing in the Spanish colonial world.

Daniel Rozin’s Selfish Gene Mirror, 2015, meanwhile, is a digital mirror in which the viewer temporarily becomes the portrait’s subject. Via a small camera and Rozin’s customized ‘Darwinian’ algorithm, lines of pixels replicate the behavior of human genes, scrambling to assemble a lifelike visage in real time through a process of replication and propagation. Each ‘gene’ is programmed to compete for its ongoing existence. The viewer is reinterpreted within the work of art in a transitory way; once he or she walks away, the pixels die off. The memorializing impulse of portraiture, already imperfect, is abandoned.

About the Collection

Spanning the global history of computer art of the past fifty years, the Foundation’s digital art collection includes some of the first algorithmic plotter drawings on paper, software-driven, generative, and custom-coded artworks, interactive works based on real-time gaming platforms, internet-based or networked art, and works that utilize LED and LCD displays. With more than 130 works from the 17th to 19th centuries, the Spanish Colonial art collection includes religious paintings and portraits from the Viceroyalty of Peru and the Kingdom of Nueva Granada, as well as a selection of portraits fro.m the Spanish Caribbean.

Symposium | Perceiving Processions

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 10, 2018

Next month at The Courtauld:

Perceiving Processions: Eighth Early Modern Postgraduate Symposium
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 24 November 2018

Organised by Talitha Schepers and Alice Zamboni

Procession of Süleyman I, from ‘Customs and Fashions of the Turks’, Pieter Coecke van Aelst, woodcut print, 30 × 39 cm, 1553 (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, RP-P-OB-2304L).

In recent years, a renewed interest in early modern rituals, festivals, and performances has prompted a reconsideration of ceremonious processions with a particular focus on their impact on social, cultural, artistic, and political structures and practices. Simultaneously, scholars have increasingly acknowledged the mobility of early modern artists across geographical, religious, and cultural borders. Although processions were witnessed by natives and visitors alike and were therefore prime instances of cross-cultural encounters, their depictions by artists both local and foreign remain a lesser-studied body of visual material. This symposium proposes to explore the visual representations of processions that took place within cross-cultural encounters both within and outside of Europe.

A procession was an act of movement that was particularly charged with meaning; an ambulatory mode of celebration, it had a global resonance in the early modern period. Processionals impressed foreign dignitaries, established modes of rule, communicated traditions, and negotiated power balances and were highly sensory occasions—as such they lent themselves readily to visual representation and were enthusiastically recorded in literature. Pageantries, military processions, and Joyous Entries (Blijde Inkomsten) were recorded in a variety of media, as exemplified by the festival books celebrating the ephemeral constructions orchestrated for Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand’s arrival in Antwerp (1635) or the eighteenth-century paintings depicting Venice’s dazzling boat parades in honour of foreign dignitaries. Furthermore, ceremonial processions conceived for births, weddings, circumcision feasts, and funerals occasioned visual representations such as the colourful Mughal miniature Wedding Procession of Dara Shikoh in Presence of Shah Jahan (1740). In addition, the notion of procession can be expanded to encompass various expressions of mobility that could be understood and were often depicted as a procession. Both Jan van Scorel’s frieze-like painting of the knightly brotherhood commemorating their Holy Land pilgrimage (c. 1530) and the depiction of ambassadors travelling with their retinue to foreign courts and cities can be perceived as a form of procession. Thus, the structure of a procession was increasingly adopted in the Early Modern period to depict moments of exchange and motion propelled by the quest for knowledge, as much as diplomatic concerns and religious piety. Well-known examples include The Voyage to Calicut tapestry series (1504) as well as the highly detailed printed frieze of a merchant endeavour by Hans Burgkmair (The King of Cochin, 1508).

Free admission, all welcome. Advance booking requested.


9.00  Registration

9.30  Welcome

9.45  Session 1: Royal Encounters
• Bianca Schor (Independent Scholar, London), Albert Eckhout’s Tapestry Le Roi Porté in Malta: A Diplomatic Encounter
• Travis Seifman (University of California), Displaying Foreignness for Prestige: Luchuan Embassy Processions in Edo, 1644–1850
• Matthew Gin (Harvard University), Rites of Passage: Re-Tracing Princess Maria Teresa Rafaela’s Entry into France (1745)

11.00  Coffee break

11.35  Session 2: Beyond the Documentary
• Gemma Cornetti (The Warburg Institute, University of London), Stefano della Bella and the Triumphal Entry of the Polish Ambassador in Rome (1633)
• Sabrina Lind (Ghent University), A Book without Readers? Or the Audience and the Importance of the Festival Book(s) of the Joyous Entry into Antwerp in 1635
• Gaylen Vankan (University of Liège), Imagine Orient: A Military Procession by Jan Swart van Groningen

12.50  Lunch break

13.50  Session 3: Performing Processions
• Laila Dandachi (University of Vienna), ‘The Triumphal Exotic from the East’: The Display of Diplomatic Performances of Early Modern Islamic Empires Shaped by the Iconic and Emblematic Nature of Islamic Military Arms and Armour
• Borja Franco Llopis and Francisco Orts-Ruiz (UNED, Madrid), Muslims and Moriscos in the Processions and Royal Entries in Iberia (14–16th Centuries): Beyond Their Visual Representation
• Esther Pramschiefer (University of Cologne), Travelling Theatres in Germany: Audiences and Actors Proceeding outwards of Walled Cities

15.05  Tea and coffee break

15.40  Session 4: Religious Processions
• Ashley Patton (University of Minnesota), St Rose of Lima: Identity, Performance, and Surrogacy
• Massoumeh Assemi (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Muharram Processions

16.30  Short break

16.40  Session 5: Itinerant Processions
• Raoul DuBois (University of Zurich), Temporality and Mediality of the Processions in Travelogues of the 15th and 16th Centuries
• Nicholas Mazer Crummey (Independent Scholar, Budapest), Observing a City in Motion: An Englishman’s Account of the 1675 Ottoman Imperial Circumcision Festival in Edirne

17.30  Closing remarks

18.00  Reception

Exhibition | Tablescapes: Designs for Dining

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 8, 2018

Pierre-Philippe Thomire, Surtout de Table, 1805
(New York: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Press release (via Art Daily) for the exhibition:

Tablescapes: Designs for Dining
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, 5 October 2018 — 14 April 2019

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum presents Tablescapes: Designs for Dining, an exhibition that offers a creative timeline of dining experiences through three distinct installations. At the center of the exhibition is Cooper Hewitt’s surtout de table, a magnificent, newly conserved treasure from the museum’s expansive collection of over 210,000 design objects that once ornamented the tables of French nobility at the turn of the 19th century. The exhibition also spotlights the work of the underrecognized but influential textile designer Marguerita Mergentime, active in the 1920s and ’30s, whose work has not received a dedicated museum presentation in 75 years. Pivoting to address 21st-century concerns, the exhibition debuts experimental and collaborative products commissioned from National Design Award-winning designers Joe Doucet and Mary Ping.

Tablescapes shows how taste and social values are expressed through style, materials and motifs,” said Caroline Baumann, director of the museum. “From awe-inspiring grandeur to vernacular wit to an emphasis on sustainability, the exhibition provokes a spirited conversation around design’s role in the evolution of a universal ritual.”

Surtout de Table

Pierre-Philippe Thomire, Candelabrum, 1815–25, gilt and patinated bronze (New York: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum).

On view for the first time in 30 years, Cooper Hewitt’s surtout de table was created in Paris around 1805 by Pierre-Philippe Thomire, a French sculptor renowned for creating gilt-bronze objects for the politically and socially powerful. It is believed that Napoleon gave this example as a wedding present to his stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais, whom he often designated to host diplomatic dinners in Paris and Italy.

When placed at the center of a long table, the mirrored plateau and gilt-bronze surfaces of the surtout de table would have reflected the flames of expensive candles. As part of the exhibition’s digital experience, visitors may manipulate an image of the object to view the surtout de table under various lighting conditions. This technology, known as Reflection Transformation Imaging, facilitated the extensive conservation treatment of the surtout de table. As documented in an accompanying gallery video, Cooper Hewitt’s conservationists worked in collaboration with external specialists to restore the surface of the surtout de table, dulled by corrosion, to its original golden lustre. Additionally, the conservationists treated the deteriorating silver-leaf backing of the mirrored plateau, making the surtout de table reflective once again.

To contextualize the surtout de table, it is presented with related objects, including a late 18th-century Italian drawing for a surtout de table design inspired by the ruins of Pompeii and a fire-gilt and blackened bronze clock made by Antoine-Andre Ravrio (French, 1759–1814) with ornaments in the form of a woman playing piano, said to represent Empress Josephine, the mother of Eugène de Beauharnais, at her fashionable residence Malmaison.

Marguerita Mergentime

Marguerita Mergentime (American, 1894–1941) began her design career in New York City in the 1920s, where she made dress fabrics and bath and beach accessories. She belonged to a circle of modernist designers that included Donald Deskey, Gilbert Rohde, Frederick Kiesler, and Ilonka Karasz.

In 1934, Mergentime debuted her first designs for home linens at the Industrial Arts Exposition at Rockerfeller Center. She quickly gained recognition for her bright, modernist textile designs, which retailed at desirable department stores and were highlighted in popular magazines as essential accessories for the hostess seeking to vivify informal dining. Each of the eight napkins in the set Wish Fulfillment (1939) stimulated cocktail hour conversation with a depiction of a mystical or pseudoscientific conduit to the future—for instance, dream books or graphology—accompanied by predictions of wealth, success and happiness. Stylish and imbued with typographical interest, the tablecloth Food Quiz (1939) brought humorous, lighthearted debate to the table with conversation sparkers such as, “Do you dish the dirt before you dish the soup?”

Further illuminating Mergentime’s sensibility, the adjacent Spoon Family Gallery is dedicated to archival materials and the hanging Americana (1939), which entertained visitors at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco by uniting the names of 360 iconic American phrases, organizations, foods, points of interest, and people.

Joe Doucet and Mary Ping

For this exhibition, Cooper Hewitt commissioned Joe Doucet (American, born 1970), recipient of the 2017 National Design Award for Product Design, and Mary Ping (American, born 1978), recipient of the 2017 National Design Award for Fashion Design and founder of the studio Slow and Steady Wins the Race, to envision the future of dining. The designers address a near future in which users approach dining with greater speed and efficiency, and live in cities that are more densely populated than ever.

The Concentric and Decentric Tables and Seating, designed by Ping and the New York-based architectural firm Bureau V, can fold to seat a small group or expand to accommodate a gathering of up to nine people. Appropriately for a future of increasing material scarcity, its terrazzo-patterned surface is made not from stone, but from recycled food packaging.

Presented on the amoeba-shaped eating surfaces of Ping’s table, Doucet designed multifunctional servingware that can be used to cook, serve and store food and a set of cutlery designed for users who dine on a variety of international cuisines. Doucet fabricated the designs using 3D printing to allow for greater customization.

Tablescapes: Designs for Dining is made possible by Anonymous. Conservation of the surtout de table is made possible by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee. In-kind support is provided by Shapeways and The Abadi Group. Pure+Applied designed the exhibition.

Images and exhibition labels are available here»

Exhibition | It’s Alive! Frankenstein at 200

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 6, 2018

From the press release (6 September) for the exhibition:

It’s Alive! Frankenstein at 200
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 12 October 2018 — 27 January 2019

Curated by John Bidwell and Elizabeth Denlinger

A classic of world literature, a masterpiece of horror, and a forerunner of science fiction, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is the subject of a new exhibition at the Morgan. Organized in collaboration with the New York Public Library, It’s Alive! Frankenstein at 200 traces the origins and impact of the novel whose monster has become both a meme and a metaphor for forbidden science, unintended consequences, and ghastly combinations of the human and the inhuman. Portions of the original manuscript will be on display along with historic scientific instruments and iconic artwork such as Henry Fuseli’s Nightmare and the definitive portrait of Mary Shelley. The story’s astonishingly versatile role in art and culture over the course of two hundred years helps explain why the monster permeates the popular imagination to this day.

Joseph Wright, The Alchymist, in Search of the Philosopher’s Stone, Discovers Phosphorus, and Prays for the Successful Conclusion of his Operation, as was the Custom of the Ancient Chymical Astrologers, 1795, oil on canvas (Derby Museums Trust; photography by Richard Tailby).

Co-curated by John Bidwell, the Astor Curator and Department Head of the Morgan’s Printed Books and Bindings Department, and Elizabeth Denlinger, Curator of the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle at The New York Public Library, this exhibition presents a diverse array of books, manuscripts, posters, prints, and paintings illustrating the long cultural tradition that shaped and was shaped by Mary Shelley’s myth. A large number of these works come from both the Morgan and the New York Public Library’s collections.

Only eighteen years old when she embarked on the novel, Shelley invented the archetype of the mad scientist who dares to flout the laws of nature. She created an iconic monster who spoke out against injustice and begged for sympathy while performing acts of shocking violence. The monster’s fame can be attributed to the novel’s theatrical and film adaptations. Comic books, film posters, publicity stills, and movie memorabilia reveal a different side to the story of Frankenstein, as reinterpreted in spinoffs, sequels, mashups, and parodies.

“The Morgan is in an excellent position to tell the rich story of Mary Shelley’s life and of Frankenstein’s evolution in popular culture,” said director of the museum, Colin B. Bailey. “Pierpont Morgan was fascinated by the creative process, and one of the artifacts he acquired was a first edition Frankenstein annotated by the author. The collection of works by the Shelleys, both at the Morgan and the New York Public Library, has only grown since then. We are very pleased to collaborate with the NYPL in presenting the full version of this extraordinary tale and how it lives on in the most resilient and timely of ways.”

A copiously illustrated companion volume, It’s Alive! A Visual History of Frankenstein, provides a vivid account of the artistic and literary legacy of the novel along with detailed descriptions of the highlights in the exhibition, while a new online curriculum offers high school teachers resources for the classroom.

The exhibition occupies two galleries: one documenting the life of Mary Shelley and the composition of her book, the other showing how the story evolved in the theater, cinema, and popular culture.

The Influence of the Gothic Style and Enlightenment Science

Benoît Pecheux, plate no. 4 in Giovanni Aldini, Essai théorique et expérimental sur le galvanisme (Paris: De l’imprimerie de Fournier Fils, 1804 / The Morgan Library & Museum, purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2016; PML 196238).

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus sprang from both a passion for Gothic style that pervaded British culture long before the author’s birth in 1797 and the influence of the discoveries of European Enlightenment science. Audiences loved the supernatural in all its formulations—ghosts, graveyards, mysterious strangers, secret warnings, lost wills, hidden pictures, and more. While novels were the primary vehicle for the Gothic, it was also popular with artists of paintings and prints, which were sometimes satirical—the Gothic was parodied as soon as it was taken seriously. The exhibition opens with the greatest horror painting of the eighteenth century, The Nightmare, painted in 1781 by the Swiss immigrant artist Henry Fuseli. Mary Shelley knew about this iconic image and may have used it in writing the climactic scene in Frankenstein.

Shelley was also influenced by the scientific endeavors of the time. She had been born into an age of scientific and technological discovery in Britain, when institutions like the Royal Society began fostering exploration and experimentation. Across Britain spread a thriving circuit of lectures and science demonstrations for the public. A few of these experiments have become part of the Frankenstein legend. While writing the novel, Shelley had been reading Humphry Davy’s Elements of Chemical Philosophy, and she knew about anatomical dissections, contemporary debates about the origins of life, and electrical experiments on corpses. She lends this fascination to Victor Frankenstein, who makes a monster from corpses in his “workshop of filthy creation.”

Mary Shelley’s Life and Conception of Frankenstein

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (London: Printed for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, 1818). This specific copy, purchased by Pierpont Morgan in 1910, is part of The Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle at The Morgan Library & Museum.

Mary Shelley grew up in a radical and intellectual milieu, the daughter of writers famous in their own time, the feminist theorist Mary Wollstonecraft and the novelist and philosopher William Godwin. After her mother died in childbirth, her father married Mary Jane Clairmont, who had children of her own, and the teenaged Mary Godwin escaped a tense family atmosphere by making long visit to friends in Scotland. When she returned in 1814, she met the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, already married and a father. They soon fell in love and eloped to Europe, the most decisive act of all their lives.

It was on a trip to Lake Geneva in 1816 accompanied by P.B. Shelley, Lord Byron, and her step-sister Claire Clairmont that Mary Godwin found the inspiration to write Frankenstein. During their stay, the party entertained themselves by reading aloud from a volume of Gothic tales. Byron suggested a contest to write ghost stories, and Shelley joined in energetically, looking for something “to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.” After days of frustrated effort, the idea came to her one night after hearing P.B. Shelley and Lord Byron discuss the origins of life and the possibility of animating a corpse by galvanic action.

“I saw—with shut eyes, but acute mental vision—I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together.” She returned to England with the beginnings of a novel.

By 1817, she had finished a draft titled Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The book appeared in three volumes on January 1, 1818, after P. B. Shelley offered revisions and found a publisher. Luckily for posterity, most of the Frankenstein manuscript has survived, making it possible to see the author’s original ideas, her second thoughts, and her husband’s suggestions. Portions of the manuscript containing key passages in the novel will be on display at the Morgan.

Mary Shelley’s personal life was punctuated by tragedy in ways strangely similar to incidents in the novel. After settling in Italy in the spring of 1818 with her husband, their children William and Clara, step-sister Claire and her daughter Allegra, the family experienced constant sorrow as first William and Clara, and then Allegra died. Their grief was only partly assuaged by the birth of another child, Percy Florence. Through their mourning and marital difficulties, Mary Shelley and her husband maintained a strenuous routine of writing and study and friendships in the English and Italian communities. In July 1822, Shelley suffered a final devastating loss: P. B. Shelley sailed with his friend Edward Williams and their cabin boy to meet their friend Leigh Hunt’s family in Leghorn; on their return their boat met a sudden squall and they drowned.

Frankenstein on Stage and on Screen

When Mary Shelley returned to England in August 1823, one of the few bright spots was Richard Brinsley Peake’s melodrama Presumption! or, the Fate of Frankenstein: a theatrical hit, the play had made her famous. The actor Thomas Potter Cooke’s performance was the key factor: over six feet tall, clad in a gray-blue leotard, his exposed skin painted the same color, with a toga on top, he moved with lyrical athleticism and made the creature both frightening and pathetic. Mary Shelley saw one of Cooke’s performances and enjoyed it greatly. Other adaptations followed: at least fifteen dramas based on the novel were produced between 1823 and 1826.

Poster for Mary W. Shelley’s Frankenstein (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1931 / The Morgan Library & Museum, purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2016; PML 196478. Courtesy of Universal Studios Licensing LLC, © 1931 Univeral Pictures Company, Inc).

A large portion of the exhibition is dedicated to the movies, which have played an essential role in popularizing the story and shaping our pop culture image of the monster. The earliest film of Frankenstein was made by the Edison Studios in 1910, but it is James Whale’s 1931 version that has taken such a prominent place in the popular psyche that it is now better known than the novel. The 1931 Frankenstein and 1935 Bride of Frankenstein gave us a radically reimagined version of the narrative, particularly the creation scene and Boris Karloff’s performance as the monster. James Whale and his special effects technicians introduced the high-voltage lab equipment and set the scene amidst the thunder and lightning now obligatory in horror movies. The creature’s violence was induced by his being tortured with fire. Karloff later said, “Over the years thousands of children wrote, expressing compassion for the great, weird creature who was so abused by its sadistic keeper that it could only respond to violence with violence. Those children saw beyond the make-up and really understood.” The 1935 sequel, with Elsa Lanchester playing both Mary Shelley and the creature’s bride, has also aged well. Both films create sympathy for the creature through his encounters with stupid and sadistic people, and both Karloff and Elsa Lanchester portray their characters with dignity and depth of emotion.

From the creation of the monster, to the creature’s killing of a small child, to violence committed against women, adaptations of Frankenstein again and again have returned to some of the most disturbing but recurring scenes of human experience. Mary Shelley’s unique contribution to culture is the creation of the monster. Her genius was to imagine a way to make life out of death; James Whale’s genius was to imagine a way to depict it in moving images and sound.

Whale’s Frankenstein films sparked a mass of cinematic energy. Other directors drew from it for years after with imitations and derivative films, a few just as frightening, some quite funny, none as haunting. The Morgan has borrowed a series of B-movie posters from a private collector and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to show some of the more faithful, comic, lurid, and execrable treatments of this theme

Makeup artists, perhaps, have come closer than anyone to bringing Victor Frankenstein’s story to life. Jack Pierce’s makeup gave the creature a new face in the 1931 film. Some highlights in the section include the sketches and photographs of this iconic appearance along with a gruesome torso model of Robert De Niro in Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein, provided by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin.

The Creature’s Afterlife: Comic Books and Prints

The comic book as a separate slim magazine first appeared in 1933 as a promotional insert in newspapers, and Frankenstein has been part of this medium’s history from nearly the beginning. The exhibition includes some of the most interesting examples of the story, some aimed at children and some at adults.

Surprisingly few illustrators have taken on the novel’s challenge, but we present four of the best: Lynd Ward (remembered first of all as a wood engraver), Bernie Wrightson (a renowned comic book artist), Barry Moser (a celebrated book illustrator), and Pierre-Alain Bertola (a polymath Swiss artist who worked on a theatrical version of Frankenstein). All of them are working after, and against James Whale. All pay exquisite attention to Mary Shelley’s text and its ethical implications.

The exhibition closes with Barry Moser’s illustration of the Frankenstein family tomb, leaving us solidly in the tradition of Gothic art with which the show begins. Mary Shelley’s creature is a Gothic nightmare, but one who takes responsibility for himself. Even as his blood boils at the injustices committed against him, he is also “torn by the bitterest remorse.” Seeking quiet in death, he leaps onto his raft and is soon lost to human eyes. As mysterious and volatile in death as in life, Frankenstein’s monster leaves us with more questions than answers—perhaps the decisive reason why artists have been drawn to him for the past two hundred years.

Elizabeth Campbell Denlinger, It’s Alive! A Visual History of Frankenstein (New York: The Morgan Library & Museum, 2018), 336 pages, ISBN: 978-1512603422, $55.

Call for Papers | Printmaking in Sulzbach

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 6, 2018

From the Book History and Print Culture Network:

Printmaking in the Residential Town of Sulzbach in Historical Context
Sulzbach-Rosenberg, 5–6 July 2019

Proposals due by 31 October 2018

The history of printing and bookselling in the 17th century is a first-rate research desideratum. While the Reformation as an incubation period and the 18th century as a turning point towards books as a mass medium can be regarded as fundamentally researched, especially from the point of view of economic history, little attention has been paid to the time in between. The specific situation in the Pfalzgrafschaft Sulzbach in the second half of the 17th century can be an impulse to examine the printing press guided by current approaches of cultural studies in media historiography and the history of science.

In the last third of the 17th century several printers worked in the residence town of Sulzbach, which—favoured by the tolerance policy of Palatine Count Christian August—produced books and other printed products of all kinds, partly in cooperation with publishers in Nuremberg, but also beyond that. Notable printshops included those of Abraham Lichtenthaler (1621–1704, from 1664 in Sulzbach), Georg Abraham Lichtenthaler (1684–1736), and Georg Abraham Lorenz Lichtenthaler (1711–1780), as well as that of Johann Holst (1648–1726). Above all, however, the founding of a Hebrew printing house in 1684, led by Moses Bloch, was based on the sovereign’s interest in Jewish culture on the one hand and can be regarded as a mercantilist project on the other—the success of which can be seen from the fact that it quickly became one of the leading Jewish printing houses in Europe.

There are some general remarks on the history of book printing in Sulzbach, but they do not take a closer look at the publisher’s programmes or address special features such as cooperation among publishers. For this reason, the Christian Knorr von Rosenroth Society is focusing its 2019 Annual Conference on letterpress printing in the residential town of Sulzbach in a historical context. The Society invites interested scholars from the fields of book science, history of science, theology, medicine, law and history, but also from philology, to participate in its interdisciplinary orientation. Contributions are welcome which help to classify the Sulzbach printshops and the printed products produced there historically, but also those which place the regional events in a larger context.

Already a first bibliographical indexing shows that the printers in Sulzbach did not least fall back on successful titles whose sales seemed to be secured. There are indications that the ‘Simultaneum’ decreed by the sovereign offered ideal conditions for the printing trade at the intersection between the Protestant territories of the imperial city of Nuremberg and the Franconian margraves on the one hand and the Catholic Amberg on the other. Finally, the establishment of the Hebrew printshop is the result of a sovereign intervention, from which synergies resulted; the Sulzbach printshops were obviously able to produce even complex and extensive prints. Blochsche Druckerei achieved a leading position in the production of Hebrew prints, which was preserved well into the 18th century, but Lichtenthaler Druckerei also continued to flourish among the following generations, so that the printing trade remained of great importance for the city even after the extinction of the dynasty and the associated loss of the residence until the 19th century (the history, however, of the Sulzbach printing works after the early modern period will not be the subject of the conference).

Based on the indexing of the preserved books from Sulzbach printing works in VD 17 (printing place: Sulzbach, Sultzbac*, Sulzbac*, Sulbac*, Solisbac*, Zûlṣbʾaḵ) and partly also in VD 18, potential subjects of lectures are:
• Book censorship in Sulzbach in historical comparison, the Sulzbach renewed censorship order 1669
• The relations of the Nuremberg publishers Endter and Hoffmann with printers in Sulzbach
• Questions on Hebrew printing
• Catholics in the printing house of a Protestant (e.g. Florentius Schilling, Georg Mentzius)
• Legal manuals, guides and case collections (Franz Friedrich von Andlern, Octavio Pisani)
• Travel literature, country descriptions, especially Turcica (Johann Sigmund Wurffbain, Johann Heinrich Seyfried, Caspar Bruschius)
• Medical literature (including publications by Georg Bartisch, Elias Beynon, Jan Baptista van Helmont)
• Individual authors (Michael Münchmeyer, Andreas Lazarus von Imhof, Johann Hieronymus Imhof, Adam Contzen, Clamerus Florinus)
• The equipment of the books (numerous prints contain copper)
• The card game as a medium (Andreas Strobl)
• Sulzbach calendars

The above topics are not meant to be exhaustive. The organisers are happy to receive suggestions for contributions with some characterising remarks on the subject of the study until 31.10.2018. Please email ernst.rohmer@ur.de or rosmarie.zeller@unibas.ch. The conference takes place in Sulzbach-Rosenberg on 5./6.7.2019. The conference papers will be published in Morgen-Glantz. Yearbook of the Christian Knorr von Rosenroth Society for the year 2020.

For speakers, the Society will raise subsidies to cover the costs of travel and accommodation in Sulzbach-Rosenberg. The conference starts on Friday at 2pm and ends on Saturday at 6pm. Sulzbach-Rosenberg is located on the A 6 (Nuremberg-Prague) or can be reached from Nuremberg and Regensburg by regional express trains every hour.

Prof. Dr. Ernst Rohmer
Universität Regensburg
Institut für Germanistik
Universitätsstraße 31
D-93053 Regensburg

Prof. Dr. Rosmarie Zeller
Universität Basel
Deutsches Seminar
Nadelberg 4
CH – 4051 Basel

Call for Papers | After the Grand Tour

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 5, 2018

From H-ArtHist:

After the Grand Tour: References, Revisions, Returns
Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, Rome, 12 April 2019

Proposals due by 15 November 2018

Ninth edition of the international symposium Grand Tour del Terzo Millennio: Researches on Art and Architectural History by Foreign Scholars and Artists in Rome. Previous editions were held at the University of Rome – Tor Vergata; this year’s symposium will be curated by the Rome Art History Network (RAHN) with the generous support of the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca and the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History (Rome). It is organized by Iacopo Benincampi and Arianna Carannante, in collaboration with Anne Scheinhardt.

Between the eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth century, Rome represented the main international cultural center of Europe. Consequently, many young and passionate ‘amateurs’ continued to go there, just to get closer to art as well as to specialize in their profession as artists. However, due to the political weakness of the Papal government, travelers did not set a permanent base in the city. They went back home with the certainty that their acquired knowledge would confer them a favorable advantage in the exercise of their profession. After all, the repertory of Roman sources remained an essential point of cultural reference for the construction, completion, and legitimation of modern identities in Europe. These were translated in an open-air catalogue of themes, formal models, and technical solutions with the power to inspire innovative elaborations, and to catalyze new compositional and constructional experiments.

Rome’s distinctiveness in this regard fostered its international significance and acted as an incentive for the foundation of foreign academies. To this day these institutions are a cultural compass for the scientific and artistic exploration of the city of Rome. The objective of this conference is to reflect on the inheritance of the experience of the Grand Tour, especially within the realm of the figurative arts and architecture. Our aim is to create a platform for comparing and reflecting on models of research by foreigners and Italian scholars in Rome.

Which instances of Rome’s artistic output—from contemporary and/or previous times—captured the interest of visitors and artists between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? What were the privileged mediums of their documentation (sketches, drawings, and so forth)? Once they returned home, which Roman works did Grand Tourists take as models for local experimentation, and how did these references come to be developed? What role did religious and lay patrons play in this regard? What social networks did they form during their Roman sojourn? What contacts did they maintain? Did anyone stay or return at a later point?

These themes will be addressed during the conference which will be held on 12th of April. Especially fellows, doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars, and professors in history of art and architecture from foreign institutions are invited to send proposals related to these themes.

Please send an abstract in Italian or English of 2,500 characters max (spaces included) and a bio of 1,500 characters max (spaces included) to convegno.grandtour@gmail.com by the 15th of November 2018. We will consider the possibility of publishing the conference proceedings.

New Book (and Film) | Peterloo

Posted in books, films by Editor on October 4, 2018

From Head of Zeus Books:

Jacqueline Riding, Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre (London: Head of Zeus, 2018), 400 pages, 400 pages, ISBN: 978-1786695833, £30.

Manchester, August 1819: 60,000 people had gathered in the cause of parliamentary reform. To those defending the status quo, the vote was not a universal right, but a privilege of wealth and land ownership. To radical reformers the fundamental overhaul of a corrupt system was long overdue. The people had come to hear one such reformer, Henry Hunt, from all over Lancashire, walking to the sound of hymns and folk songs. By the end of the day fifteen of them, including two women and a child, were dead or mortally wounded, and 650 injured, hacked down by drunken yeomanry after local magistrates panicked at the scale of the meeting. The British state, four years after defeating the ‘tyrant’ Bonaparte at Waterloo, had turned its forces against its own people, as they peaceably exercised their liberties.

Dr Jacqueline Riding’s compelling book ties in to Mike Leigh’s forthcoming film Peterloo, for which the author was historical advisor, in advance of the bicentenary of Peterloo in 2019.

Jacqueline Riding is author of the award-winning Jacobites: A New History of the ‘45 Rebellion. She is a consultant for museums, galleries and historic buildings, and an historical adviser on feature films.

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According to Wikipedia, the film is “scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on 2 November 2018, by Entertainment One, and in the United States on 9 November 2018, by Amazon Studios.”

Exhibition | Rosetsu: Ferocious Brush

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 3, 2018

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, 1786 door panels from the Zen Temple Muryōji, Kushimoto.

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From the press release for the exhibition:

Rosetsu: Ferocious Brush / Rosetsu: Fantastische Bilderwelten aus Japan
Museum Rietberg, Zurich, 6 September — 4 November 2018

Curated by Khanh Trinh and Matthew McKelway

For eight weeks, Japan’s most famous tiger will reside exclusively at Museum Rietberg in Zurich. The story goes that the Japanese artist Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754–1799) painted this monumental tiger together with its counterpart, a dragon, on the sliding door panels of the Zen temple Muryōji in a single night in the year 1786. Now the entire temple’s painted walls and a number of other, awe-inspiring masterpieces by Rosetsu are being shown for the first time outside of Japan. Rosetsu’s highly dynamic paintings created with vigorous brushstrokes and sometimes with his fingers, but also his delicate compositions painted with fine brushes and rich colour are replete with energy, wit, and modern appeal.

Renowned as one of the most eccentric and imaginative artists in early modern Japan, Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754–1799) produced visually exciting, classification-defying works during his brief career. The exhibition Rosetsu: Ferocious Brush unravels the many mysteries of this enigmatic career. An exclusive and expert selection of works by Rosetsu chosen in consultation with the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Government of Japan (Bunkachō) reveals his painting subjects, his relationship to Zen Buddhism, his contacts with patrons outside Kyoto, and his choice of extraordinarily bold images.

The exhibition at the Rietberg Museum will survey Rosetsu’s art through a selection of sixty of his most important paintings, beginning with the earliest works in the realist style of his teacher Maruyama Ōkyo (1733–1795) and ending with the haunting and occasionally bizarre final masterpieces of his career. Screen paintings, scrolls, and albums depicting Zen eccentrics, children at play, ethereal beauties, breathtaking landscapes, and vivacious animals and birds will take viewers on a journey through Rosetsu’s own travels and into his fantastic imagination. These works, some of them compellingly realistic and others surprisingly abstract, take us into an early modern Japan we did not know and which feels very contemporary.

The highlight of the exhibition will be a magnificent ensemble of 48 screens and hanging scrolls, displayed in a recreated original floorplan of the Zen temple Muryōji. This Zen temple in the southern part of Japan’s main island holds the largest and most important collection of Rosetsu’s paintings, created in 1786. Various stories recount the creation of this breathtaking ensemble. The installation of these works would present an unprecedented opportunity to view and examine the paintings in a single venue outside their home in Kushimoto, and indeed the first such installation of architecturally specific paintings in an exhibition outside Japan.

Approximately one-third of the works to be exhibited are registered as Important Cultural Properties or Important Art Objects. Complementing these masterpieces from Japan, paintings from museums, temples, and private collections in Japan, Europe, and the United States trace the phases of Rosetsu’s life as he pursued his livelihood in Kyoto and the surrounding provinces. The exhibition closes with a dramatic display of abstract landscapes, ghosts, and perhaps his most astonishing work of all, a depiction of 500 Disciples of the Buddha on a surface of only one square inch.

Rosetsu, who hailed from a low-ranking samurai family, gained his reputation among art circles in the imperial capital Kyoto and its neighbouring regions with his untamed personality and his unusual talent. The exhibits run the gamut of formats and subjects, from exquisitely executed scrolls depicting birds and flowers in brilliant polychrome pigments to large-scale sliding doors and folding screens with fantastic landscapes, bizarre figures, and adorable animals. With his unconventional compositions and powerful brushwork Rosetsu always offers a fresh take on traditional subject matter. His paintings never fail to surprise, entertain, and charm.

The show at the Museum Rietberg is the first comprehensive presentation ever to take place outside of Japan. The exhibition is jointly curated by Dr Khanh Trinh, Curator of Japanese art, Museum Rietberg, Zurich, and Professor Matthew McKelway, Takeo and Itsuko Atsumi Professor of Japanese art history; director of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Japanese Art, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Khanh Trinh and Matthew McKelway, Rosetsu: Ferocious Brush (London: Prestel, 2018), 296 pages, ISBN: 978-3791357263, $60 / £45. Also available in German.

Symposium | Rosetsu in Context

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 3, 2018

From H-ArtHist:

Rosetsu in Context
Museum Rietberg, Zurich, 7 October 2018

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Scholars Crossing a Bridge, 1788–89, ink and color on paper, hanging scroll, 47 × 21 inches (San Diego Museum of Art).

Eighteenth-century Japan witnessed an unprecedented diversity in artistic expression, nourished by the flourishing of a sophisticated urban culture and the increased affluence of the population in provincial areas. This symposium presents an array of fresh perspectives on issues of art production and consumption as well as leading figures of the art scene that constitute the environment in which Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754–1799) lived and worked.

Organised with the support of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Japanese Art, Columbia University, in conjunction with the special exhibition Rosetsu: Ferocious Brush, on view at the Museum Rietberg Zurich, 6 September — 4 November 2018. While participation in the symposium is free of charge, a registration is required.


9.30  Doors open

10.00  Welcome by Albert Lutz (Director, Museum Rietberg)

10.10  Introduction by Khanh Trinh (Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Museum Rietberg)

10.30  Noguchi Takeshi (Chief Curator, Nezu Museum), The Tiger and Departure from Realistic Representation: Nagasawa Rosetsu in Comparison to his Master Maruyama Ōkyo

11.10  Break

11.30  Alexander Hofmann (Curator for Japanese Art, Asian Art Museum, State Museums Berlin), The Genius and the Bores – Or: Whatever Happened to Rosetsu’s Contemporary Academic Painters?

12.10  Lunch and exhibition viewing

14.00  Yukio Lippit (Professor, Harvard University), From Kisō to Kijin: Reconsidering Eccentricity through Ike no Taiga’s Two Chinese Poets

14.40  Kadowaki Mutsumi (Visiting Professor, Osaka University), Itō Jakuchū and Zen

15.20  Break

15.40  Matthew McKelway (Professor, Columbia University), Nagasawa Rosetsu and Zen

16.30  Questions and panel discussion