Prof. Simon Shaw-Miller, History of Art Department, University of Bristol
Prof. Paul Binski, History of Art Department, University of Cambridge; more to be confirmed.
Call for Papers
Artworks and objects that are not intended to last or only remain briefly in existence invariably accentuate the passage of time. In collaboration with the University of Bristol, this year’s AAH Student Summer Symposium will explore the implications of ephemerality for art and its histories through a wide range of historical and critical perspectives.
How do ephemeral practices—from medieval and early modern rituals to contemporary site-specific and performance-based events—intersect with the history of art and exhibitions? How should art history negotiate methodologies and strategies of documentation and preservation, when the delicate nature of materials sometimes results in the transformation, deterioration, or even disappearance of the work? When objects are irretrievably lost, is it possible to access them through documents that attempt to instigate a sense of permanence that was denied at the time? And how have museums and other exhibition spaces attempted to collect, display and preserve ephemeral objects? In the wake of recent technological developments, how do the dialectics of permanence and impermanence related to momentary flickers of celluloid or transitory pixels on a screen differ from those of bygone times? How do (media) technologies invoke notions of ephemerality and contemporaneity across different historical times?
We welcome contributions from all periods and contexts that engage with the relation between art and ephemerality within aesthetic, cultural, social, and material frameworks. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Histories of and critical perspectives on ephemeral artworks and artefacts
Ephemeral architectures: monuments, festivals, world fairs, expos and biennales
Issues of documentation and conservation pertaining to ephemeral art
Methodologies of studying ephemeral objects
Relations between permanence and temporality in collections and exhibitions
Ephemeral practices and their commodity statusThe afterlife of the artefact: recycling, transforming, rebuilding
The afterlife of the artefact: recycling, transforming, rebuilding
Abstracts of no more than 250 words for 20-minute papers plus a 100-word biography should be submitted as a single Word document to Anna Bonewitz, Tilo Reifenstein, Ruth Walker and Sophia Zhou at firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 April 2014. The symposium is open to all, however speakers are required to be AAH members.
The Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies is hosting a four-day object study workshop utilizing the Freer Gallery’s preeminent collection of Whistler’s work from June 9-12, 2014. Applications for this fully funded opportunity for postgraduates and recent Ph.D.s are due on March 3rd. More information can be found here.
Are you interested in Victorian architecture and decorative arts? The Victorian Society in America offers two fabulous summer school programs, one based in Newport, Rhode Island (May 30 to June 8, 2014), and the other in London (June 28 to July 13, 2014). Both programs are filled with numerous site visits, lectures, and guided tours of iconic buildings and hidden gems ordinarily closed to the public. Full and partial scholarships are available to cover the costs of both programs. More information, and details of the application due on March 1st can be found here.
The editors of the annual interdisciplinary journal, *Nineteenth Century Studies,* solicit submissions of cross-disciplinary essays, as well as comparative studies-that is, studies that cross national boundaries and/or range across the nineteenth century. Entering its twelfth year of publication, *Nineteenth Century Studies* publishes articles of interest to scholars of the nineteenth century in America, Britain and the British Empire, and Europe. Topics include, but are not limited to, literature, art history, history, music, and the history of science and the social sciences. Continue reading →
Yale Center for British Art: Thursday, November 14, 2013–Sunday, March 9, 2014
At times realistic, at other times fable-like, the work of the British sculptor Nicola Hicks captures something of the physical and psychological power of living beings. The striking, often life-sized creatures that Hicks creates are vividly animated. Usually executed in straw and plaster, her works appear tactile and spontaneous, retaining a sense of the working process in the studio even when painstakingly cast into bronze.
This exhibition features seven recent sculptures by Hicks and a selection of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century paintings from the collection of the Yale Center for British Art. These paintings have been selected by Hicks based not on art-historical criteria, but on a personal, subjective response to the works. The selection underscores her interest in art that captures expression and emotion, and that demonstrates human empathy for the life-force of different creatures. The Center is home to one of the world’s most important collections of British animal paintings and portraiture, and Hicks’s intervention offers a unique opportunity to reflect upon the contemporary resonances of these traditions. Continue reading →
Showing at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, until 12 January 2013
Whistler first arrived in London in 1859 and his early paintings of this period mark one of his most successful and profound assaults on the art establishment of his day. This major exhibition devoted to the American born artist will include an array of paintings of Chelsea and the Thames River, along with prints and rarely seen drawings, watercolours and pastels. The exhibition will culminate in the display some of Whistler’s stunning and iconic Nocturnes including Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge(1872-1877) Continue reading →
A conference at the University of Cambridge, 17-18 March 2014.
This two-day conference is a collaboration between the Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge and the Arts University Bournemouth and is organised in association with the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE). It seeks to investigate the formative role that occultism and spirituality have played in the creation of both Western and non-Western visual and material cultures. The conference aims to provide a stimulating platform for the presentation of innovative research in this field as well as to encourage dialogue and exchange between academics with a specific research interest in art and occultism.
Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 16 November 2013, 10.30 – 17.15. Keynote Speaker: Dr Jeremy Howard (University of St Andrews).
Art and its histories have ‘complex entanglements’ with empire and imperialism, to borrow a phrase from theorist Nikos Papastergiadis. In collaboration with the Henry Moore Institute, New Voices investigates the intersections of art and decolonisation to ask what the specific implications of decolonisation are for art and art history. This symposium turns attention to the geo-political struggles, revolutions and cultural recalibrations that artists and art historians have championed, challenged and negotiated as imperialism and colonialism weakened their grip and took on new forms. Continue reading →
Christine Riding and Richard Johns, Turner and the Sea (London: Thames & Hudson, 2013), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-0500239056, £35.
This is the first publication to focus on J. M. W. Turner’s lifelong fascination with the sea, from his Royal Academy debut in 1796, Fishermen at Sea, to his iconic maritime subjects of the 1830s and 1840s such as Staffa, Fingal’s Cave. It places Turner and his work firmly in the broader field of maritime painting that flourished in nineteenth-century Britain, France, Germany, Holland, and America.
The majority of the works illustrated here—paintings, watercolors, sketches, sketchbooks, and engravings—are by Turner, but there are also comparative works by some forty other artists including Winslow Homer, James McNeill Whistler, John Constable, Benjamin West, and Gustave Courbet. The book is organized thematically and chronologically, and the subjects range from “Contested Waters,” which examines what was at stake for marine painting during the Napoleonic Wars, to “New Wave,” an exploration of Turner’s international and often surprising legacy for the art of the sea.
Christine Riding is senior curator of paintings and head of the arts department at the National Maritime Museum. Richard Johns is senior lecturer in history of art at the University of York .
Art Turning Left will be the first exhibition to examine how the production and reception of art has been influenced by left-wing values, from the French Revolution to the present day. Left-wing political values such as collectivism, equality and the search for alternative economies have continuously influenced the making of art and visual culture, from the way in which William Morris organised his production line to the deliberate anonymity of the designers of the Atelier Populaire posters in Paris 1968. The direct involvement of visual artists in politics and the social and ethical values of left-wing politics can be traced to the French Revolution, when artists such as Jacques-Louis David granted permission for their artwork to be reproduced to support the Republican cause. Versions of David’s iconic image of The Death of Marat 1793–4, one of the most famous images of the Revolution will be an exhibition highlight.