JANUARY

RESEARCH SEMINAR: MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY

Roger Fry and the “Nameless Exhibition” of 1921

Monday, 12 January 2009

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Samuel Elmer (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Caroline Arscott




2009 London Seminar in Roman Art

Consular Diptychs: Paradoxes and Problems

Monday, 12 January 2009

17.30, Seminar Room 1

Speaker(s): Dr Antony Eastmond (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Peter Stewart and Amanda Claridge




Spring 2009 Friends Lecture Series

Identity, the Senses and Experience: Albert Einstein's Violin: Jews, Music and Modern Life

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Sketch of Einstein playing the violinEmil Orlik, Albert Einstein Playing Violin, Lithograph, 1928. Courtesy of The Albert Einstein Archives, The Jewish National & University Library, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Speaker(s): Professor Sander L. Gilman (Research Forum / Andrew W Mellon Foundation MA Visiting Professor at The Courtauld and Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, Emory University)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Caroline Arscott and Dr Shulamith Behr

Further information: Who were the top violinists of the Twentieth Century and why were they all Jewish? Why does musical culture continue to be very significant for Jews in Europe and North America? Well-known American culture and literary historian Sander L. Gilman will explore why Jews were so prominent in the world of high music a hundred years ago and how high culture became a tool for integrating into European society. The question about what ‘Jewish music’ could be was hotly debated, even shaping early Zionist thought and notions about the future State of Israel. Gilman’s illustrated talk will connect the passionate violin performances of one of the most legendary scientists and Jews, Albert Einstein, with the role of minorities in our contemporary classical music scene.

Sander L. Gilman is distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences at Emory University, where he is the Director of the Program in Psychoanalysis as well as of Emory University’s Health Sciences Humanities Initiative. A cultural and literary historian, he is the author or editor of over seventy books. His Oxford lectures Multiculturalism and the Jews appeared in 2006; his most recent edited volume, Race and Contemporary Medicine:  Biological Facts and Fictions appeared in 2007. He is the author of the basic study of the visual stereotyping of the mentally ill, Seeing the Insane, published by John Wiley and Sons in 1982 (reprinted: 1996) as well as the standard study of Jewish Self-Hatred, the title of his Johns Hopkins University Press monograph of 1986.

This lecture series explores issues of modern subjectivity looking at representation in art, music, literature and popular culture from the mid nineteenth century to the 1920s in England and Germany. Issues considered will include questions of evolution, ethnicity, mental processing and bodily experience. This series is linked to the setting up of interdisciplinary Special Options within the MA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art and is supported by the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. Our speakers include scholars from the fields of English and German literature and cultural studies, several of whom have a specialisation in the history of science.

The series is supported by the Friends of The Courtauld Institute of Art.




Research seminar: MEDIEVAL WORK IN PROGRESS
Not the Gospel Truth: Modern Manuscript Forgeries and the Story of the Archimedes Palimpsest

Thursday, 15 January 2009

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Abigail Quandt (Walters Art Museum, Baltimore)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Professor John Lowden





London seminar for Early Modern Visual Culture

Portraits, Spaces and Everyday Encounters in the Académie Royale

Monday, 19 January 2009

18.00, Seminar Room 3, History of Art Department, University College London, 39-41 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Speaker(s): Hannah Williams (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Mechthild Fend (m.fend@ucl.ac.uk) and Dr Satish Padiyar (satish.padiyar@courtauld.ac.uk)

Further information: This seminar series has been organised jointly by The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and University College London.




Research seminar: Renaissance

Boccaccio, Ovid, and Cassoni

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Dr Caroline Campbell (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Georgia Clarke




2009 London Seminar in Roman Art

Sculpture and Epic

Monday, 26 January 2009

17.30, Seminar Room 1

Speaker(s): Dr Caroline Vout (Christ’s College, Cambridge)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Peter Stewart and Amanda Claridge




Spring 2009 Friends Lecture Series

Identity, the Senses and Experience: The Golem Returns: Fiction, Folktales and the Construction of Jewish Popular Culture

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Film still from Paul Wegener's 1920 film 'Der Golem'
Paul Wegener's 1920 film DER GOLEM, WIE ER IN DIE WELT KAM (The Golem, How He Came into the World
Speaker(s): Dr Cathy Gelbin (Lecturer, School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures, University of Manchester)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Caroline Arscott and Dr Shulamith Behr

Further information: The Golem as artificial man of clay animated by incantation first appeared in medieval Jewish mysticism and has today become a salient symbol of Jewish folk tradition. However, the tales told about this figure today largely spring from the close cultural interaction between Jewish and non-Jewish authors over the last two centuries. The Golem today is often perceived to have Eastern European connotations. Its early secular invocations, however, emerged in the German-speaking world, in particular with German Romantic writers, who constructed through the Golem the flawed physical, sensual and intellectual qualities of the Jew. This lecture focuses on the crucial period between 1870 and World War I, when images of ghetto culture and the Eastern Jew became essential markers of the Golem trope. Gelbin contends that the simultaneous emergence of Eastern European Jewish literature and its Golem texts (e.g., Y.L. Peretz and Sholem Aleichem) evince this Romantic residue. Showing how scholarly discourse, literary texts and early film in tandem constructed the Golem as a Jewish popular culture theme, she argues that Golem’s enduring popularity derives from its role to negotiate the contested notion of Jewish creativity and cultural authenticity in the modern Diaspora.

Cathy S. Gelbin is Lecturer in German Studies at the University of Manchester, UK. She specialises in German-Jewish culture, Holocaust Studies, gender, and film. Her publications include Archiv der Erinnerung: Interviews mit Überlebenden der Shoah (co-editor, 1998), AufBrüche: Kulturelle Produktionen von Migrantinnen, Schwarzen und jüdischen Frauen in Deutschland (co-editor, 1999), and An Indelible Seal: Race, Hybridity and Identity in Elisabeth Langgässer's Writings (2001). She has written on a wide range of postwar Jewish authors and is currently preparing a monograph on the Golem figure in nineteenth- and twentieth-century German culture.

This lecture series explores issues of modern subjectivity looking at representation in art, music, literature and popular culture from the mid nineteenth century to the 1920s in England and Germany. Issues considered will include questions of evolution, ethnicity, mental processing and bodily experience. This series is linked to the setting up of interdisciplinary Special Options within the MA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art and is supported by the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. Our speakers include scholars from the fields of English and German literature and cultural studies, several of whom have a specialisation in the history of science.

The series is supported by the Friends of The Courtauld Institute of Art.



COLLOQUIUM
Listening to the Past: Oral History as a Resource

Friday 30 January 2009

10.30 - 15.30, Research Forum South Room (with registration from 10.00am)

Speaker(s): Monica Bohm-Duchen (Birkbeck, University of London), Cathy S Gelbin (University of Manchester), Sander L Gilman (Emory University, Atlanta), Bea Lewkowicz (Co-director, Refugee Voices, London), Fran Lloyd (Kingston University, London), Sara Preibsch (Artist, London)

Ticket/entry details: Please note that this event has proved to be very popular and unfortunately as we have very limited space we cannot take any further bookings

Organised by: Dr Shulamith Behr and Professor Sander L. Gilman

Further information: The theme of this colloquium arises out of the Ben Uri Gallery exhibition, Forced Journeys: Artists in Exile in Britain 1933-1945 and the Research Forum / Andrew W Mellon Foundation-sponsored MA Special Option Arts in Exile in Britain 1933-1945: Politics and Cultural Identity. It deals with the historiographical emergence and uses of oral history, with particular reference to research involving narratives and voices inaccessible to other historical approaches. The sessions will address theoretical and practical issues of oral history. In the morning, Sander L. Gilman, Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, Emory University, will introduce and chair the discussion concerning memory, video testimony and interviewing relationships. The afternoon session will be chaired by Shulamith Behr and the proceedings will revolve around individual art historical/curatorial projects and will include the screening of a contemporary response to the subject of exile, a short film entitled The Beekeeper by artist and filmmaker Sara Preibsch. This film centres on Helmut Preibsch, a beekeeper and former Luftwaffe pilot, who immigrated to Sweden with his family after the end of the Second World War and ‘alludes to the stories of two failed Utopian projects, the Third Reich and the Swedish Welfare State’.

The exhibition, Forced Journeys: Artists in Exile in Britain 1933-1945 is at the Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum of Art, 21 January - 19 April 2009. Address: 108a Boundary Rd, St Johns Wood, NW8 ORH. Contact email: info@benuri.org.uk

View programme [PDF]



FEBRUARY

London seminar for Early Modern Visual Culture

Correggio’s Leda between Nudity and Art History. Biography of a Painting

Monday, 2 February 2009 CANCELLED

18.00, Seminar Room 3, History of Art Department, University College London, 39-41 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Speaker(s): Christoph Vogtherr (Wallace Collection)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Mechthild Fend (m.fend@ucl.ac.uk) and Dr Satish Padiyar (satish.padiyar@courtauld.ac.uk)

Further information: This seminar series has been organised jointly by The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and University College London.




Spring 2009 Friends Lecture Series

Identity, the Senses and Experience: Henry and William James: Sense and Sensibility in The Golden Bowl

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Mould-blown glass dish, 1475-1525 Mould-blown glass dish, 1475-1525, Victoria & Albert Museum, © V&A MuseumSpeaker(s): Isobel Armstrong (Emeritus Professor Birkbeck College, University of London)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Caroline Arscott and Dr Shulamith Behr

Further information:This lecture by Isobel Armstrong, eminent scholar in the field of Victorian poetry and aesthetics and most recently author of the acclaimed Victorian Glassworlds: Glass Culture and the Imagination 1830-1880 (2008), will consider observations on the sensations made by late nineteenth-century psychologists. It will focus in particular on William James (author of The Principles of Psychology, 2 vols 1890) considering his writings on the sensoria. William James was the brother of the novelist Henry James and the lecture will take as a central example Henry James’s novel The Golden Bowl (1904) introducing into the discussion of that novel categories articulated by William James. It will raise the question of the kinds of artefacts referenced by objects that play a part in The Golden Bowl. These artefacts will be considered in terms of the body and perception.

Isobel Armstrong is Emeritus Professor of English at Birkbeck College, University of London, Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies at the University of London and Fellow of the British Academy. She is a scholar specialising in nineteenth-century poetry, women's writing and literary theory. She has written a number of influential books on nineteenth-century literature and aesthetics. Her publications include Victorian Glassworlds: Glass Culture and the Imagination 1830-1880 (2008), The Radical Aesthetic (2000), Women's Poetry, Late Romantic to Late Victorian: Gender and Genre (1999) and Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Politics and Poetics (1993). She is the co-founder and editor of the journal Women: a Cultural Review.

This lecture series explores issues of modern subjectivity looking at representation in art, music, literature and popular culture from the mid nineteenth century to the 1920s in England and Germany. Issues considered will include questions of evolution, ethnicity, mental processing and bodily experience. This series is linked to the setting up of interdisciplinary Special Options within the MA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art and is supported by the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. Our speakers include scholars from the fields of English and German literature and cultural studies, several of whom have a specialisation in the history of science.

The series is supported by the Friends of The Courtauld Institute of Art.




Writing Art History: Hayden White at The Courtauld

Novelesque Histories

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Hayden White
Hayden White 2005

Speaker(s): Hayden White (Presidential Professor of Historical Studies, Emeritus, University of California and Professor of Comparative Literature, Stanford University)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Gavin Parkinson and Dr Catherine Grant

Further information: The title of this lecture is intended to indicate the changed nature of the relation between literature (understood as a certain kind of writing) and historiography in postmodernity.  The thesis is that the modernist novel, as represented by, say, Virginia Woolf, educes a kind of "realism" which transcends the older distinction between "factual" and "fictional" discourses.  The modernist novel provides a paradigm for the presentation of historical phenomena that is much more "objective" than anything produced under the auspices of an older notion of realistic representation.  What are the implications for this new mode of historical writing for the practice of art history?

Due to the insurrectionary impact his writings have had on the field of historical studies over the last forty years, Hayden White was recently described as ‘the closest thing we historians have to a Karl Marx.’ White’s powerful critique of history as a kind of writing and his profound investigation into the conventions of narrative, drawing on and contributing to philosophy, linguistics, semiotics, and literary theory, are regarded as the chief inspiration for postmodern history. These can be found in his pioneering books Figural Realism (1999), The Content of the Form (1987), Tropics of Discourse (1978), and Metahistory (1973).




Writing Art History: Hayden White at The Courtauld

Roland Barthes by Hayden White and Carol Mavor: An Interview

Thursday, 5 February 2009

17.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Speaker(s): Hayden White (Presidential Professor of Historical Studies, Emeritus, University of California and Professor of Comparative Literature, Stanford University) and Carol Mavor (Professor of Art History and Visual Studies, University of Manchester)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Gavin Parkinson and Dr Catherine Grant

Further information: With Carol Mavor, Hayden White will be discussing the trajectory of his theoretical writings and the past and future of historical studies with reference to the importance of Roland Barthes for his work (particularly Barthes’ writing on Michelet, the ‘neutre,’ and Roland Barthes) as well as speculating on the value of recent debates in the philosophy of history for art history and visual studies.

Due to the insurrectionary impact his writings have had on the field of historical studies over the last forty years, Hayden White was recently described as ‘the closest thing we historians have to a Karl Marx.’ White’s powerful critique of history as a kind of writing and his profound investigation into the conventions of narrative, drawing on and contributing to philosophy, linguistics, semiotics, and literary theory, are regarded as the chief inspiration for postmodern history. These can be found in his pioneering books Figural Realism (1999), The Content of the Form (1987), Tropics of Discourse (1978), and Metahistory (1973).

Carol Mavor is Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Manchester and the author of Reading Boyishly: Roland Barthes, J. M. Barrie, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Marcel Proust, and D. W. Winnicott (2007), Becoming: The Photographs of Clementina, Viscountess Hawarden (1999), and Pleasures Taken: Performances of Sexuality and Loss in Victorian Photographs (1995).


 

14th annual medieval postgraduate student colloquium

Convention & Innovation in the Art and Architecture of the Middle Ages



Saturday, 7 February 2009
09.55 - 17.10, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre (with registration from 09.30)

Theotokopoulos, Luke Paintinting the Virgin.jpg
St Luke Painting the Icon of the Virgin, El Greco (16th c.) © The Benaki Museum, Athens

This interdisciplinary symposium is a one-day event organised and run by students of the Courtauld Institute of Art. It offers the opportunity to postgraduate students affiliated to different universities to present their research and receive feedback in a friendly and constructive environment. The colloquium welcomes those who are delivering a paper for the first time as well as more experienced speakers from the UK and abroad.

.

 

Speaker(s): Edina Eszenyi (University of Kent), Phillip J. Guilbeau (University of Michigan), Ermioni Karachaliou (University of Manchester), Adam Levine (Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford), Emma Luker (Courtauld Institute of Art), Lesley Milner (Courtauld Institute of Art), Tihana Puc (University of Zagreb),  Eileen Rubery (Courtauld Institute of Art), Colleen M. Thomas (Trinity College, Dublin), Laura Veneskey (Kress Pre-doctoral Fellow, Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Medieval graduate students

View programme [PDF]




RESEARCH SEMINAR: MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY

title tbc

Monday, 9 February 2009 CANCELLED

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Caroline Bray (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Caroline Arscott




2009 London Seminar in Roman Art

A Nabataean Wall Painting at Siq al-Barid, Petra: Context and Conservation

Monday, 9 February 2009

17.30, Seminar Room 1

Speaker(s): Lisa Shekede (Independent)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Peter Stewart and Amanda Claridge




Spring 2009 Friends Lecture Series

Identity, the Senses and Experience: When Art Isn't Work: Victorian Theories of Creativity

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

cross-section of brain
33 Plates of morbid anatomy ellucidating Dr Bright's works.
© Courtesy The Trustees of the British Museum

Speaker(s): Vanessa Ryan (Research Forum / Andrew W Mellon Foundation MA Visiting Professor at The Courtauld and Assistant Professor, Department of English, Brown University)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Caroline Arscott and Dr Shulamith Behr

Further information: This lecture by Vanessa Ryan of Brown University looks at the relevance of Victorian theories of automatic and reflexive thought for conceptions of inspiration and creativity in the period. It makes reference to a range of examples including the debate engendered by John Ruskin’s attack on Whistler’s Nocturne In Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (c. 1875). It draws on Vanessa Ryan’s research into Victorian medical science and philosophy, in which there is a particular focus on conceptions of the mind. Vanessa Ryan’s book on this area of research, Thinking Without Thinking in the Victorian Novel, will examine the influence of mid-nineteenth-century theories of mind on Victorian fiction.

Vanessa Ryan is Assistant Professor of English literature at Brown University, USA. This year she is Research Forum/ Andrew W Mellon Foundation MA Visiting Professor at The Courtauld Institute of Art. She studied at Harvard University and Yale University. The subject of her PhD was 'The Material Mind: Early Psychology and the Victorian Novel'. She was Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows (2004-2007). She is working on a book entitled Thinking Without Thinking in the Victorian Novel that examines the influence of mid-nineteenth-century theories of mind on Victorian fiction. She has published articles on Thomas Carlyle, Arthur Hugh Clough, G. Bernard Shaw, and Edmund Burke in RES: Review of English Studies, Victorian Poetry, Journal of the History of Ideas and Literature and Medicine.

This lecture series explores issues of modern subjectivity looking at representation in art, music, literature and popular culture from the mid nineteenth century to the 1920s in England and Germany. Issues considered will include questions of evolution, ethnicity, mental processing and bodily experience. This series is linked to the setting up of interdisciplinary Special Options within the MA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art and is supported by the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. Our speakers include scholars from the fields of English and German literature and cultural studies, several of whom have a specialisation in the history of science.

The series is supported by the Friends of The Courtauld Institute of Art.




WRITING ART HISTORY CONFERENCE

On the Agenda?

Saturday, 14 February 2009

10.00 - 18.15, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre (with registration from 09.30)

installation shot of 'Love Songs' exhibition by Mary Kelly
Mary Kelly, Love Songs, 2005-2007. Installation, Neue Gallerie, Documenta XII, Kassel. Courtesy the artist.
Speaker(s): Lucy Bradnock (University of Essex), Gavin Butt (Goldsmiths, University of London), Esther Gabara (Duke University), Tamar Garb (University College London), Catherine Grant (Courtauld Institute of Art), Ben Thomas (University of Kent), Francesco Ventrella (University of Leeds)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, places are free but must be booked in advance. Please note that this event has proved to be very popular and unfortunately we are now fully booked

Organised by: Dr Catherine Grant

Further information: This one day symposium considers the boundaries of art history, with a focus on what is often left out. Despite the influence of cultural and visual studies, and the diversification of voices within art history, the ways in which art history is narrated and edited still requires analysis. From the dominant focus on Western art and culture, to the unspoken rules around the art historian’s own voice, the speakers at this symposium consider what is left off and what is put on the agenda for art history, and the ways that this changes in different historical and social contexts. At the centre of the symposium’s agenda is a consideration of the politics and ethics of art history, and the importance of engaging with the structures of art history that have moulded, and continue to mould, its character.


View programme [PDF]
View abstracts [PDF]



Medieval 'Mise-en-abyme': The Object Depicted Within Itself


Monday, 16 February 2009

14.00 - 18.00, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Peter Bokody (Central European University, Budapest), Laura Cleaver (Courtauld Institute of Art), Margaret Graves (University of Edinburgh), Jim Harris (Courtauld Institute of Art), Anthony McGrath (Sussex University), Joanna Milk (Courtauld Institute of Art), Eileen Rubery (Courtauld Institute of Art), Stuart Whatling (Courtauld Institute of Art), Hanna Wimmer (University of Hamburg)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, places are free but, due to limited space, booking in advance is essential. To register for the workshop and/or for further information email Laura Cleaver at laura.cleaver@courtauld.ac.uk by Friday 6 February 2009. Places will be allocated on a 'first come first served basis’.

Organised by: Laura Cleaver

Further information: This session will explore the representation of artworks within artworks of the same form.  Mise-en-abyme has been a popular subject of discourse in modern art-historical theory, but has rarely been applied to pre-modern contexts.  This workshop will explore whether mise-en-abyme is a useful way of thinking about objects from the medieval and Byzantine world in the period c.400-1500.

The workshop is organised as part of the programme of postgraduate student events at the Courtauld and is particularly suitable for those engaged in PhD research.  It is hoped that the workshop will be the first of a series of events on this topic.

View programme [PDF]




Spring 2009 Friends Lecture Series
Identity, the Senses and Experience: Richard Owen, Palaeontology and the Correlation of Parts in Victorian Serial Fiction

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Richard Owen with huge skeleton of extinct wingless bird from New Zealand
Richard Owen, Memoirs on the Extinct Wingless Birds of New Zealand (London: John van Voorst, 1879), vol. 2, plate XCVII
Speaker(s): Dr Gowan Dawson (Department of English, University of Leicester)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Caroline Arscott and Dr Shulamith Behr

Further information: This lecture by Gowan Dawson, the author of Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability (2007), gives an insight into his current research on functionalist palaeontology in nineteenth-century culture. He focuses especially on the Victorians’ enduring fascination with inductive methods which enabled figures such as Georges Cuvier, Louis Agassiz and Richard Owen to infer the existence of giant prehistoric creatures from just small fragments of their bones. The lecture will make reference to debates about the role of imagination and the unconscious in scientific research. There is additionally a link that is proposed between palaeontology and the reading practices of serial publications where the reader speculates about the story on the basis of fragmentary parts.

Dr. Gowan Dawson is Senior Lecturer in the School of English at Leicester University. He works on nineteenth-century literature and history, especially the interrelations between Victorian literature and science, as well as the print culture of the period. He is the author of Darwin, Literature and Victorian Respectability (2007) and co-author of Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: Reading the Magazine of Nature (2004) and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 1.0 (2005). He is one of the editors of Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media (2004). He is currently writing a book on functionalist palaeontology in Victorian culture, focusing especially on the enduring fascination with the inductive methods which enabled Georges Cuvier, Louis Agassiz and Richard Owen to infer the existence of giant prehistoric creatures from just small fragments of their bones.

This lecture series explores issues of modern subjectivity looking at representation in art, music, literature and popular culture from the mid nineteenth century to the 1920s in England and Germany. Issues considered will include questions of evolution, ethnicity, mental processing and bodily experience. This series is linked to the setting up of interdisciplinary Special Options within the MA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art and is supported by the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and the Andrew W Mellon Foundation. Our speakers include scholars from the fields of English and German literature and cultural studies, several of whom have a specialisation in the history of science.

The series is supported by the Friends of The Courtauld Institute of Art.





Research seminar: MEDIEVAL WORK IN PROGRESS
A Tortured God. The Medieval 'Man of Sorrows' in the Context of Liturgy and Devotional Practice


Thursday, 19 February 2009

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Gerhard Weilandt (Technische Universität, Berlin)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Professor John Lowden




Research seminar: Modern and Contemporary

Writing Art History in Middle Voice

Monday, 23 February 2009

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Gavin Parkinson (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Caroline Arscott




2009 London Seminar in Roman Art

The Iconography of the Roman Family: Interpreting Portraits of Children in Funerary Contexts

Monday, 23 February 2009

17.30, Seminar Room 1

Speaker(s): Jason Mander (University of Oxford)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Peter Stewart and Amanda Claridge




London seminar for Early Modern Visual Culture

Painting as an Act: Some Problems in 'Agency and Art' (Fragonard/Twombly)

Monday, 23 February 2009

18.00, Seminar Room 3, History of Art Department, University College London, 39-41 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Speaker(s): Satish Padiyar (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Mechthild Fend (m.fend@ucl.ac.uk) and Dr Satish Padiyar (satish.padiyar@courtauld.ac.uk)

Further information: This seminar series has been organised jointly by The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and University College London.




Research seminar: Renaissance

Herbert Horne: from the "Hobby Horse" to Botticelli

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Caroline Elam (Associate Scholar, Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Georgia Clarke





SocialEast FORUM ON THE Art and visual culture of eastern europe
Art and Espionage

 

Friday, 27 February 2009

13.15 - 19.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre (with registration from 12.45)

Nina Lewitt's image of Comrade Valentina
Nina Levitt, Comrade Valentina (2006). © Courtesy the artist

Speaker(s): Doina Anghel (National Museum of Art Bucharest), László Beke (Institute of Art History, Budapest), Mark Boswell (Filmmaker, San Francisco Art Institute), Paolo Cirio (Artist, Italy), Anthony Downey (Sotheby’s Institute, London), Catherine Fraixe (Ecole nationale supérieure d'art de Bourges), Kata Krasznahorkai (University of Hamburg), Nina Levitt (Artist, York University, Toronto), Lukasz Ronduda (Center of Contemporary Art, Warsaw), Kädi Talvoja (Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn), Raluca Voinea (Curator, E-cart.ro), Franciska Zólyom (Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art Dunaújváros)

Ticket/entry details: £15 (£10 concessions) Please complete a booking form and send it with a cheque made payable to ‘Courtauld Institute of Art’ to: Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN. For credit card bookings call 020 7848 2785/2909. For further information, send an e-mail to ResearchForumEvents@courtauld.ac.uk

Organised by: Dr Sarah Wilson (Courtauld Institute of Art) and Dr Reuben Fowkes (Research Fellow MIRIAD [Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design])

Further information:This symposium considers the involvement of art during the Cold War with espionage, both on the level of international exchange and in specific national contexts. It deals with attempts within the Eastern Bloc to monitor artists through surveillance and networks of informers, the role of art espionage as an instrument of Sovietisation, and the methods used to control the involvement of artists in the international art world. There will also be discussion of the parallel role of Western organisations in activities from cultural espionage to the use of art as a propaganda weapon. The seminar will also consider artistic responses to the phenomenon of spying and the wider legacy of artistic espionage for the topography of contemporary art.

The symposium has been organised by SocialEast Forum in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum. The SocialEast Forum is conceived as a platform for innovative, transnational research on the art and visual culture of Eastern Europe. Based on active collaboration with institutes of art history across Europe and the involvement of prominent academics, curators and artists, SocialEast is an internationally-recognised generator of groundbreaking research into the art history of Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The SocialEast Forum was initiated by Dr. Reuben Fowkes at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006 and documentation of the six preceding seminars can be found on www.socialeast.org.

Launch of Special Issue of Third Text

The symposium will be followed at 19.00hrs by a reception and celebratory launch of the special issue of Third Text (96/2009) on Socialist Eastern Europe.

The special issue of Third Text, which is guest edited by Dr.Reuben Fowkes, includes essays by leading theoreticians dealing with the problematic of how to rewrite the art history of Europe after the Cold War to take into account the multiple histories of the countries of Eastern Europe. It also highlights the work of a new generation of scholars whose approach to European art history is comparative, pluralistic and goes beyond the binary oppositions that has structured much thinking about Modernism, Socialist Realism, and Conceptual Art. The thematic areas covered range from the modalities of Socialist Realism under Stalin, the achievements of the Post Avant Garde in Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia, to public attitudes to the socialist past and recent reflections on the cultural legacy of East European socialism in contemporary art.

View programme [PDF]

Booking form  [PDF]
View abstracts

View biographies





MARCH

London seminar for Early Modern Visual Culture

Sacrifice and the Double. Physiognomy, Divination and Ethnographic Art in India

Monday, 2 March 2009

18.00, Seminar Room 3, History of Art Department, University College London, 39-41 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Speaker(s): Natasha Eaton (University College London)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Mechthild Fend (m.fend@ucl.ac.uk) and Dr Satish Padiyar (satish.padiyar@courtauld.ac.uk)

Further information: This seminar series has been organised jointly by The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and University College London.




Alternative Modernisms Seminar Series

Rewriting Modernism in a Global Perspective

Tuesday, 3 March 2009
17.30, Seminar Room 1

Speaker(s): Professor Partha Mitter (Professor Emeritus, University of Sussex) and Dr Sarah Wilson (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Professor Deborah Swallow and Professor Partha Mitter

Further information: Recently the Saatchi Gallery inaugurated its new premises with an impressive show of contemporary Chinese art. The global mix of art forms and practices seems to suggest the breakdown of previous art historical certainties. And yet art history appears to suffer from an inbuilt obsolescence, its responses lagging behind the rapidly changing global situation.  Decentring modernism is emerging as one of the urgent issues of the twenty-first century since the works of artists of Asia, Africa, Latin America and Australasia continue to be viewed as ‘local practice’, in contrast to the universal avant-garde - a whole world of belongings and exclusions whose origins go back to the colonial world order. The series proposes a more critical and open-ended global art history for the new century.

The introductory seminar, led by Professor Partha Mitter and Dr Sarah Wilson, will set in motion a debate on ‘decentring modernism’ with a theoretical critique of the avant-garde and suggest ways of creating a more inclusive global art history.

Professor Partha Mitter is Professor Emeritus of the University of Sussex. He is author of Much Maligned Monsters: A History of European Reactions to Indian Art (Clarendon Press, 1977); Art and Nationalism in Colonial India 1850-1922: Occidental Orientations (Cambridge University Press, 1994); Indian Art (Oxford University Press, 2002), and The Triumph of Modernism: India’s artists and the avant-garde 1922-1947 (Reaktion Books, 2007), which addresses global modernism, colonial ideology, art historical canons, and the construction of identity by non-western nations with particular reference to India. His recent article “Interventions: Decentering Modernism: Art History and Avant-Garde from the Periphery”, Art Bulletin, December 2008, Volume XC No 4, presents his most recent work.

Subsequent seminars will take place in the Summer Term. The speaker for the first of these (date tbc) will be the artist critic Timothy Hyman.  





POSTGraduate STUDENT Symposium 2009

Lost and Found

10.00 - 18.00, Thursday 5 March 2009

12.00 - 18.00, Friday 6 March 2009

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Speaker(s): Courtauld PhD students: Shir Aloni Yaari, Shang-Min Chien, Anna Christidou, Eleni Dimitriadou, Anne-Marie Eze, Fiona Gaskin, Stefania Gerevini, Keren Hammerschlag, Venetia Harlow, Jim Harris, Mayumi Ikeda, Lucetta Johnson, Ji Yoon Lee, María López-Fanjul Díez del Corral, Maria Mileeva, Alister Mill, Maria Paschali, Mark Richter, Bill Roberts, Eileen Rubery, Nadim Samman, Jeannine Tang, Stuart Whatling, Hannah Williams

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Shir Aloni Yaari, Keren Hammerschlag and Bill Roberts

Further information: This year’s 3rd Year Postgraduate Symposium will showcase the breadth of research interests and methodologies among PhD students at the Courtauld. Twenty-five speakers will present work-in-progress papers responding to the theme of ‘Lost and Found’, dealing with subjects ranging from buried treasures and the topographical distribution of relics to new media and globalised art.

View programme [PDF]

View abstracts [PDF]



Research seminar: MEDIEVAL WORK IN PROGRESS

Images of the Holy Kinship in England: the Ranworth Screen and Beyond

Thursday, 5 March 2009

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Mellie Naydenova-Slade (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Professor John Lowden





Research seminar: Modern and Contemporary

Men Without Qualities? Art and Insanity in Vienna 1900

Monday, 9 March 2009

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Luke Heighton (Birkbeck College, University of London)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Caroline Arscott




2009 London Seminar in Roman Art

The Good Shepherd Sarcophagus from Salona and the Stone Trade

Monday, 9 March 2009

17.30, Seminar Room 1

Speaker(s): Ben Russell (University of Oxford)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Peter Stewart and Amanda Claridge




RESEARCH FORUM VISITING CONSERVATOR PROGRAMME LECTURE
Recent Findings from Technical Study of Van Gogh’s Paintings in the Van Gogh Museum Collection

Tuesday, 10 March 2009 Postponed to Friday, 1 May 2009

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Speaker(s): Dr Ella Hendriks (Head of Conservation, van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Aviva Burnstock

Further information: The popular Romantic notion of Van Gogh is as the genial artist working in a direct and intuitive manner, without any prior plan. Yet recent technical study of his paintings kept at the Van Gogh Museum has produced ample evidence for a more calculated approach towards the development and execution of his artistic ideas. This might, for example, entail a careful preparatory stage of underdrawing to establish the composition (using a tracing and transfer technique, or with the aid of a traditional ‘perspective frame’). Similarly, study of his Paris works has shown the artist’s conscious exploration of different combinations of picture support and paint application techniques for particular effect, including the realization of a fluent impasto facture that we now consider to be a hallmark for the artist. Illustrative examples drawn from the Van Gogh Museum collection will be discussed, at the same time considering how the appearance of some works has been changed by later, inappropriate lining and varnishing treatments.

Dr Ella Hendriks has an art historical background, completing her undergraduate studies in Art History at the University of Manchester in 1982, and in 2006 gaining a PhD at the Faculty of Art History, University of Amsterdam for her joint thesis entitled New views on Van Gogh’s development in Antwerp and Paris: an integrated technical and art historical study of his paintings in the Van Gogh Museum. In 1986 she completed her training as a conservator of easel paintings at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge. Afterwards she settled in Holland, where from 1988 to 1999 she was Head Conservator at the Frans Halsmuseum in Haarlem, working and publishing widely on the outstanding collection of paintings by sixteenth to seventeenth century Haarlem masters. Since 1999 she is Head of Conservation at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam where she is in charge of the programme of conservation and research of paintings by Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. In recent years she has coauthored the forthcoming new catalogue of Antwerp and Paris works by Van Gogh (1885-1888), acted as Coordinating Principal Investigator for the project Materials and Techniques of Van Gogh within the De Mayerne Research Programme (2001-2005), and collaborated with image processors to develop new tools in support of art historical and technical investigation of paintings. Over the past five years she has co-supervised several Final Year Diploma Thesis projects relating to the Van Gogh Museum collection, conducted by students from the Courtauld conservation training programme. The lectures and seminars to be presented during the Research Forum will reflect the outcome of all these activities.



Research seminar: History of Photography

Covering Horror: Family Photographs in Israeli Reportage on Terrorism


Wednesday, 11 March 2009

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Gil Pasternak (PhD Candidate, History of Art, University College London)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Alexandra Moschovi (alexandra.moschovi@courtauld.ac.uk) or Barbara Thompson (barbara.thompson@courtauld.ac.uk)

Further information: The History of Photography research seminar series aims to be a discursive platform for the discussion and dissemination of current research on photography.  From art as photography and early photographic technology to ethnographic photographs and contemporary photography as art, the seminar welcomes contributions from researchers across the board, whether independent or affiliated with museums, galleries, archives, libraries or higher education, and endeavours to provide scholars with a challenging opportunity to present work in progress and test out new ideas.

The seminars usually take place once a term, on Wednesday evenings at 5.30pm in the Research Forum. The papers, and formal discussion, are followed by informal discussion over a glass of wine.




RESEARCH FORUM VISITING CONSERVATOR PROGRAMME SEMINAR

Computer-assisted Examination of Van Gogh’s Canvases

Thursday, 12 March 2009 Postponed to Wednesday, 29 April 2009

17.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Dr Ella Hendriks (Head of Conservation, van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Aviva Burnstock

Further information: A recent interdisciplinary effort has led to the development of new tools for the computer-assisted examination of canvas weave from x-ray images of paintings. The use of these tools for documentation and research purposes will be demonstrated and evaluated against traditional methods of hand thread counting and visual examination of x-rays, in the light of case studies drawn from the Van Gogh collection. Each example to be discussed will pose different questions relating to Van Gogh’s working practice, or to the dating and attribution of his works. For example, semi-automated mapping of weave density across a canvas now enables us to detect bands of slight variation that run across from one picture support to the next, providing compelling evidence to link them up as being cut from the same roll (even without ground sampling and analysis). This is especially helpful to reconstruct the sequence of Van Gogh’s late French pictures, made on pieces of canvas cut from 5-10m rolls of very consistent quality ordered from the Paris firm Tasset et L’Hote.

Dr Ella Hendriks has an art historical background, completing her undergraduate studies in Art History at the University of Manchester in 1982, and in 2006 gaining a PhD at the Faculty of Art History, University of Amsterdam for her joint thesis entitled New views on Van Gogh’s development in Antwerp and Paris: an integrated technical and art historical study of his paintings in the Van Gogh Museum. In 1986 she completed her training as a conservator of easel paintings at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge. Afterwards she settled in Holland, where from 1988 to 1999 she was Head Conservator at the Frans Halsmuseum in Haarlem, working and publishing widely on the outstanding collection of paintings by sixteenth to seventeenth century Haarlem masters. Since 1999 she is Head of Conservation at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam where she is in charge of the programme of conservation and research of paintings by Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. In recent years she has coauthored the forthcoming new catalogue of Antwerp and Paris works by Van Gogh (1885-1888), acted as Coordinating Principal Investigator for the project Materials and Techniques of Van Gogh within the De Mayerne Research Programme (2001-2005), and collaborated with image processors to develop new tools in support of art historical and technical investigation of paintings. Over the past five years she has co-supervised several Final Year Diploma Thesis projects relating to the Van Gogh Museum collection, conducted by students from the Courtauld conservation training programme. The lectures and seminars to be presented during the Research Forum will reflect the outcome of all these activities.




AAH 2009 Conference Preview


Friday, 13 March 2009

16.30 - 18.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Courtauld graduate students: Keren Hammerschlag, Maria Mileeva, Edward Payne

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Federico Botana

Further information: The Research Forum has awarded travel scholarships to three Courtauld Institute of Art postgraduate students who will be giving research papers at the 2009 Annual Conference of the Association of Art Historians (AAH). Entitled Intersections, the conference will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University, MIRIAD (2 - 4 April 2009).The recipients of the travel awards are Keren Hammerschlag, Maria Mileeva and Edward Payne. This event will provide an opportunity to hear their papers in advance.




Contemporary Art - Needs Contemporary Science

Friday, 13 March 2009

17.00 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Speaker(s): Dr Christina Young (Conservation & Technology Department, Courtauld Institute of Art) and Dr Bronwyn Ormsby (Conservation Science Department, Tate)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Further information: This free public lecture will describe and demonstrate ways in which physics, chemistry and engineering are applied to the understanding and conservation of modern and contemporary paintings; drawing on the latest academic and practical scientific research.

This lecture is aimed at the general public including GCSE school children upwards and will include practical demonstrations and image-based case studies of artists from The Courtauld, and Tate. Topics to be covered include: “To clean or not to clean” -problems with the conservation of modern and contemporary paintings; “Why matter matters” - Mixed materials in paintings; “Not too hot, not too cold” - The influence of temperature on painting behaviour”.


With the generous support of:

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London seminar for Early Modern Visual Culture

Jacques Callot in Florence, 1617. Artistic Imitation and Social Reform in the Capricci di Varie Figure

Monday, 16 March 2009 Postponed until early May

18.00, Seminar Room 3, History of Art Department, University College London, 39-41 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Speaker(s): Sheila McTighe (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Mechthild Fend (m.fend@ucl.ac.uk) and Dr Satish Padiyar (satish.padiyar@courtauld.ac.uk)

Further information: This seminar series has been organised jointly by The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and University College London.





Nicolas Bourriaud on ‘Altermodern’

Monday 16 March

18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre (with registration from 17.30)

Nicolas BourriaudSpeaker(s): Nicolas Bourriaud (Gulbenkian Curator for Contemporary Art at Tate Britain)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, places are free but due to limited space please book in advance. Please make a booking by emailing ResearchForumEvents@courtauld.ac.uk by midday Monday 16 March 2009. Please note that this event is now fully booked and we already have a waiting list. However, there may be seats on the day.

Organised by: Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum in collaboration with the British Section of the International Association of Art Critics (A.I.C.A.)  www.aica-uk.org.uk

Further information: “After 30 years into the « aftershock » of modernism and its mourning, then into the necessary post-colonial re-examination of our cultural frames, ‘Altermodern’ is a word that intends to redefine modernity according to the specific context we live in – globalisation, and its economic, political and cultural conditions. The core of this new modernity is, according to me, the experience of wandering — in time, space and mediums. But the definition is far from being complete, and the Tate triennial is only the beginning, the opening of a mental space and a collaborational work.” Nicolas Bourriaud

Nicolas Bourriaud is the Gulbenkian Curator for Contemporary Art at Tate Britain and the curator of Altermodern, the fourth Tate Triennial at Tate Britain (3 February to 26 April 2009). He is the co-founder of the influential contemporary gallery Palais de Tokyo in Paris and was co-director from 1999 to 2006. In addition he is an advisor to the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Kiev, and art consultant for the Parco d’Arte Visuale, Turin. Among the many exhibitions he has curated or co-curated are the First and Second Moscow Biennale (2005 and 2007), Are you Experienced? (Pescara, Budapest, Bucarest, 2006-2007), Touch (San Francisco Art Institute, 2002), Playlist (Palais de Tokyo, 2004), Contacts (Kunsthalle Fri-Art, Fribourg, Switzerland, 2000), and Aperto (Venice Biennale, 1993). The author of the influential books Postproduction (2000) and Relational Aesthetics (2002), his latest essay, The Radicant, is published by Sternberg Press, March 2009.

In collaboration with:

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EXHIBITING RESEARCH 1

Entering the Post-Blockbuster Era?

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

17.00 - 18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Speaker(s):
Dr Charles Saumarez Smith (Secretary and Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Arts) and Jonathan Jones (Art Journalist and Critic, The Guardian)
Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: MA Programme ‘Curating the Art Museum’

Further information: Join Saumarez Smith and Jones as they engage in lively debate on current issues surrounding temporary exhibitions: How should we define a successful exhibition? How can museums negotiate the rival demands for market-driven ‘blockbuster’ and ‘scholarly’ shows? How should museums respond to accusations of populism or elitism, or the competing aims of entertainment and edification? These urgent and often controversial topics affect museum exhibition policy. Can opposing opinions be reconciled?

This event is part of the 2009 Exhibiting Research Series, organised by the MA Programme ‘Curating the Art Museum’ in collaboration with the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum.  Four sessions over the course of the year explore how museums and galleries confront the relationship between research, exhibitions and their public. A wide range of speakers engage in discussion and debate on urgent issues of policy and practice.

The event will be followed by a glass of wine and informal discussion. For further information please contact: Caroline New via email: caroline.new@courtauld.ac.uk





Workshop

Collecting and the Courtauld Collections: Record or Representation? Photography and the Artist's Studio

Wednesday, 18 March 2009 (noted revised date)

12.30, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Research Forum Research Associates: Claire Brisby, Katie Faulkner, Joanna Milk and Gregory Salter

Ticket/entry details: Courtauld Institute of Art research active staff, postgraduate students and Associate Scholars. you plan to attend please RSVP by 12 noon, Monday 16 March to Ingrid Guiot (ResearchForumEvents@ courtauld.ac.uk)

Organised by: Jane Cunningham, Patricia Rubin and Barbara Thompson

Further information: This is the first of two presentations by this year's Research Associates appointed to the Courtauld Collections project. The Research Associates will use the material from the Witt and Conway libraries to explore the theme: Record or Representation? Photography and the Artist's Studio.




XLII Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies

Wonderful Things: Byzantium Through its Art


Friday 20 March 2009 to Sunday 22 March 2009

Kings College London and The Courtauld Institute of Art

Strand, London WC2

6th century gold medallion showing the Adoration of the MagiEarly Byzantine gold medallion, Adoration of the Magi, around AD 600. Reproduced by courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum

Location: Most of the programme will now take place in the Great Hall, Kings College London

For a map of Kings and the location of the Great Hall, see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/about/campuses/strand-det.html (entrance to Great Hall is marked A on map)


Speaker(s): include Michele Bacci, Leslie Brubaker, Hans Buchwald, David Buckton, Averil Cameron, Robin Cormack, Anthony Cutler, Anastasia Drandaki, Helen Evans, John Hanson, Christine Kondoleon, Marc Lauxtermann, Rowena Loverance, Margaret Mullett, Anna Muthesius, Robert Ousterhout, Yuri Pyatnitsky, Zaza Skhirtladze, Thelma Thomas, Maria Vassilaki

Ticket/entry details: We are offering early registration (until 13 March 2009) for the symposium at the following rates: Full: £70; Members of the Society of the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (SPBS): £60; Students/concessions: £30. After 13 March 2009 these rates will rise to £85, £75 and £35 respectively. Please send a cheque made payable to ‘Courtauld Institute of Art’ to: Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, clearly stating that you wish to book for the ‘Wonderful Things conference’. For credit card bookings call 020 7848 2785/2909. For further information, send an e-mail to ResearchForumEvents@courtauld.ac.uk

Organised by: Dr Antony Eastmond

Further information: Reviews of the Royal Academy’s exhibition Byzantium have invariably stressed the splendour and quality of the objects displayed while complaining about the relative lack of contextual material explaining the history of Byzantium. In this symposium, we want to take the issue of defining Byzantium through its art as a starting point and to explore some of the ways in which this has raised, and still raises, issues and conflicts. We are interested both in how the post-Byzantine world has seen Byzantium through its art, the RA exhibition being the most recent demonstration of this, and with how the Byzantines themselves used art for self-definition and how the medieval world more widely characterised the empire through its objects.

Areas for discussion include:

- how historians of Byzantium have treated art and empire; how they have reacted to Byzantine art in the context of their general views of Byzantium

- the art of Late Antiquity as a bridge between ‘classical’ and ‘Byzantine’ art

- how the world of the Middle Ages was affected by Byzantine art (Italy, Georgia, the Crusader states)

- the problems in exhibiting Byzantium to a twenty-first century world with little sense of the culture

- how text and image (both ours and theirs) engage with Byzantine art and ideas about Byzantine identity

- how themes beyond material culture have been presented at exhibitions (eg ‘national’ identity, Orthodoxy)

- how exhibitions have influenced perceptions of Byzantium and agendas for studying Byzantium


Special Events

In addition to the academic sessions the programme will include two special events:

- Saturday 21 March at 2.45pm: a concert to be performed by the internationally acclaimed (and wonderful) Cappella Romana at the Orthodox Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in London.

- followed by a Private View in the evening (the final evening of the exhibition before it closes) with a reception at the exhibition at the Royal Academy.

View programme [PDF]

With the generous support of: The Leventis Foundation; London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange; The Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust; The Hellenic Society; the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies; the BIAA

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London seminar for Early Modern Visual Culture

Medici Womens’ Sacred Journeys: Visuality, Liminality and Exchange

Monday, 23 March 2009

18.00, Seminar Room 3, History of Art Department, University College London, 39-41 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Speaker(s): Alice Sanger (University College London and University of Manchester)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Mechthild Fend (m.fend@ucl.ac.uk) and Satish Padiyar (satish.padiyar@courtauld.ac.uk)

Further information: This seminar series has been organised jointly by The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum and University College London.



Constructivism and the Art of Every Day Life

11.00 - 17.10, Saturday 28 March 2009

Starr Auditorium, Level 2, Tate Modern, Bankside London SE1 9TG

Speaker(s): include curator Margarita Tupitsyn, art historians Christina Lodder, Brandon Taylor, Steve Edwards, Alexander Lavrentiev and artist David Mabb

Ticket/entry details: £15 (£12 concessions), booking recommended. Price includes entry to the exhibition. Please contact Tate to make all bookings: book online or call 020 7887 8888

Organised by: by Tate in collaboration with The Open University and the Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art

Further information: This study day explores some of the issues raised by the Rodchenko and Popova exhibition, including the relationship between art and every day life in post-war Russian constructivist art. Contributors investigate the languages of 'construction' and the move from abstraction in art to social forms in every day life, architecture, theatre, product and graphic design.

Speakers will consider debates about different modes of production in art and design, their role in the construction of social space, and the continuing relevance of many of these themes to the work of contemporary artists.