Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series

Histories in Transition

Broken Pastoral and the English Folk: Art and Music in Britain, 1880-1914

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

old farmer with a hoe and lad holding stick and jacket slung over shoulder
Sir George Clausen (1852-1944), The Boy and the Man, 1908. © Bradford Art Galleries and Museums, West Yorkshire, UK

Speaker(s): Tim Barringer (Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art, Yale University)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Ayla Lepine

This lecture examines the revived interest in folk culture in late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain, exploring the relationships between ethnography, musicology and the study of historical arts and crafts. Professor Barringer contends that the aesthetic potency of visual and musical compositions drawing on folk sources lay in the widespread acknowledgement of the imminent disappearance of folk culture in the face of modernity and mechanized warfare. Under consideration are the photographer P.H. Emerson, painters George Clausen, Henry Herbert La Thangue and Augustus John, the gardener and writer Gertrude Jekyll, ethnographer E.B. Tylor, and composers Sir Hubert Parry, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Percy Grainger.

Tim Barringer is Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art at Yale University. His books include Reading the Pre-Raphaelites (1999; new edition, 2012) and Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain (2005). With colleagues he co-authored American Sublime, and co-edited Art and the British Empire and Art and Emancipation in Jamaica. He is currently completing a book Broken Pastoral: Art and Music in Britain, Gothic Revival to Punk Rock and is co-curator of Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde (Tate, 2012). Co-edited volumes in preparation include Victorian Jamaica and Panoramic Vistas.

The 2012 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series explores intersections between modernity and historicism worldwide. It extends and enriches the Research Forum project Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory and interacts with the provocative Research Forum theme, ‘The Quick and the Dead’. Spanning art, architecture and design across America, Europe and Asia from the nineteenth century to the present, each lecture demonstrates the allure and the value of the past in forming challenging responses to new circumstances. Interrogating the nature of revival, historicism and transnationalism, the series engages with nature and artifice, ritual and memory, and the flexible meanings of materials, images and structures that simultaneously inhabit traditional and innovative territory.

Sponsored by the FM Kirby Foundation and The Prince's Foundation

Traditionally sponsored by the F M Kirby Foundation, this year the Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series is also sponsored by The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community; Transforming Lives through Engaging, Educating and Empowering People.

“The Prince's Foundation believes that sustainably planned, built and maintained communities improve the quality of life of everyone who’s part of them. They help us both live better at a local level and start dealing with the broader global challenges of urbanisation and climate change. Our goal is a future where all of us can take part in making our communities more sustainable. We're working with everyone from local residents groups to governments to make it happen.” See

Princes Foundation logo

Back to Events Calendar