News & Reports
ahrc funds awarded to courtauld doctoral student for collaborative skill development project on art and music
Second-year PhD student Harriette Peel has won AHRC funding for a Collaborative Skills Development project in conjunction with Katie Bank and Matthew Laube – musicology PhD students at Royal Holloway University of London. Their project is entitled ‘Renaissance Art and Music, the space between’.
Renaissance Art and Music (RA&M) is an AHRC-funded interdisciplinary project on which The Courtauld Institute of Art will work together with Royal Holloway, University of London’s musicology department to explore the relationship between art and music c.1400-1550. It is particularly interested in examining how best the two disciplines can be studied and presented together. The team has organized monthly interdisciplinary discussion groups, two professional panel seminars with curators, musicologists and musicians, and a postgraduate student conference. The research will culminate in two performance workshops in the winter of 2013-14, one at The Courtauld Gallery and one at St Bartholomew-the-Great, Smithfield, where the exploration into how best to address and present the two media will come to fruition. You can follow the progress of the project on Twitter, @RenArtandMusic.
The Research Forum extends congratulations to Federico Botana on the recent publication of his book, The Works of Mercy in Italian Medieval Art (c.1050-1400) (Brepols, 2012). An official launch took place at the Courtauld in November 2012. Botana was the 2009 Andrew W Mellon Foundation/Research Forum Postdoctoral Fellow (Activities Co-ordinator) and much of the research for his book took place during the fellowship year at the Research Forum. He is currently a researcher for the project ‘Manuscript Egerton: Histories and Genealogies’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and based at the University of Reading.
TERRA FOUNDATION for american art FELLOWSHIPS AND VISITING PROFESSORSHIPS
With sponsorship from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Research Forum awards a two-year fellowship for the teaching and study of historical American art (pre-1980), as well two short-term visiting professorships in American art. These fellowships are part of an initiative of the Terra Foundation that aims to internationalise the field of historical American art, building a network of scholarly peers and has been awarded in conjunction with similar fellowships at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris. The two-year fellowship enables an emerging scholar to teach on a selected American art topic at The Courtauld Institute and to undertake a major research project intended for publication. The visiting professorships are designed for scholars of American Art whose work plays a defining role in the disciplines of art and architectural history and conservation and who are willing to share their research with The Courtauld community formally (through lectures and seminars) and informally.
The Research Forum is pleased to announce the results of the Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship and Visting Professorships for 2013-15, as follows:
Ellery Foutch will be the Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow for two years, 2013-2015.
Julia Bryan-Wilson will be the Visiting Professor and will at The Courtauld for Spring Term 2014.
Daniel Barber will be the Visiting Professor for one week in Spring 2015.
Information about previous Terra Foundation Fellows and Visiting Professors can be found here.
research forum VISITING Curator
The Research Forum is pleased to announce that Rafael Cardoso is the 2012-2013 Research Forum Visiting Curator.
Rafael Cardoso is a writer and art historian, holding a PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art (1995). He is the author of numerous books on the history of Brazilian art and design, the most recent of which are Design para um mundo complexo (Cosac Naify, 2012); Impresso no Brasil, 1808-1930: Destaques da história gráfica no acervo da Biblioteca Nacional (Verso Brasil, 2009); and A arte brasileira em 25 quadros (1790-1930) (Record, 2008), as well as three works of fiction. He is associated with the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, as a member of the postgraduate faculty of its Instituto de Artes. He is also active as an independent curator, having recently curated the major exhibitions Rio de Imagens: Uma Paisagem em Construção (Museu de Arte do Rio, 2013); From the Margin to the Edge: Brazilian Art and Design in the 21st Century (Somerset House, London, 2012) and Eliseu Visconti: A Modernidade Antecipada (Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2011).
research forum VISITING PROFESSORSHIPs
The Research Forum is pleased to announce that Eric Jorink and Peter Stallybrass are the 2012-13 Research Forum Visiting Professors.
Eric Jorink studied History at the University of Groningen and subsequently spent a year at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. In 2004 he gained his PhD cum laude at the University of Groningen with a thesis entitled ‘Het Boeck der Natuere’. Nederlandse geleerden en de wonderen van Gods Schepping, 1575-1715.
Since 2001 Jorink has been working as a researcher at Huygens ING. At present he is working on the completion of two projects: a biography of the natural scientist Johannes Swammerdam (1637-1680) from Amsterdam, and a study of the image-forming of the English natural philosopher Isaac Newton (1642-1727) in the Republic of the Netherlands. The former project will result in a monograph, the latter in a number of articles. In addition, he is closely connected to the Digitaal Wetenschapshistorisch Centrum, DWC (Dutch History of Science Web Centre). At the same time he is section leader of the NWO-funded project ‘Circulation of knowledge and learned practices in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic’, which is being implemented by Huygens ING, the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) and the Descartes Centre of Utrecht University. In 2012-13 he will be co-teaching the MA special option on Visualizing Knowledge in the Early Modern Netherlands, c.1550-1730 with Joanna Woodall and Edward Wouk.
Peter Stallybrass is a visiting professor at The Courtauld in spring 2013. He is Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and Professor of English and of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory. For the last fourteen years, he has directed the seminar on the History of Material Texts, and he co-edits the Material Texts series for the University of Pennsylvania Press. He has received fellowships from the American Council for Learned Societies, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Globe Theater, London, the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1999, he was chair of the English Institute at Harvard University, and he has been a Trustee of the Institute since 2002. Peter’s interest in the history of books began when he read Magreta de Grazia’s Shakespeare Verbatim, and, drawing upon many of the ideas in that book, he wrote with her “The Materiality of the Shakespearean Text” (Shakespeare Quarterly 1993). He also began to teach a graduate class that met in and drew upon the wealth of Philadelphia’s libraries, including the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Rosenbach Library, and the Free Library, in addition to the University’s libraries. In 2007, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society, this country’s first learned society, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743.
Research Forum Visiting Conservators
The Research Forum is pleased to announce that Michele Marincola and Jacques Neguer have been appointed as the Research Forum Visiting Conservators for the Academic Year 2012-13.
The appointment of Visiting Conservator is offered to conservators whose work plays a defining role in the discipline and who are willing to share their research with the Courtauld community formally (through lectures and seminars) and informally for a period of one to five weeks.
Michele D. Marincola is Sherman Fairchild Chairman and Professor of Conservation of the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She is also part-time Conservator for The Cloisters (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and coordinates conservation for the Acton Collection at Villa la Pietra in Florence (NYU). Her qualifications in art history and Advanced Certificate in Conservation were obtained at the Institute of Fine Arts. She has lectured and published widely on the techniques and conservation of medieval sculpture, conservation ethics and theory, and is currently working on a book on the treatment of polychrome wood sculpture.
Jacques Neguer was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and graduated from the Polytechnic of Sofia, Bulgaria in 1986 with an MS Degree in Engineering Science in Chemistry. Between 1979 and 1992 he was conservator in the National Institute for Historical Monuments, Sofia, Bulgaria. He specialized in mosaics conservation at the Istituto Superiore Centrale del Restauro (ISCR), Rome, Italy. Since 1993 he has worked as a conservator in the Conservation Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority, becoming Head of the Art Conservation Section of the Conservation Department in 1994. He has been a member of ICCM (International Committee for Conservation Mosaics) since 1996 and was an elected member of the board from 2002 to 2005. He is also a member of ICOMOS – Israel and Head of the Scientific Committee for Stone conservation.
Research Forum Visiting Curator
The Research Forum appointed Rachel Ward as the Visiting Curator for the Academic Year 2011-12.
Research Forum/Andrew W Mellon Foundation MA Postdoctoral Fellowship 2011-2012
The Research Forum is pleased to announce that Edward Wouk has been awarded the Research Forum/Andrew W Mellon Foundation MA Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2012. This fellowship offers an opportunity to an early-career scholar to pursue a research project while gaining teaching experience by delivering a BA course and collaborating on the Research Forum/Mellon Foundation M.A. course, this year being offered by Professor Joanna Woodall and Professor Eric Jorink: Visualising Knowledge in the Early Modern Netherlands, c.1550-1730.
Andrew W Mellon/Research Forum Postdoctoral Fellowship 2012 (Activities Co-ordinator)
The Research Forum is pleased to announce the appointment of Ayla Lepine as the Research Forum Postdoctoral Fellow for 2012. The Fellowship, awarded annually to an early-career scholar who has completed their PhD at the Courtauld, enables the recipient to continue with their research, to prepare their work for publication and to work as part of the team co-ordinating the activities of the Research Forum. In addition, the Fellow is responsible for devising, organising and leading a major Research Forum project. 2012, this will involve a workshop and conference for a cohort of international scholars exploring the theme of Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory, as well as an online collaboratively curated exhibition, Past in Present.
Previous recipients of the Fellowship have been John-Paul Stonard (2005), Douglas Brine (2006), Catherine Grant (2007), Judith Batalion (2008), Federico Botana (2009), Francesco Lucchini (2010), and Jim Harris (2011).
Association of Art Historians FELlowships 2012
Each year the Research Forum awards one or more fellowships to postgraduate students who give research papers at the annual conference of the Association of Art Historians.
The 2012 AAH Fellowships were awarded to six students, each of whom presented papers at the AAH annual conference in Milton Keynes in March 2012. Names and paper titles for the 2012 Fellows are listed below.
Miranda Stearn, ‘Art and Destruction: the artist as anti-curator in the museum’
Pei-Kuei Tsai, ‘Self-Destructive Mimicry: the Early Modified Photographic Work of Taiwanese Artist Chen Chieh-Jen (1960- )’
Kaija Kaitavuori, ‘Negotiating contracts. Participative or relational art in the gallery’
Brandon Kline, ‘The Miraflores Altarpiece in Context’
Edward Payne, ‘Courtiers in Translation: Rubens’ “Copy” After Raphael’s Baldassare Castiglione’
Emilia Terracciano, ‘Tradurre e’ tradire: tracing treason’
Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series AUTUMN 2012 – Histories in Transition
Ayla Lepine, 2012 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation / Research Forum Postdoctoral Fellow (Activities Coordinator)
The Courtauld Institute of Art’s annual autumn lecture series brings together top academics from around the world to share knowledge and open out perspectives in relation to a generative theme. The 2012 theme was Histories in Transition. Conceived by Dr Ayla Lepine, the 2012 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation / Research Forum Postdoctoral Fellow (Activities Coordinator), the lecture series was responsive to the 2012-14 Research Forum theme, ‘The Quick and the Dead’; it also complemented and extended the themes which sustained the 2012 flagship Research Forum project Dr Lepine developed, titled ‘Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory’. Traditionally sponsored by the F M Kirby Foundation, the 2012 Lecture Series received additional sponsorship from The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community; Transforming Lives through Engaging, Educating and Empowering People.
The 2012 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series comprised five lectures and two seminars. All of the events in the Series were free and open to all. Histories in Transition explored modernity and historicism worldwide, incorporating topics ranging across conceptual art, statues and sculpture, gardens, painting, music, architecture, and the decorative arts. Spanning art histories across America, Europe, and Asia from the nineteenth century to the present, each lecture and seminar demonstrated the allure and the value of the past in forming and challenging responses to new circumstances. Interrogating the nature of revival, historicism and transnationalism, the Series’ lecturers were particularly interested in nature and artifice, ritual and memory, and the flexible meanings of materials, images and structures that simultaneously inhabit traditional and innovative territory.
Mark Cheetham, Professor of Art History at the University of Toronto, began the Series in October with a seminar on ‘Landscape and Language: from Conceptualism to Ecoaesthetics’, which marshalled material from the artists’ group Art and Language, arguments regarding environmental art and ecological responsibility recently published by Rasheed Araeen, and recent imbrications of the textual and visual in the genre of Western landscape from Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels to Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. The following evening, Cheetham and the artist Mariele Neudecker explored aspects of the sublime and traditions of landscape in contemporary art. The idea of ‘nature’ as a concept and as a spur for art drove compelling presentations and a rich dialogue between Neudecker, Cheetham, and an enthusiastic audience. On 22-23 October, Yale University’s Professor Tim Barringer offered a packed early morning tour of the Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde exhibition for which he is co-curator with Jason Rosenfeld and Alison Smith at Tate Britain. He also gave a stimulating research seminar on art and music in the Aesthetic Movement, interlacing performance, composition, discourse, and painting from the 1860s and 1870s within a framework that investigated Walter Pater’s claim that ‘all art constantly aspires to the condition of music’. This was followed by ‘Broken Pastoral and the English Folk’, a lecture on music, idealism, folk traditions and painting in England in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which focused on artists and musicians including George Clausen, Henry Herbert La Thangue, and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
In November, Professor Remi Labrusse’s lecture, ‘Orientalism and “Islamophilia”’, suggestively argued for two distinct ways in which Islamic artefacts were perceived and engaged by European artists and audiences in the nineteenth century. For Labrusse, who is Professor of Art History at Université de Paris Ouest-Nanterre, an ‘Orientalist’ trend, haunted by the shadows of an imagined past, was in fact opposed to a rationalist and progressive ‘Islamophilia’ more captivated with pattern and geometry than religion and socio-cultural exoticism. Professor Tapati Guha-Thakurta, Director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, brought her decades of cultural history scholarship to bear on the questions surrounding the meanings, locations, and treatments of urban civic statuary in Calcutta, asserting that their ambiguous status and links with colonial and post-colonial discourses invests them with special significance deserving of increased attention. In the Frank Davis series’ final lecture in December, given by Professor Toshio Watanabe, transnationalism and the historiographies of art and cultural history were brought into sharply concentrated focus through the potent case study of Kyoto’s Ryoanji garden. Watanabe, who is Director of the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity, and Nation at the University of the Arts London, revealed the twentieth-century European and American discourses through which the sand and stone garden at Ryoanji temple problematically came to stand as an icon of both Japanese garden traditions and of Zen culture.
In each of the events within the Histories in Transition series, incisive critical perspectives were brought to bear on art, architecture, and design and its impacts across cultures, times and spaces. Art historical material was consistently enriched and enlivened through productive intersections with cultural, historical, philosophical, musicological, and transnational ideas. Tensions between tradition and innovation were probed and the diverse ways in which objects and knowledge have performed specific social and cultural functions created stimulating links between the lectures’ different topics across the autumn series. The Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series continue to be a highlight of The Courtauld’s Research Forum annual calendar, and the 2012 series has showcased the best of current art historical research for a wide range of specialist and non-specialist audiences.
RESEARCH FORUM ANNUAL REVIEW, 2010-11:
The Annual Review of the Research Forum provides a detailed summary of the Visiting Scholars and the conferences, seminars, symposia, workshops and lectures that have been a part of the Research Forum in the year to 31 July 2011.
RESEARCH FELLOWS' REPORTS, 2011-12:
Elisa Schaar, 2011-13 Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral
Thanks to sponsorship by the Terra Foundation for American Art, I had the privilege to join the Research Forum as postdoctoral fellow during the academic year 2011-12. My various projects for the year revolved around pop art, its international connections, and its ongoing legacies. On the topic of pop in this broad perspective, I designed and led an advanced undergraduate course aimed to promote an understanding of the richness of the pop phenomenon and the continuing relevance of its key themes, consumer culture and the mass media. The course incorporated some of the most recent scholarly literature in the field, reappraising such matters as pop’s treatment of planned obsolescence; its cold war contexts; neo-pop in the 1980s; women pop artists; and global pop. One of the highlights of the course was a visit to the American Ambassador’s Residence at Winfield House – a unique opportunity to see this carefully considered display of American postwar art in London and to reflect on the curatorial strategies in this diplomatic context.
On the occasion of the ‘Warhol: Headlines’ exhibition that put into focus Andy Warhol’s longstanding preoccupation with the news media, I co-organized with Jason E. Hill a two-day international conference on ‘American Art and the Mass Media’ that took place at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA) in Paris. The conference provided a platform for the stimulating scholarship that is currently being produced on the interplay between the American fine arts and the structures, technologies, and contents of more instrumental forms of communication associated with the mass media from the early modern period to the present day. Through the thematic focus on mass media, the conference generated exchange about American art history across its long narrative and across ‘the long front of culture’ from different disciplinary perspectives, including film, media, and American studies. Under the auspices of the Terra Foundation, the event was the result of close collaboration between the Research Forum, INHA, the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre la Défense, and the Université François Rabelais de Tours, with the great turnout and lively discussions testifying to the strong interest in American art in Europe.
As a member of the Research Forum, I had the opportunity to share research from my current book project on forerunners of appropriation art circa 1964-1974 in a research seminar and a public lecture. I would like to thank Gavin Parkinson and Caroline Arscott for convening these events and all participants for offering their feedback. The Research Forum, the Fellow’s office, and the classroom of my pop art course were stimulating environments for my work this year. In this context, I would also particularly like to acknowledge Mignon Nixon and Juliet Mitchell’s Mellon MA open sessions and Friends Lecture series on ‘Fifty Years of War in the Time of Peace’ that provided a thought-provoking forum for considering artistic responses to American wars since 1945 from the perspective of psychoanalysis. I owe great thanks to the Terra Foundation for sponsoring this very productive postdoctoral fellowship and to The Courtauld Institute for welcoming me so warmly into the community.
B.D. Nandadeva (Nanda), 2011-12 Caroline Villers Research Fellow
The purpose of Nanda’s current research project is to characterize the materials and techniques of Buddhist temple paintings from the Southern and Western maritime region of Sri Lanka ruled by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British in succession since AD 1505 to 1948. It is known that the majority of those paintings were done, not by the traditional temple painters of the Sinhalese kingdom in the central highlands (‘up-country’) who held a high esteem and prestige under the native kings, but by a newly emerged class of local painters who belonged to the ‘exorcist-astrologer’ caste (that occupies a lower rank in the caste hierarchy) of the lowlands, who possessed limited artistic skills in moulding and painting of images of clay or carving and painting of wooden masks, both used in exorcist rituals and entertainment dance dramas. Nanda is examining the hypothesis that the non-traditional painters who were ignorant of the traditional Sinhalese painting technology of the ‘up-country’ borrowed painting materials and techniques from the Europeans, and also introduced the materials and techniques that they have been using in exorcist rituals.
He is mainly using optical microscopy, EDX, staining techniques, FTIR, and Raman microscopy for pigment and binding media identification. So far, he has examined over one-hundred paint cross-sections from fifteen temples using microscopy to determine their layer- sequence and preliminary identification of pigments. Ten representative samples were selected for elemental analysis to confirm the pigments used. Sequencing of the layers shows that artists have applied a thick white barium sulphate containing layer over a clay and sand ground to serve as a primer, and finished the works with the application of a layer of varnish. In some cases, calcium sulphate is mixed with the barium sulphate in the priming layer.
He has identified vermilion and orpiment applied over a priming layer of barium sulphate by elemental analysis (using EDX). The artists first applied a thick layer of red or yellow pigment mixed with barium sulphate followed by a thin layer of pure red or yellow. The lighter under-layer serves a purpose in the final effects to diminish the intensity of colour of the final paint layer. The samples containing green paint showed two variations. Some samples contained a green coloured material with a spherical shape. Other samples had a mixture of blue and yellow. Several other samples had a thin blue layer applied on top of a thick yellow layer to create an optical green hue. Blue and green pigments have not so far been fully characterised, but the spherical shape of green pigments suggests that the pigment must be emerald green, a pigment of European origin. The black pigment used is carbon-based.
The use of a basic three-layer structure that is comprised of a ground, primer, and the paint layer conform to the common wall painting technology of the Sinhalese tradition. The application of a varnish layer, which is not common to the traditional Sinhalese wall painting technology, could be either a southern innovation, or an idea borrowed from the Europeans. The widespread use of barium sulphate and the occasional use of gypsum as the white pigment, the priming material, and the white extender show clear evidence of trade with Europe. The preliminary conclusions deduced as such appear to be supporting the hypothesis of the study.