H.5 RAA19 (Research on Art and Architecture of the 19th century),
H.5 RAA19 (Réseau art et architecture du 19e siècle),
Fri Oct 28 / 15:30 – 17:00 / rm 179, University College
- Béatrice Denis, Université de Montréal
- Ersy Contogouris, Université de Montréal
The aim of the RAA19 (Research on Art and Architecture of the 19th century) is to encourage innovative studies of nineteenth-century art and architecture. This open session welcomes papers that examine theoretical issues or case studies that focus on any aspect of the art and architecture of the long nineteenth century, from 1789 to 1914. Special consideration will be given to papers that propose innovative issues or methodologies.
L'objectif du Réseau Art et Architecture du 19e siècle consiste à promouvoir le renouveau des recherches globales et interdisciplinaires sur le 19e siècle en histoire de l'art et de l'architecture. Cette session ouverte invite des propositions théoriques ou des études de cas qui couvrent des corpus issus du long 19 siècle, de 1789 à 1914. Une attention particulière sera donnée aux propositions qui font ressortir de nouvelles problématiques ou des méthodologies novatrices.
keywords / mots clés: 19th century / 19e siècle
H.5.1 Art Botany in Nineteenth-Century Design Reform, 1835 – 1865
- Sarah Alford, Alberta University of the Arts
In early nineteenth-century Britain, natural philosophers found themselves in a crisis: a rapid influx of exotic plants had begun to defy and confuse the orders of classification. Specimens were arriving in nurseries and conservatories that couldn’t possibly exist. To cope, botanists invented a new and unstable Victorian taxonomy called the Natural System. In a reverse parallel, in 1835, British manufacturers found themselves facing a government inquiry as to why they were content to use historical or foreign patterns. It seemed clear that if Britain was going to continue to be the dominant industrial power it needed a nationally identifiable design aesthetic. The parliamentary inquiry led to the creation of the government schools of design, (the design reform movement). In botany, the burning question was: how do we make something familiar, from what is new? While in design it was the reverse: how do we make something new, from what is familiar?
This talk addresses how the two fields came together to answer the other’s questions. Botanists used the widespread availability of print and botanical illustrations to describe and disseminate the Natural System, and in turn, aspiring designers were taught “art botany” the practice of basing decorative form and ornament on the hidden, natural laws that govern plant growth and structure. The designation of what design reformers deemed appropriate for the surface decoration of material structures as varied as carpets, jugs, wallpaper, and furniture, was an embrace of botanical science as a source of fantasy and imagination.
keywords: design reform movement, botanical illustration, art botany, Christopher Dresser
Sarah Alford is an Assistant Professor at the Alberta University of the Arts in Craft History and Theory. She has undergraduate degrees in Jewellery and Art History from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (2004) and was awarded a Fulbright to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned an MA in Visual and Critical Studies (2009), and MFA in studio (2010). Alford taught both studio and art history courses at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design before earning her PhD in Art History and Art Conservation at Queen’s University, Kingston. She was awarded Queen’s Outstanding Humanities Thesis, (2018). Alford has published articles in the Journal of Stained Glass, Journal for Artistic Research, and Journal of Design History.
H.5.2 Antiquities on display: An exhibition story, the presentation of the Petrossa treasure and other antiquities from Romania in Europe
Linca Kucsinschi, Lyon 3 University
Discovered in 1834 in Romania, the Petrossa treasure, a late fourth-century gothic treasure, will take an active part in the creation of the mid-19th century’s new cultural (r)evolutions. In 1867, with an invitation from the emperor Napoleon III, the newly formed kingdom of Romania took part at the World Fair in Paris. Afterwards, with the request of the South Kensington Museum director, Henry Cole, the Romanian antiquities were sent to London to be displayed in Cole’s new museum, when the World Fair in Paris ended, in the new exhibition rooms, recently renovated. This paper intends to focus on the diplomatic relations between states in this cultural context of world fairs and new museums, centring on this new interest for antiquities and archaeology. Based on archival records and newspaper sources from France, Romania, and the United Kingdom, we intend to provide a different approach on the presentation of ancient art and its display. In a world where museums, or even more, temporary exhibitions are a new concept, the Petrossa treasure finds its way, firstly in Paris and after in London, to be majestically displayed before retouring to its homeland. We will start by presenting the context of these fairs and exhibitions, followed by a second part that analyses the notable interests of all the parties involved. A third part will discuss the public’s interest: from the marvelled museum visitors to the oblivious Romanian public realizing the value of their national heritage.
The purpose of this presentation is to present new methods of analysing art exhibitions, using as case study the showcase of Romanian antiquities in Paris and after in London in the second half of the 19th century.
keywords: 19th century, exhibition, antiquities, World Fair, Petrossa treasure
Member of the HiSoMa laboratory and a student member of ICOM, Linca Kucsinschi is pursuing a thesis in history at the University Jean Moulin, Lyon 3. Her research is in the multidisciplinary field of the history of collections and heritage institutions. The author has given several communications (at the Institute of Archaeology in Bucharest, at Mucem in Marseille or at the University of Haifa, Israel) and in 2021 she published an article on a mission of Napoleon III in Troesmis (Romania).
H.5.3 La modernité suspendue : Les temporalités du bois sacré chez Maurice Denis
- Lucile Cordonnier, McGill University
Durant les dernières décennies du XIXe siècle, les temporalités représentées dans l’art en France se positionnaient en réaction à ce que les artistes concevaient comme une société moderne en constante évolution. Les peintres nabis, en particulier, malgré leur style assurément moderne, partagèrent de nouvelles manières de représenter le temps en adoptant dans leurs oeuvres une suspension de la modernité. Dans cette communication, je souhaiterais me pencher plus spécifiquement sur deux toiles de Maurice Denis, Les Muses (1893, Musée d’Orsay) et Les Anémones (1891, collection privée), mettant en scène des bois sacrés. En m’inspirant des approches contemporaines questionnant le rôle du temps dans la sphère visuelle, dont Georges Didi-Huberman, Michael Ann Holly, Giovanni Carreri et Kamini Vellodi forment les plus éminents chercheurs, j’analyserai attentivement comment ces deux tableaux perturbent le déroulement traditionnel de la narration en faveur d’une suspension du temps. Le repli dans un imaginaire intime, un intérieur domestique et dans la nature peut être compris comme un retrait de la société et un « désenchantement du monde », pour reprendre la formule de Max Weber. Le terme de « suspension » du temps provient de Suspensions of Perception de Jonathan Crary à propos de la spectacularisation de la société au XIXe siècle. Maurice Denis adopta en partie la vitesse et la technique de cette société « spectaculaire », tout en mettant en pratique dans ses oeuvres une suspension de la modernité. Ainsi, cette communication remettra en question le principe de linéarité temporelle au début du modernisme. Examiner la manière dont Denis repensa la chronologie traditionnelle dans ses oeuvres permettra de revoir la conception du temps durant les dernières décennies du XIXe siècle, dans le contexte de réaction face à la modernité sociale et technique du progress positiviste.
mots clés : fin de siècle, nabis, temporalités, intemporalité, modernité
Lucile Cordonnier est doctorante en histoire de l’art à l’Université McGill. Après ses études de premier cycle à l’École du Louvre et à l’Université Paris Nanterre, elle effectua sa Maîtrise à l’Université Concordia. Ses recherches doctorales portent sur les questions de temps et de temporalités en France à la fin du XIXe siècle, en se concentrant particulièrement sur le groupe des Nabis. Lucile a bénéficié de plusieurs bourses (French Historical Society, Fonds de Recherche du Québec- Société et Culture, Elspeth McConnell Fine Arts Award, Fred and Betty Price Research Award) pour travailler dans des musées en France, aux États-Unis et au Canada.
H.5.4 Appropriating imperialist masculinity: Indian arms and armour in British private collections, 1870-1914
- Jeremy Reeves, Bard Graduate Center
In 1870s Britain, Richard Wallace—namesake of the eponymous collection in London—and Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, exhibited important groups of Indian arms and armor in their residences. These two collections, born of a growing royal interest in the subcontinent and a fashion for collecting arms and armour from South Asia, emerged at the same time as Britain embraced a new definition of masculinity centered on militaristic imperialism.
By analysing the gendered dimensions of the Prince of Wales and Wallace collections, this paper argues that Victorian masculinity and British interests in Indian arms were intimately linked. Although these two collections had their differences, auction catalogues, photographs, floor plans and visitor books reveal that both were tools for a public performance of masculinity. Indeed, the Wallace and Prince of Wales collections provided their elite owners with a stage, an audience, and props through which to appropriate the masculine connotations of the imperial frontier and its military figures—both British and Indian.
Beyond its case studies, this paper explores alternate frameworks for studying the long nineteenth century and the collecting practices of the British during the period of the Empire. Although their collections were linked to imperialism, Richard Wallace and Albert Edward do not neatly fit the trope of Orientalist collectors. Both men engaged with colonial India in a mode closer to Louis Dumont’s theory of ‘encompassment’ whereby the ‘other’ was incorporated into the ‘self’ through arms and armour rather than being its exotic antithesis. Moreover, rooted in the examination of arms and armor, this paper posits Indian swords, firearms, shields, and other weapons as important sources of cultural data for art historical study. Not only did elite individuals spend tremendous sums amassing large collections, such assemblages also performed personal and gendered functions that operated beyond the strict metropole-colony dichotomy.
keywords: arms and armour, Victorian Britain, collecting, masculinity, imperialism
Jeremy Reeves is a doctoral student and curatorial assistant at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City. His doctoral research focuses on the cultural, artistic, and collecting history of early modern arms and armor. Before studying at the Bard Graduate Center, Jeremy was the Curator of the Lac-Brome Museum in Knowlton, Quebec from 2018 – 2021. There, he worked with a diverse collection and co-edited and contributed to the Wood & Wheeler catalogue published by the Museum in 2021. Jeremy earned an MPhil in Archaeological Heritage and Museum Management from the University of Cambridge and also holds a dual BA from SciencesPo Paris and Columbia University where he studied History and Art History. Beyond his academic and curatorial work, Jeremy also interned at the Hispanic Society of America where he contributed research to the Visions of the Hispanic World: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library exhibition catalogue.