Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory (Conference)

Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following two-day conference:

Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory

11.30 – 19.10, Friday 23 November (with registration from 11.00)
09.15 – 18.45, Saturday 24 November (with registration from 08.45)

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

Revivalism in art and architecture is a fundamental though often overlooked aspect of modernity. From the nineteenth century to the present, styles, ideologies, techniques and approaches have been revived and re-framed. Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory seeks to investigate the diverse dimensions of revivalism, exploring its meanings and impacts across cultures, periods and media. The extent to which revivalism has been harnessed to promote idealist visions, assert aspects of personal or corporate identity, and grant fresh purchase on memorialization and nostalgia are all productive trajectories for investigation.

The phenomenon’s implications for art and architectural history in relation to tradition, repetition, originality, transnationalism, patronage, religion, colonialism, historicism, reproduction, authenticity, resistance and power will be investigated. This conference will generate new understandings regarding selective reiterations or reworkings of the past to create new art, architecture and design. Its themes allow us to question common threads that may be traced between apparently disparate projects, such as resurgences of techniques or materials, medievialism, utopian futurism, empire and style, and the persistence of ‘neo’ in the midst of an ever-urgent quest for originality. Showcasing research from emerging and established scholars, the event encourages an academic process that uncovers convergences and supports broadening views to consider how histories are reinvented and to chart the notion of revivalism itself.

Ticket/entry details: £26 (£16 students, Courtauld staff/students and concessions)

BOOK ONLINE. Or send a cheque made payable to ‘Courtauld Institute of Art’ to: Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, stating the event title ‘Revival’ conference. For further information, email

Organised by Ayla Lepine (The Courtauld Institute of Art)


Friday 23 November (DAY 1)

11.00 – 11.30


11.30 – 11.45

Welcome and Introduction – Ayla Lepine (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

11.45 – 12.45

Keynote – Glenn Adamson (Victoria and Albert Museum): Goodbye Craft: A History of Departures

12.45 – 13.30

BREAK FOR LUNCH (lunch provided for speakers and session chairs)

SESSION 1: The Quick and the Dead – Chair: Jack Hartnell (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

13.30 – 13.50

Martin Horacek (Brno University of Technology): Death Wish: End of a Style and the Historiography of Architecture

13.50 – 14.10

Tom Stammers (Cambridge University): Scavenging the Old Regime in Nineteenth-Century Paris

14.10 – 14.30

Pat Hardy (Museum of London): Reviving Eighteenth-Century Pastoralism in Nineteenth-Century British Colonial Visual Culture

14.30 – 14.50


14.50 – 15.05


SESSION 2: Territories and Affiliations – Chair: Nathaniel Walker (Brown University)

15.05 – 15.25

Fiona Allen (Leeds University): From the Workshop to the Auction Block: the Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics of Jean Prouvé’s Maisons Tropicales

15.25 – 15.45

Alyson Wharton (Mardin Artuklu University): Armenian Architects and Nineteenth-Century Revivalism

15.45 – 16.05

Michelle Jackson (Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt): Longing for Past and Future: Cultural Identity and Central European Revivalist Glassware Designs

16.05 – 16.25

Talinn Grigor (Brandeis University): Deploying the Past: Strategies of Anti-colonialism in Qajar and Parsi Architecture

16.25 – 16.55


16.55 – 17.20

COFFEE/TEA BREAK (tea-coffee provided – seminar room 1)

SESSION 3: Cultured Utopias – Chair: Ayla Lepine (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

17.20 – 17.40

Karen Koehler (Hampshire College): Bauhaus Ghosts

17.40 – 18.00

Nathaniel Walker (Brown University): A Style for All Time: Orientalist Hybridity as Futurism in Victorian Utopian Architecture

18.00 – 18.20

Jonathan Mekinda (University of Illinois, Chicago): Revivalism in Italian Architecture and Design, 1925-55

18.20 – 18.40

Rosalind McKever (Kingston University/Estorick Collection): Futurism and the Past: Avant-gardism, Tradition and Temporalities in Italian Art and its Histories

18.40 – 19.10




Saturday 24 November (DAY 2)

08.45 – 09.15


09.15 – 10.15

Keynote – John Harvey (Aberystwyth University): The Retrieval of Revival: Recollecting and Revisiting the Evan Roberts Wax Cylinder

SESSION 4: Rethinking Memory – Chair: Sarah Guerin (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

10.15 – 10.35

Florence Alibert (Bibliothèque/Université de Clermont-Ferrand): Books as Pocket Cathedrals: A French Connection for the Gothic Revival

10.35 – 10.55

Niccola Shearman (The Courtauld Institute of Art): ‘Linear Fantasies’: Reviving the Woodcut in the Weimar Republic

10.55 – 11.15

Ana Sofia Pereira da Silva (ETSA-UPM, Madrid; CEAU-FAUP and FAUP, Oporto): F. Kiesler’s Endless House or the Re-invention of the Cave

11.15 – 11.35


11.35 – 12.00

COFFEE/TEA BREAK (tea-coffee provided – seminar room 1)

SESSION 5: Public Nostalgias – Chair: Rosalind McKever (Kingston University/Estorick Collection)

12.00 – 12.20

Jody Patterson (Plymouth University): Public Art and Cultural Crisis: The 1930s Mural Renaissance

12.20 – 12.40

Alan Powers (Greenwich University): 1937 and Victorian Revivalism

12.40 – 13.00

Alison Hokanson (The Metropolitan Museum of Art): Henri De Braekeleer and Belgium’s Nineteenth-Century Revivalist Movement

13.00 – 13.20


13.20 – 14.20

BREAK FOR LUNCH (lunch provided for speakers and chairs)

SESSION 6: Contested Rebirths – Chair: Matt Lodder (Reading University)

14.20 – 14.40

Elizabeth McCormick (Henry Moore Institute) Early Medieval Sculpture and the Celtic Revival

14.40 – 15.00

Jeremy Melius (Johns Hopkins University): Secondary Modernisms

15.00 – 15.20

Philip Jacks (George Washington University): Ferro-Concrete and the Search for Style in the ‘American Renaissance’

15.20 – 15.40


15.40 – 16.10

COFFEE/TEA BREAK (tea-coffee provided – seminar room 1)

SESSION 7: Housed and Adorned – Chair: Karen Koehler (Hampshire College)

16.10 – 16.30

Wendy Ligon Smith (Manchester University): Mariano Fortuny’s Delphos Gown: A Pleating Together of Time(s)

16.30 – 16.50

Mariana Pestana (The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL): Who’s the Host and Who’s the Guest in the Exhibition Household?

16.50 – 17.10

Matt Lodder (Reading University): The New Old Style: Tradition, Archetype and Rhetoric in Contemporary Western Tattooing

17.10 – 17.30


17.30 – 18.45

Keynote and Closing Remarks – Deborah Cherry (TrAIN, University of the Arts London)



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