Edwardian Opulence: Events

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Yale Center for British Art’s major exhibition ‘Edwardian Opulence’ opens later this week accompanied by a range of events including an opening conversation with curators Angus Trumble and Andrea Wolk Rager, and the graduate symposium ‘Art, Anxiety, and Protest in the Edwardian Belle Époque’. More details on the latter event can be found below:

Art, Anxiety, and Protest in the Edwardian Belle Époque
Graduate Student Symposium
Saturday, March 2, 9 am–6:30 pm
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut

Keynote Lecture 5:30 pm

Edwardian Modernities: Art and Music in London, 1901-1910: Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art, Yale University

This one-day graduate student symposium considers the visual arts in Britain and its empire, America, and Continental Europe between 1901 and 1910—the era marked out by the reign of the British monarch Edward VII—in relation to the intersecting social, economic, sexual, political, and psychological tensions and anxieties of the period.

The opening decade of the twentieth century is often perceived as a golden age of luxury, glamour, and relative social stability before the cataclysm of World War I. The historian George Dangerfield, investigating the “strange death of liberal England,” conversely argued in 1935 that it was also a period of crisis that saw, inter alia, an upsurge in militant trade unionism, the agitation for women’s suffrage, the origins of fascism, impending constitutional crisis, and imperial unrest. Similar tensions were felt across Europe and the Americas in this transitional period.

The symposium will consider the ways in which the first decade of the twentieth century came to be interpreted as both a golden age and an age of anxiety and protest, and how the visual and material culture of the time registered ambivalent feelings about the state of society in Britain and beyond. The symposium coincides with the opening ofEdwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century, the first major international exhibition in more than a generation devoted to surveying the full depth and breadth of the visual arts in Britain during the first decade of the twentieth century.

The program will include the following papers by graduate students as well as breakout sessions in theEdwardian Opulence exhibition and Center’s collections.

Kirsty Dootson, Yale University – Antarctic Empire: Herbert Ponting’s Footage from the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1912

Gabrielle Moser, York University – Projecting Crisis: Anxieties about Imperial Belonging in the Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee’s Photographs, 1902-14

David Lewis, St John’s College, University of Oxford – The Psychology of Worship: Giles Gilbert Scott’s Early Church Designs and Edwardian Religious Anxieties

Sara Sligar, University of Pennsylvania – Anticipating Outrage: Suffragette Art Vandalism and Museum Security Precautions in London, 1912-1914

Chloe Kroeter, King’s College, Cambridge University – Art and Activism: Political Illustrations on the Covers ofThe New Age, 1909-10

Phoebe Downing, Balliol College, University of Oxford – Playing the Cultural Field: H.G. Wells and British Socialism in Edwardian London

Harry Wood, University of Liverpool – Portraits of Anxiety: The Use of Illustration in Edwardian Invasion-Scare Fiction

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