Tag Archives: edwardian art

CFP: Overlooked Women Artists and Designers

'Gretchen' by Joanna Mary Wells

‘Gretchen’ by Joanna Mary Wells

Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following CFP:

Overlooked Women Artists and Designers

Monday 7 December 2015, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

A British Art Research Network Seminar organised in collaboration with Dr. Patricia de Montfort and Prof.Clare A.P. Willsdon, School of Culture and Creative Arts, University of Glasgow.

Nan West… Jessie Keppie… Beatrix Whistler… Mary Hill Burton… Florence Chaplin… Sylvia Lawrence… Marie Egner… Mrs. Bernard Darwin…Who is she?

From the lone watercolourist to the Arts and Crafts partner, or the exhibitor under her husband’s name,this question echoes through the history of art and design, and despite modern interest in women artists, many remain little known. Focusing on a period when women benefited from a wealth of new opportunities for training, patronage, and exhibition, this seminar forms a sequel to Dr. Patricia de Montfort’s Louise Jopling in-focus display currently at The Hunterian, and will complement the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art exhibition on Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965, which opens in November 2015. Continue reading

CFP: Sargentology

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Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following CFP for a conference to be held at the University of York next April. Please see their website for more details.

In 1910 Walter Sickert penned an article titled ‘Sargentolatry’ that addressed the fervour surrounding John Singer Sargent as an artist and tastemaker.  Using the language of religious devotion, Sickert writes of the ‘prostration before [Sargent] and all his works’ by the British art press, the effect this adulation had on other artists working in this period, and how this sense of complacency was bad for both critics and artists alike. Often, this article has been misidentified with the title ‘Sargentology’ removing the dogmatic tinge of the original, and focusing instead on a study of the work and life of Sargent as a distinct entity within the field of art criticism and the history of art. In the last decades of the twentieth century, however, complicity within this complacency has crept back into Sargent studies. Sargentology has veered back into Sargentolatry, leaving in its infallible wake a dearth of innovation with regard to Sargent scholarship akin to the state of art criticism challenged by Sickert in 1910. Continue reading

Ten Edwardian Paintings from the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

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The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, rather like Bradford’s Cartwright Hall Gallery, is very much a product of the Edwardian Era. Designed by Frederick Wills and funded by the tobacco magnate Sir William Wills, building started in 1901 and was completed in 1906. The gallery’s Edwardian origins are currently brought to the fore by the display of two major paintings in the foyer: Ernest Board’s historical re-enactment of Italian explorer John Cabot’s departure from Bristol in the fifteenth century (painted in 1906), and Roderick MacKenzie’s monumental depiction of the 1903 Delhi Durbar. A selection of Victorian and Edwardian paintings (including Talmage’s Mackerel Shawl) are currently on display elsewhere in the gallery. Continue reading

Ten Edwardian Paintings from the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

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The Cartwight Hall in 1904

The Cartwight Hall Art Gallery in Bradford is one of the great Edwardian art galleries. It was designed by Simpson & Allen (whose other works included the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, 1901) and named in honour of the inventor Edmund Cartwright, inventor of the power loom and the combing machine, both of which had played a huge part in Bradford’s prosperous textile industry. The building was funded largely by Samuel Lister, a local industrialist, and opened in 1904, during Bradford’s exhibition of Art and Industry. The opening exhibition was a survey of British art which culminated in the work of local artists such as William Rothenstein, William Shackleton and Ernest Sichel. Continue reading

Edwardian Opulence – Catalogue Review

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Angus Trumble and Andrea Wolk Rager, ed. Edwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (Yale Center for British Art; Yale University Press, 2013).

The last couple of years have witnessed an upsurge of interest in art of the Edwardian era. Recent months have seen a special edition of Visual Culture in Britain dedicated to ‘Edwardian Art and its Legacies’, the launch of the Tate-based Camden Town Group in Context, and the first part of Yale’s Edwardian project, The Edwardian Sense (published in 2010). Now we have Edwardian Opulence, the four-hundred page catalogue to the exhibition currently showing at the Yale Center for British Art, and the culmination of a decade’s research into early twentieth-century British culture.

Long seen, in the wonderful words of Edwardian Opulence curators Angus Trumble and Andrea Wolk Rager, as ‘an indolent coda drifting behind the long Victorian era’, the first decade of the twentieth century has struggled for some time to find its own voice, with many commentators holding onto the cliché of the ‘long summer afternoon’ or the ‘country house garden party’. This trope has not been accepted by all: Samuel Hynes, in his 1968 book The Edwardian Turn of Mind, was one of the first to call attention to the darker undercurrents of the age – an idea taken up with gusto in the field of art history by the 1987 exhibition The Edwardian Era. Indeed, it is fair to see both of these as foundational texts to which this current influx of Edwardian surveys owe a large debt. The title – and bold, Boldini cover – of Edwardian Opulence, however, suggests a slight shift in interests. Continue reading

Edwardian Art and its Legacies

'A Problem in White' by Charles Moxon Quiller Orchardson

‘A Problem in White’ by Charles Moxon Quiller Orchardson

The most recent issue of Visual Culture in Britain, guest-edited by Andrew Stephenson, is dedicated to ‘Edwardian Art and its Legacies’. It contains six essays by leading scholars of Edwardian art, drawn from the recent Tate symposium of the same name. Subjects include: Japonism, the Transatlantic art market, the post-war legacy of Walter Sickert, and ‘character-reading’ at the Royal Academy. Needless to say, this comes highly recommended! Click on the link above for more information.

Art Has No Elgar

Jacob Epstein, Maternity (for the British Medical Association Building), 1908

‘ “Edwardian” is one of art-history’s unclaimed adjectives. No one name, no particular branch of artistic activity corresponds to it: art has no Elgar or Lutyens to stand beyond question for the full-blown, unhurrying, implicitly proconsular turn of mind which we call Edwardian. Where artistic ambition did relate to this (one might instance Brangwyn’s friezes, completed in 1909, for the offices of the Grand Trunk Railway in Cockspur Street) it has failed to retain the interest of a later generation. Where current opinion thinks reasonably well of artists who are in fact Edwardian (Charles Rennie Mackintosh, for instance, Jacob Epstein, Walter Sickert, and Augustus John) their work is often directly opposed to the accepted connotations of “Edwardian”; like G. E. Moore, “Baron Corvo”, and the James Joyce of Chamber Music, they are Edwardian only in so far as no man can altogether escape the characteristics of his own day. Where the adjective is applied to Orpen, or Sargent, or McEvoy, or William Nicholson, it singles out those traits in their work which we tend to deplore. It looks, almost, as if the master-qualities of Edwardian life did not adapt themselves to art….’

(From Edwardian England edited by Simon Nowell-Smith, 1964)