Tag Archives: john singer sargent

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

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