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History of Art pres.

The Social History of Art: What Matters, Then and Now

poster poster
Symposium on the Social History of Art honoring Alexander Potts and Susan Siegfried
with guest speakers Thomas Crow (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU) and Darcy Grigsby (UC Berkeley)

"Ingres’s Creoles"
Darcy Grimaldo

Summary: In 1836 Ingres ordered an artistic encounter between two Creoles who had both been born in Saint-Domingue, renamed Haiti. From Rome, the fifty-six year-old painter exerted his power over an “homme de couleur” and a black man by orchestrating a confrontation that left both men in ignorance of its ultimate purpose. Ingres’s sixteen year old student Théodore Chassériau, was being told secretly to paint the celebrated black model Joseph, famously placed at the apex of Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa. While refusing to share his intentions with either man, Ingres confided to a friend that the subject was “Christ Chasing the Devil from the Mountain. As for the pupil, he does not need to know this.” Locked behind closed doors and left in the dark as to Ingres’s plans, two Creoles – painter and model - confronted one another; the result of this encounter was Chassériau’s famous Étude de Nègre of 1838. This talk analyzes the picture and the circumstances of its making in light of France’s colonial history.

"The Hidden Mod in the New Art History: Another Origin Story".
Thomas Crow

Summary: the revival of art history as an intellectual discipline from about 1975 drew much of its strength from Parisian modern-life painting in the later 19th century. The story of how it got there contains an earlier and overlooked contribution that surprisingly arose from the rebellious youth culture of postwar London.

Free and open to the public.

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