Multimedia

James Walvin, Professor of History Emeritus, University of York, UK

Reminders of slavery are everywhere, though we often overlook them. Look closely, and you will find them in the material culture we value so highly: from porcelain sugar bowls to mahogany tables, from necklaces of cowrie shells to the world of print and graphic art. Slaves not only enhanced the material well-being of the Western world but they also made possible the material culture we value—though often without seeing its slave origins. Organized in collaboration with the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, this lecture will serve as a prelude to the exhibition Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World, which opens on February 2.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

A lecture given by Joanna Marschner, Senior Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, London, and Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World exhibition lead curator, that is heightened with performances by actors Baize Buzan, Anna Crivelli, and Elizabeth Stahlmann from the Yale School of Drama (YSD), ’17. Directed by Kevin Hourigan, YSD ’17, the event is also supported by Yana Biryukova, video design, YSD ’17; Cole McCarty, costumes, YSD ’18; and Carolina Ortiz, lighting, YSD ’17.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

In this film, the British Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) describes his new work, Mrs Pinckney and the Emancipated Birds of South Carolina, which was created especially for the exhibition Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World. The sculpture was co-commissioned by the Yale Center for British Art and Historic Royal Palaces, Kensington Palace. Hazel Carby (Charles C. and Dorothea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies, Professor of American Studies, and Director of the Initiative on Race, Gender, and Globalization) and Anna Arabindan-Kesson (Assistant Professor of African American and Caribbean Art, Princeton University) contextualize Shonibare’s work, which was inspired by a meeting, in 1753, between Princess Augusta and Mrs. Eliza Lucas Pinckney, the owner of a slave plantation in South Carolina, which was then a British colony. The dress worn by Mrs. Pinckney on the occasion, made of silk produced on her plantation, is featured in the film and currently on display in the exhibition at the Center, courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

A Cultureshock Media Production © 2017

John Styles, Research Professor in History, University of Hertfordshire, UK

The London Foundling Hospital, founded in 1739, was the first of a new kind of subscription charity, which multiplied across eighteenth-century England. Queen Caroline’s support was decisive and reflected her German background. This lecture explores how the Foundling Hospital came to initiate a new wave of enlightened philanthropy. It examines the contribution of the Hanoverian princesses, the influence of German Protestantism, and the ways art, architecture, and music were employed to raise the hospital’s profile and its revenues.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Foundling tokens (left to right): padlock with band; coral necklace; metal engraved heart; punched and notched coin (three pence, silver, reign of King Charles II, 1680), 1680; six pence from the reign of King William III, 1696–97; The Foundling Museum, London, © The Foundling Museum, London

Antonio Somaini, Professor, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, in conversation with Keller Easterling, Professor, Yale School of Architecture

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation established the Sawyer Seminars in 1994 to provide support for comparative research on the historical and cultural sources of contemporary developments. Named in honor of the foundation’s long-serving third president, John E. Sawyer, the seminars bring together scholars from different fields to engage a topic from differing, yet complementary, perspectives. Funded by this program, Genealogies of the Excessive Screen is a project that looks to examine the proliferation and transformation of screens in contemporary culture in a new historical light. The aim is to construct an interdisciplinary genealogical investigation that would recover and rethink an environmental history of screens.

Co-organized by Yale professors Francesco Casetti, Rüdiger Campe, and Craig Buckley, the initiative challenges the idea that the present proliferation of media screens represents an expansion of models derived from the movie and television screen. Up to the middle of the nineteenth century, screens denoted a wide range of environmental elements and functions, from furniture that protected against heat, cold, and wind, to spatial partitions, surfaces concealing the presence of observers, legal protections, false architectural facades, the diversionary maneuvers of soldiers, hunting blinds, psychic as well as physical membranes, and more.

By the end of the century, screens had primarily come to denote an optical surface associated with projected images. What effect did this consolidation of the optical screen, and the loss of this more diverse environmental gamut of screens, have on our capacity to think about screens? The project invites scholars to reconsider the obscured, eccentric, and diverse environmental manifestations of the screen, and asks how recovering this lost environmental history might enable us to rethink the problem of the screen today.

Genealogies of the Excessive Screen is presented in conjunction with the Enlightened Princesses exhibition, and the initiative will also develop an important collaboration with the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Whitney Humanities Center. For more information, visit dev.screens.yale.edu.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Film still, Ein Lichtspiel: Schwarz Weiss Grau (detail), directed by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1930), © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Barbara Stafford, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor, History of Art, the University of Chicago, in conversation with Dudley Andrew, R. Selden Rose Professor, Comparative Literature and Film & Media Studies, Yale University

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation established the Sawyer Seminars in 1994 to provide support for comparative research on the historical and cultural sources of contemporary developments. Named in honor of the foundation’s long-serving third president, John E. Sawyer, the seminars bring together scholars from different fields to engage a topic from differing, yet complementary, perspectives. Funded by this program, Genealogies of the Excessive Screen is a project that looks to examine the proliferation and transformation of screens in contemporary culture in a new historical light. The aim is to construct an interdisciplinary genealogical investigation that would recover and rethink an environmental history of screens.

Co-organized by Yale professors Francesco Casetti, Rüdiger Campe, and Craig Buckley, the initiative challenges the idea that the present proliferation of media screens represents an expansion of models derived from the movie and television screen. Up to the middle of the nineteenth century, screens denoted a wide range of environmental elements and functions, from furniture that protected against heat, cold, and wind, to spatial partitions, surfaces concealing the presence of observers, legal protections, false architectural facades, the diversionary maneuvers of soldiers, hunting blinds, psychic as well as physical membranes, and more.

By the end of the century, screens had primarily come to denote an optical surface associated with projected images. What effect did this consolidation of the optical screen, and the loss of this more diverse environmental gamut of screens, have on our capacity to think about screens? The project invites scholars to reconsider the obscured, eccentric, and diverse environmental manifestations of the screen, and asks how recovering this lost environmental history might enable us to rethink the problem of the screen today.

Genealogies of the Excessive Screen is presented in conjunction with the Enlightened Princesses exhibition, and the initiative will also develop an important collaboration with the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Whitney Humanities Center. For more information, visit dev.screens.yale.edu.

Recorded on location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

William Kentridge, More Sweetly Play the Dance (detail), 2015, eight-channel video installation with four megaphones, 15 minutes, photograph © William Kentridge, courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, photograph by Cathy Carver

Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor, History of Art, Yale University, in conversation with Katie Trumpener, Emily Stanford Professor, Comparative Literature and English, Yale University

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation established the Sawyer Seminars in 1994 to provide support for comparative research on the historical and cultural sources of contemporary developments. Named in honor of the foundation’s long-serving third president, John E. Sawyer, the seminars bring together scholars from different fields to engage a topic from differing, yet complementary, perspectives. Funded by this program, Genealogies of the Excessive Screen is a project that looks to examine the proliferation and transformation of screens in contemporary culture in a new historical light. The aim is to construct an interdisciplinary genealogical investigation that would recover and rethink an environmental history of screens.

Co-organized by Yale professors Francesco Casetti, Rüdiger Campe, and Craig Buckley, the initiative challenges the idea that the present proliferation of media screens represents an expansion of models derived from the movie and television screen. Up to the middle of the nineteenth century, screens denoted a wide range of environmental elements and functions, from furniture that protected against heat, cold, and wind, to spatial partitions, surfaces concealing the presence of observers, legal protections, false architectural facades, the diversionary maneuvers of soldiers, hunting blinds, psychic as well as physical membranes, and more.

By the end of the century, screens had primarily come to denote an optical surface associated with projected images. What effect did this consolidation of the optical screen, and the loss of this more diverse environmental gamut of screens, have on our capacity to think about screens? The project invites scholars to reconsider the obscured, eccentric, and diverse environmental manifestations of the screen, and asks how recovering this lost environmental history might enable us to rethink the problem of the screen today.

Genealogies of the Excessive Screen is presented in conjunction with the Enlightened Princesses exhibition, and the initiative will also develop an important collaboration with the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Whitney Humanities Center. For more information, visit dev.screens.yale.edu.

Event location:
Yale Center for British Art
Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510

Henry Aston Barker and Frederick Birnie, after Robert Barker, one of six plates from his Panoramic View of London, 1792–1793, hand-colored aquatint, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection