Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1775–1851, British, Staffa, Fingal's Cave, 1831 t
The Romantic Eye, 1760–1860 and Beyond
April 17, 2015-April 18, 2015

Call For Papers
Yale University

This symposium examines Romanticism as a shape-shifting cultural phenomenon that resists easy categorization. Focusing on the period from 1760 to 1860, the symposium embraces the amorphousness that has been ascribed to Romanticism historically by eschewing any limiting definition of it, seeking instead to explore the broad range of art and visual culture characterized as “Romantic” during this hundred-year span. We are interested in what the Romantic “eye” pursued and perceived, and how it set itself the task of recording those perceptions. In addition to interrogations of the relationship between the visual arts and Romanticism, we welcome papers on writers, composers, scientists, and philosophers whose projects engaged the visual. Papers are also sought for a special panel that will address the legacies of Romanticism in contemporary art.

This symposium coincides with a major collaborative exhibition organized by the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery, The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760–1860, which opens March 6, 2015. The exhibition comprises more than three hundred paintings, sculptures, medals, watercolors, drawings, prints, and photographs by such iconic artists as William Blake, John Constable, Honoré Daumier, David d’Angers, Eugène Delacroix, Henry Fuseli, Théodore Géricault, Francisco de Goya, John Martin, and J. M. W. Turner. Talks that respond explicitly to works in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art or the Yale University Art Gallery are particularly encouraged, as are cross-disciplinary and comparative studies.

We are seeking presentations of thirty minutes in length. Graduate students and early career scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the organizers. Please e-mail abstracts of no more than three hundred words and a short CV or bio (no more than two pages) by February 2, 2015, to romanticism2015@gmail.com.

The symposium is cosponsored by the Department of the History of Art at Yale University, the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Yale Student Colloquia Fund.

Joshua Reynolds, "Jane Fleming, Later Countess of Harrington," 1778–79, oil on c
Portraiture as Interaction: The Spaces and Interfaces of the British Portrait
December 11, 2015-December 12, 2015

Symposium
The Huntington, San Marino, California 

This two-day international symposium has been inspired by the important collections of British portraits at the Huntington Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, and by an upsurge of scholarly interest in the interactive nature of portraiture—both in its intrinsic character and as a curatorial construct.

Portraiture implies an interaction between the sitter and the spectator. It often rehearses an interaction between two or more protagonists and regularly focuses on the interaction between the person(s) represented and his, her, or their surroundings. Portraits—of husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, friends, and colleagues—are often depicted by artists and arranged by curators so as to interact with each other in meaningful ways. As they are created, and once they are completed, portraits (and the figures they represent) interact with their settings: with the studio, the exhibition space, the domestic interior, the public building or square; and with the objects, people, and spaces found in those settings. The same portrait, or portraits of the same sitter, can also find themselves interacting with each other across different media—paint, print sculpture, and more.

Furthermore, curators are continually thinking about the ways in which the portraits they display—and the individuals these pictures portray—will relate with each other across and around a gallery. The Thornton Portrait Gallery at the Huntington and the galleries at the Yale Center for British Art exemplify portraiture's continuing forms of interaction: implied and actual, pictorial and physical, and formal and figural.

This symposium, which is jointly organized by the Yale Center for British Art, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, will use the rich collections at the Center and the Huntington and the different concepts of interaction outlined above as points of departure and return, in order to open up new approaches to the history and workings of British portraiture up to the present.