Category Archives: Uncategorized

Book Launch: ‘Black but Human’: Slavery and Visual Arts in Hapsburg Spain, 1480–1700′ by Carmen Fracchia, Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck University of London, 23 November 2019, 3–5pm

A book launch and Q&A will be held on the 23 November3–5pm, at the Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck University of London.

In this book launch, Birkbeck scholar Mpalive Msiska will interview Dr Carmen Fracchia, from the Department of Cultures and Languages, about her new book Black but Human: Slavery and Visual Arts in Hapsburg Spain, 1480–1700 (OUP, 2019). This will be followed by a brief conversation between the author and the visual artist Victoria Burgher, who will give a short presentation of her work.

Carmen Fracchia is a Paraguayan academic trained originally in Italian and Spanish Art History at the Universities of Siena and University College London. She is a Reader in Hispanic Art History at Birkbeck. Her work focuses on the visual articulations of Hispanic intellectual, political, and religious thought about local Spanish and transatlantic slavery, freedom, subjectivity, race, and hybridity, with special emphasis to the visual representations of Africans and Afro-Hispanic enslaved and liberated people, such as Juan de Pareja (Antequera, c.1610-Madrid, c.1670).

Mpalive Msiska is a Malawian academic who is a Reader in English and Humanities at Birkbeck where he teaches courses and supervises research work on Post-colonial and Global literatures as well as interdisciplinary subjects. He has previously taught at Bath Spa University and the University of Malawi, among others. His publications include Post-Colonial Identity in Wole Soyinka (2007), Wole Soyinka (1998), Writing and Africa (1997) and The Quiet Chameleon:  A Study of Poetry from Central Africa (1992) and the most recent chapter ‘Divine Ways of Cognition: the Burden of the Poet-Seer in Soyinka’s Idanre,’ in The Soyinka Impulse, eds Duro Oni and Bisi Adigun. He is a member of the Caine Prize Advisory Board, the Council of the British Institute in Eastern Africa as well as the Editorial Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies.

Victoria Burgher is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in East London. She studied at Goldsmiths College (MA) and her politically engaged practice ranges from sculptural installations and site-specific interventions to collaborative community projects. She is interested in art’s ability to challenge histories and a fascination with materials and process inform her approach to making. Current work uses colonial commodities to decolonise the nostalgic narrative of Empire. She exhibits regularly in the UK and Europe.


Attendance is free but booking is necessary. Please click here to book and here for more information.

CFP: Diego de Riaño, Diego Siloé y la Arquitectura en la Transición del Gótico al Renacimiento, Seville-Granada, May 11-15, 2020

CALL FOR PAPERS


Deadline: December 15, 2019

The call for papers is open for the DR-DS 2020 International Congress, which will be hosted in the cities of Seville and Granada, from the 11th to the 15th of May, 2020. The congress will include inaugural and closing conferences by professors Amadeo Serra, from the Universitat de València, and Fernando Marías, from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, as well as a number of highly qualified guest speakers.

The great transformation experienced by Spanish architecture during the reign of Emperor Charles V finds a brilliant and diverse expression in the activity of Diego de Riaño and Diego Siloé. Both masters, one working in the Sevillian metropolis and the other in the former Nasrid capital, the last bastion of Islam on the Peninsula, defined two very different models of operation. Both produced some of the first Spanish buildings with a fully Renaissance language.

This congress proposes to approach these two great architects in the context of the transition to the Renaissance in Spain. They will also serve as a pretext for tackling similar phenomena from a broader perspective, incorporating methodological and historiographic problems within a European framework. The organisers invite national and international researchers to an event that builds a cooperative space for interdisciplinary dialogue, offering an attractive and exciting programme of keynotes and plenary sessions given by experts in the field, with the presentation of unpublished papers selected by a scientific committee. All contributions will be published in an edited volume. Papers are subject to evaluation using a double-blind peer reviewed system to ensure scientific quality.

The congress will be hosted in Seville and Granada. The organization will be responsible for the transport between the two cities. The conference will open on 11 May in Seville. Paper sessions will be accompanied by special visits, for example to the sacristy of Seville cathedral and the city’s town hall, both works by Diego de Riaño. On 13 May sessions will take place in Granada, including a visit to the cathedral, designed by Diego Siloé, and Charles V’s palace, designed by Pedro Machuca.

The conference will focus on the following themes:
General:  
– Theoretical and historiographic approaches.
– Graphic and documentary testimonials.- Science and technology.
– Architecture and city.
– Promoters, patrons, ideologists, artificers.
Specific:     
– Diego de Riaño and Lower Andalusia.
– Diego Siloé and Eastern Andalusia.
– The transition to Renaissance in other areas.

Deadline: December 15, 2019
The abstracts (1000 words maximum, in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French or English) should be sent to: http://gestioneventos.us.es/38059/section/21403/congreso-dr-ds.html

Public lecture: 500 Year Anniversary of Moctezuma and Cortés’ First Meeting, Nottingham Trent University, Friday 8 November 2019, 6 pm

On 8th November 1519, Hernán Cortés and Moctezuma Xocoyotzin met for the first time, and less than two years later, in August 1521, the Spanish had completed their conquest with the aid of thousands of native auxiliaries who fought against the Aztecs. While this anniversary is being commemorated in Spain, Mexico have requested an apology from its former colonial master for the atrocities committed against its indigenous population. As such, this anniversary, and the subsequent anniversaries that will be remembered in the run up to the end of the siege of Tenochtitlán have very different connotations depending on your point of view.

500 years on, this guest panel aims to interrogate the contentious nature of historic anniversaries; the significance of this meeting for the Aztecs and other indigenous Mexicans, and its importance for the Spaniards and the narrative that it would help create. The guest speakers are: Greg Jenner, public historian, author and historical adviser for Horrible Histories; Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock, the UK’s leading Aztec specialist; and NTU History’s Dr Amy Fuller, who has published and lectured on the Conquest of Mexico.

The 3 speakers will be delivering a lecture of approximately 1 hour (20 minutes each) on different aspects of the significance of the 500 year anniversary, followed by a Q&A and reception for further questions/networking opportunities.

Sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Religion and Conflict.

Free, booking required. This event will take place at LT5, Newton Building, City Campus, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU. For more information and to reserve a place, please click here.

New Publication: Kirstin Kennedy, Alfonso X of Castile-León: Royal Patronage, Self-Promotion and Manuscripts in Thirteenth-century Spain (Amsterdam University Press, 2019)

Alfonso X ‘the Learned’ of Castile (1252–1284) was praised in his lifetime as a king who devoted himself to discovering all worldly and divine knowledge. He commissioned chronicles and law codes and composed poems to the Virgin Mary, he gathered together Jewish scholars to translate works of Arab astrology and astronomy, and he founded a university of Latin and Arabic studies at Seville. Moreover, according to his nephew Juan Manuel, Alfonso was careful to ensure that ‘he had leisure to look into things he wanted for himself’. The level of his personal involvement in this literary activity marks him out as an exceptional patron in any period. However, Alfonso’s relationship with the arts also had much in common with that of other thirteenth-century European royal patrons, among them his first cousin, Louis IX of France. Like his contemporaries, he relentlessly used literary works as a vehicle to promote his royal status and advance his claim to the imperial crown. His motivation for the foundation of the university at Seville was arguably political rather than educational, and instead of promoting institutional learning during his reign, Alfonso preferred to direct the messages about his kingship in the lavish manuscripts he patronized to a restricted, courtly audience. Yet such was the interest of the works he commissioned, that those who could obtain copies did so, even if these were still incomplete drafts. Three codices traditionally held to have been copied for Alfonso in fact show how this learning reserved for the few began to filter out beyond the Learned King’s immediate circle.

Kirstin Kennedy is a curator of metalwork (specializing in silver) at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She previously held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at King’s College London, in the Department of Spanish and Spanish American Studies (2000–2003).

Please click here for more information.

Job: Professor and Director of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, School of Modern Languages and Cultures Durham University, UK, deadline 17th January 2020

Responsible to: Head of Department

Grade: Grade 10

Salary Range: Competitive salary based on our professorial Pay Scales (starting at £64,606 and going considerably higher based on experience)

Working arrangements: The role is full time, but we will consider requests for flexible working arrangements including potential job shares.

Open date: 30 September 2019

Closing date: 17 January 2020 at 12pm midday     

Preferred start date: Successful candidates will ideally be in post by 01 September 2020.

We are seeking an outstanding academic leader and scholar in Spanish and Latin American Art and/or Visual Culture to direct the interdisciplinary Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, a collaborative venture with The Auckland Project.

The Director will be an internationally recognised authority in her/his field who will act as an intellectual entrepreneur, developing academic contacts within Durham University, as well as nationally and internationally, and work in close collaboration with The Auckland Project’s forthcoming Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland – the central impetus for the creation of the Zurbarán Centre – on research, programming, and the development of joint initiatives. The Director will be located in an appropriate academic department of Durham University (Faculty of Arts and Humanities).

Auckland Castle, at the heart of The Auckland Project, is one of the most important working episcopal palaces in Europe, the seat of the Prince Bishops of Durham since the twelfth century. For more than 250 years, Auckland Castle has been home to the internationally significant cycle of masterpieces from the Spanish Golden Age, Jacob and his Twelve Sons by Francisco de Zurbarán, the inspiration for The Zurbarán Centre. Financier Jonathan Ruffer set up Auckland Castle Trust in 2012 (now The Auckland Project) to secure the future of the Zurbaráns in Bishop Auckland.

Durham University formally established the Zurbarán Centre in October 2016. The Centre’s collaboration with the Spanish Gallery will provide an unusual opportunity to combine engagement with connoisseurship of a new permanent collection with scholarship of, particularly, Golden Age art, playing to Durham University’s established strengths in Spanish and Latin American studies. The Centre is an embedded part of Durham University located in Bishop Auckland, where the Director will be primarily based.

This represents an exciting opportunity to further the ambitions of both partner organisations to become the leading home for the study and appreciation of Spanish and Latin American art. Over the past three years, the Centre has fostered research in Spanish and Latin American art in a global context, with a special focus on the art of Medieval Spain, the Spanish Golden Age, Mexican national art, the 19th-century history of collecting, and Spanish and Latin American cinema and photography.

Celebrating the Prado: A Day of Special Events at the National Gallery, London, 30 September 2019

The National Gallery will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Spain’s foremost artistic institution, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, with a day of special events. Read below or click here to discover what’s on.

In conversation: Celebrating 200 years of the Prado

Lunchtime talk, Sainsbury Wing Theatre, National Gallery, London, Monday 30 September 2019, 1–1.45pm

Miguel Falomir © Archivo Fotográfico. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Discover Madrid’s Prado Museum: past, present and future. Miguel Falomir, Director of the Prado Museum, Madrid, joins Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, to discuss the history and dynamic future of Spain’s most eminent art museum, which celebrates its bicentenary this year.

Click here for more information.

Picasso and the Prado

Lunchtime talk, Sainsbury Wing Theatre, National Gallery, London, Monday 30 September 2019, 2–2.45pm

Pablo Picasso in Antibes, Summer 1946

The Prado Museum in Madrid held a special place in Picasso’s heart and mind. As a young artist he visited the museum many times, drawn to the world of El Greco and Velázquez. Later, in 1936, the Spanish Republic awarded him the title of Honorary Director-in-Exile of the Prado Museum in gratitude for his support. In 1957 he created a series of 58 variations of Velázquez’s ‘Las Meninas’, the iconic work in the Prado. Art historian Gijs van Hensbergen tells the story of Picasso’s life-long relationship with the Prado.

Click here for more information.

Black and light: Discover the mystique of the Prado Museum by night

Film Screening and Q&A, Sainsbury Wing Theatre, National Gallery, London, Monday 30 September 2019, 3–5.20pm

© 2017- Alvaro Perdices

Join award-winning film-maker Álvaro Perdices for a screening of his stunning 2015 film ‘Negro y Luz’, an artistic essay on darkness and light exploring the Prado Museum at night.

3 pm Introduction to the film with Álvaro Pedrices
3.10 pm Film showing of Negro y Luz (2015)
5.30 pm Q&A with Álvaro Perdices
5.40 pm Close

Click here for more information.

Closing Soon: Balenciaga and Spanish Painting, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, until 22 September 2019

Francisco de Zurbarán
Saint Casilda, ca. 1635
Oil on canvas. 171 x 107 cm
© Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

The Spanish fashion designer’s approach to his designs was informed by his lifelong love of art sparked by his youthful admiration of the paintings owned by clients of his seamstress mother, in particular the Marquis and Marchioness of Casa Torres, who spent their summers in the Palacio Aldamar (also known as Vista Ona) in Getaría. Three of the paintings on display in this exhibition, and loaned by the Prado, were in that collection: Head of an Apostle by Velázquez; Saint Sebastian by El Greco; and Cardinal Luis María de Borbón y Vallabriga by Goya. The latter establishes a dialogue with a magnificent red dress suit with a short jacket loaned from the Museo del Traje in Madrid. Balenciaga frequently drew on the heritage of his Spanish homeland, going further than adding flamenco ruffles to his dresses and seeking inspiration by re-imagining bull fighters’ jackets. The exhibition explores the influence of four centuries of Spanish painting on the couturier’s work. Zurbarán was one inspiration, his drapery influencing Balenciaga’s bold sashes. In 1939 Velázquez’s portraits of the Infanta Magarita were reinterpreted by the dress designer’s work. Also notable is the interaction between a spectacular blue silk evening gown and cape and the mantle of the same colour seen in The Immaculate Conception by Murillo from the Arango collection. The curator Eloy Martínez de la Pera, has drawn together some 90 examples of Balenciaga’s work alongside 55 paintings, including works by El Greco, Murillo, Goya and the nineteenth-century artist Antonio María Esquivel. Paintings have been lent by the Prado, Bilbao, Seville and Valencia and costumes, some of which have never been displayed before and designs have been lent by the Balenciaga Museum in his hometown in Getaría, and archives in Paris. The exhibition also explores the impact of Philip II’s court making the use of black fashionable for clothing throughout Europe, and how Balenciaga chose to transform it in his own way. As the magazine Harper’s Bazaar wrote in 1938: “at the new Spanish house Balenciaga [in Paris] the black is so black that it hits you like a blow. Thick Spanish black, almost velvety, a night without stars, which makes the ordinary black seem almost grey.”

Click here for more information.