CFP: Transgression and Liminality in Iberian and Latin American Art: Emerging Researchers’ Symposium, Durham University, 7 and 8 July 2022

Durham University’s Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art invites doctoral students to submit proposals for presentations at the centre’s second Emerging Researchers Symposium, taking place at Durham University on 7 and 8 July. The aim of the event is to stimulate engaging and interdisciplinary conversations amongst international postgraduate students engaged with Hispanic art and visual culture. It offers an opportunity for participants to discuss their work-in-progress projects, to receive feedback from others, to learn about new research by their fellow researchers, and to hear leading keynotes by established scholars or curators. The event will also offer opportunities to explore the significant holdings of Spanish art in County Durham.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute presentations focusing on the theme of ‘Transgression and Liminality’. Proposals may relate to any aspects and periods of Iberian and Latin American art and visual culture. Possible topics may include (but are not limited to) :

  • Borders and Borderlands: Geopolitical encounters
  • Transgressing Societal and Religious Boundaries
  • Invading the Borders of the Mind and the Body
  • Trespassing and Bounding Artistic Movements and Techniques
  • Liminality and Polemics in Artistic Thought and Reception

Organised by Durham University doctoral students, the symposium will be held as a hybrid event in Durham for in-person and virtual attendees. We encourage speakers to attend the event in person, rather than online, in order to maximise intellectual exchange and networking and to enable visits to local collections, in particular The Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland and/or the Bowes Museum.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a 50-word biography to pg.zurbarancentre@durham.ac.uk by Thursday 10th March 2022. Please indicate whether you intend to attend the symposium in person or remotely. If you have any queries regarding the submission process, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us using the email provided.

Download a PDF version of the CFP here

TONIGHT: Zurbaran Centre-ARTES Seminar | José Ramón Marcaida, Painters’ artimañas. Ingenuity and technique in the age of Velázquez, 9 February 2022, 6.00 PM

A brief reminder that the fifth seminar of our 2022 online Research Seminar Series will take place today at 6.00 PM, UK time.   

José Ramón Marcaida, Painters’ artimañas. Ingenuity and technique in the age of Velázquez

Using the early modern notion of ingenuity (ingenio, in Spanish) as a vantage point, this paper will explore a number of interconnected themes associated with the practice of painting – matters of technique, in particular– in seventeenth-century Spain. In invoking the notion of ingenuity, my aim is to emphasise not only issues of creativity and invention but also, and especially, resourcefulness and craftiness. Thus, in this account artists will be characterised as cunning manipulators of materials and procedures, that is, masters of art and artfulness working for an audience familiarised with, and appreciative of, demonstrations of skill and finesse.

José Ramón Marcaida is a professor at the Instituto de Historia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC).

The session will be moderated by Piers Baker-Bates, chair of ARTES.

Register herehttps://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=i9hQcmhLKUW-RNWaLYpvlNMF-qNhnXNCmAShgOHLsKdUREU0M0RJTjAzSUpIVlFaTzZWRlQzSlQwSy4u

The seminar series has been jointly organised by the Zurbarán Centre and the ARTES Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group in association with the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes.

The event is free and open to all. Please click here for the full programme and more information on the seminar series.

TONIGHT: Zurbarán Centre-ARTES Seminar | Dr. Maite Barragán, Surrealism and Essentialism in Giménez Caballero’s Esencia de Verbena, 2 February 2022, 6.00 PM

A brief reminder that the fourth seminar of our 2022 online Research Seminar Series will take place today at 6.00 PM, UK time.   

Dr. Maite Barragán, Assistant Professor, (Albright College), Surrealism and Essentialism in Giménez Caballero’s Esencia de Verbena

This paper presents how Esencia de verbena also used aesthetic choices to convey an ambiguous political message that become clear when considering how the short was exhibited upon a national and international stage. References to contemporary aesthetics befit the film’s intended audience composed of the attendees of the 1930 avant-garde International Film Congress celebrated in Brussels. Esencia de verbena elevates the fairs, characterized by their combination of religious devotion with sensuous appetites, to signifiers of Spain as a Surrealist nation. Giménez Caballero reassigns meanings to historical monuments and anachronistic traditions and aligns them to the subversion and eroticism appreciated by Surrealists. Thus, the film’s aesthetics imbued Spanish difference with avant-garde relevance.

The session will be moderated by Piers Baker-Bates, chair of ARTES

Register herehttps://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=i9hQcmhLKUW-RNWaLYpvlNMF-qNhnXNCmAShgOHLsKdUREU0M0RJTjAzSUpIVlFaTzZWRlQzSlQwSy4u

The seminar series has been jointly organised by the Zurbarán Centre and the ARTES Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group in association with the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes.

The event is free and open to all. Please click here for the full programme and more information on the seminar series.

In Memoriam from the NYU Institute of Fine Arts | JONATHAN BROWN: A LIFE, by Richard Kagan, Robert Lubar, and Edward J. Sullivan

Jonathan Brown was a pioneering art historian who brought the study of both Spanish and Viceregal Mexican art to wide public and academic attention with his teaching, voluminous writing and exhibition curating, from the 1960s until the present decade. He died at home in Princeton, New Jersey on January 17, 2022. Jonathan Brown was the son of Jean (Levy) Brown and Leonard Brown, well known collectors of Dada, Surrealist, Fluxus, and especially Abstract Expressionist art. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on July 15, 1939. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, he became interested in Spanish language and literature. His love of Spanish art was fostered by classes at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, where he attended New York University’s junior year in Spain program in 1958-59. Brown received his PhD in art history in 1964 from Princeton where he taught in the Department of Art and Archaeology from 1965 to 1973. 

Jonathan Brown and Sandra Backer were married in 1966. Their house in Princeton, New Jersey, has been the family home for many years. Jonathan was recruited by NYU to be Director (1973-78) of the Institute of Fine Arts, the university’s graduate center for the study of art history and fine arts conservation. He remained at the Institute until his retirement in 2017, serving as the Caroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts. Brown instructed several generations of advanced students in his field, many of whom went on to have prestigious careers as academics, museum curators and directors. His fundamental books and exhibition catalogues on the greatest figures of Spain’s “Golden Age,” including El Greco, Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán, Jusepe de Ribera and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, among others, earned him praise at home and abroad. Brown’s 1991 survey The Golden Age of Painting in Spain (expanded in 1998 and published as Painting in Spain 1500-1700) remains the standard volume on the subject. 

Brown’s art historical methodology, with its emphasis on such contextual issues as patronage, the demands of the art market, changing currents of spiritual belief, along with intellectual, political and social milieu in which artists lived and worked, offered new, often bold interpretations. His openness to both interdisciplinary approaches and scholarly collaboration is abundantly evident in the book A Palace for a King: The Buen Retiro and the Court of Philip IV, written with renowned British historian John Elliott and published first in 1980 with an expanded version in 2003.

In Spain, Brown was both a revered and a sometimes-controversial figure. His analyses of art, highlighting socio-political, economic and religious readings, were often at odds with the more traditional form of descriptive art history that was the rule in Spain until recent decades. Established Spanish scholars often questioned the value and importance of Brown’s ideas and expansive understanding of Spanish culture, but they held enormous appeal for a younger generation of scholars eager to turn their backs on the isolation imposed by the Franco regime. Many of them, including the current director of the Prado Museum, Miguel Falomir, found their way to New York to attend Brown’s seminars at the IFA. Brown’s numerous collaborations with Spanish museums, joint projects with Spanish colleagues, and the prestige of his writings (many of his books quickly appeared in Spanish editions) made him into an “art historical legend” in the country he knew and loved so well. 

Over the course of his career Brown received numerous honors including the Medalla de Oro de Bellas Artes (1986); Comendador de la Orden de Isabel la Católica (1986); the Grand Cross of Alfonso X (1996); The Sorolla Medal from the Hispanic Society of America (2008); and recognition by the College Art Association of America in 2011 as Distinguished Scholar.  Brown was elected a Corresponding Member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Madrid), a Member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos (Valencia) and, in 1988, membership in the American Philosophical Society.  Between 1986 and 1996 he served on the Board of Directors of the Spanish Institute in New York City.

Among the themes closest to Brown was the phenomenon of collecting. His 1994 Andrew W. Mellon Lectures given at the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.) were published in 1995 as Kings and Connoisseurs: Collecting Art in Seventeenth Century Europe. This was also the subject of a 2002 exhibition at the Prado, organized in collaboration with Sir John Elliott. Brown’s passion for this subject led to the founding in 2007 (following Brown’s inspiration) of the Institute for the History of Collecting at The Frick Collection and the Frick Art Reference Library. Brown organized five exhibitions at the Frick, including the popular show “Goya’s Last Works” (with Susan Grace Galassi). His re-assessment of the final paintings and graphic work of this great eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artist mirrored the acuity that Brown had brought to his analysis of earlier Iberian master painters.

Beginning in 1994 Jonathan Brown’s attentions turned to the Spanish American world. An invitation to teach at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City provided the opportunity to examine firsthand masterpieces of what has been called “colonial art,” a mode of painting that Brown insisted on calling “Viceregal,” a term that has since gained considerable traction. His courses at the Institute of Fine Arts, his public lectures and his participation in a ground-breaking exhibition “Pintura de los reinos” (Painting in the Spanish Realms”), at the Prado and in Mexico City, attested to his new-found passion for Latin American art of the Early Modern era. In the spring of 2013, he curated the exhibition “Mexican Art at the Louvre: Masterpieces from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.” 2015 saw the publication of Brown’s co-authored (with Luisa Elena Alcalá and other contributors) volume entitled Painting in Latin America, 1550-1829. His final publication attested to his wide-ranging interests within his first love, the art of Spain. No solo Velázquez (2020) was compiled by Estrella de Diego and Robert Lubar Messeri and contained an author’s prologue and nineteen Spanish language versions of Brown’s essays concerning painting, sculpture and architecture from the late Middle Ages to Picasso. In his introduction Brown stated that “My principal stimulus was the desire to reintegrate Spanish art within its European context.”

Jonathan Brown is survived by his wife Sandra, his children Claire, Michael and Daniel and their spouses David, Jamie and Sarah and his four grandchildren, Benjamin, Leo, Jake and Max. 

Obituary by Richard Kagan, Robert Lubar, and Edward J. Sullivan, republished from the IFA

Sir John Elliott Fellowship in Early Modern Spanish Studies (fixed-term)

Exeter College (part of the University of Oxford) invites applications for the Sir John Elliott Fellowship in Early Modern Spanish Studies. This post is made possible through the generosity of Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica (CEEH).

The Fellowship will be tenable for a period of 36 months from 1 September 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The main duties of the post are to engage in advanced study and research in the area of Early Modern Spanish Studies – specifically, into some aspect of Spanish cultural expression between 1450 and 1700.  Culture is understood as including literature, visual & performing arts, material culture and history of knowledge. The Fellow will build an international research profile through innovative original research, preparing work for publication (in monographs and/ or journals), and participating in international conferences. The postholder will also be a member of the Governing Body at Exeter College, with associated administrative and Trustee duties.

There will be no teaching obligation attached to the Fellowship, although the postholder will be welcome to do a limited amount of teaching within the collegiate University if they wish to do so, and especially where such teaching experience will enhance the career development of the postholder.

For more information, please see the fellowship’s webpage: https://www.exeter.ox.ac.uk/vacancies/sir-john-elliott-fellowship-in-early-modern-spanish-studies-fixed-term/

Deadline: 12pm noon (GMT) on Monday 28 February 2022.

TOMORROW: Iberian History at Oxford Online Seminar – Charlene Villaseñor Black – Verdant Worlds: Art and Sustainability across the Cosmos, 26 January 2022, 4:30-6 pm, via Zoom

Charlene Villaseñor Black is Professor of Art History and Chicano/a Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and is currently Terra Visiting Professor of American Art, 2021-22 at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the art of the early modern Ibero-American world as well as contemporary Chicanx visual culture. Her publications include the books Creating the Cult of St. Joseph: Art and Gender in the Spanish Empire (2006); (with Mari-Tere Álvarez) Renaissance Futurities: Art, Science, Invention (2019); Knowledge for Justice: An Ethnic Studies Reader (2020); and Chicano Studies Reader (2020). Currently she is finishing a new monograph, titled Transforming Saints, from New Spain to Spain.

For more details and to register, please click here: https://iberianhistory.web.ox.ac.uk/event/charlene-villasenor-black-verdant-worlds-art-and-sustainability-across-the-cosmos

This is the first in a four-part seminar series hosted by Iberian History at Oxford focused on art history and visual culture. For more information please see their website: https://iberianhistory.web.ox.ac.uk/upcoming-talks

Zurbaran Centre-ARTES Seminar Series | Joaquín Sorolla in perspective – 26 January 2022, 6.00 PM

We are pleased to announce that the third seminar of our 2022 online Research Seminar Series will take place on Wednesday 26 January at 6.00 PM, UK time.   

Joaquín Sorolla in pespective

This seminar will explore the work of one of Spain’s most important fin-de-siècle painters. It will take the format of three short presentations followed by a roundtable discussion.

Speakers:

Daniel Sobrino Ralston (National Gallery, London), ‘Sorolla and Emulation’.

Gail Turner Mooney (Independent Scholar), ‘Sorolla and his Letters’.

Claudia Hopkins (Durham University), ‘Sorolla at the Alhambra’.

The session will be moderated by Piers Baker-Bates, chair of ARTES.

Register here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=i9hQcmhLKUW-RNWaLYpvlNMF-qNhnXNCmAShgOHLsKdUREU0M0RJTjAzSUpIVlFaTzZWRlQzSlQwSy4u

The seminar series has been jointly organised by the Zurbarán Centre and the ARTES Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group in association with the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes.

The event is free and open to all. Please click here for the full programme and more information on the seminar series.

TODAY 6:00 PM – Zurbaran Centre/ARTES Seminar Series | Museum Director’s Lecture: Manuel Borja Villel (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía), Towards a Situated Museum 

A brief reminder that the second seminar of our 2022 online Research Seminar Series will take place today at 6.00 PM, UK time.   

The Instituto Cervantes Museum Director Lecture: 

Dr Manuel Borja-Villel, Towards a Situated Museum

Dr Manuel Borja Villel has been director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS) in Madrid since 2008.

Abstract: We often imagine an artistic construct in which the other speaks with us, when that is not really the case. It is not enough to represent the other; we must seek out forms of mediation that are simultaneously examples and concrete practices of new forms of solidarity and relation. This implies replacing the linear, one-way, and exclusive narration with one that is plural and rhizomatic, where differences are not only annulled but interlaced. It also implies transgressing established genres and canons, as well as extending the artistic experience beyond contemplation and including projects that are not limited to the context of the art world or reduced to established institutional settings. If the main objective of cultural and even artistic institutions is to seek beyond, seeking out innovation and what emerges anywhere in order to tame it and transform it into merchandise, then the new institutional sphere should have an open and explicitly political dimension. It should be open to this multiplicity, simultaneously protecting its interests and favoring ethical, political, and creative surpluses that are antagonistic in a shared space.

Register here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=i9hQcmhLKUW-RNWaLYpvlNMF-qNhnXNCmAShgOHLsKdUREU0M0RJTjAzSUpIVlFaTzZWRlQzSlQwSy4u

The seminar series has been jointly organised by the Zurbarán Centre and the ARTES Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group in association with the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes.

The event is free and open to all. Please click here for the full programme and more information on the seminar series.

Zurbaran Centre/ARTES Seminar Series | Carolina Miguel Arroyo (Museo del Romanticismo), National Museum of Romanticism. New approaches and challenges in studies of Spanish art, 13 January 2022, 6.00 PM

We are pleased to announce that the first seminar of our 2022 online Research Seminar Series will take place on Thursday, 13 January at 6.00 PM, UK time.   

The Instituto Cervantes Museum Director Lecture:

Dr Carolina Miguel Arroyo: “The National Museum of Romanticism. New approaches and challenges in studies of Spanish art”

Over the last decades, studies of nineteenth-century Spanish art have undergone significant developments. As a nearly centenary institution, the history of the National Museum of Romanticism (Madrid) reveals both the historiography of nineteenth-century Spanish art and the everyday life in that period.

Dr Carolina Miguel Arroyo is the Director of the National Museum of Romanticism in Madrid.

Register here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=i9hQcmhLKUW-RNWaLYpvlNMF-qNhnXNCmAShgOHLsKdUREU0M0RJTjAzSUpIVlFaTzZWRlQzSlQwSy4u

The seminar series has been jointly organised by the Zurbarán Centre and the ARTES Iberian and Latin American Visual Culture Group in association with the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes.

The event is free and open to all. Please click here for the full programme and more information on the seminar series.