Murray Seminars Spring Term 2020

We’re pleased to announce the details of this term’s Murray Seminars on Medieval and Renaissance Art at Birkbeck.

Seminars take place at 5pm in the History of Art Department (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) in The Keynes Library (Room 114), unless stated otherwise.  Talks finish by 5.50pm to allow those with other commitments to leave, and are then followed by discussion and refreshments.  These talks are supported by the Murray Bequest in memory of the Department’s founder Peter Murray, and are open to all.

This term’s papers are as follows:

3rd February (previous date 27/01 has been changed):

James Hall, ‘Embattled Exclusivity: the Aesthetics and Politics of Michelangelo’s Attack on Flemish Painting’.

In a dialogue composed by Francisco de Holanda, Michelangelo launches a diatribe against painting produced in Europe north of the Alps, attacking what he sees as its crowdedness and materialism; its lack of order and discrimination; its sentimentality and its popularity with the ignorant and especially with women. This talk explores Michelangelo’s disparagement of Flemish painting within its rich cultural and political context. His antipathy draws on a historic association between those who lived north of the Alps with the Goths and Vandals who destroyed ancient Rome. Their modern mercenary descendants were still invading Italy, and their artforms – musical as well as visual – had done so too. However, Michelangelo’s main concern was less with Flemish art, than with the fact that it was so influential on Italian artists, including Michelangelo himself. To make matters worse, he was working in the Sistine Chapel, filled with supreme products of Flemish culture, and things were not going well.

25th February: Please note this event has now (as at 18 February 2020) been cancelled   

Federico Botana, ‘A gift for Giuliano di Lorenzo de’ Medici? The Aritmetica by Filippo Calandri’ 

The Aritmetica (Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, MS 2669, c. 1485) is one of the most lavish libri d’abbaco (mathematical treatises) that has come down to us from Renaissance Florence. The Aritmetica is illustrated with sixty-five miniatures, many consisting of lively scenes relating to trade, crafts and games. It has been thought that the manuscript was created for Lorenzo di Piero de’ Medici. The evidence that will be presented in this seminar, however, strongly suggests that a member of the Dell’Antella family commissioned the manuscript, and that it was later given to Lorenzo for use by his son Giuliano, the future Duke of Nemours.  In addition to presenting evidence on the original ownership of the manuscript, the paper discusses the contents and readership of libri d’abbaco, and the personality and intellect of Giuliano de’ Medici, which at a young age made him a worthy recipient for such a gift.

16th March:  

Sarah Ferrari ‘Provenance matters: acquisitions of Venetian Renaissance art in Northern Europe between the First and the Second World War’.

This paper sheds new light on the dynamics of the European art market by investigating a group of paintings that were acquired by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden, between 1917 and 1954. The group includes works attributed to Titian, Tintoretto, Schiavone and Veronese, some of which were once part of the celebrated collection of Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689). The paper offers an account of both documentary sources and material aspects, in order to identify the network of collectors and dealers involved, while at the same time analyzing the role of national identity as a driving force in the context of these acquisitions.

We hope to see you soon,

The History of Art Department, Birkbeck

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Art History Sessional Tutors required  – London Region

Art History Sessional Tutors required  – London Region

£24.50 per hour + Benefits

Can you help Britain’s leading adult education charity change people’s lives?

We are the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), a unique charity and the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of adult education. We were recently rated “Good” in all categories by Ofsted and we aspire to be outstanding. Since 1903, we have been offering disadvantaged adults the opportunity to return to learning – inspiring them to realise their full potential and become active, engaged citizens. We deliver courses to 50,000 people in 2,300 locations across England and Scotland. Our focus is on social purpose and change and we achieve this by bringing great teaching to local communities. We run courses in community venues such as workplaces, schools, libraries and even the local pub!

We currently require sessional tutors in our London Region to deliver History of Art courses.

We need tutors with:

  • a subject specialism
  • experience of working in community settings with diverse students
  • a strong understanding of adult learning and a belief in its importance
  • a teaching qualification at least at Level 3 or you will be keen to work towards a teaching qualification
  • excellent interpersonal and organisational skills
  • a desire to share and improve teaching practice
  • Up to date CPD

WEA assumes you will be excited by using digital technology both in the classroom with the student and to manage course administration and communication.

You will be required to have a basic or enhanced DBS check to teach in certain venues or with certain student groups. Because we serve people from all walks of life, we’re keen to develop a diverse workforce and particularly welcome applications from members of minority groups.

Interested? Please visit http://www.wea.org.uk/tutors/work-us and apply directly by sending your CV to rrobshaw@wea.org.uk

If you have any specific questions, please email them to rrobshaw@wea.org.uk

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Murray Seminars: Spring Term 2018

MURRAY SEMINARS – Spring Term 2018

These advanced research seminars are open to all, and attract interested members of the public, staff and students from other London colleges and beyond.  They are an opportunity to hear and contribute to cutting-edge research, often at the very early stages of work in progress.

All this term’s seminars take place in the History of Art Department at Birkbeck (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) in Room 114 (The Keynes Library) at 5pm.  Talks finish by 5.50pm (allowing those with other commitments to leave) and are then followed by discussion and refreshments. This term’s seminars are:

17 January: Carol Richardson

Britons and Anglo-Saxons in Sixteenth-Century Rome: the 1580s fresco cycle at the English College

William Allen referred to Bede’s Ecclesiastical History as a seminarian’s reader because it proved that Christianity in Britain derived directly from the Catholic church in Rome from its very origins. This was an important argument in the context of Tudor persecution of Catholics because of the Protestant assertion that British Christianity had taken root long before the missions of Augustine of Canterbury introduced the corrupted Roman version of Christianity. This paper will consider the earliest part of the fresco cycle in the English College, which survives as printed images, in light of this deliberate historiographical choice.

13 February: Emanuele Lugli

Chasing Absence: The Body of Christ and the Measures to Enter in Touch with it

This talk focuses on the singular devotion for the ‘mensura Christi,’ or the act of praying with objects that reproduced the height of Christ. It explores the reasons for its phenomenal success, from its diffusion in the twelfth century up to its ban in the seventeenth, and the motives for its marginalization in historical accounts today. The talk asks questions about what turns an orthodox veneration into a mere superstition, an inversion that is all the more puzzling given that the ‘mensura Christi’ relies on measuring, one of the methods to fight credulity. The lecture thus reconsiders the relationships of measuring practices, visual belief, and religious orders, thus contributing to discussions on representations, faith, and material studies.

14 March: Luca Palozzi

‘And the great lion walks through his innocent grove’. A cross-disciplinary study of lion paw prints in Giovanni Pisano’s Pisa pulpit

Giovanni Pisano carved animal tracks on the base of one of two lions bearing columns in his pulpit for Pisa Cathedral (1302-1310). Overlooked for more than seven centuries, these are the first naturalistic paw prints carved in marble in post-Classical Western art. This paper presents the initial results of a joint art historical and anatomical study of the Pisa paw prints conducted by Dr Luca Palozzi and Dr Gurå Bergkvist. In so doing, it tackles the much-debated issue of Medieval ‘naturalism’ (and its means) from an unusual perspective. A cross-disciplinary approach, that is, may help us find new answers to long-standing questions.

We hope to see you there.

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Architecture Space and Society Centre Reading Group – 16 March 2017 3-4.30 – The Industrial City

A reminder of the reading group next Thursday:

Our next Architecture Space and Society Centre reading group meeting is on Thursday March 16, 3-4.30pm in the Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Sq. You are all warmly invited to join what promises to be a rich and lively discussion, with the focus on the industrial city. Please also circulate to any PhD students who might be interested.

Discussion will be led by Mark Crinson.  The readings and images are available here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dzepdpmzw253rqe/AADVFnmJTtoeFythr7gx9x02a?dl=0

A message from Mark:

The Industrial City

For our next reading group I have got together some images and texts on the topic of the industrial city. Most of the material is pretty classic stuff on this subject but it could all do with a closer scrutiny and new angles on to it. It includes the following two readings –

Friedrich Engels – extract from The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), pp82-109 in the current Penguin edition.

Elizabeth Gaskell – extract from North and South (1855), chapter 8 ‘Home Sickness’

There are also five images –

James Mudd – ‘The River Irwell from Blackfriars Bridge’ (1859)

James Mudd – untitled photograph of mills in Manchester (c1860)

William Wyld – ‘Manchester from Kersal Moor’ (1857)

AWN Pugin – Contrasted Towns, from Contrasts (1840)

Robert Owen – ‘The Old Moral World and the New Moral World’ (1832) and ‘Plan of a Self Supporting Home Colony’ (1841)

The Architecture Space and Society Reading Group meets once or twice a term to discuss a wide range of texts, sites and questions related to architecture and space, across periods, geographies and disciplines.

All meetings are on Thursday, 3-4.30pm

Upcoming meetings and people taking the lead:
16 March: Mark Crinson, Keynes (see above)
11 May: Lesley McFadyen, Gordon Sq, G02
15 June: Tag Gronberg, Keynes

Dr Leslie Topp
Department of History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/art-history/staff/teaching-staff/topp

Architecture Space and Society Centre

www.twitter.com/LeslieTopp

 

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Architecture Space and Society Centre – Peg Rawes, Housing Biopolitics and Care, Monday 20 March 2017, 6pm

We are delighted to announce our next speaker in the annual Thinkers in Architecture series:

Prof. Peg Rawes, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL: Housing Biopolitics and Care

Monday, 20th March, 6pm, Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck

This talk outlines how Spinoza’s seventeenth-century philosophy constitutes a humane and ethical ratio within a biopolitical discussion of the UK housing crisis.  For Spinoza, ratio constitutes different modes of environmental, corporeal and societal lives. Drawing from Foucault’s writings on technologies of the self, and Spinoza’s geometric essay The Ethics (1677), I explore how Spinoza’s ‘radical enlightenment’ thought has resonance with architects and professionals who challenge the inhumane ratios of inequality that currently form UK housing provision.  For those interested in the talk, you can also watch the film, Equal By Design (2016), in advance.  Co-authored with Beth Lord (Aberdeen), and in collaboration with Lone Star Productions, it is available here: http://www.equalbydesign.co.uk

Peg Rawes is Professor of Architecture and Philosophy, and Programme Director of the Masters in Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. Recent publications include: Equal By Design (2016); ‘Humane and inhumane ratios’ in The Architecture Lobby’s Aysmmetric Labors (2016); Poetic Biopolitics: Practices of Relation in Architecture and the Arts (co-ed., 2016); Relational Architectural Ecologies: Architecture, Nature and Subjectivity (ed., 2013).

All welcome. The event is free of charge. To book a place, click here.

Architecture Space and Society Centre

 

Dr Leslie Topp
Department of History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/art-history/staff/teaching-staff/topp

www.twitter.com/LeslieTopp

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Sonia Solicari, Director of the Geffrye Museum: 13 February 2017, 6-7.30pm

Sonia Solicari, Director of the Geffrye Museum

Monday 13th February 2017,

6-7.30pm,

Keynes Library

Chaired by Dr. Gabriel Koureas

Sonia Solicari is currently Director of The Geffrye Museum of the Home, having joined in January 2017. She was previously Head of the Guildhall Art Gallery and London’s Roman Amphitheatre, where she worked since 2010, delivering a major capital development of the gallery, alongside leading the exhibitions, events and public engagement programmes. Recent exhibitions include Victorians Decoded: Art & Telegraphy; Unseen City: Photos by Martin Parr and No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action, 1960-1990. Previously she worked at the Victoria & Albert Museum, as Curator of Ceramics and Glass (2006-2010) and Assistant Curator of Paintings (2002-2006). Ms Solicari studied English Literature at Royal Holloway; Nineteenth-Century Studies at King’s College and Museum Studies at UCL. Currently she is undertaking a PhD at Birkbeck, University of London, looking at ‘The Domestic Threshold in Art and Culture of the Nineteenth Century’.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/history-of-art-careers-and-employability-masterclasses-tickets-30322869519

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Foundling Museum: Discount for BBK Students Sept-Jan 2016

Professor Lynda Nead from the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck is curating an exhibition that opens on the 25th of September at the Foundling Museum. The Museum has made a very generous discount offer for Birkbeck students:

  • Half-price entry for Birkbeck students if they show their student card at the ticket desk (this is 50% off our concessions rate)
  • 30% discount for Birkbeck students in the museum café

Both offers will run for the duration of the exhibition (25 Sept 15 – 3 Jan 16).

For more information on the exhibition please go to:

http://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/fallen-woman/

G F Watts Found Drowned c 1848-1850  Watts Gallery (2)

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