Men and Boys with Advertising Boards, George Scharf

Paintings, Peepshows, and Porcupines: Exhibitions in London 1775–1851 - Conference

Fri., Sep. 17, 2021 | 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Rothenberg Hall
Event Notes: 
Registration: $25 | Students: Free
Add to Calendar 09/17/2021 08:30 AM 09/17/2021 05:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Paintings, Peepshows, and Porcupines: Exhibitions in London 1775–1851 - Conference Visit page - The Huntington - Rothenberg Hall

**Please note this event has been postponed until further notice.**
All registrants have been issued a full refund.

In late 18th- and 19th-century London, works of art were embedded in an exhibitionary landscape consisting of the richest imaginable array of artifacts, environments, and living creatures. Even as art historians have valorized the expressive possibilities of alternative display venues so central to avant-garde identity, the appearance of paintings in the precincts of commercial entertainment has, for many years, been consigned to a position of marginal curiosity in the history of art. This conference explores the integration of artworks into an exhibitionary ecosystem in which the heterogeneity of display blurred hierarchical divisions between high and mass culture, art and commerce, and natural and art history. An international group of distinguished scholars will rethink some of our fundamental assumptions about exhibitions and the corpus of objects they have furnished.

Registration: $25 | Students: Free | Optional lunch available for purchase Friday and Saturday

Funding provided by The William French Smith Endowment.

Conference Schedule


9:30 a.m. - Welcome: Steve Hindle, The Huntington
Opening remarks: Catherine Roach, Virginia Commonwealth University; Jordan Bear, University of Toronto

10 a.m. - Session 1: The Landscape of Art Exhibitions
Moderator: Jordan Bear, University of Toronto

Mark Hallett, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
"John Constable and Exhibition Culture"

Catherine Roach, Virginia Commonwealth University
"Turner v. Turner: RIval Displays in 1837"

12 p.m. - Lunch

1 p.m.- Session 2: Sensations and Sensibilities
Moderator: Morna O'Neill, Wake Forest University

Holly Shaffer, Brown University
"A Fragrant Exhibition at the Oriental Club, London"

Zirwat Chowdhury, University of California, Los Angeles
"Francis Hayman's Historic Paintings at Vauxhall Gardens"

3 p.m. - Break

3:15 p.m. - Session 3: Breaking Bodies
Moderator: Melinda McCurdy, The Huntington

Meredith Gamer, Columbia University
"Manners of Viewing: Paint, Print, and the Spectacle of Death"

Adam Eaker, Metropolitan Museum of Art
"The Art of Marring a Face: Exhibiting Boxers in Georgian London"


9:30 a.m. - Session 4: Metropolitan/Provincial/Imperial
Moderator: Catherine Roach, Virginia Commonwealth University

Alison FitzGerald, Maynooth Univeristy
"Centers and Peripheries: Exhibiting London's 'Marvels' in Britain's 'Second City'"

John Plunkett, University of Exeter
"Performing Pictures: Peepshows, Panoramas and Provincial Britain"

Rosie Dias, University of Warwick
"Imaginative Geographies of Empire: Visualising South Asia in London"

12 p.m. - Lunch

1 p.m. - Session 5: Negotiating Difference
Moderator: Adam Eaker, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ann Bermingham, University of California, Santa Barbara
"Ethnographic Entertainment: George Catlin's Indian Gallery"

Nicholas Robbins, University College London
"Figuring Race at the Egyptian Hall"

2:30 p.m. - Break

2:45 p.m. - Session 6: Mixing and Matching: Art in the Company of Science and Industry
Moderator: Emily Talbot, Norton Simon Museum

Jordan Bear, University of Toronto
"The Altarpiece and the Sea Serpent: Two Evidentiary Strategies in Nineteenth-Century London Exhibitions"

Morna O'Neill, Wake Forest University
"Still Lives: Art and Industry on Display circa 1851"

4:45 p.m. - Closing Remarks and Q&A
Moderator: Steve Hindle, The Huntington