Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, University of Reading, 11-13 April 2013
‘Image, Identity and Institutions: The Male Artist in Nineteenth-Century Britain’
The figure of the male artist in the nineteenth-century was a locus for various concerns surrounding the construction of masculinity: the issue of labour and production; the role of the patron and marketplace; professional rivalry and support; and the gendering of aesthetics to name a few. Herbert Sussman, in Victorian Masculinities: Manhood and Masculine Poetics in Early Victorian Literature and Art (1995), has explored the significance of the artist in relation to nineteenth-century formations of ‘masculine poetics’, defined in relation to normative bourgeois masculinities. This session seeks to explicitly link representations of male artists – visual, literary, fictional, (auto)biographical – to nineteenth-century constructions of masculinity, as well as to nineteenth-century art practices and institutions. From the nineteenth century through to the present day there exist various tropes for interpreting or figuring the male artist – Romantic, Bohemian, genius, celebrity and so on – as well as more marginal tropes, for example those articulated by Walter Pater. We invite participants to consider the usefulness of these, and other, models in papers exploring the figure of the male artist in the nineteenth century in relation to discursive formations of masculinity.
Please send proposals for 30-minute papers to both convenors by 12 November 2012. Proposals should be sent using the paper proposal form at http://www.aah.org.uk/annual-conference/sessions2013.