Review: Bellows and the Body: the Real, the Ideal and the Nude

Inspired by and focused on the George Bellows collection—recently acquired by the Barber Institute—this symposium brought together international academics to discuss art and culture of Bellows’ America. Bellows was arguably one of the most acclaimed American artists of his generation and the most prominent member of the Ashcan School. The event brought together discussion of Bellows and his work with more practical aspects of curation and acquisition, providing a fascinating insight into the value and importance of the collection. Continue reading

Book Review: Against Self-Reliance: The Arts of Dependence in the Early United States by William Huntting Howell

Stressing in his introduction that his concern is the ‘facts on the ground’ (11) in American history, Howell draws on quotidian and largely overlooked aesthetic projects such as the design of coins and schoolgirl samplers to offer some genuinely original work on how creative work in America was consanguineous with the processes of state-building. Continue reading

Review: IAAS Postgraduate Conference, ‘E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One’

One of the first panels of the morning, ‘Form and Function’, was quick to establish a material basis for the theme. All speakers were concerned in some way with the (in)stability of artistic media, especially the ways in which seemingly divergent forms might converge. Continue reading