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A genteel life in trade

artisanal identity is no longer tenable, and ‘the complexity and richness of the lives of early modern craftsmen should not be reduced simply to their labour in the workshop’.2 Did artisans from the building industry, from sawyers and lumber merchants to carpenters, bricklayers and house painters, generally belong to the middling or lower ranks of society? As discussed in the Introduction, the use of the term ‘artisan’ was often imprecise in eighteenth-​century social discourse, embracing the different strata of professional organisation that existed between a master

in Building reputations
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determinations. In this book, artists will thus appear in three different roles: as professional labour migrants, as presumed spokespersons for particular groups of migrants, and as individual artists who articulate subjective perspectives on the world by means of aesthetics. Since the question of how individual and cultural identities are shaped in migration is at the heart of this book, half of its chapters (Chapters 2, 3 and 5) are concerned with the discourse on identity politics in the art world or how artworks can articulate experiences of multiple attachments and evoke

in Migration into art
Art institutions and urban society in Lancashire, 1780–1914

During the nineteenth century industrial Lancashire became a leading national and international art centre. In 1857 Manchester hosted the international Art Treasures Exhibition at Old Trafford, arguably the single most important art exhibition every held. By the end of the century almost every major Lancashire town possessed an art gallery, while Lancashire art schools and artists were recognised nationally and internationally. This book examines the reasons for the remarkable rise of visual art in Lancashire and its relationship to the rise of the commercial and professional classes who supported it. Lancashire is rarely seen by outsiders as a major cultural centre but the creation of a network of art institutions facilitated a vibrant cultural life and shaped the civic identity of its people. The modern industrial towns of Lancashire often looked to the cultural history of other great civilisations to understand the rapidly changing world around them. Roscoe’s Liverpool of the late eighteenth century emulated Medici’s Florence, Fairbairn’s Manchester looked to Rome, while a century later Preston built an art gallery as a tribute to Periclean Athens. Yet the art institutions and movements of the county were also distinctively modern. Many embraced the British fashions of the time, while some looked to new art movements abroad. Art institutions also became a cultural battleground for alternative visions of the future, from those that embraced modern mass production technologies and ‘commercial art’ to those that feared technology and capitalism would destroy artistic creativity and corrode standards of excellence.

From Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry to British Romantic art

The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.

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Art in the first industrial society

for understanding how a variety of cultural and geographical identities can be expressed through artistic patronage and production. Gunn has shown how the specificities of locality and region could be expressed by newly emergent cultural practice and how cultural performances reshaped those identities.11 Although London institutions exercised a powerful influence over the national art market, regional art activity, particularly that in Lancashire, did much to shape the taste for modern British paintings – a trend well established by the early Victorian period

in High culture and tall chimneys

politics to refer to political and ideological arguments that focus on the self-interest and perspectives of artists and groups of artists that have hitherto been marginalised in the West, and especially in Europe, on the basis of their cultural identity and non-Western origin. Obviously, not all artists from any given minority are professionally involved in identity politics. However, this is of minor relevance to the argument developed here, as the focus of this chapter is not the identity of individual artists but a discourse on cultural identity in which artists are

in Migration into art
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Introduction In 1881, the city of Paris sought to establish a furnishing school – the future École Boulle (opened in 1886) – in the very heart of Faubourg SaintAntoine, the city’s center for trade and manufacturing. For this, it attempted to gain the support of professionals already working in the trades, including furniture and upholstery. Legriel and Lemoine, the presidents at the time of the Chambre syndicale de la tapisserie and the Chambre syndicale de l’ameublement, respectively, opposed the project vehemently. Chief among their concerns was the

in Interior decorating in nineteenth-century France

Shonibare, Delhi-based British expatriate Bharti Kher, and Vietnamese-born Danh Vo, who grew up in Denmark, spent the early years of his professional career in Berlin and then became a resident of Mexico City. Stuart Hall’s observation that ‘identities are about questions of using the resources of history, language and culture in the process of becoming rather than being’ is pertinent to the work of all three of these artists.1 While there are obvious differences between their artistic practices and the geopolitical contexts in which they unfold, Kher, Shonibare and Vo

in Migration into art
Identity, difference, representation

the wielding power of the institution, complicated the position of the curators. On the one hand, it positioned curating at the crossroads of privilege and cultural influence, and on the other, as a professional activity determined by several coordinates of identification. Since curatorial work has lasting impact on the (price) value and meaning of art, the artist 173 174 The synthetic proposition highlighted the significance of the curators’ cultural identifications as a way to demarcate class identity. Fraser’s montage exposed something close to the

in The synthetic proposition
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1 The common bond The merging of personal and group identities with specific places, whether they are family homes, neighborhoods or cities, is one of the most commonly accepted yet profoundly significant expressions of the extended self. Yet for all the attention it has received over the years from both design professionals and academic researchers of diverse backgrounds, the source of these ties remains a mystery, only partially resolved according to the interests of whichever profession or discipline is concerned. The chapter begins with an examination of the

in The extended self