Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Abstract only
Assembling an ecocritical art history
Author: Andrew Patrizio

The ecological eye aims to align the discipline of art history with ecology, climate change, the Anthropocene and the range of politics and theoretical positions that will help to ground such an approach. It looks both backwards and forwards in order to promote the capacities of close attention, vital materialism, nonhierarchy, care and political ecology. The book seeks to place the history of art alongside its ecocritical colleagues in other humanities disciplines. Three main directions are discussed: the diverse histories of art history itself, for evidence of exemplary work already available; the politics of social ecology, Marxist ecologies and anarchy, showing its largely untapped relevance for work in art history and visual culture; and finally, emerging work in posthumanism and new materialism, that challenges unhelpful hierarchies across the human, animal, botanical and geological spheres. The ecological eye concludes with an appeal to the discipline to respond positively to the environmental justice movement.

Preserving and reinventing traditions of learning in the Middle Ages

This edited collection explores how knowledge was preserved and reinvented in the Middle Ages. Unlike previous publications, which are predominantly focused either on a specific historical period or on precise cultural and historical events, this volume, which includes essays spanning from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, is intended to eschew traditional categorisations of periodisation and disciplines and to enable the establishment of connections and cross-sections between different departments of knowledge, including the history of science (computus, prognostication), the history of art, literature, theology (homilies, prayers, hagiography, contemplative texts), music, historiography and geography. As suggested by its title, the collection does not pretend to aim at inclusiveness or comprehensiveness but is intended to highlight suggestive strands of what is a very wide topic. The chapters in this volume are grouped into four sections: I, Anthologies of Knowledge; II Transmission of Christian Traditions; III, Past and Present; and IV, Knowledge and Materiality, which are intended to provide the reader with a further thematic framework for approaching aspects of knowledge. Aspects of knowledge is mainly aimed to an academic readership, including advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, and specialists of medieval literature, history of science, history of knowledge, history, geography, theology, music, philosophy, intellectual history, history of the language and material culture.

Margaret C. Flinn

This article traces what Élie Faure believed to be the racial, ethnic and geographic origins of art. Influenced by the writings of Gobineau and Taine, he asserts that the taxonomisation of species provides a model for the taxonomisation of artistic productions. The mixing of various races is evidenced in their artistic production, with the relative presence or absence of the rhythmic serving as an index for the presence or absence of certain types of blood, or racial/ethnic origins. Similarly, the qualities of the land where art is produced results in visible effects upon the (artistic) forms created by the people living in that geographic area. Métissage is considered a positive characteristic, and cinema the apogee of modern artistic production because of its integration of machine rhythms into the rhythms of human gesture.

Film Studies
Artists’ Printed Portraits and Manuscript Biographies in Rylands English MS 60
Edward Wouk

Rylands English MS 60, compiled for the Spencer family in the eighteenth century, contains 130 printed portraits of early modern artists gathered from diverse sources and mounted in two albums: 76 portraits in the first volume, which is devoted to northern European artists, and 54 in the second volume, containing Italian and French painters. Both albums of this ‘Collection of Engravings of Portraits of Painters’ were initially planned to include a written biography of each artist copied from the few sources available in English at the time, but that part of the project was abandoned. This article relates English MS 60 to shifting practices of picturing art history. It examines the rise of printed artists’ portraits, tracing the divergent histories of the genre south and north of the Alps, and explores how biographical approaches to the history of art were being replaced, in the eighteenth century, by the development of illustrated texts about art.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Charles Gaines by way of conclusion
Nizan Shaked

oppression. Often assumed, but rarely stated as such, this perspective has influenced formalist, social, and poststructuralist art history, perpetuating an atmosphere of anti-identity politics with much-confused consequences. Conceived as an anti-subjective and therefore an anti-idenitiarian mechanism, in many ways Conceptual Art came to epitomise a Left-leaning outlook within the history of art, despite the many challenges to its claims. Aiming to intervene into the structure of art’s meaning, Conceptual artists attempted to Charles Gaines by way of conclusion undo

in The synthetic proposition
Andrew Patrizio

Anthropogenic climate change very clearly – in the sense that in this ‘knotted world of vibrant matter, to harm one section of the web may very well be to harm oneself. Such an enlightened or expanded notion of self-interest is good for humans.’ 23 I would venture, further, that something as specific as social histories of art that we are familiar with since the 1970s could provide a basis for an enlarged vision, encouraged by Bennett’s proposition, in which the ‘public’ is not only the human but is heterogeneously constructed. Numerous works of art across territorial and

in The ecological eye
Open Access (free)
Light therapy and visual culture in Britain, c. 1890–1940

Soaking up the rays forges a new path for exploring Britain’s fickle love of the light by investigating the beginnings of light therapy in the country from c.1890-1940. Despite rapidly becoming a leading treatment for tuberculosis, rickets and other infections and skin diseases, light therapy was a contentious medical practice. Bodily exposure to light, whether for therapeutic or aesthetic ends, persists as a contested subject to this day: recommended to counter psoriasis and other skin conditions as well as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and depression; closely linked to notions of beauty, happiness and well-being, fuelling tourism to sunny locales abroad and the tanning industry at home; and yet with repeated health warnings that it is a dangerous carcinogen. By analysing archival photographs, illustrated medical texts, advertisements, lamps, and goggles and their visual representation of how light acted upon the body, Woloshyn assesses their complicated contribution to the founding of light therapy. Soaking up the rays will appeal to those intrigued by medicine’s visual culture, especially academics and students of the histories of art and visual culture, material cultures, medicine, science and technology, and popular culture.

History and memory in Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand and South Africa

In Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada and South Africa indigenous peoples were displaced, marginalised and sometimes subjected to attempted genocide through the colonial process. This book is a collection of essays that focuses on the ways the long history of contact between indigenous peoples and the heterogeneous white colonial communities has been obscured, narrated and embodied in public culture. The essays and artwork in this book insist that an understanding of the political and cultural institutions and practices which shaped settler-colonial societies in the past can provide important insights into how this legacy of unequal rights can be contested in the present. The essays in the first part of the book focus on colonial administrative structures and their intersection with the emergence of settler civil society in terms of welfare policy, regional colonial administration, and labour unions. The second section focuses on the struggles over the representation of national histories through the analyses of key cultural institutions and monuments, both historically and in terms of contemporary strategies. The third section provides comparative instances of historical and contemporary challenges to the colonial legacy from indigenous and migrant communities. The final section of the book explores some of the different voices and strategies for articulating the complexities of lived experience in transforming societies with a history of settler colonialism.

Art venues by entrepreneurs, associations and institutions, 1800–1850
J. Pedro Lorente

This chapter charts how in the first half of the nineteenth century a wide range of art institutions spread throughout Europe that reflected and promoted the experience of art as a new leisure pursuit for the urban public. These included museums, exhibitions, urban fairs, auction houses as well as Kunstvereine and other types of art associations. The rise and the transnational diffusion of the museum – a central object of cultural politics in France, Spain and Italy, and a project of private philanthropy in Britain and elsewhere – is already a well-studied topic. However, much less is known about the history of art associations and their diffusion in Europe. Run by citizens, supporting local artists by paying an annual fee to an art lottery fund that offered the public a chance to win a work of art, the model of the Kunstvereine originated and flourished in German cities. The new cultural institution was quickly emulated by art unions in Britain, but in other European countries such as France, Spain and Italy the rise of the sociétés d’encouragement des arts or their equivalents took much more time and was much less successful, lacking the kind of civic support that was strongly cultivated in Germany and Britain, but less present in heavily centralised countries like France.

in Leisure cultures in urban Europe, c.1700–1870