University of Delaware
"Electric Paris" will be the focus of the annual Wayne Craven Lecture. Shown, Edouard Manet, French, 1832-83, "Masked Ball at the Opera," 1873, oil on canvas, 23 1/4 by 28 9/16 inches, framed 31 1/2 by 37 inches. Gift of Mrs. Horace Havemeyer in memory of her mother-in-law, Louisine W. Havemeyer, National Gallery of Art, 1982.75.1.

May 7: 'Electric Paris' topic

S. Hollis Clayson to speak at UD's annual Wayne Craven Lecture


10:01 a.m., April 28, 2014--The University of Delaware Department of Art History will hold the annual Wayne Craven Lecture at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 7, in 116 Gore Hall. Speaking will be S. Hollis Clayson, Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities and professor of art history at Northwestern University.

Clayson’s talk, “Episodes from the Visual Culture of Electric Paris,” will reference works by John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Edvard Munch, and significant caricaturists of the time, while exploring the importance of lighting to 19th-century Paris. 

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University of Delaware graduates planning to attend Alumni Weekend are encouraged to register for the annual Blue Hen 5K walk and run, which will be held Sunday morning, June 5.

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The 20th annual June Lecture Series at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UD in Wilmington will be held June 6-9. Titled 'June a la Carte,' this year's program focuses on great political documents, feminism, world politics and a Newark cuisine sampler.

As Clayson describes, “The pitched social, aesthetic and technical debate about new forms of artificial illumination took shape along an axis defined by dazzle (blindness) at one end, and illumination (visibility) at the other.” 

She will discuss how the change brought about by electric light and the debate that surrounded it provided for many of the aesthetic innovations of the day.

The themes of this talk are drawn from Clayson’s recently curated exhibition “Electric Paris” at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and an upcoming book to be published by the University of Chicago Press that studies the visual cultures of the City of Light in the era of Thomas Edison. 

Clayson has published extensively on modern art and 19th-century Europe, including her books Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era and Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life Under Siege (1870-71), and the co-edited the volume Understanding Paintings: Themes in Art Explored and Explained

Among her many professional accomplishments, she chaired the editorial board of The Art Bulletin from 2003-05, served as founding director of the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, 2006-13, and is currently on leave as the Samuel H. Kress Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The lecture honors Wayne Craven, Henry Francis du Pont Professor Emeritus of Art History, who was among the pioneer scholars of his generation and helped establish the field of American art as a legitimate subject of scholarly investigation.

The talk is also the last of this year’s Art History Graduate Student Lecture Series. Registration is not required but is recommended, and can be completed at this website. Parking will be available in the Trabant University Center garage.

The Department of Art History’s 2013-14 Graduate Student Lecture Series is organized by Liz Simmons and Karli Wurzelbacher (co-chairs), Sarah Leonard, Vanessa Reubendale, Jeff Richmond-Moll, Hannah Segrave and Rachel Zimmerman. The faculty adviser for the lecture series is Camara Holloway, assistant professor of art history.

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