Part of the British Art MA stream, this module focuses on the development of an exhibition culture in London from the early decades of the eighteenth century to the foundation of the National Gallery in 1824.
We will look at the role played by exhibitions and institutions of art in the development of an English School of painting and sculpture, and in the formation of audiences for these works. To this end we will be analysing a range of public, private and commercial sites for display and the kinds of works they engendered. These exhibition spaces will include pleasure gardens, charitable and religious institutions, academies of art, commercial galleries and artists’ studios, all of which were crucial in the development of new genres of art in the period – genres which engaged with, and shaped, emerging concepts of nation, empire, race, class and gender.
More broadly, the module will develop an understanding of the relationships between the production, collecting and display of art in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Sample Syllabus (Subject to change):
Vauxhall Gardens and other exhibiting spaces
The Society of Artists
Artists at Home
The Royal Academy
Beyond the RA: exhibiting art in the 1780s and 90s
The commerce of art: Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery and Guildhall Collection
Sculpture on display
The foundation of the National Gallery
1 x 5,000 word assessed essay