News and Writing on Art and Art History July 28

Katrina Grant

Ostrich Plume preparation - the subject of an interesting blog piece by Angus Trumble.


I know I already posted a link to Joanna Mendelssohn’s excellent article in The Conversation Save art history: why La Trobe needs to support cultural life in Australia, but I felt it deserved a second posting. Don’t forget to leave your comment in support and don’t forget the La Trobe petition. If you haven’t signed it, do so this weekend!

Art fairs are becoming increasingly important aspects of the international art scene… It’s part of an international trend towards an increasingly globalised art market that takes in collectors, dealers and galleries from Asia and the Middle East, as well as the traditional metropoles of contemporary high art in New York, Los Angeles and London.’ Ben Eltham’s article in Crikey on the Melbourne Art Fair, which is about to open in the Royal Exhibition Buildings.

New York Times article on the forgeries – now ‘reproductions’ – of Ken Perenyi who was ‘pushed’ by the FBI to shift from producing fakes that were sold as the real thing to creating reproductions for ‘Palm Beach decorators, antiques dealers, professionals, business executives and others who want the look of cultured gentility without the price tag.’

The fine art of being a curator – ‘The profession of curator has grown rapidly in cachet. The word itself has seeped into the language, a little too deeply. (“Curate yourFacebook profile like you curate your life,” a social media blog counseled recently.)’

A grant from Qatar to the British Library means that more than half a million pages of Arabic manuscripts and East India Company archives will go online.

Why spend $20 000 creating an app for the users of just one device when you could make a better website for everyone? Jim Richardson on why ‘arts organisations should take a step back from apps and first consider how their website is working on the smaller screen of these devices.’

How involved are art historians in the possibilities of digital art history? Transitioning to a Digital World: Art History, its Research Centers, and Digital Scholarship – Diane M. Zorich.

In a positive move the AHRC in the UK have created a £2 million research council programme that aims to identify the non-economic benefits of culture. Geoffrey Crossick, who will dircet the programme, states that arts and cultural ares and disciplines need to be able to “talk with more confidence about what culture does in terms of bringing value to individuals and society, rather than automatically fashioning arguments on the basis of what others want to hear us say. The lack of such arguments was felt most keenly around the time of government spending reviews, when arts and culture and those academic disciplines that support them are asked to justify the spending on them.” Would be great to see similar moves here in Australia.

A new federal law to protect works of art and artefacts on loan to exhibitions in Australia from seizure.

‘Who is making money in art? Everyone but the artists‘.

Ever wondered about the history of the ostrich plume in fashion? Angus Trumble has two fascinating blog entries  (second here) about the trade and very involved production of ostrich plumes for the Edwardian market, I also guarantee this is also the only place you will read the phrase ‘a secret, state-supported Trans-Saharan Ostrich Expedition.’

Apparently a bizarre rumour has taken hold, mainly in the States, that the new Islamist Egyption government plans to destroy the pyramids.

Michael Brand, the ex-director of the Getty (and current director at AGNSW) on why he was forced to leave the Getty.

An announcement by archaeologists that they had discovered medieval undergarments made the rounds of the media mainly with headlines such as ‘Medieval Bras!’ A more considered piece by Mel Campbell suggests we should be careful not to assume that bras were an inevitable creation that now have an earlier ‘invention date’.

Calls for Papers

British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies annual conference (January3-4, 2013, Oxford) – deadline Septmber 30th.

Making Space for Festival, 1400-1700. Interactions of Architecture and Performance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Festivals (Venice, March 2013) – deadline 15th October.

Devils and Dolls: Dichotomous Depictions of ‘The Child’ (Oxford, 2013) – deadline 31st August.

‘Re-visioning the Brontës’ (Leeds, January 2013) – deadline 28th September.

Jobs and Funding

Senior Lecturer in Art (Painting), VCAM, University of Melbourne – closes 26th August.

Research Assistant at the Kunshistorisches Institut in Florence – applicants must be enrolled in PhD programs – deadline August 15th.

Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Melbourne University – deadline 19th August.

Postdoctoral Fellow at the at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Melbourne University – deadline 19th August.

Early Career International Research Fellowships at the Centre for the History of Emotions (for scholars working at universities outside Australia) – deadline 20th August.