Many Thanks to ARTHattack!

I want to give a big thank-you to the folks at the University of Guelph and Dr. Susan Douglas. Last Friday I was fortunate to have been asked to give a keynote address to the  ARTHattack! symposium at the University of Guelph. I’ve attended my share of conferences, and I can certainly say this was one of the very best, well run, with terrific papers. This year the topics included:

  • Lucina Pinto – Appearance Versus Reality in Jean Rhys’s After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie: Ekphrastic Encounters and Postcolonial Discourse 
  • Jennifer Graham A Life Seen of Obscenity: Robert Mapplethorpe and The Public’s Perception 
  • Jocelyn Burke Sublime (re)Visions Sarah Carter Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art: Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love 
  • Angel Callander Postmodern Pastiche: the Internet and Dadaism 
  • Vanessa Tignanelli Courtesans in Sixteenth-Century Venice: Exploring Ambiguity in Titian’s Female Portraits
And these were all undergraduates! They set a very high standard. 
Earlier this week I also got to sit in on Dr. Susan Douglas’ seminar course examining art crimes. There were some very thoughtful conversations, and a lot of interesting ideas to cover from the broad perspective of art history. Too often the cultural heritage debates are boiled down to museums v. archaeologists or source v. market. 
But art history gives us a number of useful tools for examining forged art, to take one example. How can art historians create an aura for objects with good histories, or modern recreations of ancient art? Grappling with these issues offers a fresh perspective, and it was refreshing to think about the wonderful tools art historians can bring in examining the abstract ideas connecting this material with culture. Thank you!
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