[ONLINE] Crossing Borders; Constructing Canons: Post-Impressionism in Britain, America and Beyond - The Courtauld Institute of Art

[ONLINE] Crossing Borders; Constructing Canons: Post-Impressionism in Britain, America and Beyond

Search for:
Conference, Research Forum

[ONLINE] Crossing Borders; Constructing Canons: Post-Impressionism in Britain, America and Beyond

Poster Manet and the Post-Impressionists, Grafton Galleries 1910

Organised by

  • Elizabeth Childs - Steinberg Professor, Washington University in Saint Louis
  • Anna Gruetzner Robins - Professor Emerita, University of Reading
  • David Peters Corbett - Professor of American Art and Director of the Centre for American Art, The Courtauld

Ticket / entry details:

FREE BUT BOOKING ESSENTIAL Details will be sent to registered attendees

This is a live online event.  

Please register for more details. The platform and log in details will be sent to attendees at least 48 hours before the event. Please note that registration closes 30 minutes before the event start time.  

If you have not received the log in details or have any further queries, please contact researchforum@courtauld.ac.uk. 

 “Post-Impressionism,” a term invented and used by Roger Fry in the exhibition he organized in London in 1910, became a deeply influential critical and historical construct that was (and sometimes is still) used widely in Britain and America.  Critics and historians often uncritically deployed the highly selective, Franco-centric and exclusively male model that emerged from the writing on Fry’s two post-impressionist exhibitions that privileged Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso, who were regarded as a natural group, and Seurat was soon added to the list. The currency, significance and lasting impact of this canon of foundational artists on subsequent generations of art practice, criticism, art historical education and the marketing, collecting and exhibition of modern art in these two countries has been insufficiently examined. We seek to make fresh comparative and discursive analysis of the substantial impact and pervasive reception of this critical strain of modern art in Britain and America and beyond.


“Crossing Borders, Constructing Canons: ‘Post-Impressionism” in Britain, America and Beyond’”

Thursday 10 June 2021, 11am – 4pm 

11:00 Introduction – David Peters Corbett (The Courtauld) 

11:05 SESSION 1: Post-Impressionism 

Anna Gruetzner Robins (University of Reading)Transmitting Post-Impressionism: Britain and America 

Frances Fowle (University of Edinburgh and National Galleries of Scotland)  – Post-Impressionism and Philanthropy: The Maitland Collection at the  National Galleries of Scotland 

Discussant Elizabeth Childs (Washington University in St Louis) 

11:45 Break 

11:55 SESSION 2:  Responses to Fry 
Case studies of individual artists and critics   

Andrea Rosen (Fleming Museum of Art, University of Vermont)Wood Gaylor, Primitivism and American Folk art after the Armory Show 

James Church (PhD CandidateKingston University)  – The Art of 1910: C. Lewis Hind and The Post Impressionists 

Discussant   Anna Gruetzner Robins

12:30 Lunch  Break  

13:00 SESSION 3: Post-Impressionism in the United States: collecting and exhibitions  

Susan Behrends Frank (The Phillips Collection, Washington DC) – The Influence of Roger Fry’s Vision and Design on Duncan Phillips’s Aesthetic Vision and Exhibition Strategy for The Phillips Collection 

Sandra Zalman (University of Houston)Post-Impressionism at MoMA, then and now 

Discussant Anna Gruetzner Robins 

13:40 Break  

13:50 SESSION 4: Post-Impressionism in Russia 

Ilia Doronchenkov (Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow/European University, St Petersburg)The Avant-Garde’s Trojan Horse: The Golden Fleece exhibitions (Moscow 1908, 1909) and the arrival of Post-Impressionism in Russia 

Katarina Lopatkina (Helsinki)  – Between Moscow and Leningrad: displaying French modern art in the  Soviet Union, 1920 – 1950s 

Discussant  Christina Lodder (University of Kent) 

14:20 Break 

14:40 KEYNOTE 

Gavin Parkinson  (The Courtauld) –  Introduction  

Richard Shiff (Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art, University of Texas at  Austin)Expression and Abstraction during the Early Twentieth Century 

Open discussion, moderated by Gavin Parkinson (The Courtauld) 

16:00  End 


Friday 11 June 2021, 11am – 4pm 

11:00 SESSION 5:  International responses to Fry   

Craig Clunas (University of Oxford) – Alternative Criteria Must be Sought: Post-Impressionism in China and  Beyond 

Paul Bevan (Departmental Lecturer in Chinese Literature and Culture at the University of Oxford) – In search of a Chinese Matisse 

Discussant Sam Rose (University of St Andrews)

11:40 Break  

11:50 SESSION 6:  The Reach of Post-Impressionism 

MaryClaire Pappas (PhD Candidate, Indiana University) – Explaining Expressionism: Lilevalchs Konsthall and Swedish Expressionism 

Gavin Parkinson (The Courtauld) – A Surrealist Manifesto for Symbolism: André Breton and Dessins  Symbolistes   

Discussant Sam Rose (University of St Andrews) 

12:25 Lunch Break 

13:00 SESSION 7:    Fry’s Artists: addressing the legacies I   Cézanne, Van Gogh  

Elizabeth Childs –  Legacies of the Post-Impressionists: Tracing the Impact   

Anne Robbins (National Gallery, London) – ‘Controversy, admiration, misunderstanding, and enthusiasm’: Aspects  of Cézanne’s reception in Britain 

Discussant Richard Shiff (University of Texas) 

Joost van der Hoeven ( Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)  – Van Gogh’s Popular Status and the Canon in America 1913-1936     

Discussant Frances Fowle (University of Edinburgh)                         

13:55 Break  

14:05 SESSION 8  Fry’s Artists: addressing the legacies II – Gauguin, Seurat   

Elizabeth Childs (Washington University in St Louis) – Case studies in Gauguin’s reception (Chicago and Paris)  

Discussant Belinda Thomson (University of Edinburgh)

Marnin Young (Yeshiva University) Was Seurat a Post-Impressionist?   

Discussant  Paul Smith (University of Warwick) 

14:55  Break 

15:0SESSION 9:  Fry’s Artists:   A panel discussion of Matisse and Picasso 

John Klein (Washington University in Saint Louis) – Framing Matisse 

Elizabeth Cowling (University of Edinburgh)  – Framing Picasso 

Panel discussion moderated by Nicholas Watkins (University of Leicester)  

15:40 Open discussion  

Moderated by Anna Gruetzner Robins and Liz Childs 


This conference is supported by the Centre for American Art at The Courtauld.


Support us

The Courtauld is an international community of influential art enthusiasts, thought leaders and change makers. Your support will help shape the future of art history. If you can, please make a donation or join the art movement and become a Friend today.

Share This

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Close