Event Recordings

This Week's Lectures

The Itinerant Shrine: Art, History, and the Multiple Geographies of the Holy House of Loreto

Drawing on the recent scholarly interest in the cult of the Holy House, this conference endeavors to serve as an important milestone for academic discourse on Loreto, bringing together scholars working in a variety of disciplines and employing diverse methodological approaches.

Organised by Matteo Chirumbolo (The Courtauld Institute of Art; Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut), Erin Giffin (I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies) and Antongiulio Sorgini (Johns Hopkins University).

Clive’s conference is kindly supported by Dr Nicholas Murray and Mr William Sharp in loving memory of Mr Clive Davies.

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Illustration depicting two angels carrying a house i The Transportation of the Holy House of Loreto, 1494, Rosenwald Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Fashion: Visual & Material Interconnections Book Series ‘Prêt-à-Porter, Paris and Women’ Launch

We are proud to announce the launch of a new book series – a collaboration between Bloomsbury Publishing and The Courtauld Institute of Art that brings together scholarly and innovative approaches to understanding the relationship between the visual and material in forming fashion and dress cultures.

In the first critical history of French readymade fashion, Alexis Romano examines an array of sources, including surviving garments, fashion magazines, film, photography and interviews, to weave together previously disparate historical narratives. The resulting volume – Prêt-à-Porter, Paris and Women – situates the readymade in wider postwar discourses of gender, art, design, urbanism, technology and the everyday.

Buy the book

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Front cover of new book Pret a porter Paris and women featuring a black and white photo of a female model

Writing to Images The Practice of Corresponding with Art

In her most recent monograph, A Black Gaze, Tina Campt describes her practice of writing not as writing about, but rather writing to images. In this way, it constitutes a form of correspondence that aspires to dialogue with artists and artworks. In her keynote, Campt will expand upon this practice through an engagement with a series of works by black contemporary artists. She will explore the multiple frequencies and frequential valences of correspondence as an affective interchange and a dynamic of resemblance and re-cognition that is in no way limited to textual or epistolary forms. On the contrary, correspondence amplifies and enlivens the work of visual artists of color in ways that highlight the stakes of an ongoing conversation between the past, the present, and our aspirations for a future lived otherwise.

Organised by Dr Alice Butler (The Courtauld) as part of the “What a Hazard a Letter Is”: Correspondence in Feminist Art, Art Writing, and Art History, from Emily Dickinson to Now series.

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Photograph of a black woman facing the camera, leaning on a wall with her elbow, hand on cheek i Tina Campt © Tina Campt

Unravelling Threads: Tracing and Transforming Violence and Trauma through Fashion

This two-day conference, hosted by London College of Fashion and The Courtauld Institute of Art, seeks to explore the wide-ranging and nuanced relationships between fashion, violence, and trauma. It aims to understand how violence and trauma manifest upon the body, as well as how fashion offers the prospect of processing, resolving, and overcoming violent and traumatic experiences.

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Illustration of a fashion mannequin changing her head i Illustration, Pinpoints, 1939 (The Courtauld History of Dress Journal Archive, photographed by Lucy Moyse Ferreira)

Ukrainian Modernism and the Architecture of Standardization

Christina E. Crawford (Assistant Professor, Art History, Emory University) provides historical context to situate present-day destruction of architecturally rich Kharkiv, the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (1919-34).

Following Prof. Crawford’s lecture, we will be joined by two Ukrainian architectural preservation experts, Olena Mokrousova and Kateryna Kublytska, via Zoom. They will discuss the current architectural situation and preservation efforts on the ground in Kyiv and Kharkiv, sharing their perspective and thoughts on what will be needed to sensitively repair Ukrainian cities in the future.

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Black and white drawing showing an aerial view of some buildings i Bird’s eye view of the Phase I zhilkombinat, New Kharkiv sotsgorod, 1930. Architect: Giprograd (Pavel Aleshin, et al.). TsDAMLM Ukrainy, f. 8, po. 1, od. zb. 259, ark. 389.

Memento mori Imagery and the Limits of the Self in Late Medieval Europe

Objects bearing memento mori themes were abundant in Europe in the decades immediately around the year 1500. The material properties of these objects – the matter from which they were formed, the apparent care or negligence with which they were fashioned, and the ways their physical condition betrays signs of heavy use or careful conservation – can point us toward a better understanding of the diversity of interests that inspired their creation and use. These motivations range from pious apprehensions about the fate of one’s soul to arguably less anxious ruminations on the nature of image-making and the role of an emerging sense of aesthetic engagement. Taken together, they encapsulate one of the central fascinations and anxieties of their age: in an era committed to the notion that deep truths could be conveyed through surface appearances and that individual identity could be captured, communicated, and preserved through static imagery, memento mori objects resisted the notion of a stable self, reminding their viewers of the anonymity that awaits us all in the grave. 

Speaker: Professor Stephen G. Perkinson – Professor of Art History and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Bowdoin College.

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drawing of a skeleton with arms folded in chest i Memento mori , hand-colored engraving with manuscript inscription, Netherlands, c. 1500-1530 (Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 2012.3)

American Art Archives in Britain

‘American Art Archives in Britain’ explores the stories of, and stories contained in, archival records and documents generated by American artists, artworks and artworld activities in Britain. Few UK holdings match the breadth and depth of material on American artists in US archives, and so this project facilitates consideration of what constitutes an archive, the meaning of scarcity as opposed to abundance of information, and the ways small details add to, frame, and disrupt established narratives. The project also provides opportunity to reflect on the nature of archival research in transatlantic art histories.

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A woman looks through an archive file

American Art and the Political Imagination

This conference originated from a single question: In what ways have art and visual culture contributed to the formulation of the American political imagination? Since its beginnings, the nation’s fractious political identity has been developed and perpetuated throughout its visual economy, playing out on picture planes, splashed across mural panels, and made matter in sculptures and monuments. As such, visual and material culture are a critical locus through which the nation’s political constituents — its voters, parties, politicians, and dissenters — imagine, perform, and organise themselves. It is through the creation, manipulation, dissemination, and destruction of images and objects that these constituents have formed their political identities, asserted assent and dissent, and articulated their desire to end political regimes or their yearning to revisit them.

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Oil painting depicting part of the Statue of Liberty, by Norman Rockwell i Norman Rockwell, Working on the Statue of Liberty, 1946, Oil on canvas, 54.61 cm × 43.02 cm.

The Art Collector in Early Modern Italy

Lorenzo Lotto’s famous portrait of Andrea Odoni in the Royal Collection may be the canonical image of the Renaissance art collector. Monika Schmitter presents her recent book which investigates who Odoni was and how and why he amassed an impressive collection of antiquities, modern sculpture, paintings, and naturalia in his relatively modest Venetian palace.

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oil painting of a man holding a small statuette i Lorenzo Lotto, Portrait of Andrea Odoni, 1527, oil on canvas, Royal Collection Trust

Decals of Love, or, The One True Imposter, a Lyric Lecture With/Through Some Queer Love Poems

In this lyric lecture on queer love poems, a perhaps-too-close reading, Sophie Seita treats poetic lines taken from Wendy Lotterman’s poetry as if they were part of their ongoing dialogue and epistolary friendship.

Sophie Seita is a London-based artist, writer, and educator whose work explores text in its various translations into book objects, performances, videos, or other languages and embodiments. More info on her performances, publications, and other projects can be found here: https://www.sophieseita.com/

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Photograph of a woman in an orange jacket with her arms raised above her head i Author portrait by Christa Holka, 2021.

Queer Ecologies: Artist Adham Faramawy

Adham Faramawy is an artist of Egyptian descent based in London. They have been shortlisted for the 2021 Jarman Award, having previously been shortlisted for that award in 2017. Faramawy has recently exhibited in group shows at Somerset House, London (2020) and Science Gallery, London (2020) as well as Art Night 2021. In 2019 the artist presented Skin Flicks at a screening dedicated to their work at Tate Britain. Faramawy was a 2018/2019 fellow at Broadway’s Near Now, Nottingham and has had solo exhibition at Cell Projects, London and The Bluecoat, Liverpool. Organised by Dr Edwin Coomasaru (The Courtauld and Edinburgh University) and Dr Rachel Warriner (The Courtauld)

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Still from a video showing a person's arms with hands caressing a flower and a dancing figure in the background. i Adham Faramawy, The air is subtle, various and sweet, video, 35 minutes, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Niru Ratnam Gallery.

Decolonizing Art History with Mexico’s “Tenth Muse,” Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Charlene Villaseñor Black is Professor of Art History and Chicana/o Studies and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, editor of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and founding editor-in-chief of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture (LALVC, UC Press). She publishes on a range of topics related to the early modern Iberian world, Chicanx studies, and contemporary Latinx art.

Organised by Professor David Peters Corbett (The Courtauld).

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Painted portrait of a figure in a white robe and black head covering sat at a desk writing, surrounded by books and christian symbols i Miguel Cabrera, Portrait of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 1750, oil on canvas, 207 x 148 cm, Mexico City, Museo de Historia

Painting Pairs 2021/22: Collaborative Research in Conservation and Art History - Second Presentations

Painting Pairs presents collaborative research undertaken by graduates in conservation and art history focussing on paintings currently in the conservation studios at the Courtauld. The paintings that form the focus for investigation by each a pair of graduates are from different periods and pose a range of questions related to their history, conservation and display.

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oil painting of a man i Henry Raeburn, Portrait of George Malcolm, c. 1778, oil on canvas. The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust).

Considering Collecting: The Future of Public Collections

The sixth and final event in the ‘Considering Collecting’ 2021/22 series will look to the future. Having looked at some of the key issues affecting those who collect art and who work with collections today, we will think about what needs to happen next: can collecting become a more democratic, representative activity, particularly for those institutions and organisations which serve the public?

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Open Courtauld Hour - Episode 7, S6: Art and Scent

What does it mean to smell art history? This Open Courtauld Hour will explore how The Courtauld can use aromatic stimuli, perfumes and fragrances, to transport people to places, moments and feelings (without using written or visual languages). Join The Courtauld Community to learn more about how we are taking visitors on an olfactory journey, designed to reflect the inspirations and illustrations in the artworks on our walls.

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three metal objects from the Courtauld's collection in the foreground.

Imagining the Apocalypse: Art and the End Times

What are the politics of picturing the end times? This panel discussion will celebrate the launch of Imagining the Apocalypse: Art and the End Times with Courtauld Books Online.

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Front cover of the book 'Imagining the Apocalypse: Art and the End Times' showing a drawing of a man sat on a rock overlooking a ruined city.

Image, Pattern, Repetition: The Craft of Romanesque Sculpture in Southwest England

Speaker: Dr Alex Woodcock

Organised by the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland.

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Photograph of a discoloured stone carved archway i The south doorway at Shebbear, North Devon. Photograph by Alex Woodcock.

Considering Collecting: Women and Collecting

Women have been making, selling, and collecting artworks and artefacts for centuries, but few have reached the status and renown of many of their male counterparts. While many men collecting art have gone on to found internationally famous museums, galleries and institutions to house their collection, there are fewer women collectors who have been in such a privileged position historically.

Where artworks, documentation, and objects relating to the lives of men are often carefully collected, catalogued and preserved by collections of all sizes, there has been much work to do to restore this balance to uncover and share stories of – and by – women connected to the visual arts. In the fifth event in the ‘Considering Collecting’ series, our panel will explore this ‘rebalancing’ in more depth.

Supported by Laurence C. Zale Associates, Inc., a visual arts advisory company

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three black women standing in front of some paintings in a gallery space i Makgati Molebatsi at Latitude Art Fair, with work by Sungi Mlengeya (also pictured)

The Guest of the Body: Visualizing Souls in Medieval Europe, 1100-1200

Shirin Fozi is Associate Professor in History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of a monograph titled Romanesque Tomb Effigies: Death and Redemption in Medieval Europe, 1000-1200 (2021), which received a Millard Meiss Grant from the College Art Association, and co-editor of Christ on the Cross: The Boston Crucifix and the Rise of Medieval Wood Sculpture (2020). Fozi has also published several articles on modern collections of medieval art, and her most recent Museum Studies seminar culminated in a student-curated online exhibition called A Nostalgic Filter: Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age (2020). Organised by Dr Tom Nickson (The Courtauld) and Dr Jessica Barker (The Courtauld)

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Photograph of a stone carving i Capital of the Assumption of the Virgin, ca. 1130s, Musée Rolin, Autun (France)

Open Courtauld Hour - Episode 6, S6: A Good Brew

This Open Courtauld Hour will interrogate the problematic history of tea, coffee and sugar and its connection to objects in The Courtauld and collections across the UK. The implicit relationship to the lives of those colonised and enslaved can be exposed through tracing the intended content of seemingly banal objects. Made for tea and coffee consumption these objects tell a darker tale, one that is often obscured by the everyday presence of these items today. These objects can also reveal the stories of ordinary people in the UK and showcase the often disregarded domestic and everyday lives of the working classes. Join experts, artists and makers, Tasha Marks (Founder of AVM Curiosities), Fozia Ismail (Founder of Arawelo Eats) and the team from Braintree Museum, in scrutinising the commonplace.

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detail of an oil painting depicting a jar, a vase and a pot with some white cubes in it.

Parmigianino Round Table

This Round Table brings together a group of world-leading scholars on Parmigianino to discuss their latest projects and research on the artist, one of the most celebrated of sixteenth-century ItalyDuring an afternoon academics and curators from Italy, UK and the US will present on the artist’s manifold artistic practices, including drawing, printmaking and paintingsubstantially updating our knowledge on this important artist and producing a state-of-the-art assessment of scholarship on his oeuvre.

Organised by Dr Ketty Gottardo (The Courtauld) and Dr Guido Rebecchini (The Courtauld) 

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Sketch of a coronation i Parmigianino, Study for the Coronation of the Virgin for Santa Maria della Steccata, Parma, c. 1535-39, Pen and brown ink on laid paper, 129 × 141 mm, Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld, London, D.1978.PG.367

Lynne Cooke, Briony Fer and Ricardo Alcaide in Conversation about “Purity Is a Myth: The Materiality of Concrete Art in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay”

Celebrating the book launch of “Purity is a Myth: The Materiality of Concrete Art from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay” in a roundtable conversation with Prof. Briony Fer, Professor of History of Art and Research Director at University College London, Dr Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator, Special Projects in Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and Venezuelan-born artist Ricardo Alcaide.

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detail of the front cover of a book titled purity is a myth

The Psycho-Architectonics of the Imżā Inscriptions: Denotations and Connotations of Text in the Arts of the Safavids

The Bahari Foundation Lectures on Art and Culture

Speaker: Dr Mahroo Moosavi – Bahari Fellow in the Persian Arts of the Book, University of Oxford; Oliver Smithies Lecturer, Balliol College, University of Oxford; Lecturer, Architectural History, Theory, and Design, University of Sydney

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golden decorations on a blue wall i Luṭfullāh mosque, Isfahan, 1602-1619 AD, prayer hall, mihrab, left side.

Open Courtauld Hour - Episode 5, S6: Van Gogh and his Self-Portraits

This Open Courtauld Hour celebrates the first ever exhibition devoted to Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portraits across his entire career, currently on show at The Courtauld Gallery from 3 February – 8 May 2022.

The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: Van Gogh. Self-Portraits takes as its springboard Van Gogh’s iconic Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, one of the most celebrated works in The Courtauld’s collection, and will bring together around half of the self-portraits Van Gogh created during his short years as a painter – an exciting opportunity, given that many of these works are rarely lent. Several works in the exhibition were last together in Van Gogh’s studio and have never been reunited, until now.

Join us to hear more about the exhibition, the works on display, the motivation behind it and its special relevance to London itself. Learn from experts Karen Serres (Curator of Paintings at The Courtauld) and the team behind Van Gogh House London. This event allows those unable to come to the exhibition itself a rare opportunity to experience the artworks virtually.

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Curating the Virtual

New technologies are taking over the planet. Art institutions will be transformed and collectors of art have discovered the world of unique digital objects, so-called NFTs. Exactly how will today’s visual media — AR, VR and Mixed Reality — expand the ways we experience art? Will the virtual turn change art itself, just like photographic techniques and mass distribution once altered our understanding of what an artwork can be? Walter Benjamin’s influential 1935 essay on mechanical reproduction opens with a quote from French poet Paul Valéry: ‘We must expect great innovations to transform entire techniques of the arts, thereby affecting artistic innovation itself and perhaps even bringing about amazing change in our very notion of art.’

Speaker: Professor Daniel Birnbaum, Director of Acute Art

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Photograph of Tate Modern with a sun superimposed over it i Olafur Eliasson, ’Solar Friend,’ 2020 (AR, installed outside Tate Modern as part of ’Unreal City’)

Considering Collecting: Collecting the Ephemeral

When we think of art collections, our thoughts often turn to paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, photography, or perhaps to mixed media, collage or found objects. However, there are an increasing number of artworks in the art market which use more complex, ephemeral materials: light, sound, the internet, computer software, digital images and even the body. The fourth event in the ‘Considering Collecting’ series will focus on the collection of performance art – works which are made using the artist or performer’s body and which often do not leave any material trace once they are finished.

Speaker: Rose Lejeune, Director of Performance Exchange.

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Black and white photograph of a woman i Rose Lejeune

The Textual-Visual Collaborations of Blaise Cendrars

Speaker: Professor Eric Robertson, Professor of Modern French Literary and Visual Cultures, Royal Holloway, University of London

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Abstract black and tan image with French words and shapes, with a large yellow circle on top i Fernand Léger, illustration for Blaise Cendrars, La Fin du monde filmée par l'ange N.-D. (Paris: Editions de la Sirène, 1919).

History and Her-stories: Women artists in Moscow Conceptualism

What happens if the history of Russian art is retold from the point of view of female artists? Is it possible to overturn the narrative of artistic progress driven by the male artistic “geniuses” and instead, reclaim and celebrate the influence of female artists upon contemporary Russian art?

Speaker: Elena Zaytseva – Independent curator and historian of art

Organised by Professor Sarah Wilson (The Courtauld) and Professor Sussan Babaie (The Courtauld) as part of their Frank Davis Memorial Lecture series titled ‘Exiles and Émigrés’.

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Photograph showing a large multicoloured deflating balloon structure i Baloon. From ‘Journeys to the Countriside’ by A. Monastyrski, N. Alexeev, G. Kizevalter, L. Veshnevskaya, A. Abramov, M. K. Photo by Andrey Abramov. 1977.https://conceptualism.letov.ru/

Pastoral Fellowship and the Performance of Virtuosity in Titian’s Concert Champêtre

This talk places Titian’s Concert Champêtre (ca. 1509–11) within the context of elite domestic leisure in early sixteenth-century Venice. In particular, it explores the combined role of sociable gathering, theatrical performance, music making, and art collection in the establishment of a new mode of self-fashioning and generational distinction on the part of young Venetian patricians and the virtuosi they patronized.

Speaker: Chriscinda Henry, Associate Professor of Art History, McGill University

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Painting depicting figures sitting on grace, surrounded by trees, playing instruments i Titian, Pastoral Concert, c. 1509-1510, Paris, Musée du Louvre

Framing the Body: Yip Cheong Fun and Singapore Photography in the 1960s and 1970s

This session of Addressing Images is based on the work of Singapore photographer Yip Cheong Fun (1903-1989) in the 1960s and 1970s. We will discuss how Yip achieved 美感 (mei gan), or a feeling of beauty, that he along with other “amateur” practitioners in the local photographic community were seeking in the vignettes they composed, sometimes on group field trips across the island city.

Speaker: Nadya Wang (PhD candidate at The Courtauld Institute of Art and lecturer in the School of Fashion at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore)

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image in black and white of a woman staring down a staircase i Yip Cheong Fun, Beauty on Top, c. 1963, silver gelatin print, 43 x 35.5cm. Image courtesy of Art Agenda.

Open Courtauld Hour - Episode 4, S6: In Conversation with Cecily Brown

This Open Courtauld Hour, an in conversation between the artist Cecily Brown, Barnaby Wright (Deputy Head of The Courtauld Gallery and Daniel Katz Curator of 20th Century Art) and Leyla Bumbra (Research Forum Programme Manager), will traverse the commission, Cecily’s inspirations, processes and materials. The event will allow attendees to ask Cecily questions about this work.

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Considering Collecting: Caring for Collections

Rosemary Lynch, Director of Collection Care at Tate 2013-21
Megan Narvey, Outreach Conservator at the Minnesota Historical Society
Kathleen Lawther, freelance curator
Marenka Thompson-Odlum, Research Associate at the Pitt Rivers Museums and a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow

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image of Insect and Arachnid People of Subterranean Hawai’i, by Solmon Enos i Insect and Arachnid People of Subterranean Hawai’i, by Solmon Enos, commissioned by the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.

Northern Ireland’s Feminist and Queer Art Histories

This symposium examined how feminist and queer art and visual culture challenged Northern Irish art and society since 1968.

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Red ink drawing of a landscape i Ursula Burke, After Jan Frans Van Bloeman, from the series Arcadian Landscape, 2014, Indian Ink and Gouache on Fabriano Paper, 22cm x 14cm.

The Development of Historical Digital Methods: Late Hokusai as case study

Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series
Speakers: Tim Clark FBA (British Museum) and Dominic Oldman (British Museum)

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Screenshot of the Late Hokusai website homepage

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