Open Courtauld Hour – The Courtauld Institute of Art’s weekly digital instalment on all things art history – is back!
With pubs being the first places to be closed, and most likely last to be opened, in the UK’s approach to tackling Covid-19, this episode begins and ends by delving into the life of London’s favourite artwork and the Courtauld’s most iconic painting, Édouard Manet’s ‘A Bar at the Folies-Bergère’. Often considered a pivotal work in the depiction of modern life, this work has taken on new signification in this age of social distancing and isolation. In this session we will consider the relationship between art and social scenes — the role of the pub in arts subject matter, its genesis and as a site of art historical dissemination and learning. With the help of our curator Karen Serres (Curator of Paintings at the Courtauld Gallery), specialists in the field such as Matt Lodder (Senior Lecturer in Art History & Director of US Studies at University of Essex specialising in art history in the pub and the history of tattoos as art) and Florence Ostende (Curator at the Barbican and of the showstopping exhibition ‘Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art’) and drag artist Asifa Lahore (Presenter and Britain’s first out Muslim drag queen) we will reinstate the pub as a both a site of social interaction and creative practice, historically and now in 2020.
This online mini series will provide concise one hour packages of pop-up talks, performances and in detail object study sessions that explore and celebrate our collection, research in art history, curation and conservation.
The series will touch on pertinent issues — magnifying contemporary thinking in society through the field of art history. These episodes will explore how the public, artists and galleries are adapting to a digital world, showcasing art historical research in light of this global pandemic and providing a platform for creative practice in the age of social distancing.
Most importantly, as art is relevant to all, these informal sessions will give attendees the chance to access, engage and read art and art history through a different lens— revamping and rethinking art historical discussions through food, pubs and poetry. These episodes will platform new perspectives, new ways into art practice, looking at art and reading its history through themes that impact us all.