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The Victorian Avant-Garde: Rethinking the Nineteenth Century
March 1, 2019 @ 1:00 pm$30. – $40.
Tim Barringer, Chair and Paul Mellon Professor in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University
Space is limited; pre-registration is required.
This talk explores the radical response of British artists, designers and theorists to the rapid changes around them. Orthodox Victorian thinking welcomed industrialization and the new cities as a manifestation of Britain’s status as the world’s leading nation, but artists saw the environmental costs and regretted the loss of aesthetic quality that came with mass production. The Pre-Raphaelites and their successors in the Aesthetic Movement and the Arts and Crafts Movement offered radical new ways of seeing the world, which turned aside from industrial modernity and proposed instead a utopian return to the colors and textures of the middle ages. Inspired by William Morris’s socialist views, they embraced democratic politics and imagined a world in which useful objects were also beautiful. As a co-curator of the Victorian Radicals exhibition, Dr. Barringer will also provide insight into the exhibition’s organization, significant curatorial choices, and catalogue. Having started his career more than twenty years ago working with these collections in Birmingham, UK, he is thrilled to share them with American audiences.