Symposia



New perspectives on the work of John Cage
Hommage au compositeur pour le centième anniversaire de sa naissance (1912-2012)
Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), Paris, France
June 21, 2012 – June 22, 2012
 
2012 marked the one hundredth birthday of John Cage, born September 5, 1912. This international colloquium, which took place in French, aimed to celebrate the centennial of this central figure in contemporary art, for whom philosophy and art had great importance, but who remains, even so, almost an unknown in the French art world.
His hundredth birthday presented the perfect occasion to reexamine the significance of his influence in France. Even though Cage is relatively familiar as a composer, his influence on music in France, as well as on art history in general, is lesser known. Thus, his impact on the artistic scene, well beyond music, deserves to be presented. This event strove to give the public an idea of the degree of Cage’s influence by interrogating the place he occupied in the French cultural landscape.
 
Download the French program here



Geographies of Art: Sur le Terrain
Musée des Impressionnismes and Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art
Giverny and Paris, France
June 17, 2010 – June 19, 2010

International Symposium in Celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the Terra Summer Residency (2001—2010)As a tribute to the mission of the Terra Foundation to foster exploration of American art across national boundaries and in honor of the Terra Summer Residency’s tenth anniversary, “Geographies of Art: Sur le Terrain” examined the field of American art in a global context. For three days, art historians, cultural historians, and artists explored the cultural and conceptual implications of such a context through papers and discussions that provided international perspectives and encouraged lively exchange—the two fundamental premises of the Terra Summer Residency.
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Anglo-American: Artistic Exchange between Britain and the USA
University of York
York, United Kingdom
July 23, 2009 – July 25, 2009

This conference explored the significance of Anglo-American cultural relations for the visual arts produced in Britain and the United States since 1776. Although some isolated moments in this history have been studied, this conference was the first systematic attempt to consider the implications of a highly charged relationship for the histories of both British and American art. It aimed to identify the important issues at the heart of the concept of ‘Anglo-American’ art and investigate the very idea of artistic ‘exchange’ across different cultures. At a moment when the utility of national schools as an organizing principle is being increasingly held up to scrutiny in the scholarship on both American and British art, a systematic examination of the detail of the fluid, and sometimes volatile, Anglo-American relationship and of the invested interests that have sought to define it is important and timely.
 
“Trans-Atlantic Romanticism: An International Conference”
Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, Royal Academy of Art, University College London
London, United Kingdom
October 15, 2009 – October 17, 2009

This conference aimed to rethink Romanticism in the American visual arts within a trans-Atlantic framework. It provided a forum in which to consider developments in American art of the period c.1789 – 1848 in relation to cognate developments. The twelve papers and keynote lecture addressed the issues of Romanticism from a number of perspectives: (1) The urban context in which artists worked in Britain and the United States, and notably London and New York. (2) The literary discourse of early 19th-century Romanticism in relation to new attitudes to the arts and their place in society more generally. (3) The work of individual artists who acted as link figures between British and American cultures, including Benjamin West and Washington Allston. (4) Related developments in landscape and genre painting in Britain and the United States, represented by the work of Thomas Cole, John Quidor, John Martin, and JMW Turner.
 
What’s Modern about American Art, 1900–1930?
Terra Foundation for American Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, and American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation
Chicago and Milwaukee
June 19, 2009 – June 20, 2009

The symposium addressed the question of American modernism through a series of brief “keyword” talks and panel discussions that investigated its manifestations in progressive painting and design between 1900 and the early 1930s. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Michael Kammen delivered the keynote lecture. The symposium coincided with two exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM): The Eight and American Modernisms, organized by the Terra Foundation for American Art (TFAA) in collaboration with the New Britain Museum of American Art and MAM; and The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs, organized by MAM, the Chipstone Foundation, and American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation (ADA1900). The symposium was convened by TFAA in collaboration with MAM and ADA1900.
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Starting from Scratch: Arts, Culture and Politics in Europe and America in the Aftermath of World War II, 1945-1949
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon
Lyon, France
January 12, 2009 – January 13, 2009

This international colloquium was held in conjunction with the exhibition Repartir à zéro, L’art en Europe et en Amérique après la seconde guerre mondiale 1945-1949 (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, 24 October 2008 – 2 February 2009), and brought together specialists from a wide-range of disciplines to discuss the concept of “starting from scratch”—a widespread notion in the immediate post-war period. The ideas of “tabula rasa,” “anno zero,” and “Stunde Null” universally called for a reconsideration of the course of human history after the traumas of World War II. During the brief period before the advent of the Cold War in 1949, most Americans and Europeans found themselves united by the determination to “start from scratch.” This interlude came to an end with the return to classic forms of organization and the polarization of East/West, Paris/New York, social realism/abstraction, etc. Organized by the Université Lumière-Lyon 2, the Université François-Rabelais de Tours, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.


Fitz Henry Lane & Mary Blood Mellen: Old Mysteries and New Discoveries
Spanierman Gallery, LLC
New York, New York
November 15, 2007

In association with the exhibition Fitz Henry Lane and Mary Blood Mellen: Old Mysteries and New Discoveries, a group of leading scholars and experts on Lane and Mellen (his student, follower, and sometime collaborator) was convened. Attendees included professors, curators, independent scholars, conservators, collectors, and art dealers. Organized by the Cape Ann Museum of Gloucester, Massachusetts, in partnership with Spanierman Gallery.
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Between Fontainebleau and Giverny: Territories of Modern Landscape Painting
Musée d’Orsay and Musée d’Art Américain Giverny
Paris and Giverny, France
April 27, 2007 – April 28, 2007

A panel of international speakers explored the development of the concept of modern landscape during the period 1830—1890, paying special attention to the French national mythology of the time. This was an era of tourism and foreign artists’ colonies in France, and the conference invited a close reading of the factors that shaped plein-air painting in France and the United States after 1830. The symposium proposed a re-examination of the concept of a  ‘national’ school as one of the cornerstones of the art historical discipline. This two-day international colloquium was held in conjunction with two major exhibitions organized in Paris and Giverny: The Forest of Fontainebleau. A Life-Sized Studio. From Corot to Picasso (Musée d’Orsay, March 6 – May 13, 2007) and Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885–1915 (Musée d’Art Américain Giverny, April 1 – July 1, 2007). Organized jointly by the Musée d’Orsay and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
 
Narratives of American Art
John F. Kennedy Institut für Nordamerikastudien
Berlin, Germany
May 24, 2007 – May 26, 2007

This two-and-a-half-day day international conference was devoted to the different models used to explain historic and contemporary American art scholarship and exhibitions in Germany.  Organized by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the John F. Kennedy Institut für Nordamerikastudien, with support from the German Association for American Studies, this conference brought together American and European scholars of art history and cultural history who presented papers on the different heuristic models that have been used to explain the nature and development of historic American art. Speakers discussed five different narratives that have shaped German perceptions of American art: American exceptionalism, high/low art, visual culture, multiculturalism, and trans-nationalism.
 
The American West: Tracing the Genesis of a Myth
Rouen, France
September 28, 2007

This international colloquium addressed critical questions about the creation of a repertoire of mythical images representing the open spaces, the Frontier experience, and the heroism of the cowboy and Indian as icons of the American West. Co-organized by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Rouent in relation to two major exhibitions devoted to the representations of the West and of Native Americans in the nineteenth century: La Mythologie de l’Ouest dans l’art américain, 1830–1940 (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, September 28, 2007 – January 7, 2008 and then at FRAME-affiliated museums in Rennes and Marseilles) and Images of the West: Survey Photography in French Collections, 1860–1880 (Musée d’Art Américain Giverny, July 10 – October 31, 2007).The colloquium brought together several of the foremost specialists in art, literature and cinema from both sides of the Atlantic.
 
Survey Photography of the American West
UFR d’Etudes Anglophones – Institut Charles V and Université Paris 7 Denis-Diderot
Paris, France
September 29, 2007

This colloquium, organized by François Brunet and the Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7 in collaboration with the Terra Foundation for American Art, acted as a counterpart to the exhibition Images of the West: Survey Photography in French Collections, 1860–1880 (Musée d’Art Américain Giverny, July 10 – October 31, 2007). It brought together several of the foremost American specialists on this subject, as well as European researchers and curators working on the corpus of American exploration between 1860 and 1880: Martha Sandweiss (Amherst College), Joel Snyder (University of Chicago), Robin Kelsey (Harvard University), Mick Gidley (Leeds University), Christine Barthe (Musée du quai Branly), Evelyne Payen (Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle), and Didier Aubert (Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle).


American Artists in Munich: Artistic Migration and Cultural Exchange Processes
Amerikahaus München
Munich, Germany
October 9, 2007 – October 11, 2007

This two-and-a-half day international colloquium, on the attraction of the self-proclaimed “Kunststadt” / “City of the Art(s)” for American artists between 1850 and World War I, explored the phenomenon of artistic migration and transfer. Seven American and eight European scholars were invited to give presentations on the development of and motives behind this movement, with a particular focus on Munich as an “art city” and the art academy as its center. Speakers examined the influencing factors on choosing a place of study, including not just the attractiveness of a city and its art institutions, but also the students’ own cultural background and the growing American colonies shaped by leading compatriots. Organized by the Research on the Formation of Artists group and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
 
The Multiple and the Unique: Seriality and Reproducibility
The International Consortium on Art History: Sixth International École de Printemps
Giverny, France
June 9, 2008 – June 13, 2008

The sixth international Springtime Academy brought together more than sixty participants to discuss themes based on the phenomena of seriality and reproducibility.
 
On Democracy in America: Arts, Science and Politics, 1776-1865
Musée du Louvre Paris, France
June 16, 2006

In the years from the Declaration of Independence to the end of the Civil War, America enjoyed a period of intense creative investment in the arts, science, and technology. This colloquium studied the cultural cross-currents that developed between Europe and the United States during this time through emblematic figures such as Samuel Finley Breeze Morse and Alexis de Tocqueville. The social vision of a “new world”, the wealth of political thought, trends and the scientific production of artists such as Charles Willson Peale, Samuel Morse and Thomas Cole, form part of a universal societal model in which history is integrated into the development of a culture of communication. Organized by the Musée du Louvre and the Terra Foundation for American Art. In conjunction with American Artists and the Louvre (June 14—September 18, 2006), an exhibit at the Musée du Louvre.
 
Portraiture and Politics
Institute of American Studies, Jagiellonian
Krakow, Poland March 23, 2006

Held in conjunction with the 2006 Terra Foundation for American Art-organized exhibition Faces of America: Portraits from the Collection of the Terra Foundation for American Art 1770 – 1940.
 
Generating Culture in 19th Century America: Linking Private and Public Action
International Cultural Center
Krakow, Poland
April 26, 2006

Held in conjunction with the 2006 Terra Foundation for American Art-organized exhibition Faces of America: Portraits from the Collection of the Terra Foundation for American Art 1770 – 1940.


Heroism and Reportage
Courtauld Institute of Art and the Dulwich Picture Gallery
London, England
April 10, 2006

This two-day international conference examined the context of Winslow Homer’s works in relation to the topics of heroism and reportage in the art of the second half of the nineteenth century. It was organized by the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum in conjunction with the Terra Foundation for American Art coincided with the exhibition Winslow Homer: Poet of the Sea (February 22— May 21, 2006) at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, co-organised with the Musée d’Art Américain Giverny and Terra Foundation for American Art. The conference included a gallery session and a plenary lecture at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

The Face of a Nation: Portraiture and National Identity
International Cultural Center Krakow, Poland
March 22, 2006

Held in conjunction with the 2006 Terra Foundation for American Art-organized exhibition Faces of America: Portraits from the Collection of the Terra Foundation for American Art 1770 – 1940.
 
The Independence of American Art
Musée du Louvre
Paris, France
March 8, 2003

This colloquium examined the claims for an independent identity at key moments in the history of American art since the nineteenth century, and draws attention to the critical assessment of these claims in today’s context of globalization and multiculturalism.
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Making American Modernism, 1910–1930
Terra Museum of American Art
Chicago, Illinois, USA
October 4, 2003

Symposium speakers challenged popular notions about early American modernism, examined avant-garde circles within the American art world and interactions between American and European artists, and highlighted the spirited debate that took place between the circles of Alfred Stieglitz and Marcel Duchamp in New York after World War I as well as the regional pulse of modernism. The event was organized in conjunction with the exhibition Debating American Modernism: Stieglitz, Duchamp and the New York Avant Garde (Terra Museum of American Art, August 30 – November 30, 2003).
 
A Transatlantic Dialogue: American Artists in Paris, 1918–1939
Terra Museum of American Art
Chicago, Illinois, USA
April 17, 2004

Organized in conjunction with the exhibition A Transatlantic Avant-Garde: American Artists in Paris, 1918–1939 (Terra Museum of American Art, April 17 – June 27, 2004), this colloquium featured both French and American scholars who discussed the American art scene in Paris during the interwar years. Speakers included Sophie Lévy, chief curator of the Musée d’Art Américain, and Christian Derouet, chief curator at the Musée National d’Art Moderne-Centre Georges Pompidou.


New Voices in American Art
Terra Museum of American Art
Chicago, Illinois, USA
April 24, 2004

Recipients of 2003–2004 Terra Foundation for American Art fellowships presented their dissertations in progress,  providing a unique opportunity to hear from some of the brightest emerging scholars in the field of historical American art. Speakers included Michael C. Dooley, University of Iowa; Sarah A. Gordon, Northwestern University; and Ann Prentice Wagner, University of Maryland.
 
Remapping the New: Modernism in the Midwest, 1893–1945
The Union League Club of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, USA
September 18, 2004

“Remapping the New: Modernism in the Midwest, 1893–1945,” co-organized by the Terra Museum of American Art and the Union League Club of Chicago, examined Midwestern art styles and movements of the first half of the twentieth century, illuminating the contributions of Midwestern artists and artistic centers and their integral place within the story of American modernism.
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Alfred Stieglitz: From a European Avant–Garde toward an American Art
Musée d’Orsay Paris, France
December 3, 2004

This was held in conjunction with the exhibitions Alfred Stieglitz et son circle, la modernité à New York and A collection of 22 photographs by Alfred Stieglitz donated by the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation.
Symposium: Americanists Abroad
The Courtauld Institute London (UK)
April 16, 2011 – April 16, 2011

American art history is in the process of internationalizing. The past decade has witnessed a burgeoning of American art exhibitions, centres of study, and scholars abroad, as well as a rise in transnational topics of study. This conference is designed to draw together a group of historians of American art working in the United Kingdom and Europe to share and debate their most current research. Topics range from the 19th century to the 1960s and cover domestic issues as well as Atlantic, Pacific, and Latin American networks. Questions of what is at stake in the internationalization of the field will emerge.