Final articles for Midlands Art Papers 2 published

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The final two articles from Midlands Art Papers, issue 2, have now been published online. In this blog, Undergraduate Research Scholar Jen Wilbur briefly summarises both of the articles.

Oil on cardboard painting of Madame Vuillard (Édouard Vuillard's mother) arranging her hair in a mirror. The figure is turned away from the viewer and her face is not shown. The painting in largely orange toned, with Madame Vuillard contrasting this in her purple dress with a white curved line pattern. She is situated mainly in the top-left corner of the painting. The carpet on the floor is largely beige and red and appears to be oriental in style. The carpet takes up most of the lower-third of the image. The mirror Madame Vuillard is sat in front is part of a large, orange wood cabinet. It takes up the upper-right corner of the frame.
‘Édouard Vuillard, Madame Vuillard arranging her Hair (1900), oil on cardboard, laid on wood, 51.8 × 38.0 cm, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham © The Henry Barber Trust.
On Exhibit: Curating Madame Vuillard by curator Francesca Berry

In her article ‘On Exhibit: Curating Madame Vuillard’, curator Dr Francesca Berry discusses the recent exhibition ‘Maman: Vuillard and Madame Vuillard’ which was on display at one of our partner institutes, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, featuring artwork by French artist Édouard Vuillard (1868 – 1940). In the article, Berry explains the inspirations which motivated the exhibition and what themes she wished to present.  Berry discusses how her inspirations were feminist in tone, as she aimed to explain how Vuillard’s portrayal of domesticity was not a superficial portrayal of feminine domesticity and was highly engaged with the socio-political context. Berry also celebrated how Vuillard’s mother was his muse, and showcases Madame Vuillard as a collaborator in her son’s artwork.

Francesca Berry is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies at the University of Birmingham

Abstract artwork two halves, largely in grey tones with the two sides separated by a grey line. The left half is formed rectangular shapes with are outline in red, orange, yellow, and grey. The right side is monochrome with thin lines creating overlapping shapes such as circles and triangles which bisect each other.
en Nicholson, 1946-47 (two forms) (1947), © Angela Verren Taunt. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Image courtesy of Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry.
In Conversation: Perspectives on Art Interpretation by Brian Scholes and Sophie Hatchwell

In this article, Museum Learning Officer Brian Scholes and Lecturer in Art History Sophie Hatchwell have a conversation about the similarities and differences between art interpretation in the public gallery and in the lecture room, with a focus on pieces from the collection of the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. They focus on three works: Sir Thomas Lawrence’s Portrait of King George III (fig.1, 1792), Joan Eardley‘s Glasgow Boy with Milk Bottle (c.1948) and Ben Nicholson‘s 1946–47 (two forms) (1947). They discuss each work in detail, and the different approaches of looking at and experiencing art. Through combining their different backgrounds and disciplines, Scholes and Hatchwell are able to uncover new ways of considering these artworks and hope to encourage the reader to question their own approach to art.

Brian Scholes, Learning Officer (Schools), The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum Coventry: I am a former secondary school art teacher, originally from Manchester. I have worked in galleries throughout the West Midlands for the last 19 years. I am passionate about teaching from objects and making learning accessible and fun! 

Sophie Hatchwell, Lecturer, University of Birmingham: I am an historian of visual culture, and my research focuses on text-image relationships and the dissemination of art in Britain in the twentieth century. I’d welcome conversations and collaborations on text-image relationships in art and display, and on art interpretation in the public gallery.

Midlands Art Papers is a collaborative online journal, working between the University of Birmingham and 11 partner institutions to research and explore the world class works of art and design in public collections across the Midlands.

Author: Jen Wilbur

I am a final year History of Art student at the University of Birmingham, and am currently the undergraduate research scholar for Midlands Art Papers.

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