We wil be teaming up with Glasgow University History Society for this month’s seminar, which will take place on February 21st at 17:00 at the Gilchrist Postgraduate Club Seminar Room, in the Gilbert Scott building.
The speakers for this seminar will be:
‘Consider the skull and the lemon peel: the world of 17th century Golden Age Dutch ‘vanitas’ Still Lives’
‘Since the emancipation of Still Life painting in the 17th century Dutch Republic, the evolution of the genre incorporates a distinct, socalled,vanitastradition that can be understood in the wider context of the moralizing impulse evident across the breadth and depth of Dutch Golden Age culture. Thevanitasstill life paintings of the 17th century, functioning as “visual tracts on worldly vanity and the transience of earthly pleasures”, as eloquently observed by Simon Schama, constitute a cultural topos.With a Durkheimian emphasis accorded to the socioeconomic and cultural context of the Golden Age reality of Protestant Calvinism, national politics, global economic competition, and scientific advancement, this dissertation strives to illuminate how Dutch visual culture moralized affluence and wealth. Tracing its correspondences with the tradition of Emblematic literature and Baconian and Cartesian scientific inquiry, thevanitasstill life tradition is understood as part of a wider iconographic conservatism of realistic form and moralizing content. The paintings discussed in thisstudy by Jacques de Gheyn II , Pieter Claesz., Jan Davidsz. De Heem, Aelbert Jansz. van der Schoor and Willem Claesz. Heda, belong to the secularized religious idiom ofvanitas, and are representative of Dutch art of this period as navigating to and fro between moral and matter; the durable and the ephemeral, the exterior and interior; the illusion of life and the reality of inertia.Challenging Svetlana Alper’s position that Dutch painting is devoid of narrative, it is argued, that it rather contains the narrative of the Dutch Golden Age in its idiosyncratic attempt to reconcile its audience with their own shifting reality.’
‘Debussy, Bernstein, Finland: musical celebrations of the year 2018 by symphony orchestras in France and the United Kingdom’
‘There is no musical season without celebrations of anniversaries. Symphony orchestras commemorate composers, for example Jean Sibelius in 1965 and Dutilleux in 2016 for the centenary of their birth and Jean-Philippe Rameau in 2014 for his 250th birthday. Orchestras also celebrate their own history such as the 150 years of the Strasbourg Philharmonic in 2006, the 100 years of the first recording of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2013, the 125 years of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in 2016 and the 50 years of the Paris Orchestra in 2017. This study is a discussion on the musical celebrations of the year 2018 in France and in the United Kingdom. The year 2018 is the centenary of the birth of the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, the centenary of the death of Claude Debussy and the centenary of the independence of Finland. These celebrations are chosen highlights on specific heritages. Commemorative concerts and festivals preserve memory of famous figures and events that are considered as part of the ongoing elaboration and definition of the Western musical canon. Symphony orchestras could appear as standardised institutions around the world. However, the events they choose to commemorate and the way they organise these celebrations tell about their identities and national culture.’
All welcome to join us for drinks afterwards and further discussion.