19th Century Landscapes 

National Galleries Scotland

Thursday 14 September 2017 11.00–17.00

John Constable 'Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows' 1831
John Constable
Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows 1831
Painting of a storm painting with cloudy skies
William McTaggart
The Storm 1890
Presented by Mrs Andrew Carnegie 1935, National Galleries of Scotland

A British Art Network Seminar organised by Tate Britain and National Galleries Scotland

This one day seminar will take as its starting point the current Aspire exhibition at National Galleries Scotland which displays John Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, exhibited 1831 alongside William McTaggart’s The Storm 1890. Constable, viewed by many as ‘The Quintessential English Artist’, was a source of profound inspiration for McTaggart throughout much of his career and the display explores the transformative influence of his artistic practice and technique on the ‘Father of Scottish Painting’.

The seminar will bring together contributions from art historians, researchers and curators to explore 19th Century Landscape painting, including the role of nations within a larger nation (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales within Britain), and the place of colonies and local schools in the national schools.The event will also address organisational, reception and interpretation issues when exhibiting British Landscapes abroad.

Lunch will be provided.

RSVP essential, to reserve your place at the seminar please contact Fran Laws Network Coordinator for British Art by 7 September 2017.

To request travel funds please email BritishArtNetwork@tate.org.uk by 4 September 2017.


Artists as Reformers in Britain c.1850-1914

Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, Compton, Guildford, Surrey

Monday 30 October 2017 11.00–17.00

George Frederic Watts, 'Mammon' 1884-5
George Frederic Watts
Mammon 1884-5
Oil on canvas
support: 1829 x 1060 mm
frame: 2150 x 1384 x 90 mm
Presented by the artist 1897

As the social status of British artists increased dramatically during the second half of the nineteenth century, they found themselves with cultural capital to spend. The definitive example is George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) whose 200th anniversary falls this year. Watts’s fame as Britain’s leading Symbolist painter was put to use in support of an extraordinary range of causes from animal rights to dress reform, in locations ranging from Whitechapel to Cape Town.

This seminar will explore how Watts and other British artists projected their aesthetic authority into social and political fields. While the political commitments of designers such as William Morris are well documented and readily relatable to their practice, the links between fine artists and the political sphere remains poorly understood. In what ways were transfers of power between the artistic and the political effected? Which causes were appropriate for artists to engage with and which were beyond their reach? How do artists’ political affiliations shift our understanding of their careers?

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers on this theme, within the period c.1850-1914. Please send proposals of 300 words maximum, together with a short biographical note (co-presented papers are also welcome) of 100 words maximum to Fran Laws, Network Coordinator for British Art. Deadline for submissions is Monday 4 September 2017, and we will reply to all potential speakers by Monday 11 September 2017.

The event will take place on 30 October 2017 at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village in Compton, near Guildford (Guildford station is less than 40 minutes from London Waterloo). The day will include lunch (provided), a tour of the Artists’ Village and an introduction to the exhibition G F Watts: England’s Michelangelo by the curators. The seminar is programmed by Nicholas Tromans, Brice Curator and Beatrice Bertram, Curatorial Fellow, Watts Gallery.

RSVP essential, to reserve your place at the seminar please contact Fran Laws by 23 October 2017. To request travel funds please email BritishArtNetwork@tate.org.uk by 16 October 2017.