Events organised by the British Art Network

Forthcoming seminars

Joseph Wright of Derby and single artists in collections

Derby Museums
Monday 30 June 2014, 11.00–17.00

Joseph Wright of Derby, 'An Iron Forge' 1772

Joseph Wright of Derby
An Iron Forge 1772
Oil on canvas
support: 1213 x 1320 mm frame: 1458 x 1570 x 123 mm
Purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1992

View the main page for this artwork

This seminar will explore questions and issues around ‘single artist collections’ ;– the in-depth holdings of key individual artists which can be found in many museums and galleries across the UK. Often of international importance, these collections are major assets and a focus for public and scholarly interest. Some of these collections can rightly be considered as the foundation of world-class centres for the study and appreciation of key figures from art history. But these collections also bring challenges, in terms of presentation, administration, interpretation and research. Using the collection of Joseph Wright’s work at Derby Museums as a starting point, the day will explore these questions and challenges. Sharing their individual experiences and case studies are speakers from Gainsborough’s House, Watts Gallery, York Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield, and Derby Museums, alongside independent scholars with research interests in the field.

In addition, there will be an opportunity to visit the exhibition Joseph Wright in Bath (Derby Museum and Art Gallery, 25 May to 30 August 2014, in partnership with the Holburne Museum, Bath).

Programmed by Lucy Bamford, Keeper of Art, Derby Museums in collaboration with Martin Myrone, Lead Curator, pre 1900 British Art, Tate.

To reserve your place at the seminar and to request travel funds please contact Helen Woodfield, Network Coordinator for British Art

Other events of interest

A Dialogue with Nature: Romantic Landscapes from Britain and Germany

Courtauld Gallery
Until 27 April 2014

The exhibition brings together 26 major drawings, watercolours and oil sketches by artists including J.M.W. Turner, Samuel Palmer, Carl Philipp Fohr and Caspar David Friedrich.

The exhibition is a collaboration between The Courtauld Gallery and The Morgan Library & Museum in New York and draws upon the complementary strengths of both collections.

Further details, including how to book your ticket, can be found on the Courtauld website

Ruin Lust

Tate Britain
Until 18 May 2014

Ruin Lust, an exhibition at Tate Britain from 4 March 2014, offers a guide to the mournful, thrilling, comic and perverse uses of ruins in art from the seventeenth century to the present day. The exhibition is the widest ranging on the subject to date and includes over 100 works by artists such as J.M.W. Turner, John Constable, John Martin, Eduardo Paolozzi, Rachel Whiteread and& Tacita Dean.

Further details, including how to book your ticket

Art and Optimism in 1950s Britain

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Until 29 June 2014

This vibrant exhibition celebrates fine art, design and sculpture from the 1950s. It includes paintings, posters, design and ceramics representing the optimism felt in Britain despite the economic gloom of the post war years. Many artists of this time recorded a sense of apprehension and fear in their work while the Festival of Britain and designers of furniture, ceramics, wallpaper and advertising all embraced a new sense of progress and change. The exhibition includes works on loan from major collections, including Tate’s and mima collections, and features works by Anthony Caro, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Eduardo Paolozzi.

Further details about the exhibition can be found on the mima website

Constable: Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows

Until 7 September 2014 (National Museum Cardiff)

John Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows 1831 is considered one of his most famous landscapes.

National Museum Cardiff will be the first of five venues to display this important ‘six footer’ which was recently purchased by Tate. The painting will be accompanied by other works by Constable, as well as by artists who inspired and revered him.The display will be complemented by a series of events and learning activities.

Aspire is a partnership programme enabling audiences of all ages to enjoy and learn more about the work of John Constable by touring Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows 1831 ;to five UK institutions. Aspire is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund.

Further details can be found on the National Museum Wales website

Invention and Imagination in British Art and Architecture, 600–1500

Paul Mellon Centre
Call for Papers, deadline 25 March 2014

This conference will explore the ways in which artists and patrons in Britain devised and introduced new or distinctive imagery, styles and techniques, as well as novel approaches to bringing different media together. It is concerned with the mechanisms of innovation, with inventive and imaginative processes, and with the relations between conventions and individual expression. The conversation will therefore also address the very notions of sameness and difference in medieval art and architecture, and how these may be evaluated and explained historically.

Topics for discussion can include authorship, creativity, experimentation, envisaging, representation, and regulation by guilds or patrons, as well as case studies of particular objects, buildings, commissions or practices.

The conference will take place on 30 October to 1 November at the Paul Mellon Centre and The British Museum; it will include collaborations with the museum’s Department of Prehistory and Europe and opportunities to see works from the collection.

Conference organised by the Paul Mellon Centre, with Sandy Heslop (University of East Anglia), Jessica Berenbeim (University of Oxford), Lloyd DeBeer and Naomi Speakman (The British Museum).

Further details about the conference and CFP can be found on the event website

British Surrealism Unlocked: Works from the Sherwin Collection

Abbot Hall Art Gallery
11 April – 21 June 2014

This exhibition comprises key British surrealist works from the extraordinary collection of Dr Jeffrey Sherwin, a GP by profession, who has built up the largest collection of British surrealist art in the country over a period of more than 25 years. What is most remarkable about the collection is the diversity of styles and imagery – unlike other key artistic movements, surrealism has never had a single overriding visual aesthetic, and has constantly reinvented its means of poetic expression. Although unified most strongly as an official movement in Britain in the 1930s and 40s, this exhibition will show that surrealism continued, and continues, to infect the work of modern and contemporary artists, from Desmond Morris and Conroy Maddox to Eduardo Paolozzi, John Davies and Damien Hirst.

Further details about the exhibition can be found on the Abbot Hall Art Gallery website

Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes Conference

University of Liverpool
10–11 April 2014

Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes is the second annual conference of the Edwardian Culture Network. At the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, how useful is it to think about the Edwardian era as ending decisively in 1914? Indeed, how helpful have conventional boundaries of periodisation been in our understanding of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century British culture? Rather than viewing ‘the Edwardian’ as a fixed and isolated historic moment, this conference seeks to open up new ways of thinking about the premonitions and echoes of the Edwardian age. Just as the 1880s and 1890s can be interpreted as ‘proto-Edwardian’, so too the Edwardians can be seen to have anticipated many issues and debates of the present day, from coalition governments to trade unions, immigration acts to women’s rights. We invite papers on any aspect of British culture, based on varied temporal definitions of the ‘Edwardian period’. The two-day conference will be hosted by the University of Liverpool on April 10–11 2014.

Further details, including how to book your place, can be found on the event website

Association of Art Historians (AAH) 40th Anniversary Conference 2014

Royal College of Art, Kensington, London
10–12 April 2014

The AAH 40th Anniversary Conference will be held at the Royal College of Art in London.


Mieke Bal, ‘Anachronism for the Sake of History: The Performative Look’, Thursday 10 April
Grayson Perry, ‘Chinese Whispers’, RGS on Friday 11 April

AAH2014 will represent the richness and diversity of art historical debate across the broadest sweep of time and space. Founded 175 years ago, the RCA is the UK’s only solely post-graduate university for the arts. The conference will unite the interests of art history with those of contemporary practice, as well as a wide diversity of visual and material culture, including art, architecture and design. As it is in close collaboration with museums and galleries, most notably the V&A, the RCA aims to offer a conference exploring ‘history in the making’ through engagement with practice, collections and exhibitions.

Further details, including how to book your place, can be found on the AAH website

Constable Inspires Study Day

National Museum Cardiff
10 May 2014

A day of talks, opinions and new perspectives from the experts, inspired by John Constable’s painting.

Further details, including how to book your free place, can be found on the event website