Tate Britain Talk

Objects of Desire: Representations of Sexuality in Victorian Art Panel discussion with Michael Hatt and Lynda Nead, chaired by Alison Smith

Dante Gabriel Rossetti Lady Lilith 1866–8

This event will offer an opportunity to explore the themes of eroticism and desire, body, decency and decorum in the examples of works drawn from the Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde, as well as works not included in the exhibition. Lynda Nead will consider these issues in relation to the historiography of writing about sexuality and the Pre-Raphaelites and changing approaches to these themes to their work. Michel Hatt's presentation will present aspects of his research project on the relationship between homosexuality, imagination and visual culture in late-nineteenth century Britain. The panel will be chaired by Alison Smith, co-curator of the Pre-Raphaelites exhibition.

Lynda Nead is Pevsner Professor of History of Art at Birkbeck, London. Her work has focussed on nineteenth-century British visual culture and, in particular, interdisciplinary approaches to understanding visual representation. Her books include: Myths of Sexuality: Representations of Women in Victorian Britain (1988); The Female Nude: Art, Obscenity and Sexuality (1992); Victorian Babylon: People, Streets and Images in Nineteenth-Century London (2000); and The Haunted Gallery: Painting, Photography, Film c.1900 (2008). She is currently working on a book on post-war British culture called The Tiger in the Fog.

Michael Hatt is Professor of History of Art at Warwick University. He has previously been Head of Research at the Yale Center for British Art. He has worked on a range of topics in nineteenth-century British and American art and visual culture, and has interests in gender and sexuality, and in questions of visual racism. Publications include:  Art History: A Critical Introduction to its Methods (co-edited with Charlotte Klonk; 2006) and a series of articles on the representation of homosexuality in late-nineteenth century Britain. 

Alison Smith is co-curator of the Pre-Raphaelites exhibition and Lead Curator of Nineteenth Century Art at Tate Britain. She is one of the foremost of Victorian scholars and curators, and her exhibitions of Victorian art include 'The Victorian Nude' and 'John Everett Millais'. 

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

27 November 2012 at 18.30–20.00

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