Le Boulevard de Clichy, effet de soleil d'hiver, 1880, by Camille Pissarro

Is Paris Still the Capital of the Nineteenth Century? The Painting of Modern Life Now

Friday, October 30, 2009 - October 31, 2009

This symposium, convened by Hollis Clayson, Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities, Northwestern University, and André Dombrowski, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania, looked at the art of the French avant-garde produced between the Salon des refusés of 1863 and the last Impressionist exhibition of 1886. This period has for twenty five years at least been the focus of active and pace-setting research in art history, as the art of Manet and the Impressionists became the focus of some of the most lively debates about modernity, feminism, social and cultural history in the discipline. This symposium had a double mission: it put excellent new work on view from across the generations of a famously active field, and considered the fortunes of this field today. Does anyone still care about “Parisian Modernity”? Is this category still a hub for thinking about our discipline? Or have other modernities and post-modernities, other more global and more contemporary concerns, made it just another branch of art history?

Participants included: Bridget Alsdorf, Princeton University; Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, University of Delaware; Stephen Bann, University of Bristol, UK; Ting Chang, Carnegie Mellon University; Hollis Clayson, Northwestern University; André Dombrowski, University of Pennsylvania; Aruna D’Souza, Binghamton University, SUNY; Tamar Garb, University College London; Marc Gotlieb, Williams College; Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, University of California, Berkeley; Anne Higonnet, Barnard College, Columbia University; John House, Courtauld Institute of Art, UK; Richard Kendall, the Clark; Howard Lay, University of Michigan; Mark Ledbury, the Clark; Sarah Lees, the Clark; Nancy Locke, Pennsylania State University; Nancy Mowll Mathews, Williams College Museum of Art; Carol Ockman, Williams College; Richard Shiff, University of Texas at Austin; Paul Smith, University of Warwick, United Kingdom; Martha Ward, University of Chicago; Margaret Werth, University of Delaware

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