Celebrity in American Art, 1790-Present
14th Annual American Art Conference, Initiatives in Art and Culture
Thursday, May 14 – Saturday, May 16, 2009
***Student discount available until conference start date ***
Since the formation of the Republic, American artists and their dealers have avidly sought celebrity for themselves and their subjects. How they have defined that goal has evolved significantly, however; in the beginning of the Republic, artists aspired to formal recognition by and station within their society and a secure place in the pantheon of art history; subsequent centuries would lower the sights (of some, at least) to the proverbial Warholian 15 minutes.
The conference will contextualize the notion of celebrity historically, acknowledging its constancy as an aspiration, trace its evolution, and assess its current status in the art world, as well as speculate upon its future. We consider how artists become public celebrities and how they contribute to or create the fame of their subjects. We will discover that artists from Benjamin West to Jeff Koons have self-consciously sought preeminence among their peers and prestige among patrons and collectors. We will see how some artists, Andy Warhol among them, have put the notion of celebrity itself at the heart of their enterprise.
The conference is organized by Lisa Koenigsberg, President and Founder, Initiatives in Art and Culture.
Bill Agee (City University of New York)
David Anfam (author, Rothko catalogue raisonné)
Annie Cohen-Solal (independent art historian)
Robin Jaffee Frank (Yale University Art Gallery)
William H. Gerdts (professor emeritus, CUNY Graduate Center)
Anne Goodyear (National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC)
Frédérique Joseph-Lowry (independent art historian)
Valerie Ann Leeds (independent art historian)
Barbara Buhler Lynes (Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center and Georgia O'Keeffe Museum)
Ellen Miles (National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC)
Carter Ratcliff (poet and art critic)
Wendy Wick Reaves (National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC)
Lincoln Schatz (photographer and video artist)
Peter Schjeldahl (art critic for The New Yorker)
Kevin Sharp (Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis)
Evelyn Trebilcock (Olana State Historic Site)
Thayer Tolles (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Formal talks and conversations are complemented by other events; those already planned include: an evening reception at Richard L. Feigen & Co. featuring an exhibition devoted to Warhol, Johnson, and Dali; an evening reception at Hammer Galleries; and an optional, additional shuttle bus to Olana on Sunday, May 17th so that those who wish can tour the house and pre-view the exhibition, "Glories of the Hudson: Frederic Church's Views of Olana."
Registration information and event details available online at
http://www.artinitiatives.com/public/ and www.acteva.com/go/celebrity
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