William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Culture: A Symposium Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Visual Culture Program at the Library Company of Philadelphia
Library Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., October 5, 2018
The symposium explores the visual, cultural, and social themes elicited from the work of Philadelphia artist William Birch (1755-1834) in celebration of the anniversary of the Visual Culture Program. The symposium in collaboration with William Birch, Ingenious Artist: His Life, His Philadelphia Views, and His Legacy aims to promote broad discussions on the continual resonance in American visual culture of the work of this premier enamel miniaturist, aspiring gentleman, and artist of the first American books of engraved views.
What can be learned from works conceived and executed by a non-native artist parallel to constantly (and infinitely) evolving fields and definitions of art, and means of art production, distribution, innovation, and appreciation?
Wendy Bellion, Professor of Art History and Sewell Biggs Chair of American Art at the University of Delaware and author of Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America (2011).
Session 1: The Birch Network and Diaspora
William Birch, Painter-Architect
William L. Coleman, Newark Museum
Rendering the American Landscape: William Birch, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, and the British Watercolor Diaspora
Julia A. Sienkewicz, Roanoke College
Session 2: The Urban Aesthetic in Popular Art
What William Birch Left Out: The Visual Culture of Disability in Early America
Nicole Belolan, Rutgers University-Camden
James Kidder’s Market: Urban Views and the Art of Commerce
Whitney Martinko, Villanova University
Nicolino Calyo’s Wider View: Landscapes of Innovation
Rebecca Szantyr, Brown University
Session 3: Novelty in Graphic Art: Horizontoriums, Miniature Photos, and Grangerizing
Distorting Views of Philadelphia: Shifting Perspectives in “A Curious Horizontorium”
Laura Turner Igoe, Barnes Foundation
Tiny Mysteries: Decoding 19th-Century Microscopic Photographs from Philadelphia’s Langenheim Brothers
Daniel Seth Kraus and Byron Wolfe, Tyler School of Art, Temple University
Taking a Page from Tuckerman’s Book of the Artists: Nineteenth-Century Print Media and the Grangerization of American Art History
Erin Pauwels, Tyler School of Art, Temple University
Elizabeth Milroy, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University
The full program is available at http://librarycompany.org/birch2018symposium/.
Clarissa Lowry, Events and Programs Coordinator