Conferences & Lectures

For the first time the Italian Art Society is sponsoring a session at the Nineteenth Century Studies Association Annual Conference (15-17 March, 2018)

Venetian Vistas of the Nineteenth Century

Italian Art Society Sponsored Session
Nineteenth Century Studies Association Annual Conference
13:40-15:00 Thursday, 15 March 2018
Session IV.17
Sonesta Rittenhouse, Philadelphia

Venice’s long Nineteenth Century was a period of particular volatility.  Beginning with its 1797 conquest by Napoleon and subsequent occupation and bombardment by Austrian armies, the city’s post-Republican existence was one of constant change and conflict, especially during the middle, Risorgimento years of the century.  Daniele Manin’s 1848 revolution and Prussia’s ceding of the city to the newly-formed Italian Republic in 1866 marked a period further impacted by economic decline, industrial revolution, and increasing internationalism and tourist populations.

This panel will explore the visual arts of Venice in relation to these socio-political machinations, particularly in relation to new ideals, techniques, and media of the Modern period.  Venetian art of this period, often neglected in the broader discourses of Venetian art focused on the pre-Napoleonic centuries, provides a fruitful lens through which to view the evolution of both Venice and Italy as geopolitical entities as well as the emerging trends of what would shortly be described as Modern art.  Combining a pointed, historicist language indigenous to the city with modalities seen across European avant-gardes of the moment, these artists and works reveal a dense matrix of subject matter and artistic and political ideologies.

These four papers will trace these trends in the work of photographer/fashion designer Mariano Fortuny, artist/aesthetic theorist John Ruskin, and contemporary iterations of—and challenges to—the tradition of vedutismo, or view painting.  Collectively, these will begin to lay the groundwork for a fuller, more comprehensive view of Venetian painting during this revolutionary century.


  • Ashley Rye-Kopec, Curator of Education, University of Delaware Museums, Ph.D. Candidate in Art History, University of Delaware, “From Vedute Painting to the Neo-Venetian School: Changing Views of Venice in the 19th Century”
  • Adrian R. Duran, PhD, University of Nebraska at Omaha (panel chair), “Revolutionary Views: Ippolito Caffi’s Risorgimento vedutismo”
  • Wendy Ligon Smith, PhD, independent scholar, “Overshadowing Venice: Fortuny’s cloud photographs”
  • William C. McKeown, PhD, University of Memphis, “’The Paradise of Cities’” or ‘the channels of the dead’:  the sublime and the apocalyptic in Ruskin’s views of Venice”
  • Respondent: Catherine Anderson, Sacramento City College

View the abstracts for the panel here. Please direct questions about this and other IAS conference activities to Dr. Sarah Wilkins.

The IAS sponsors and supports a number of conference sessions and lectures each year. In addition to IAS-Sponsored Conference Sessions and an annual lecture co-sponsored by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the IAS posts calls for papers and opportunities to attend other conferences related to Italian Art. If you have a conference or lecture that should be posted here, please contact the webmaster.

Calls for Proposals/Papers for IAS-Sponsored Sessions
The Program Committee welcomes proposals for IAS-sponsored sessions at the annual meetings of the American Association of Italian Studies, the College Art Association, the International Congress on Medieval Studies — Kalamazoo, the Renaissance Society of America, the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Sixteenth Century Society (SCSC). Members are encouraged to send suggestions for sessions to the Program Committee Chair. See our submission guidelines for eligibility requirements and instructions as well as the individual pages for each conference listed below. Our Conferences at a Glance page allows you to see all current and upcoming conferences at once.

IAS-Sponsored Conference Sessions
IAS at American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS)
IAS at Kalamazoo
IAS at Sixteenth Century Society & Conference (SCSC)

IAS Travel Grants
The IAS provides grants to support graduate students, recent Ph.D. recipients, and scholars traveling internationally to present papers on Italian topics at select conferences.  Please see the our Travel Grants page for more information.

Other Calls for Papers

South Eastern College Art Conference (SECAC) 2018 •  17-20 October, 2018. Birmingham, Alabama

Art from Across the Oceans: Connections between the Americas, Europe, and Asia

The scholar Ricardo Padrón recently argued that Spanish galleons trading between Manila and Acapulco imagined the Pacific Ocean using real objects, creating what Homi K. Bhabha might call a Third Space that connects two cultures while creating a new one. In this session we take this idea seriously, interrogating examples of art that crossed the oceans. Was a single culture understood to dominate the network of places where ships stopped to exchange art, other goods, and ideas, or was a multi-polar system understood to exist? How did paintings, sculptures, and decorative objects make these realities understandable? What do archives reveal about the availability of material goods from foreign markets? In at least one instance a sherd from a Chinese porcelain vessel was knapped in the Americas to become an arrow point. Are there other instances of foreign works of art used in un-traditional ways?

By answering such questions we hope to understand how objects became meaningful in the hybrid, in-between, spaces of global oceanic trade, and ultimately enrich our knowledge about the global exchange of artistic techniques, styles, motifs, and ideas. Presentations may address any time period from the sixteenth century to today.

Proposed presentation abstracts of no more than 200 words (excluding title) should be submitted via the SECAC 2018 conference website [] along with a PDF version of your CV by 20 April 2018. Email session organisers  Bradley Cavallo or Travis Nygard for further information.

Conferences are listed in chronological order by due date. Corrections and additions should be sent to the webmaster.

Other Conferences: To Attend

Past Conferences on Italian Topics
Conferences 2016
Conferences 2015
Conferences 2014
Conferences 2013
Conferences 2012
Conferences 2011
Conferences 2010

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