CFP: “Fashionable Above Two Thousand Years”: Classical Art and Architecture of the Founding Era, 1760-1810 (Emerging Scholars Panel, 2019 Mount Vernon Symposium)

Deadline:  22 February 2019

Mount Vernon, Virginia, USA

31 May-2 June 2019

George Washington’s Mount Vernon will be hosting an art and architecture symposium, “Fashionable above two thousand years”: Classical Art and Architecture of the Founding Era, 1760-1810.  The symposium will take place from Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 2, 2019 in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Mount Vernon has released a call for papers for an emerging scholars panel.  The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 22, 2019.

The 2019 Mount Vernon Symposium focuses on classicism in the art and architecture of the Founding Era, and we are particularly interested in topics related to architects, builders, artists, buildings, interior and architectural schemes, paintings, sculpture, patrons, and pattern books. This conference is hosted annually by the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington and rotates between the three topics of gardens, decorative arts, and art and architecture. Now in its sixth year, this event features leading scholars from around the globe and attracts a cultivated audience of museum professionals, collectors, connoisseurs, historians, and researchers.

By the middle of the 18th century, Western Europeans had a long history of aspiring to the perceived purity of Greek and Roman art and architecture. The rediscovery of ancient archaeological sites, and the dissemination of knowledge of them through the Grand Tour, accelerated the spread of classicism in the architecture and art of Europe and the Americas. Newly elected president George Washington understood the importance that classicism would play in European perceptions of the new American republic. In 1790, he tasked Gouverneur Morris, the American minister to France, with purchasing a variety of fashionable French objects to decorate the dining room of the President’s House. Morris, noting that it was imperative “to fix the taste of our Country properly,” chose fine classical figurines, which he described as “fashionable above two thousand years.”

For our Emerging Scholars’ Panel, Mount Vernon invites graduate students, as well as professionals active in their fields for no more than five years, to propose a 20-minute presentation examining the study or expression of classicism in art or architecture in North America between the years of 1760-1810. Submit a 250-word abstract along with a CV, by February 22, 2019. Chosen speakers will be offered full symposium participation, travel, and lodging. Presentations will be given on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon.

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