Return of the Paul Mellon Lectures

  • 04 Nov 2016

Can the consumption of art itself become an art form? Young London followers of up-to-date jazz—the Modernists—answered yes, less in words than in the cultivation of discriminating personal style and (by some adepts) in graphic design far ahead of its time.

The Paul Mellon lectures, which are named in honour of the philanthropist and collector of British art, Paul Mellon (1907-1999), were inaugurated in 1994 when Professor Francis Haskell delivered the first series at the Gallery in London. The model for the series was the Andrew W. Mellon lectures, established in 1949 in honour of Paul Mellon’s father, the founder of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The lectures are biennial, given by a distinguished historian of British art.

The 2017 lecture series, entitled Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, will be delivered by Tom Crow (Rosalie Solow Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University) and will look at the late-1950s emergence of the Modernist style among youthful connoisseurs of advanced American jazz and how it fostered a favourable climate for signature British artists of the 1960s—Robyn Denny, David Hockney, Pauline Boty, Bridget Riley, Bruce McLean, and Terry Atkinson, among them. The lectures will take place Monday evenings at The National Gallery from 6.30-7.30pm and are followed by a drinks reception.

Click the links below to book for each lecture.

Monday 9th January
Modernist Faces: Hard bop and clean design

Monday 16th January
Jazz painting? Modernist Hockney?

Monday 23rd January
Painting sensations: Pauline Boty/Bridget Riley

Monday 30th January
Hippy hippy shake: Sculpture through the counterculture

Monday 6th February
The great lost look c. 1969: Beyond cultural studies