Upcoming Events

Angelica Kauffman symposium

Conference – Emma Barker, Sutapa Biswas, Rosalind Polly Blakesley, Rebecca Cypess, Ellen Hanspach-Bernal, Yuriko Jackall, Chi-chi Nwanoku CBE, Griselda Pollock, Jane Simpkiss, Wendy Wassyng Roworth

  • 7 June 2024
  • 10:00 – 6:00 pm
  • The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre | Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

Explore the life and work of Angelica Kauffman, one of the most celebrated artists of the 18th century, in this one-day symposium.

As part of the Royal Academy of Arts' retrospective of the work of Angelica Kauffman, this symposium will provide an in-depth look at the work of one of the RA's founding members.

Known for her society portraits and pioneering history paintings, Angelica Kauffman painted some of the most influential figures of her day – queens, countesses, actors and socialites. Her history paintings often focused on female protagonists from classical history and mythology.

Organised in partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts, the symposium will feature papers from scholars and academics on new research. Papers will cover Kauffman’s international career and her time in London, her inspirations and subjects, and her place in the art world at the time and her position now in the broader context of art history.

Speakers include Emma Barker, Rosalind Polly Blakesley, Bettina Baumgartel, Rebecca Cypess, Ellen Hanspach-Bernal, Yuriko Jackall, Chi-Chi Nwanoku CBE, Wendy Wassyng Roworth, Jane Simpkiss and Annette Wickham. The day will conclude with a special artist in-conversation between Sutapa Biswas and Griselda Pollock.

£30 standard
£10 concessions
Tickets includes include early-morning access to the Angelica Kauffman exhibition.

If you have any accessibility needs, please contact [email protected].

Listing image caption: Angelica Kauffman, Self-portrait with Bust of Minerva (detail), c. 1780-1784. Oil on canvas. 93 x 76.5 cm. Grisons Museum of Fine Arts, on deposit from the Gottfried Keller Foundation, Federal Office of Culture, Bern.

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About the speakers

  • Emma Barker is a senior lecturer in art history at the Open University. She is author of Greuze and the Painting of Sentiment (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and editor of Contemporary Cultures of Display (Yale University Press, 1999), Art & Visual Culture 16001850: Academy to Avant-Garde (Yale University Press, 2015) and Art, Commerce and Colonialism 16001800 (Manchester University Press, 2017). She has published in Art Bulletin, Art History, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Oxford Art Journal, Representations and Word & Image. She has recently published an essay entitled Woman in a Turban: Domenichino’s Sibyl, Staël’s Corinne and the Image of Female Genius, Word & Image, vol. 39, 2023. 

  • Sutapa Biswas is an inter-disciplinary artist working across a range of media including painting, drawing, film, photography and installation. A conceptual artist, Sutapa first came to prominence in the mid-1980s when, immediately following graduation, she exhibited in the landmark exhibition Thin Black Line curated by the artist Lubaina Himid. Sutapa’s works are shaped by her observations about the relationships between people and the places in which they live. She is especially interested in how larger historical narratives collide with personal ones. Underpinned by an interest in colonial histories and how this relates to gender, race and class, her art is nuanced by the ways in which oral narratives reveal the human condition. Like thread ravelling and unravelling in fabric, her practice weaves conceptually across time and space, inviting the viewer to speculate on constructions of their own identity in relation to the themes within her art. 

    Sutapa has exhibited her works internationally, most recently in Tate’s Women in Revolt! and in the permanent display at Tate Britain, Gallery 26. She has held solo exhibitions at Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (UK). She is a Fellow of Yale University. 

  • Rosalind Polly Blakesley is Professor of Russian and European Art at the University of Cambridge. She has served on the boards of the National Portrait Gallery, the Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettle’s Yard, and is now a trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Samuel Courtauld Trust. She has curated exhibitions in London, Moscow and Washington D.C., including Russia and the Arts; The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky at the National Portrait Gallery as part of a pioneering exchange with the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Awards include the Pushkin Medal and, for her book The Russian Canvas, the Art Newspaper Russia Best Book Award and the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize. Her latest book, Women Artists in the Reign of Catherine the Great, was shortlisted for the Apollo Book of the Year Award in 2023. 

  • Cypess, Rebecca_headshotsmall

    Rebecca Cypess is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Music at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University (USA). Her publications include Women and Musical Salons in the Enlightenment (2022) and Curious and Modern Inventions: Instrumental Music as Discovery in Galileo’s Italy (2016) and, as co-editor, Music and Jewish Culture in Early Modern Italy (2022) and Sara Levy’s World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin (2018). An historical keyboardist, Rebecca is the Founder and Director of the Raritan Players, a period-instrument ensemble that explores little-known repertoire and performance practices of the eighteenth century, especially those associated with women. She has received two awards from the American Musicological Society: the Ruth A. Solie Award for an outstanding essay collection (2023) and the Noah Greenberg Award for contributions to historical performance (2018). 

  • Hanspach-Bernal_Ellen_Headshot smaller

    Ellen Hanspach-Bernal is a 2006 graduate of the art conservation programme at the University of Fine Arts, Dresden. From 200609 she was the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Painting Conservation at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. She has worked for Klassik Stiftung Weimar and for the Conservation Centre for the Museum of the City of Erfurt, Thüringen, in Germany. In 2015 she returned to the United States to work as Conservator of Paintings at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

  • Yuriko Jackall joined the Detroit Institute of Arts as Head of European Art and Elizabeth and Allan Shelden Curator of European Paintings in October 2023. Previously, she was Head of Curatorial and Curator of French Paintings at the Wallace Collection, London (2018–2023) and Assistant Curator of French Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington (2011–2018). A graduate of Dartmouth in the USA, she holds a Master of Arts (MA) in British and French art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, a second MA in French painting from École du Louvre in Paris and a PhD from Université Lumière Lyon 2. Yuriko has authored numerous articles and exhibition catalogues and her book, Jean-Baptiste Greuze et ses têtes d’expression: La fortune d’un genre (Paris, 2022), was awarded the Prix d'Académie by the Académie Française in 2023. 

  • Chi-chi Nwanoku is a celebrated classical double bassist and professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Chineke! Foundation, which is dedicated to championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music. Chi-chi is a respected broadcaster, regularly appearing on BBC and Classic FM, and has been featured on notable programmes such as Desert Island Discs and the 2020 BBC documentary Being Beethoven. 

    Her contributions to music and diversity have been recognised extensively; she was awarded the CBE in the 2022 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Honours for Services to Music and Diversity, and has received accolades including the Commonwealth Cultural Enterprise Award, Creative Industries Award and Top 10 BBC Women in Music. Chi-chi holds honorary doctorates from Chichester, Open and Cambridge universities. 

    In 2016, she was named Black British Business Awards Person of the Year and received the 2017 ABO Award for her significant contribution to UK orchestral life. Named in the 2020 book of 100 Great Black Britons, she has also been consistently listed in the Powerlist of Britain’s One Hundred Most Influential Black People over the past six years. In 2021 she became a visiting fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, and was appointed an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple in 2023. Chi-chi is a fervent advocate for the importance of music in enriching lives globally.

  • Headshot of Griselda Pollock

    Griselda Pollock is Professor Emerita of Social and Critical Histories of Art at the University of Leeds. For her fifty-year career as a feminist art historian and cultural analyst, Griselda Pollock was awarded Holberg Prize in 2020 and the CAA Life-time Achievement Award for Writing on Art in 2023. Recent publications include Charlotte Salomon in the Theatre of Memory (Yale University Press 2018), Mary Cassatt (Thames & Hudson, new edition, 2022) and Killing Men & Dying Women: Imagining Difference in 1950s New York Painting (Manchester University Press, 2022) and Woman in Art: Helen Rosenau’s ‘Little Book’ of 1944 (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2023). Co-authored with the late Rozsika Parker, a fourth edition of Old Mistresses: Women, Art & Ideology (1981/1996/2013) appeared in the Revelations series (Bloomsbury, 2022) and forthcoming is Griselda Pollock: On Gauguin (Thames & Hudson).

  • Jane Simpkiss is the Curator at Compton Verney, researching and caring for its collections and working on the gallery’s varied exhibitions programme. Prior to this she was Fine Art Curator at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, 20202023. Jane's area of specialist interest is British and Dutch art of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with a particular focus on portraiture and the depiction of women in art. Jane tries to highlight the life and work of female artists in her curatorial work and to champion the perspectives and experience of female subjects. 

    She has curated a number of exhibitions and displays including Landscape and Imagination: From Garden to Land Art (Compton Verney, 2024), A Spirit Inside (Compton Verney, 2024), Reunited: The Lamentation Altarpiece (Compton Verney, 2024), Outgrowing: Flowers and Female Artists, 1700Now (Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, 2022); Going Dutch: Seventeenth-century Painting from the Collection (Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, 2023), Reunited: Shannon, Ricketts and Their Greek Vase (Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, 2022) and Modern Pre-Raphaelite Visionaries: British Art 18801930 (Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, 2022). 

  • W.W.Roworth-headshotsmall

    Wendy Wassyng Roworth is Professor Emerita of Art History, University of Rhode Island. Her publications on Kauffman include Angelica Kauffman, a Continental Artist in Georgian England (1992), which accompanied the exhibition she curated at Brighton and York. Her articles and reviews have appeared in Burlington Magazine, Getty Research Journal, Art Bulletin, Woman's Art Journal, Eighteenth-Century Studies and elsewhere. She served as Scholar-in-Residence for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington and has lectured on Kauffman at museums and conferences in the US, England, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria. Her recent publications include "Angelica Kauffman's Portraits of Americans in Rome and a Self-Portrait in Philadelphia", in American Latium: American Artists and Travellers in and Around Rome in the Age of the Grand Tour (Rome, 2023), and "Close Encounters and Stranger Things: Angelica Kauffman's First Years in London", Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (forthcoming, 2024).