Past Events

Making Faces: New Approaches to Georgian Portraiture


  • 17 to 18 November 2006
  • 9:45 – 7:30 pm
  • University of York

This conference marks the opening, in June of 2006, of the radically revised display of the National Portrait Gallery's Georgian portraits at Beningbrough Hall. It will be held in association with the University of York's Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies and will include an extended visit to Beningbrough itself, thus allowing scholars and students to discuss the works on display at the house in a wider critical and historiograptical context. The conference is further intended to promote discussion of the museological issues that arise from the display and interpretation of portraits in a venue - the provincial country house - that is very different from the more conventional, metropolitan settings where such works are often viewed.

Seated man in red robes with quill and paper

Sir Joshua Reynolds RA, William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath, 1761

Digital image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, London

The conference, which also draws on the strengths of the University of York's History of Art Department, will reflect upon the art-historical legacy of the early 1990s, when a number of important books were published on the subject of Georgian portraiture, and explore the approaches to the subject that have emerged over the decade or so since those publications appeared. Making Faces is also intended to allow established scholars to showcase innovative and original work in this area, and to provide a stimulating and generous forum for new voices in this still-burgeoning field of scholarship.