• 27 February 2019
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Lecture Room, Paul Mellon Centre

This paper showcases new research carried out under the inaugural Terra Foundation-Paul Mellon Centre Fellowship, a scheme designed to support the study of Anglo-American artistic exchange. Drawing in particular on unpublished archival material at the Archives of American Art, I explore the relationship between British artists and the annual International exhibition established at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute in 1896.

Until the advent of the First World War, the International provided a forum for the American exhibition of works by British artists such as Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Frank Brangwyn and John Macallen Swan. In return, these artists offered guidance to the Institute on how to negotiate the British art scene, as well as acting as judges on the International Jury established to award exhibition prizes. In particular, landscape painter Alfred East established a firm friendship with Carnegie Museum Director John W. Beatty, detailed in the numerous letters exchanged between the pair. East visited Pittsburgh on multiple occasions, selling works to American buyers and producing watercolours on trips up the coast to Connecticut. This previously unexplored link between British artists and an American museum provides an illuminating snapshot of transatlantic artistic interchange in the Edwardian period.

Image: ‘Alfred East’, The Thirteenth Celebration of Founder’s Day: Thursday, April 29, 1909 (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Institute, 1909)

About the speaker

  • Alison Clarke successfully defended her AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD, jointly supervised by the University of Liverpool and the National Gallery, London, in spring 2018. Her thesis explores Old Master connoisseurship as practised in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by art dealers Agnew’s and the staff at the National Gallery. During her PhD, she received funding from, among others, the AHRC, the British Association for Victorian Studies, the Yale Center for British Art and the Paul Mellon Centre. Since completing her doctorate, Alison has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Frick Collection’s Center for the History of Collecting and the Terra Foundation-Paul Mellon Centre. Having published her first paper in the Getty Research Journal in 2017, she is currently revising her thesis for publication as a monograph.