Past Events

Thinking About Exhibitions: Interpretation, Reconstruction, and Curation

Lecture Series – Mark Hallett

  • 8 March to 12 April 2018
  • 6:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Paul Mellon Centre

Led by the Centre’s Director of Studies, Mark Hallett, this spring's course will take an exciting behind-the-scenes look at the research, writing, borrowing, design, and installation processes involved in putting on a major exhibition. 'Thinking About Exhibitions' will use as case studies exhibitions held at major institutions around the world including:

  • Hogarth, which took place at Tate Britain in 2007,
  • The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition, at the Royal Academy, due to open Summer 2018
  • George Shaw: A Corner of a Foreign Field, which will open at the Yale Center for British Art in the autumn, before travelling to the Holburne Museum in Bath in the spring of 2019.

“Thinking about Exhibitions” will feature artists, curators, and art historians as guest speakers over its five sessions.

This term’s course will take a slightly different format from previous years. The first four sessions will follow the traditional Public Lecture Course model, with a lecture followed by a question and answer period. The final session will be a group discussion that will bring together all of the themes discussed in the preceding lectures. Each lecture will be recorded and made available to the public through the Centre’s website.

“Thinking about Exhibitions” will begin on Thursday, 8 March 2018 and will run every Thursday for three weeks. There will be a one-week break for the Easter holiday and the course will begin again on 5 April and conclude on 12 April.

Please see our 'Visit' page for more information about accessing the Paul Mellon Centre.

You can watch the lectures live on our Livestream page. Videos of the lectures will then be made available on our website 24 hours after the lecture. Please note: the lecture on 12th April will not be broadcast.

About the speaker

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    Mark Hallett is Märit Rausing Director at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Between 2012 and 2023 he was Director of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. Prior to taking up that position, Mark worked in the History of Art department at the University of York. Appointed as lecturer in 1994, he became a professor in 2006 and was Head of Department between 2007 and 2012.

    Mark’s scholarly research has focused on British art from the seventeenth century onwards. Books he has written and edited include The Spectacle of Difference: Graphic Satire in the Age of Hogarth (Yale University Press, 1999); Hogarth (Phaidon Press, 2000); Eighteenth Century York: Culture, Space and Society (edited with Jane Rendall, Borthwick Institute, 2003); Faces in a Library: Sir Joshua Reynolds's 'Streatham Worthies' (The Watson Gordon Lecture 2011, National Galleries of Scotland, 2012); Living with the Royal Academy: Artistic ideals and Experiences in England, 1769–1848 (edited with Sarah Monks and John Barrell Ashgate, 2013); Reynolds: Portraiture in Action (Yale University Press, 2014); and Court, Country, City: British Art and Architecture, 1660–1735 (edited with Nigel Llewellyn and Martin Myrone, Yale University Press, 2016). He also co-edited the major online publication, The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018 (Paul Mellon Centre, 2018).

    Mark has also been involved in curating numerous exhibitions. He co-curated the 2007 Tate Britain exhibition Hogarth and co-authored the accompanying catalogue with Christine Riding; he co-curated the 2011 York Art Gallery exhibition William Etty: Art and Controversy and co-edited the accompanying catalogue with Sarah Burnage and Laura Turner; he co-curated the 2015 Wallace Collection exhibition Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint and co-edited the accompanying catalogue with Lucy Davis. With his PMC colleague Sarah Victoria Turner, he curated the 2018 Royal Academy exhibition, The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition, and co-authored the accompanying catalogue. He curated George Shaw: A Corner of a Foreign Field, which opened at the Yale Center for British Art in October 2018, before travelling to the Holburne Museum, Bath, in February 2019. With Zuzana Flaskova and Rosie Ram, he co-curated the 2019-20 Tate Britain Spotlight Display Vital Fragments: Nigel Henderson and the Art of Collage, for which he also co-wrote a series of short films on Henderson’s collage-work Screen.

    Mark has been the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship and a Paul Mellon Centre Senior Fellowship. He was a Visiting Scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge (2013–14) and a Visiting Professor at the Courtauld Institute of Art (2014–16). He gave the British Academy’s ‘Aspects of Art’ lecture for 2019, titled ‘The Newspaper Man: Michael Andrews and the Art of Painted Collage’.