• 27 May to 20 July 2015
  • Deadline 5:00 pm
  • A conference organised by the Paul Mellon Centre in collaboration with Professor Anna Gruetzner Robins

Conference date:
Friday 4th December, 2015

Recent research on Walter Sickert (1860-1942) has documented his prolific output as a painter, draughtsman, print-maker and writer on art. It has also highlighted the relationship between his work and aspects of popular culture, including urban entertainment, sensational crime-stories and newspaper photography. The aim of this conference is to build on this work and to think anew about his art and career through using the themes of the document and the aesthetics of the documentary. We are also keen to use this conference to explore the impact of Sickert’s work on his contemporaries, as well as his importance for later generations of artists. His impact on twentieth-century painting and photography in Britain, and beyond, was profound, but has yet to be fully investigated. Given that Sickert obsessively documented his life and career, this conference also seeks new research on ideas about artists’ writing and biography. The theme of the documentary will also potentially spark new ideas about Sickert’s relationship with and use of the press as a documentary tool.

Papers might address:

  • The importance of the aesthetics of the documentary as a strand in Sickert’s work and the impact this has had on British art.
  • The use of interviews and letters to the press to self-style a biography
  • The work of art and art writings as social documents
  • Sickert’s life-story and issues of copyright
  • The documentation of Sickert’s exhibition histories
  • The influence of Sickert’s documentary aesthetics on later twentieth century artists
  • Sickert and photography

Please send proposals (of no more than 250 words) for 20 minutes papers to Ella Fleming,
Events Coordinator, events@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk by 5.00pm on 20th July 2015