• 25 January 2017
  • 12:30 – 2:00 pm
  • A special Research Lunch in honour of our Mellon Lectures by Thomas Crow.
    Co-organised with Alex Massouras
  • Paul Mellon Centre

This discussion will focus on work-related aspects of artistic identity in the 1960s, exploring how tensions between work and leisure, professionalism and amateurism played out in the reception and status of artists in this period. The conversation will be started by short ten-minute papers addressing artistic, institutional and wider historical influences in the 1960s cultural landscape.

Questions to be considered:

Did artists professionalise in the 1960s and if so was that specific (e.g. institutionalisation via teaching) or general? What space was there for the amateur, the self-taught, the outsider in all this?

What was the connection between applied art and fine art and did that change? For instance was artists’ disengagement from commercial patronage (sign-painting etc), more significant than their engagement with industry more broadly, as in the Artists Placement Group in the UK and Experiments in Art and Technology in the USA?

Did the activity of making art in the 1960s more closely resemble work or leisure?

This event has been co-ogranised with Alexander Massouras.

A complimentary lunch is provided.

Image caption: Sir Winston Churchill, Chartwell

About the speakers

  • Head shot of man

    Thomas Crow’s teaching and research at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where he is Rosalie Solow Professor, reach from the later seventeenth century in Europe to the contemporary in both Europe and America. His first book, Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Paris, was quickly recognized as providing a fresh model for understanding the art and larger culture of its period. At the same moment, his much-reprinted essay, ‘Modernism and Mass Culture in the Visual Arts’, identified interdependency rather than antagonism between modern fine art and popular visual expression. All of these concerns—the broad social history of artistic form and reassessing cultural hierarchies alongside the individual formations of artists—came together in his recent, warmly received Long March of Pop: Art, Music, and Design 1930-1995.

    His doctoral degree is from UCLA, and he holds honorary doctorates from Pomona College and the Courtauld Institute. Before coming to the Institute of Fine Arts, his appointments included Chairs at the University of Sussex and at Yale University, as well as the Directorship of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. He has also been for twenty years an active contributing editor at Artforum. In 2015, he delivered the Andrew Mellon Lectures, on art around the fall of Napoleon, at the National Gallery in Washington DC.

  • A birds eye view of a woman creating a sculpture

    Helena Bonett is a curator, writer and lecturer undertaking an AHRC-funded collaborative doctorate at the Royal College of Art and Tate on the sculptural legacy of Barbara Hepworth. Her research focuses on the sites, sculptures and objects through which Hepworth is known and the connections that individuals make with these things and places, questioning what role Hepworth plays in people’s lived experiences and why. The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St Ives, Cornwall, is a key site for Helena’s research, as it plays such a significant role in understandings of Hepworth and engagements with her work within a particular context. Helena was an Associate of the Tate St Ives Artists Programme in 2014–15. Trewyn Studio is her first film.

  • Head and shoulder portrait of a man with short dark hair
  • Head and shoulders portrait of Alexander Massouras

    Alexander Massouras is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Ruskin School of Art. His current project, Casts and Iconoclasts: The Twentieth-century Plaster Cast and the Reproduction of Culture, considers the transformation of the plaster cast from a medium of canonic transmission into an autonomous art object. It uses the history of the plaster cast to throw new light on institutional and wider cultural shifts: attitudes to originality, relationships between art and art history, hierarchies of creativity, and reformulations of the idea of education.

  • Head and shoulders portrait of Elena Crippa

    Elena Crippa is Curator, Modern and Contemporary British Art at Tate, London. Her role focuses on the research, display, exhibition, and acquisition of artworks from the period 1940–80. She has recently organized exhibitions and displays of the work of Frank Auerbach, Bruce McLean, Tracey Emin, and Jo Spence. She conducted her doctorate research working as part of the Tate Research project “Art School Educated” (2009–13), investigating the relationship between new approaches to art teaching and art making as they emerged in the British art school in the 1950s and 1960s. She has recently co-edited and contributed to Exhibition, Design, Participation: “an Exhibit” 1957 and Related Projects (Afterall Books, 2016), has published essays on the relationship between sculpture and performance art in the 1960–70s, and on the work of Art & Language, Manon de Boer, and Victor Pasmore.