CFP 14.12.2016

Writing Impressionism Into and Out of Art History (London, 3-4 Nov 17)

London, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 03.–04.11.2017
Eingabeschluss : 01.02.2017

James Alexander Cameron


Writing Impressionism Into and Out of Art History, 1874 to Today

Impressionism continues to be celebrated in blockbuster exhibitions worldwide: in the last few years alone, Impressionism, Fashion, Modernity (Art Institute of Chicago, Musée d’Orsay, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013); Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye (Kimbell Art Museum and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2015-2016); and Inventing Impressionism: Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market (Musée du Luxembourg, National Gallery, London, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2015). Since 1878 when Théodore Duret published his Histoire des peintres impressionnistes, Impressionism has occupied a central place in the canon of art history. That place now seems to be called into question, however. New transnational approaches to nineteenth-century art history have troubled the perpetuation of Francocentric histories. As the field’s attention has increasingly turned to places outside France—Britain, the United States, Australia, and beyond—Impressionism has been pushed to the margins. Though Impressionism has long benefited from powerful and compelling narratives via the social history of art, these readings have been worked through so extensively that it warrants asking whether this area of art history may be exhausted for the moment.

The Courtauld Institute of Art has historically been a centre for both academic research and scholarly exhibitions on Impressionism. ‘Writing Impressionism Into and Out of Art History, 1874 to Today’ seeks to scrutinize Impressionism’s past historiography and trace its possible future in transnational art histories, with particular attention to new directions, approaches, and questions through which to interrogate Impressionism. Papers are invited that address such questions as:

How did Impressionism come to be such an important area of research in the history of art? Aside from the familiar matrix of the marketplace, scandal at the Salon and rise of independent exhibitions, and dealer-critic systems, what other institutions supported the inclusion of Impressionism?
How did earlier models of writing art history in the nineteenth century adapt (or not) in order to include Impressionism? What alternative models for writing nineteenth-century art history proliferated in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries? How did those models come to be eclipsed? What were alternative ideas of modernism in the nineteenth century?
What is the history of the collecting and exhibiting Impressionism?
What new work is being done on the technical history of Impressionism, which has served as such a productive area of study?
How can the social history of art be reworked to raise new questions with regard to Impressionism?
What will be Impressionism’s place in future transnational art histories? How does a transnational approach enrich and expand current conceptions of Impressionism and reconceptualise the parameters of nineteenth-century (and modern) art as subfields? What does a transnational art history of Impressionism promise to answer? What pitfalls does it present?
How was Impressionism taken up outside France? What is the history of American Impressionism, and how does it differ from the French original? While papers are solicited in particular that present new work on impressionist painting in the United States, we are also keen to see proposals on impressionism in Britain and elsewhere.
What comes next? What remains to be written about Impressionism? What will be Impressionism’s place in future art histories?

Proposals of no more than 350 words should be submitted together with a CV to Alexis Clark ( and David Peters Corbett ( by 1 February 2017. Successful candidates will be notified in March.

CFP: Writing Impressionism Into and Out of Art History (London, 3-4 Nov 17). In:, 14.12.2016. Letzter Zugriff 20.07.2024. <>.