Appel à communication : « 150th Anniversary of Manet’s Olympia » (New Haven, 21 septembre 2013)

Yale University, September 21, 2013
Deadline: Apr 29, 2013

THE OLYMPIAD: Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Manet’s Olympia

Call for Papers:

“Oui, à Paris en 1863, sur la scène de la peinture, quelque chose commence vraiment” – 1863: Naissance de la peinture moderne, Gaëtan Picon

2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the painting of Édouard Manet’s Olympia and Déjeuner sur l’herbe, as well as the latter’s exhibition at the Salon des Réfusés. Both of these works and the Salon des Réfusés itself have been considered touchstones in histories of European modernism, championed by critics from Émile Zola to Clement Greenberg and André Malraux. The Yale departments of the History of Art and French and the Yale School of Art are organizing a graduate student conference on the complex legacies of this historical moment.
The conference will be timed to coincide with an exhibition of 20th century artistic responses to the Olympia and the art of 1863, and another of current student work done in the same vein. While this moment has been extensively theorized and documented in the history of art, it has typically been explored only within the dominant frameworks of the historical avant-garde. We are looking for papers which revisit Olympia, Déjeuner sur l’herbe, and/or the institutional structure of the Salon des Réfusés and other major paintings exhibited there from new vantage points, calling into question the standard teleological narrative of modernism. Submissions could address the art historiography of this moment as well as the artworks themselves.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

– Reevaluating the legacies of the Parisian avant-garde after the interventions of feminist and social art history

– Calling into question the notion of the modernist masterpiece and its role historical discourse

– Critically examining the institutionalization of the avant-garde, as for example in the Salon des Réfusés

– Providing new interpretations of major paintings from 1863, especially Olympia and Déjeuner sur l’herbe

– Addressing the later artistic reinterpretations of Olympia and Déjeuner sur l’herbe, which could range, for example, from Cézanne’s A Modern Olympia (1873-74) to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Maid from Olympia (1982)

Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to Izabel Gass ( by April 29, 2013. The conference will be held at Yale University in New Haven, CT on September 21st, 2013. To date, confirmed speakers include Carol Armstrong (Yale) and Anne McCauley (Princeton).

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