“We Sit Starving Amidst Our Gold”

Though I could not go to Venice this year — where NAVSA/BAVS 2013 is about to begin — Venice, it seems, came to me, by way of Toronto’s Globe and Mail. Last Saturday’s edition featured on the cover of its arts section an image taken from the “buzz” piece at the 2013 Venice Biennale, Jeremy Deller’s “We Sit Starving Amidst Our Gold.”

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Image courtesy of British Council. Jeremy Deller’s British Council commission is at La Biennale di Venezia until 24th November and will tour national UK venues in 2014. http://www.britishcouncil.org/visualarts.

“Hey,” I said to my partner before reading the piece, “that looks like William Morris throwing that yacht!” I’m both proud and ashamed of my nerdiness in this regard. Continue reading ““We Sit Starving Amidst Our Gold””

Victorians and the Art of Photocollage


Reprieve! I’ve been steeped in regret at not having posted a review of Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage when it was on at the AGO over the summer. My impressions have liquefied and dribbled off somewhere in the intervening months. Let me offer the Elizabeth Siegel’s curatorial lecture in their stead. In July I would have said that Victorian ephemera was ideal for the summer months, but now that patio season is over, I’m more inclined than ever to get out my pinking sheers in solidarity with Siegel’s subjects.

“Playing with Pictures”: Victorian Photocollage at the Met

A current exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York showcases a little-known, playful, and funny form of Victorian art. Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage features a collection of photocollages created by Victorian women (and a few men), in which they integrated photos of family members and friends with watercolour paintings, sketches, and writing to create strange new worlds. I wish I could see them in person! Roberta Smith gives the show a positive review in the New York Times, contextualizing the work within the history of photography. Continue reading ““Playing with Pictures”: Victorian Photocollage at the Met”

Lining the Nest: Art History and Victorian Studies

For years I’ve felt right at home in the nesting colony that is Victorian Studies. As Victorian Studies expanded in the last decade to include history along side literary criticism, I’ve snuggled in and lined my Victorian Studies nest with novels, popular science treatises, artificial limb catalogues, late-century films, and body building manuals. Although visual culture is central to Victorian Studies, it was only at the joint VSAWC and VISAWUS conference in October that I started to think about the art historians that might be nesting in the same Victorian Studies colonies.

This year’s joint Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada Continue reading “Lining the Nest: Art History and Victorian Studies”