Art on the line : the Royal Academy exhibitions at Somerset House, 1780-1836 /
edited by David H. Solkin.
New Haven, CT : Published for The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and The Courtauld Institute Gallery by Yale University Press, 2001.
xi, 278 p., [2] leaves of folded plates : ill. (some col.)
0300090919 (cloth : alk. paper)
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New Haven, CT : Published for The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and The Courtauld Institute Gallery by Yale University Press, 2001.
0300090919 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-05-01:
It is impossible to summarize the 17 essays in this volume, but if there is a common thread throughout, it is how the Royal Academy reflected, addressed, and served the various audiences that made up its public during the institution's tenure at Somerset House from 1780 to 1836. Whether it is the public spectacle of the exhibitions themselves (D. Solkin and J. Sunderland); the hidden class and gender orders found in the engraved depictions of the exhibitions and accompanying catalog (C.S. Matheson); the polarized critical responses in the press (M. Hallett); the capitulation to the public's demand for portraiture instead of the more valued history painting (M. Pointon); the crowded space of the galleries and the repercussions on the viewer's response to the detailed style of genre painting, especially that of Wilkie (D. Solkin); or the appreciation and evaluation of foreign visitors (W. Vaughan)--all find the Academy's audience an active factor in defining the institution and describing its role in British art. Without exception, the essays are first-rate. All are amply illustrated. Highest recommendation. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. L. R. Matteson University of Southern California
Appeared in Library Journal on 2002-03-01:
This is an excellent, multifaceted history of the great annual exhibitions put on by the Royal Academy in London when Somerset House was its home, starting in 1780 and continuing for 57 years. With remarkably little overlap, a team of largely British authors, led by Solkin (art history, Courtauld Inst., Univ. of London), considers this premier venue for contemporary British art from multiple viewpoints: the physical nature of the exhibition; the audience, publicity, and publications; the artists and the role of this exhibition in making and breaking careers; the urban setting of Georgian and Regency London; and more. The essays are generally first-rate, with minimal academic-ese, and give a full view of the development of British art in this period. The book accompanies a 2001-02 exhibition of the works discussed that is being held in the original Great Room of Somerset House, recently restored and now occupied by the Courtauld Institute of Art. That exhibition has been hung in the era's floor-to-ceiling format, with the best positions being "on the line," a molding that runs around the room just above eye level. Recommended for all art history collections. Jack Perry Brown, Art Inst. of Chicago Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, March 2002
Choice, May 2002
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Bowker Data Service Summary
This account of the Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House between 1780 and 1836 deals with the physical nature of the exhibitions, the audience, the role of the press, and the Royal Academy's place within the larger world of urban entertainments.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
Preface: 'The Exhibition'
Introduction: 'This Great Mart of Genius': The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House, 1780-1836p. 1
Architecture and Experience: The Visitor and the Spaces of Somerset House, 1780-1796p. 9
Staging the Spectaclep. 23
'A Shilling Well Laid Out': The Royal Academy's Early Publicp. 39
'Stare Cases': Engendering the Public's Two Bodies at the Royal Academy of Artsp. 55
'The Business of Criticism': The Press and the Royal Academy Exhibition in Eighteenth-Century Londonp. 65
The Sublime as Spectacle: The Transformation of Ideal Art at Somerset Housep. 77
'Portrait! Portrait!! Portrait!!!'p. 93
The Spectacle of the Muse: Exhibiting the Actress at the Royal Academyp. 111
Landscape-O-Rama: The Exhibition Landscape at Somerset House and the Rise of Popular Landscape Entertainmentsp. 127
Turner Fires a Gunp. 145
Crowds and Connoisseurs: Looking at Genre Painting at Somerset Housep. 157
Art in the Dark: Viewing and Exhibiting Sculpture at Somerset Housep. 173
Watercolourists and Watercolours at the Royal Academy, 1780-1836p. 189
Exhibiting Architecture: Strategies of Representation in English Architectural Exhibition Drawings, 1760-1836p. 201
Printmakers and the Royal Academy Exhibitions, 1780-1836p. 217
Foreign Exhibitors and the British School at the Royal Academy, 1768-1823p. 229
Taste and the Multitude: The Somerset House Exhibitions in Continental Eyesp. 243
Tablesp. 253
Notesp. 255
Photograph Creditsp. 271
Indexp. 272
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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