Bright Lights, Brilliant Wit: Caricature and Electric Light in Paris

Tuesday 06 October, 2015
6pm, $0/Rsvp

Institute of Fine Arts
1 East 78 Street

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Clayson's lecture will track the responses of graphic satirists to the glaring new lights of Paris in the later 1800s. It is drawn from a larger study,ELECTRIC PARIS, that analyzes a wide range of aesthetic reactions to the changing illumination environment of the City of Light in the Era of Thomas Edison; reactions that ranged from embrace to disavowal. 

The Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professorship brings a distinguished scholar to the Institute each year to teach a course and give a series of public lectures. The Professorship was endowed in 2006 by the late Professor Varnedoe's friends and colleagues to honor and perpetuate his legacy of innovative teaching and remarkable public presence. Past holders of this position include Briony Fer (2014), Thierry de Duve (2013), Okwui Enwezor (2012), Wu Hung (2011), David Joselit (2010), Alexander Potts (2009), Molly Nesbit (2008), and Jeffrey Weiss (2007). 

S. Hollis Clayson is a historian of modern art who specializes in nineteenth-century Europe, especially France, and transatlantic exchanges between France and the United States. She is currently Professor of Art History and Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities at Northwestern University. Her books include Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist EraUnderstanding Paintings: Themes in Art Explored and Explained, and Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life Under Siege (1870-71). In 2013, she curated the exhibition ELECTRIC PARIS at the Clark Art Institute. Her related book studies the visual cultures of the City of Light in the era of Thomas Edison. 

Please note that seating in the Lecture Hall is on a first-come, first-served basis with RSVP. There will be a simulcast in an adjacent room to accommodate overflow. Latecomers are not guaranteed a seat.

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