CFP: The Legacies of Bernard Smith

The Legacies of Bernard Smith: A Symposium at the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney.
To explore and celebrate Bernard Smith’s work and its legacy, the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney, together with the Art Gallery of New South Wales, are convening an international symposium and are calling for abstract paper proposals due April 15 2012.

This collaborative symposium will take place over four days in two locations, during which Australian and international scholars, curators and artists will discuss all aspects of Bernard Smith’s wide-ranging work.

Dates: Melbourne, September 20-21, 2012
Sydney, November 9-10, 2012.

Convenors: Jaynie Anderson FAHA, Herald Professor of Fine Arts, University of Melbourne; Mark Ledbury, Power Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Sydney; Christopher Marshall, Senior Lecturer in Art History and Museum Studies, University of Melbourne.

Major themes:

  • Encountering Australia: Bernard Smith’ s seminal European Vision and the South Pacific (1960) remains perhaps his best-known work internationally, and pioneered a set of questions about power, vision and encounter that shaped studies not only in Australia but worldwide.
  • Imagining Australia, Defining Australian Art: Smith’s fundamentalAustralian Painting, 1788-2000 was the first convincing narrative of Australian art, and in other work he pondered what being Australian meant in a cultural sense.
  • Thinking the Modern and Contemporary: Bernard Smith FAHA was a profound historian of visual encounters with early Australia, as well as an impassioned critic and historian of contemporary art in Australia.
  • Being with Art: Prof. Smith’s work as a cataloguer of collections (particularly at the Art Gallery of New South Wales) and his exploration of contemporary art in a journalistic and critical mode, was a substantial area of his activity as an intellectual.
  • Bernard Smith the activist: His concern for his community and his involvement in politics, from local to global.
  • Bernard Smith the writer: Bernard Smith was a prose writer of great gifts, not just in criticism and art history. His memoirs, particularly The Boy Adeodatusare important examples of the genre.

Submit your abstract paper proposals: Please send a 100-word abstract of your proposed paper and a CV to Powerinstitute Events by April 15 2012.
A decision on the selection will be made by May 15 2012. For more information, please email the Power Institute.