"Intellectually broad and carefully grounded in fundamental issues affecting the time, role, and place of the academy in society, this collection explores the ways in which art and tradition are either maintained or rearticulated late in the Victorian Era. Art and the Academy forges a distinctive new way to look at the broad range of academic creativity against a complex network of changing social patterns." -Gabriel P. Weisberg, department of art history, University of Minnesota
Throughout the nineteenth century, academies functioned as the main venues for the teaching, promotion, and display of art. Contemporary scholars have, for the most part, denigrated academic art, calling it formulaic, unoriginal, and repetitious. The contributors to Art and the Academy in the Nineteenth Century challenge this entrenched notion and consider how academies worldwide have represented an important system of artistic preservation and transmission. Their essays eschew easy binaries that have reigned in academia for over half a century and that simply oppose the avant-garde to academism.
The essayists uncover the institutional structures and artistic practices of academies in England, France, Germany, and Brazil. Investigating artistic protocols across national and cultural boundaries, the scholars examine the relationship between artistic training and cultural identity. Their essays provide new insights into the ways in which institutions of art helped shape the nineteenth century's view of itself as an age of civilization amidst the turmoil of rapid social and cultural change. With an engaging mix of works by leading scholars, Art and the Academy will be essential reading for anyone interested in the artistic, cultural, and social history of the nineteenth century.
Rafael Cardoso Denis is adjunct professor (visiting) at the Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro). Colin Trodd is senior lecturer in art history at the University of Sunderland.