> > > Prof Massey and Arnold speak at British Sporting Art Seminar

Prof Massey and Arnold speak at British Sporting Art Seminar
6 February 2015, The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art. The Mews, Palace House, Newmarket.

Anne Massey and Dana Arnold speaking at British Art Network's Sporting Art Seminar

Professor Anne Massey and Professor Dana Arnold have been invited to present in the context of the British Sporting Art seminar organized by the British Art Network, taking place at Palace House, Newmarket on 6th February 2015.

British Sporting Art Seminar - British Art Network
Friday 6 February 2015, 11.00 – 17.00
The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art.
Seminar Venue: The Mews, Palace House, Newmarket


For decades, British Sporting Art has occupied a marginal position within modern art historical discourse. The seminar will examine the genre of British sporting art and the reasons for its positioning on the periphery of modern art historical discourse. The day will include a series of short presentations and roundtable discussion, from academics, art historians and curators, exploring the genre of sporting art and the rich research potential this area of British Art can offer.

Speakers include: Professor Anne Massey (Art and Design Research Institute, Middlesex University), Alison Wright (Doctoral candidate UEA/Tate Britain) Hannah Clarke (Doctoral Candidate), Dr Cicely Robinson (Assistant Curator, National Horseracing Museum), Dr Sarah Turner (Assistant Director for Research, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art), Professor Dana Arnold (Middlesex University) and Adam Chadwick (Curator, MCC, Lords).

Programmed by Dr Cicely Robinson, Assistant Curator (British Sporting Art), National Horseracing Museum, in collaboration with Tabitha Barber, Curator, British Art 1550-1750, Tate

The British Art Network brings together professionals working with British art from the 16th century to the present day. The aim of the network is to contribute to the sharing of expertise, research and ideas across cultural organisations; to enable improvements in curatorial skills and collection knowledge; and to foster greater collaboration between partners leading to enriched understanding and enjoyment of British art for audiences across the UK.



10.15-10.45            Welcome tea and coffee on arrival

10.45-11.15            Welcome to the seminar and introduction to the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art project at Palace House, Christopher Garibaldi, Director, National Horseracing Museum

11.15-12.30            Session One:

Traditional Definitions of Sporting Art

11.15-11.25            James Harvey

Defining British Sporting Art (details TBC)

10.25-11.35            Alison Wright

‘Animal Painting’ and ‘Sporting Art’

While it is easy to see that ‘sporting’ and ‘animal’ art are not interchangeable terms it can be harder to draw a clear distinction between the two: a problem that has certainly concerned historians of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, in which many of the leading painters of sporting subjects, such as Stubbs, Marshall, Ferneley and Cooper, specialised to a considerable extent in animal form. This presentation will consider some of the implications of this specialisation, examining contemporary definitions and artistic practice, and suggesting some of the advantages of a renewed look at this classic period of sporting art from the ‘animal’ perspective.

11.35-11.45            Hannah Clarke

Traditional Past-time or Modern Sport? Re-evaluating Early Nineteenth Century Depictions of Fox-hunting in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

This talk challenges the veracity of traditional interpretations of early nineteenth-century depictions of fox-hunting in the sporting capital of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. Rather than depicting a timeless and unchanging sport, it argues that artists such as Henry Alken were in fact recording a highly contemporary and modern activity encompassing new ideas of athleticism, fashionability and masculinity. In particular, it argues that this art often illustrated new urban ideals of masculinity shaped in the Metropolis, rather than the countryside.

11.45-11.55            Anne Massey

Twentieth Century British Sporting Art

Sporting art, at least in the twentieth century is often overlooked and marginalised, given the predominance of a modernist, avant garde discourse. Sporting artists such as Tom Carr, Lionel Edwards, Gilbert Holiday and Edward Munnings, do not fit the ways in which twentieth century, British art is currently conceptualised. It is still dominated by a modernist paradigm, rather than what might be popular and meaningful art for a sizeable minority. In my paper I would like to briefly introduce the work of these leading British artists, and offer a new, more inclusive, paradigm for the history of British art.

11.55-12.30            Q&A and Group Discussion chaired by Cicely Robinson

12.30-14.00            Tours of the Palace House Site and Lunch The group will be split into two groups for the tours, the first leaving from 12.30–13.00, and the second from 13.00–13.30.[h1] 

 Lunch will be served 12.30 – 14.00

14.00-15.00            Session Two: Controversy and Sporting Art

14.00-14.15            Cicely Robinson

‘What a baying and writhing and struggling and brawling is here!’ - Negotiating the reception of Edwin Landseer’s The Otter Speared.                 

In 1844, Edwin Landseer exhibited a notably violent depiction of an otter hunt at the Royal Academy’s Annual Exhibition. While most reviews acknowledged the brutality of the scene, in which an otter is raised upon a spear above a pack of baying hounds, not all were necessarily critical of this display of violence. The Illustrated London News praised the artistic execution of the work: a ‘marvellous picture, painted in the rich, splashing, but most graphic style of Snyders’. In contrast, John Ruskin criticised this depiction of sporting triumph ‘over a poor little fish-catching creature, a foot long’. The Otter Speared has spent much of its subsequent life resigned to museum storage - a decision that has surely to some extent been influence by the controversial subject matter. With the creation of a new sporting art gallery currently underway in Newmarket, an examination of Landseer’s Otter Speared allows us to explore how challenging sporting subjects might be made accessible (and acceptable) for display in the twenty-first century

14.15-14.30            (TBC)

14.30-15.00            Q&A / Discussion chaired by Tabitha Barber

Tea and coffee will be served

15.30-16.45            Session 3: Categories of Sporting Art

15.30-15.40            Sarah Turner

Representations of boxing, wrestling and pugilism and the genre of sporting art

15.40-15.50            Adam Chadwick

The Marylebone Museum Collection / sporting and social history

15.50-16.00            Dana Arnold

Gift Horse: The Equestrian Monument in London

16.00-16.30            Q&A / Group discussion chaired by Tabitha Barber

16.30-16.45            Final comments and concluding remarks by Tabitha Barber, Curator, British Art 1550 – 1750, Tate

16.45            Event Closes

17.00-18.00            Drinks Reception at The Jockey Club, Newmarket [h1]

If tours are not possible Christopher Garibaldi will deliver a 30 min presentation after lunch followed by discussion

12.15 - 13.15    Lunch

13.15 – 13.45  Presentation

13.45 – 14.00  Q&A / Discussion

George Stubbs (1724–1806) Otho, ©Tate