This event takes its cue from Whistler’s close connections with the world of nineteenth-century industry. His father was a leading railway engineer in the USA and Russia, and he began his own career at the heart of the industrial economy, as a cartographical etcher for the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Telegraph poles feature in one of his early ‘Realist’ works, and his famous Nocturnes were inspired by Thames smog.
But what did such images mean in their time, and how should we interpret them today, as we seek to ‘green’ in the face of climate change? Bringing together talks by art historians from the USA and Britain, and an innovative plenary by David Howes, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Centre for Sensory Studies at Concordia University, Montreal, the symposium investigates these and other questions.
Topics range from Whistler and the trade in guano to pioneer care for the environment, Victorian manual labour, and Whistler’s links with France, and the event follows on the ‘Whistler: Art and Legacy’ exhibition and ‘Whistler, Nature and Science’ symposium. It is supported by the Lunder Foundation.
This event will take place online, with tickets available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/whistler-nature-and-industry-tickets-199847949597