John Ruskin, Art Education and Social Change
2019 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the eminent Victorian art writer and reformer John Ruskin. To mark this bicentenary and cater for the ever-increasing public interest in Ruskin, a large number of events on various themes have been planned worldwide.
The recent upsurge of interest in Ruskin has led to much fresh scholarship on his life, work, and legacy. The National Gallery’s two-day conference will capitalize on this new research and expand on it by looking specifically at Ruskin’s interactions with, influence on, and legacy for the museum world and art education, with talks structured around four themes: ‘Art Education and Museums’; ‘British Art and Photography’, ‘Language, Writings and Sources’ and ‘Ruskin Today’.
The conference will look at the extent to which Ruskin was working alongside or outside the British art establishments as well as the contribution Ruskin made to the emerging discipline of art history, including canon formation, formal criticism and other genres such as exhibition guides. A further, crucial set of issues will address Ruskin’s ongoing legacy, including the reception of his writing about artists and curating, and art in relation to social, environmental and economic questions. We will ask what his ideas can teach future generations of museum goers, artists, curators and funding bodies.
As an additional attraction, during the lunch breaks, there will be visits to the National Gallery Research Centre to see Ruskin-related unique archival material and tours to see paintings in the collection that Ruskin commented on.
Who is this conference for?
The conference forms part of a collaboration with The Ruskin Foundation, whose London Lecture 2019, in association with Sovereign Films, will be given by Professor Robert Hewison (Chair, 'Ruskin To-Day'), at the National Gallery on the Friday evening of the conference.