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Gauguin in Tahiti

Explore the myth and reality of Tahiti for Gauguin
Date
Saturday, 7 December 2019
Time
11 am - 4 pm

About

In the late 19th century, Tahiti embodied Western ideas of an earthly paradise. But could the real Tahiti live up to the Eden of popular imagination?

Experts discuss the realities of colonial Tahiti, and reflect on how Gauguin both wrestled with the elusiveness of paradise and perpetuated the myth in his art. We will also consider how Tahitians feel about Gauguin today. 

Image: Detail from Paul Gauguin, 'The Ancestors of Tehamana or Tehamana Has Many Parents (Merahi metua no Tehamana)', 1893. The Art Institute of Chicago. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Deering McCormick 1980.613 © The Art Institute of Chicago

Schedule

11 amChristopher Riopelle, Welcome
11.10 amElizabeth C. Childs, 'Gauguin in Colonial Tahiti: dream, reality and encounter'
11.40 amBelinda Thomson, 'Gauguin’s paintings of Tahiti: in pursuit of a meaningful 'Exotisme''
12.10 pmLinda Goddard, 'Savage tales: Gauguin’s writings on Tahiti'
12.40 pmQ&A
1 pmLunch
2.30 pmNicholas Thomas, 'Encountering Polynesia'
3 pmSpeaker tbc
3.30 pmQ&A

Speaker biographies

Elizabeth C. Childs is the Etta and Mark Steinberg Professor of Art History of 19th and 20th Century European Modernism. She has published extensively on key figures such as Gauguin, Daumier, Degas and Van Gogh and is author of 'Vanishing Paradise: Art and Exoticism in Colonial Tahiti, 1880-1901' (University of California Press, 2013). In her work on Gauguin, she has focused on Gauguin’s relationship to indigenous Tahitian and Marquesan culture as well as to colonial society, his work as a writer, his uses of photography, his interests in world religions and theosophy, and his construction of a primitivist identity.

Belinda Thomson is a freelance art historian and Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh. She has published widely on Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Vuillard and Bonnard. She has curated several exhibitions including 'Gauguin’s Vision' (2005, Edinburgh) and 'Gauguin: Maker of Myth' (London: Tate Modern, 2010; Washington, National Gallery of Art, 2011). In 2013, she received the French honour of Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Dr Linda Goddard is Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She is the author of 'Savage Tales: The Writings of Paul Gauguin' (Yale University Press, 2019) and 'Aesthetic Rivalries: word and image in France, 1880-1926' (Peter Lang, 2012), as well as multiple essays on Gauguin published in journals and exhibition catalogues.

Nicholas Thomas is Director and Curator of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge. Nicholas first visited the Pacific Islands first in 1984 while researching his PhD thesis on the Marquesas Islands and later worked in Fiji and New Zealand. He has written extensively on voyages, cross-cultural encounters and art including 'Islanders: the Pacific in the Age of Empire' (2010). He curated 'Oceania' for the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris.

Courses

Gauguin in Tahiti

Explore the myth and reality of Tahiti for Gauguin
Date
Saturday, 7 December 2019
Time
11 am - 4 pm

Tickets

Standard: £30
Concessions: £15