Research Seminars Spring 2020  



Durability and Disease: Guido Reni’s Paintings on Silk

Dr Aoife Brady, Curator of Italian & Spanish Art, National Gallery of Ireland

Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020

Time: 1:00-2:00pm
Venue: J004 (Rosemarie Mulcahy Seminar Room), Newman Building, UCD.

All Welcome.

Poster for Aoife Brady talk 

Despite its relatively high cost, seventeenth-century Bolognese artist Guido Reni chose to utilise silk as a painting support for several large-scale commissions. This lecture will examine descriptions of Reni’s works on silk from his early biographers, and suggest possible structural reasons for the artist’s choice to make use of this unusual support. It will also consider aesthetic and symbolic underpinnings that might provide explanations for this practise, including potential associations with Italy’s 1629–1631 plague epidemics. 


Living on Campus: The Architecture of American College Dormitories in the Twentieth Century

Professor Carla Yanni, Rutgers University

Monday, Feb 17, 2020

Time: 1:00-2:00pm
Venue: J004 (Rosemarie Mulcahy Seminar Room), Newman Building, UCD.

All Welcome.

Poster for Carla Yanni talk 

Drawing from her recent book, Living On Campus: An Architectural History of the American Dormitory (University of Minnesota Press, April 2019), Professor Yanni will guide the audience through the history of twentieth-century dormitory architecture in the US, highlighting the opinions of architects, professors, deans, and students. Through careful architectural analysis and based on extensive archival research, Yanni explores rectilinear modernist plans as well as designs based on Italian hill towns. In works by Eero Saarinen, Marcel Breuer, and Charles Moore, as well as lesser known architectural firms, she identifies how architects responded to sweeping societal changes and transformations in American higher education. She reveals the dormitory as a place of exclusion as much as a site of fellowship, and considers the uncertain future of residence halls in the age of distance learning. 


Wall Mosaics, Cross-Cultural Encounters, and Collective Memory between Byzantium, Persia, and Islam

Dr Sean Leatherbury, UCD Ad Astra Fellow in Art History

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020

Time: 1:00-2:00pm
Venue: J004 (Rosemarie Mulcahy Seminar Room), Newman Building, UCD.

All Welcome.

Please note that because of the ongoing Covid-19 situation, Dr Sean Leatherbury's lecture has been postponed until further notice.

Poster for Sean Leatherbury talk 

Very few wall mosaics, or walls at all, survive from the early Byzantine buildings of the eastern Mediterranean. To supplement surviving programs, we must turn to texts that preserve references to lost works of art. Two ninth-century texts purport to describe now-lost mosaics that decorated earlier Byzantine and Persian buildings: a poem (qaṣīda) by the Abbasid poet al-Buḥturī, on a mosaic at the Sasanian palace at Ctesiphon in modern Iraq; and the Letter of the Three Patriarchs to the Emperor Theophilus, which refers to a mosaic of the Virgin and Child and the Three Magi in the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. This lecture explores the features shared by the poem and the Letter, including a fascination with cross-cultural encounter, between Abbasid writer/viewer and Sasanian mosaic, and between Persian viewers and Byzantine work of art. Setting the texts against each other, I examine how public works of art such as monumental wall mosaics functioned as potent sites at which viewers of different cultural backgrounds—Byzantine, Persian, and Abbasid—could express, mediate, and reflect upon their identities, affiliations, and religious beliefs. 


Questioning the Impact of Art on Reconciliation: Approaches in Northern Ireland

Dr Victoria Durrer, UCD Ad Astra Fellow in Cultural Policy

Thursday, Apr 2, 2020

Time: 1:00-2:00pm
Venue: J004 (Rosemarie Mulcahy Seminar Room), Newman Building, UCD.

All Welcome.

Please note that because of the ongoing Covid-19 situation, Dr Victoria Durrer's lecture has been postponed until further notice.

Poster for Victoria Durrer talk 

Art for Reconciliation uses art‐based approaches to promote peace‐building in the wake of political conflict. It aims to produce work that reflects, represents, or responds to multiple forms of political conflict in order to transform conflictual relationships between adversarial parties. Yet no long‐term study of this practice currently exists. As a result, there is very little evidence that such artistic approaches work, or can even be analysed and evaluated in a meaningful way. There is also very little understanding regarding how funding practice, community response, and the management and production of art affects the landscape of this arts practice and vice versa. Taking Northern Ireland as a case study, this presentation will unpack the series of methodological problems this lack of evidence presents professionals, policymakers and communities involved in the development of Art for Reconciliation.

Past Research Lectures/Seminars

  • Nov 28, 2019: Mothers, Lovers and Others: Cults, Icons and Goddesses in Hindu Tantra, Monalisa Behera, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Dehli
  • Oct 22, 2019: Curating in Dublin City, Ruairí Ó Cuív, Public Art Officer, Dublin City Arts Office
  • Oct 1, 2029: The Politics of Interior Design: From Viceroy’s House to Rashtrapati Bhavan, Professor Naman P. Ahuja, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Nov 20, 2018: The "Other" Farnsworth House, Jan Frohburg / Social Smoking and French Fancies: the Dublin Art Club, 1886 - 1898, Dr Kathryn Milligan
  • Oct 23, 2018: Drawing Titian's Caesars: A Rediscovered Album by Bernardino Campi, Frances Coulter / Architecture, Its Histories and Their Audiences, Professor Kathleen James-Chakraborty
  • Oct 9, 2018: Playful Pantheon: Self-Fashioned Sexual Narratives in Joshua Reynolds’ Mrs. Musters as Hebe and Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the Graces, Priscilla Sonnier / Ireland Through the Stereoscope: Ireland in 3D Photography at the Turn of the Century, Assoc. Professor Emily Mark-FitzGerald
  • Nov 21, 2017: Encounter, Collaboration and Negotiation: An Interrogation of Co-creation in Contemporary Irish Collaborative Art Practices, David Teevan
  • Nov 14, 2017: Unpublished Drawings by James Cavanah Murphy (1760-1814) at the Gennadius Library, Athens, Assoc. Professor Lynda Mulvin
  • Oct 24, 2017: Materials and Craftsmanship in Architectural Production, Assoc. Professor Christine Casey, Trinity College Dublin
  • Oct 5, 2017: Dublin’s Bourgeois Homes: Building the Victorian Suburbs, 1850-1901, Dr Susan Galavan, Univeristy of Leuven
  • Apr 27, 2017: The Poetry of Vision: The Rosc Art Exhibitions 1967-1988, Dr Peter Shortt
  • Apr 6, 2017: A Body is a Body: The Embodied Politics of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Contemporary Irish Art, Dr Kate Antosik-Parsons
  • Mar 9, 2017: IMMA Collection: Freud Project The National Collection Reflects, Christina Kennedy, Irish Museum of Modern Art
  • Feb 23, 2017: The Story of the Art and Design Division of the National Museum of Ireland through its Collections of Decorative Arts, Design and History, Dr Audrey Whitty, National Museum of Ireland
  • Nov 10, 2016: Silver in Georgian Dublin: making, selling, consuming, Dr Alison FitzGerald, NUI Maynooth
  • Oct 20, 2016: The person behind the picture: the Dublin Civic Portrait Collection, Dr Mary Clark, Dublin City Archivist & curator of the Dublin Civic Portrait Collection
  • Sep 29, 2016: Not another book on the Country House!, Dr Patricia McCarthy
  • Apr 20, 2016: ‘The Taking of Christ’ - Advanced research into Caravaggio’s Technique, Simone Mancini, Head of Conservation, National Gallery of Ireland
  • Apr 14, 2016: Art History in India and Its Discontents in Global Times, Professor Parul Dave-Mukherji, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Feb 25, 2016: Modern Revival of Ancient Heritage: Ireland and China, Professor Chen Li, Beijing Foreign Studies University
  • Feb 18, 2016: Globalism Before Europe? Arabia and India in the Churches of Medieval Ethiopia, Professor Finbarr Barry Flood, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities, NYU
  • Feb 10, 2016: The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. New approaches of re-reading the medieval pilgrimage church at Finis Terrae, Professor Bernd Nicolai, Universität Bern
  • Nov 19, 2015: Beyond Ulysses: searching for the city in Irish art history, Dr Kathryn Milligan
  • Oct 15, 2015: “The excellent painter...” Research into the life and paintings of the Baroque artist, John Michael Wright (1617-1694), Eivlin Roden
  • Sep 24, 2015: “An ornament to the city” Holy Trinity Church and the Capuchin Order, Patricia Curtin-Kelly
  • Apr 14, 2015: The Greatest Show on Earth: George Scharf & the Art Treasures Exhibition, 1857, Dr Philip Cottrell, UCD School of Art History & Cultural Policy
  • Mar 3, 2015: Emily Carr - Conflicting Perspectives, Charles Hill, former curator of Canadian Art, National Gallery of Canada
  • Feb 10, 2015: Mendelsohn and Libeskind: a Hidden History. Jewish Identity, the Void, Architectural Metaphors and Traces through 20th-century Berlin, Professor Bernd Nicolai, University of Bern
  • Feb 3, 2015: And Then There Were None: Waterwheel Mills and Nostalgia in the Art of Canadian Painter Homer Watson (1855-1936), Professor Brian Foss, UCD Craig Dobbin Chair of Canadian Studies
  • Nov 11, 2014: Blazing Saddles: Aelbert Cuyp and the Equestrian Portrait, Dr John Loughman, UCD School of Art History & Cultural Policy
  • Oct 28, 2014: Encounters with Socrates: Conversational Settings in the ancient Athenian Agora, Dr Samantha Martin-McAuliffe, UCD School of Architecture
  • Oct 21, 2014: Reversing the Route: Counter-Revolutionary Tours and Landscapes of post-1798 Ireland, Dr Finola O’Kane, UCD School of Architecture
  • Oct 14, 2014: A is for Amulet: an A to Z through the Chester Beatty Collections, Fionnuala Croke, Director, Chester Beatty Library
  • May 27, 2014: Sacred and profane in Titian's late mythologies, Dr Tom Nichols, University of Glasgow
  • Apr 22, 2014: Architecture since 1400: Writing a Survey, Professor Kathleen James-Chakraborty, UCD School of Art History & Cultural Policy
  • Apr 8, 2014: COMMEMORATING THE FAMINE: memory & the monument, Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald, UCD School of Art History & Cultural Policy
  • Feb 11, 2014: Mies van der Rohe's Concert Hall: "...radical and conservative at once", Jan Frohburg, SAUL School of Architecture University of Limerick
  • Nov 12, 2013: Eileen Gray: the Elusive Irish designer and architect, Jennifer Goff, National Museum of Ireland
  • Nov 5, 2013: Painting and Sculpture for Art and Architecture of Ireland, Dr Nicola Figgis & Dr Paula Murphy, UCD School of Art History & Cultural Policy
  • Oct 9, 2013: Lord Charlemont’s Landscape: alternative views to Classical Marino, Dr. Ruth Musielak
  • Apr 9, 2013: The ceroplastic oeuvres of Daniel Neuberger the Younger and Anna Felicitas Neuberger, Maeve McGrath, University of Regensburg
  • Nov 27, 2012: Death of the Artist: Researching Artists' Monuments & Memorials in Baroque Rome, Corinna Ricasoli, IRCHSS postgraduate scholar
  • Oct 11, 2012: Vermeer and Music: Love and Leisure in the Dutch Golden Age, Dr. Betsy Wieseman, Curator of Dutch Paintings, National Gallery, London
  • Mar 29, 2012: Outside the Canon of High Renaissance Art: Masterpieces by Leone and Pompeo Leoni in Spain, Dr Rosemarie Mulcahy, Adjunct Professor at UCD School of Art History & Cultural Policy
  • Feb 16, 2012: Susanna and the Elders: Images of Venice, Dr Audrey Nicholls.
  • Oct 27, 2011: Quantity over Quality: Decorative plasterwork as a commercial enterprise in Georgian Britain & Ireland, Dr Conor Lucey, National University of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in History (2010/11)