A Tale of Two Lockwoods

Photo from MALKIN LECTURE: A Tale of Two Lockwoods on August 26, 2014

September 29, 2014

Seventh Regiment member and artist Lockwood de Forest was one of the primary importers of East Indian crafts and design to America in the late 19th century, an influence which can be viewed in the Armory’s period decoration. His admiration for the skills of Indian woodcarvers introduced a new decorative element into the American interior — the elegantly perforated jali screen. De Forest, a charismatic, swashbuckling figure who began as a landscape painter but soon expanded his interests into the decorative arts, developed his passion for Indian art and architecture under the tutelage of an older man, his friend and business partner Lockwood Kipling. Kipling was one of the most fascinating figures in the history of the British Raj. A brilliant illustrator and a professor of sculpture at the School of Art in Lahore, he met de Forest when the American visited India with his new wife in 1880. Lockwood Kipling’s son Rudyard based the Jungle Book stories on experiences from this period in the life of his family. Between them, Lockwood Kipling and Lockwood de Forest Indianized the decorative arts of Britain and the United States. Professor Tim Barringer explores the relationship between the two Lockwoods and their impact, which can still be felt today.

Tim Barringer is the Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art at Yale University. His books include Reading the Pre-Raphaelites (1999; new edition, 2012) and Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain (2005). He co-authored American Sublime, and co-edited Art and the British Empire and Art and Emancipation in Jamaica. He is currently completing the book Broken Pastoral: Art and Music in Britain, Gothic Revival to Punk Rock and is co-curator of Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde (Tate, London 2012, Washington, Moscow and Tokyo 2013).

Special Event
This talk will be followed by a reception hosted by The Olana Partnership in association with their exhibition “All the Raj, Frederic Church and Lockwood de Forest: Painting, Decorating and Collecting at Olana” on display through November 2, 2014. The exhibition features oil sketches and paintings by Church and his student Lockwood de Forest, and a rare 19th century collection of decorative arts from India designed and provided by de Forest for the house at Olana. The reception will be open to all members of The Olana Partnership and Park Avenue Armory.

Photo: Eik Frenzel


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