Malkin Lecture Series at Park Avenue Armory: The Indian Connection

September 17, 2009

Doors Open at 6:00 PM, Lecture Begins at 6:30 PM

The Indian Connection:
South Asian Influences on Gilded Age Design in America and Britain

This lecture tracked the rise in admiration for the art and design of South Asia among British and American designers, architects and theorists during the 19th century. Once considered merely another exotic style, Indian art was recognized by Owen Jones in The Grammar of Ornament as exemplary — its simplified geometric patterns contrasting with the “ugliness” of Victorian design. For William Morris, the hand-made qualities of Indian design added a moral and political edge. American designer Lockwood de Forest (a member of the Seventh Regiment) found in Indian carving and textile design the perfect style of ornament for Gilded Age New York. The rich interior design of the Armory’s Veterans Room by Louis C. Tiffany and Associated Artists is a stunning example of the impact of Asian influences on American design, including the fascination for India.

Tim Barringer
Born and educated in England, Tim Barringer is the Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art at Yale University. He has written widely on British and American art and was co-curator of the award-winning exhibition American Sublime, organized by Tate Britain in London and seen at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art in Philadelphia. His books include Reading the Pre-Raphaelites, Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain, and he co-edited Art and the British Empire and Frederic Leighton. Recent exhibition catalogues include Opulence and Anxiety: Landscape Paintings from the Royal Academy and Art and Emancipation in Jamaica.

Launched in 2007 as part of Park Avenue Armory’s inaugural season as a new cultural institution in New York City, the Malkin Lecture Series presents scholars and experts on topics relating to the Park Avenue Armory and its pivotal role in the civic, cultural and aesthetic evolution of New York City in the 19th and early-20th centuries.

The Malkin Lecture Series is funded by a generous grant from Mr. and Mrs. Peter L. Malkin and The Malkin Fund, Inc.


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