International Symposium | Parallel Histories: Nineteenth-Century Australian and American Landscape Painting |

Martin Johnson Heade, Newburyport Marshes: Approaching Storm, c. 1871, oil on canvas, Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection

The landscape of ideas, explorer artists, the pastoral arcadia of settlers, and the natural wilderness will be surveyed in Not As The Songs Of Other Lands exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne. Recalling sentimental landscapes in the manner of Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) and so-called ‘improved landscapes’ with the inclusion of mercantile, agricultural and industrial iconography, this Symposium will highlight the introduction of American theories of perception and visual representations of materiality and ideology in the landscape, especially when positioned alongside the Australian interpretation of Indigenous landscapes and cultures. There are many parallels to be found in the representation of such complex cultural heritage. This symposium will activate these ideas beyond the scope of the exhibition space.

Join us as we examine the connections between the depiction of landscape, and the visual representation of myth and idealism in the context of nation-building. These central questions are considered through explorations of: idealised nature, the sublime, economic landscapes, environmentalism, expressions of power, displacement of indigenous populations, and the interplay between urban and rural perspectives.

Keynote – Franklin Kelly, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, National Gallery of Art, Washington | Nature and Nationalism: American Landscape and the Hudson River School, 1825-1865

American landscape painting rose to prominence during the nineteenth century. During this time artists, such as Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Frederic Edwin Church, Jasper Francis Cropsey, and others reckoned with exactly what “national” meant and how it might be addressed and conveyed through art.
Join Franklin Kelly, Deputy Director and Chief Curator National Gallery of Art Washington as he examines major works produced by Church, Durand, and Cropsey in the years 1850-1865, a period when American unity came under strain as sectional disputes, particularly between states in the North and those in the South, were on the rise and political and social systems became increasingly fraught. More info and bookings here.

Keynote lecture (precedes this symposium the night before. Please book separately.)
Thursday 6 April, 6pm, Forum Theatre, Arts West, Univeristy of Melbourne


Date: Friday 7th April 2017, 9.00- 5.00pm

  Venue: Forum Theatre, Arts West, University of Melbourne

Website and bookings (free to attend

An Idealised Landscape

Dr Elizabeth Hutchinson, Department of Art History, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York
Associate Professor David Hansen, Centre for Art History and Theory, Australian National University, Canberra

Displacement & Movement
Dr Julie Gough, Artist, Author, Independent Curator, Hobart
Alan Michelson, Artist, Author, Independent Lecturer, New York

Literature and Art
Associate Professor Anne Maxwell, English and Theatre Studies, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne
Dr Ruth Pullin, Art Historian and Independent Curator

Identity Building and Britain
Dr Chris McAuliffe, Professor Practice-led research, School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra
Professor David Peters Corbett, Professor of American Art and Director of the Centre for American Art, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

This symposium will be presented in the Forum Theatre, Arts West building.

Followed by refreshments and exhibition viewing at the Ian Potter Museum of Art accompanied by music performed by MCM students
Composer: Julia Nadine Loukes Potter

Not As The Songs of Other Lands is organised by the Ian Potter Museum of Art in collaboration with the Terra Foundation for American Art, which is recognised for its generous support. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund.


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