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Santa Barbara Conference

The Art History Department and the Department of English at University of California, Santa Barbara, will co-sponsor an interdisciplinary conference 2-5 March 1976 on the theme of “Blake in the Art of His Time.” The idea of the conference is to bring together (Blake himself being the precedent) literary students and art historians of Blake’s work and period, with the intention of viewing his complex achievement in a wide perspective. Emphasis will be on Blake’s work as painter-poet-engraver-illustrator seen alongside the work of several eminent contemporaries (such as Flaxman, Fuseli, Linnell, Barry) to reveal more clearly what in Blake “belonged to his age” and what was Blake’s own and Blake’s only.

There will be morning and afternoon scholarly sessions, each featuring three or four twenty to thirty minute papers, on aspects of the general theme of Blake in the Art of his Time, by established scholars from both disciplines; but also a sprinkling of papers by newcomers in both fields who have fresh things to say about Blake. There will be considerable use made of color slides as well as other visual aids. Concurrently with the conference dates, there will be an exhibition of about 100 original items, by Blake and other artists (named above), on loan to us from various national collections, in the U.C.S.B. art gallery. The Huntington Library and Art Gallery are planning to mount special exhibitions of Blake and Blake-related materials during the period of the conference at their nearby Pasadena galleries.

There will also be evening events of a less academic character—e.g., musical performances of certain of Blake’s songs and other texts, in both new and traditional settings, examples of the music of Blake’s time, theatrical treatments of some of his work (perhaps An Island in the Moon).

The editorial committee for the conference invites interested scholars to submit papers for possible presentation at one of the conference sessions. Papers should be kept to about twenty minutes total delivery time and should be keyed to the theme of the conference (e.g., literary and artistic sources of Blake’s work; the relation of his work to the pictorial arts and art theories of his time; the relation of text and design on Blake’s pages viewed in some kind of art-historial perspective, etc.).

Mail to:
Blake Conference
Prof. Donald Pearce, Department of English
or Corlette Walker, Dept. of Art
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA. 93106

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