CHICAGO.- The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art presents Looking and Listening in Nineteenth-Century France, on view through March 23, 2008. Audiences in different eras look at art and listen to music in dramatically different ways. The experience of looking or listening is not historically constant, but rather varies with social settings, technologies, and trends. During the nineteenth century, the habits and fashions associated with looking and listening changed rapidly. The proliferation of mechanically reproduced images (and later, recorded sound); the rise of museums, galleries, and concert halls; and the burgeoning science of psychology all transformed how people encountered the arts. Further, they altered how artists sought to capture the attention of their viewers and listeners. Incorporating a mix of works from the Smart Museum's collection and selected loans, this exhibition combines prints, paintings, drawings, sculptures, as well as music from nineteenth-century France. Looking and Listening cuts to the heart of debates about art and its function, and examines just what it is that attracts and secures an audience's attention in visual and musical works.
Curators: Martha Ward, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, and Anne Leonard, Smart Museum Curator and Mellon Program Coordinator. Exhibition Catalogue available at the Smart Museum Shop, 773.702.0528. Looking and Listening in Nineteenth Century France is part of a series of projects generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The exhibition and related programs have been made possible in part by the Smart Family Foundation, the Rhoades Foundation, the France Chicago Center and the Office of the Provost, University of Chicago, and are presented in partnership with the Consulate General of France in Chicago. The exhibition catalogue has been supported by a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
This exhibition is the culmination of an advanced University of Chicago Art History course taught by the curators in Spring 2007.