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CFP: Framing Nature
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Greenwich, CT; March 5, 2017

Abstract Deadline: Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Bruce Museum welcomes submissions for its third annual graduate student symposium, which is being organized in conjunction with a monographic traveling exhibition, Alfred Sisley (1839-1899): Impressionist Master (on view January 21—May 21, 2017).

Alfred Sisley is one of the first Impressionist artists to dedicate his attention almost entirely to the landscape and the environment. Often secluded in rural France, Sisley's landscape paintings represent, as Richard Shone has observed, "A seemingly effortless lyricism underpinned by an understanding of formal architecture." In-keeping with the period, Sisley's work also displays an interest in scientific investigation as he rendered exacting visual displays of meteorological events – rain, snow, fog – on his canvases.

Following the Bruce Museum's mission for interdisciplinary research in both art and science, this conference is meant to engage the multifaceted ways that artists and architects frame nature in their work. Papers focusing on the environment, both natural and built, and the practice of scientific observation and empiricism are welcome for this one day conference.

Potential approaches to this topic include, but are not limited to:

  • Impressionism and the modern landscape
  • Representations of the environment (suburban, urban, and garden) as a nexus for creative activity
  • Exchanges between artists, architects, and meteorological science
  • The entwined disciplines of art and science in the representation or study of Nature
  • Aesthetic responses to ideas of the fleeting or transitory effects of weather on the environment
  • Landscape as a place for mobility and exchange - migration, pilgrimage, exploration, tourism
  • Gendered, racial, or social issues in relation to urban or suburban change
  • Moral or symbolic representations associated with environmental and societal change

Graduate students selected to participate in this symposium will be invited to present 20-minute papers, which will be followed by a discussion moderated by Dr. James Rubin, Professor of Art History at SUNY Stony Brook. All invited speakers will receive an honorarium for participating.

Please submit an abstract (maximum 250 words) for a twenty-minute paper and a one-page CV as a single PDF by 5:00PM on Wednesday, November 23, 2016. Participants will be notified in early December of the committee's decision. Completed papers must be submitted by January 25, 2017. All questions and materials may be submitted to Courtney Long, Ph.D. at

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