Victorian Futures: Culture, Democracy and the State on the Road to Olympicopolis

Victorian Futures

14 May - 15 May 2015

9am to 5.30pm

 
For more information about the programme and speakers please visit
Victorian Futures Website 
 
A collaboration between University of the Arts London, Middlesex University and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
 
On 14 and 15 May 2015, Chelsea College of Arts will host a two-day conference, Victorian Futures Culture, Democracy and the State on the Road to Olympicopolis, a collaboration between Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts (CCW), Middlesex University and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
 
Victorian Futures is about how ideas of cultural democracy are realised through design, architecture, art, material culture and popular culture and how the agenda for state-sponsored access to culture and public education in the arts has developed since the Reform Act of 1832 and the Victorian era. Taking place a week after the 2015 General Election, the conference will show how calls for greater public access to the arts in the 1830s led to the democratic visions of the Great Exhibition and Albertopolis in 1851, which were reprised in the Festival of Britain in 1951 and are now re-envisioned in plans for the ‘Olympicopolis’ site in London. 
 
In 1835, a Select Committee of the House of Commons was appointed with the aim of extending ‘a knowledge of and a taste for Art’ to the working classes. This agenda for state-sponsored access to culture and public education in the arts was further developed through the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the cluster of cultural and academic institutions in South Kensington known as Albertopolis.  It was re-imagined in the Festival of Britain 1951, when a retrospective modernity was combined with an interest in Victorian popular culture.  A new Victorian Future is now being proposed for the ‘Olympicopolis’ site in London.  What were the origins of this dream of public culture and public access? Do contemporary re-imaginings of Victorian Futures connect with the pre-Victorian dream of cultural democracy?
 
Speakers include:
Althea Efunshile, Deputy Chief Executive, Arts Council England
Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, GLA
Martin Roth, V&A Director
Dr Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts
Sir John Sorrell, Chairman, University of the Arts London
Graeme Evans, Professor of Urban Cultures and Design, Middlesex University
Lucy Kimbell, AHRC Fellow, Policy Lab, and principal research fellow, University of Brighton
Kieran Long, Senior Curator of Contemporary Architecture, Design and Digital V&A

@VFutures, #VFutures
 
Conference Programme
 
Thursday - 14 May

09.00am 
Registration and refreshments
 
Introduction
 

09.30am 
Welcome to the conference from Chris Wainwright, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges
 
Introduction to the three sections of the conference by 
Professor Malcolm Quinn, University of the Arts London
Professor Anne Massey, Middlesex University 
Professor Bill Sherman, Victoria and Albert Museum
 
Section 1: Victorian Futures 1832 -1837
 
09.45am 
KEYNOTE 
Dr Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts
Art and Public Culture in the 1830s
 
10.30am
Questions from the conference delegates
 
10.45am 
Refreshment break
 
‘‘THE EDUCATION OF THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE’: ANALYZING THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ARTS AND MANUFACTURES OF 1835/6’ 
 
11.05am
Professor Malcolm Quinn
William Ewart and the Origins of the Select Committee on Arts and Manufactures
 
11.30am
Shibboleth Shechter and Mariana Pestana, University of the Arts London
The Extended Art and Design Institution: experimenting with new relationships

11.55am
Michaela Giebelhausen, University of the Arts London
'The fine arts among the people': taste, knowledge and instruction in the art gallery and beyond
 
12.20pm
Christopher Marsden, Senior Archivist, Victoria and Albert Museum
'Gratuitous and general admission' to museums, in the nineteenth century and today
 
12.45pm
Panel discussion and questions from the conference delegates chaired by Professor Malcolm Quinn
 
01.00 pm
Lunch, served in the Green Room
 
Section 2: The Post-War Victorian Revival: Nostalgia Versus Modernism
 
02.00 pm
Introductory remarks from Professor Anne Massey
 
02.15 pm
Lynda Nead, Birkbeck University of London 
Great Expectations and the Chiaroscuro of Post-War Visual Culture
 
02.45pm
Dr Harriet Atkinson, Brighton University
'Past and future meet and discuss': the 1951 Festival of Britain as point of historical liaison
 
03.15 pm
Panel discussion and questions from the conference delegates chaired by Professor Anne Massey
 
03.30 pm
Refreshment break 

3.50 pm PhD Student Panel
 
04.30 pm 
KEYNOTE
Kieran Long, Senior Curator of Contemporary Architecture, Design and Digital, Victoria and Albert Museum
‘Collecting Contemporary Public Life’
 
05.15 pm
Questions from the conference delegates
 
05.30 - 07.00 pm
Drinks Reception, served in the Green Room with Guest of Honour Althea Efunshile, Deputy Chief Executive, Arts Council England
 
 
Friday - 15 May

Section 2: The Post-War Victorian Revival: Nostalgia Versus Modernism (Part 2)
 
10.00 am 
Registration and refreshments
 
10.30am
Introduction by Professor Anne Massey
 
10.45 am  
Professor Catherine Moriarty, Brighton University
Barbara Jones, ‘Black Eyes and Lemonade’ The Whitechapel Art Gallery 
 
11.15am
Dr Alex Seago, Richmond University
Ark Magazine and the Royal College of Art
 
11.45 am  
Professor Barry Curtis, Royal College of Art
Haunted Houses
 
12.15 pm 
Questions from the conference delegates chaired by Professor Anne Massey
 
12.30 pm 
Lunch, served in the Green Room
 
1.30pm
Zoe Hendon, Head of Museum Collections, Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture
The V&A’s Circulation department and the Silver studio 
 
02.00 pm
Dr Jessica Kelly, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham
Architectural Review and the Victorian Future
 
2.30pm
Questions from the conference delegates chaired by Professor Anne Massey
 
02.45 pm
Refreshment break
 
Section 3: From Albertopolis To Olympicopolis (And Beyond)

03.15pm
Chaired by Professor Bill Sherman, Head of Research, Victoria and Albert Museum
 
Graeme Evans, Professor of Urban Cultures and Design, Middlesex University 
Lucy Kimbell, AHRC Design Research Fellow, Policy Lab/University of Brighton
Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, GLA 
Martin Roth, Director, Victoria and Albert Museum 
Sir John Sorrell, Chairman of Court of Governors, University of the Arts London 
 
04.30 pm 
Closing Remarks by Professor Malcolm Quinn. 
 
04.45 pm
Conference Ends