January 13, 2023 11:00 am

The Colour of Anxiety: Race, Sexuality and Disorder in Victorian Sculpture

Please join us on Friday, January 13 for “The Colour of Anxiety: Race, Sexuality and Disorder in Victorian Sculpture,” a Virtual Salon discussing the exhibition of this title currently at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds. Its co-curators, Adrienne L. Childs and Nicola Jennings, will be joined by art historian Lynda Nead in a discussion moderated by Isabel L. Taube of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide.

As we interrogate the time-honored concept that all classical sculpture was white, we have become more attuned to polychrome sculpture in the post-classical period as well. Nineteenth-century sculptors in particular incorporated color into their work, using a variety of materials and methods. Participants in this Salon will discuss this phenomenon of “colored sculpture” with all its aesthetic, political, and sociological ramifications.

Adrienne L. Childs is Adjunct Curator at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, where she curated the exhibition “Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition.” In 2022 she received the Driskell Prize in African American Art from the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. She contributed to The Image of the Black in Western Art (2010) and is co-editor of Blacks and Blackness in European Art of the Long Nineteenth Century (2017). Her current book project is “Ornamental Blackness: The Black Figure in European Decorative Arts,” forthcoming from Yale University Press.

Nicola Jennings is a Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Director of the Athena Art Foundation, a UK arts charity that uses digital platforms to engage new audiences with pre-twentieth century art. She was formerly Director of the Colnaghi Foundation. She has co-edited several books, including Alonso Berruguete: Renaissance Sculptor (2017), Juan de Mesa: The Master of Passion (2018) and Gothic Architecture in Spain: Invention and Imitation (2020).

Lynda Nead is Pevsner Professor of History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London. Her books include Victorian Babylon: People, Streets and Images in Nineteenth-Century London (2005); The Haunted Gallery: Painting, Photography, Film c.1900 (2008); and The Tiger in the Smoke: Art and Culture in Post-War Britain (2017). She is currently working on a book called “British Blonde: Women, Desire and the Image in Post-War Britain,” to be given as the biennial Paul Mellon Lectures in 2023.

Isabel L. Taube is the co-managing editor of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide. She has taught at Boston College, Rutgers University, and the School of Visual Arts. As an independent curator, she has organized exhibitions at the Frick Pittsburgh, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the School of Visual Arts Gallery. She is currently working on a book about eclecticism in nineteenth-century interiors.

This series of online events is co-sponsored by the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art (AHNCA) and the Dahesh Museum of Art. The event is free and open to the public but registration is required at: