A Revolution in Taste: Francis Haskell’s Nineteenth Century.


A Revolution in Taste: Francis Haskell’s Nineteenth Century.

Friday, 23 October 2015 - 11:00am to Saturday, 24 October 2015 - 6:00pm
St Johns College, Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum

A two-day conference is to be held at St Johns College, Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum to explore the work of art historian Francis Haskell (1928-2000). Writing at the intersection of cultural history, art history and the history of ideas, Haskell made a seminal contribution to the study of the formation of taste in nineteenth-century Britain and Europe.

The conference will revisit terrain mapped out by Haskell in Rediscoveries in Art, namely the transformation of the art world between the 1770s and 1870s, a period when war, revolution, plunder and state-formation brought fundamental changes to the knowledge of and trade in Old Master paintings. Distinguished speakers include scholars and curators from Britain, France and Italy, include:

Nicholas Penny, Charles Hope, Jeremy Warren, Charles Sebag-Montefiore, Susanna Avery-Quash, Donata Levi, Charlotte Guichard, Bénédicte Savoy, Véronique Gérard-Powell, Jon Whiteley, Pauline Prévost-Marcilhacy, Dora Thornton, Pascal Griener, Juliet Simpson, Stephen Bann,  Xanthe Brooke, Camille Mathieu, Silvia Davoli, Cecilia Hurley Griener, Richard Wrigley, Jenny Graham

The conference aims to comprehend the forces which transformed how art was acquired, displayed and interpreted in the nineteenth century. But it will also grapple with the methodological and philosophical issues raised by Haskell’s provocative approach to the history of collecting.

A full programme will be available shortly.


Both days of the conference will be held in the auditorium of St Johns College, Oxford. Delegates at the conference will receive lunch, teas and coffee, and a wine reception at the Ashmolean on Friday 23rd from 18.00-19.30 (this event is free although places are limited so it is essential to register). The fee for attending both days is £80 for professionals (£35 for students); the cost of attending for just one day is £45 for professionals (£20 for students).

Registration for the conference is now open until 10th October 2015. To book, please follow this link.


The conference is organized by Dr Tom Stammers, cultural historian at the University of Durham and visiting Deakin Fellow in Oxford (2014-15). For all inquiries contact Tom directly (t.e.stammers@durham.ac.uk) or write to the conference email address: francishaskell2015@gmail.com