A Less Binary Art History Is Possible with Kirstin Ringelberg 

March 12, 2024, 5:30–7:00 PM

In this Research and Academic Program lecture, Kirstin Ringelberg (Elon University / Every Page Foundation Fellow) will address the once-celebrated (and occasionally reviled) but now largely unknown Belle Époque Parisian artist Madeleine Lemaire (1845–1928). Working in a wide variety of genres as a “specialty,” Lemaire was sometimes referred to in masculine or hybrid gender terms and seen as an enabler of queer relationships. Notions of sorting and valuing by both gender and artistic genre were central to this time and place yet remain distorted in our persistently binary histories of art. Understanding Lemaire’s artistic and personal history in context can reset our understanding of the way still-dominant canonical commitments to certain stylistic approaches enhance historically unsupportable stances on the relative impact of certain artists and their careers—and support problematically cisheteronormative approaches to art histories of the Euro-American nineteenth century.

Presented in person in the Clark auditorium.

Image: Madeleine Jeanne Lemaire, detail of Bust of a Lady, 1855–1928, watercolor and pencil on wove paper. Clark Art Institute, 1955.1685.