The D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library (DMGHL) at Washington University in St. Louis and the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies at the Norman Rockwell Museum will bring leading scholars and artist practitioners together at a symposium designed to explore the significance and impact of American illustration. “Illustration Across Media: Nineteenth Century to Now” will be held at Washington University in St. Louis March 21-23, 2019.
Panel discussions featuring noted scholars and artist practitioners, led by Rockwell Center Society Fellows, will focus on the integral nature of illustration across disciplines, in society, history, literature, and the world of art. Topics range from historical subjects and evolving practices, to illustration as it relates to race, gender, and cultural identity. More than 30 panelists will present their research.
Though omnipresent in design, advertising, publishing, and entertainment, illustration as a field of study remains relatively unexamined. The conference will spur dialogue about illustration as a cultural force across time and platforms, from printed mass media in the mid-19th century to digital media prominent in the 21st century.
The DMGHL is comprised of original art and printed material from many fields of popular American pictorial graphic culture. Focusing on 20th-century illustration, the collection includes artists’ working materials and sketches as well as original artwork from books, magazines, and advertising.
The Norman Rockwell Museum, located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, explores the impact of illustrated images and their role in shaping and reflecting our world through changing exhibitions, publications, and programs. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2019, the museum holds the world’s largest and most significant collection of art and archival materials relating to Norman Rockwell’s life and work. Founded in 2009, the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies seeks to promote the art of illustration and to create a context for understanding its influence on American culture.
The Rockwell Center and the DMGHL have worked closely for more than a decade to preserve, share, and inspire engagement with the art of illustration. Collaborations include the exhibition Ephemeral Beauty: Al Parker and the American Women’s Magazine, 1940-1960; the book Stick Figures: Drawing as a Human Practice by D.B. Dowd; and the Rockwell Center Society of Fellows.
Four Rockwell Center Society Fellows worked with staff from the Rockwell Museum and the DMGHL to design the three-day program: Michele H. Bogart, award-winning author and professor of art history and American visual studies at Stony Brook University; Christopher J. Lukasik, associate professor of English and American Studies at Purdue University; Erika Doss, award-winning author and professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame; and Senior Fellow D.B. Dowd, professor of art and American Culture Studies at Washington University and faculty director of the DMGHL, which was named in honor.
Go here for registration information and a schedule of symposium events. The registration deadline is Friday, March 15.
This announcement was adapted from a press release issued by the Norman Rockwell Museum.