Organized in conjunction with the exhibition William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, on view at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery (September 20, 2013 – February 9, 2014) and the Victoria & Albert Museum (March 22 – July 13, 2014), this international symposium will bring together scholars and curators to examine the life and career of one of the most influential designers of eighteenth-century Britain. The symposium and related exhibition will explore Kent’s art over three decades (1719 – 1748)—a period when Britain was defining itself as a nation. Kent’s versatility and artistic inventiveness set the style of his age and asserted the status of the modern British artist at a time when most patrons and collectors looked to Italy for their art and design. Kent devised a style that catered to alumni of the Italian Grand Tour and recreated the splendors of Roman palazzi.


Monday, October 7, 2013
1:30-5pm

Susan Weber
Founder and Director, Bard Graduate Center
“William Kent: A Historiography”

Julius Bryant
Keeper of Word and Image, Victoria & Albert Museum
“Exhibiting William Kent: Curation and Interrogation”

David Watkin
History of Architecture, University of Cambridge
“Hostility to Kent in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Hogarth, Walpole, Blomfield”

Matthew Hirst
Head of Arts & Historic Collections, the Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth House
“A Country House Repository of Design: William Kent in the Devonshire Collection”

David Jacques
Independent Scholar, Sugnall Hall
“William Kent and the Landscape Garden”


RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early to assure yourself a seat.