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.

Peter N. Miller
Dean and Professor, Bard Graduate Center

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