Dilettantes: A Somewhat Professional History, An Illustrated Lecture with Sara Clugage
Date: Tuesday, October 27th
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY
Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2252741
In 1732, a bunch of young English men who met while in Italy on the Grand Tour decided to form a dining society. To name their new club, they used an Italian word, “dilettante” (from the verb dilettare, to delight), meaning “virtuoso” or “collector.” They Society of Dilettanti met on a regular schedule to discuss art and antiquities and mostly just ended up drunk. They managed, however, to standardize architectural measurement systems, found the Royal Academy, publish several influential books on art history, and throw some truly scandalous parties.
The original Dilettanti were scholars in a time when art history, anthropology, and archeology were separating into disciplines with their own criteria and infrastructure. How have professional standards in the arts developed since then, and who manages to meet those standards? How has “dilettante” become a bad word?
This talk will cover the Society of Dilettanti and its place in 18th century associational society, the lives of some of its more famous members, and the way that their example has informed modern-day dilettantism.
Sara Clugage is an artist, writer, and editor-in-chief of the online magazine Dilettante Army.