The University of Iowa

European Studies Group examines Romantic art theories Mar. 21

March 15th, 2018

The European Studies Group, a part of International Programs, and the UI School of Music will present a guest lecture by Anne Leonard of the University of Chicago on "The Turned Canvas and the Musical Turn: Thoughts on the Romantic Imagination" at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21,  in Vox 2 of the Voxman Music Building.  The event is free and open to the public.

This lecture addresses the motif of the turned canvas or canvas seen from the back, found in certain portraits of artists at work c. 1810-25, as a manifestation of Romantic theories of the work of art. The turned canvas invited beholders to complete the concealed work of art in their imaginations, just as artistic creation itself was viewed at the time as a largely internal process rather than a physical or manual one. 

Leonard specializes in 19th-century European art. A primary area of scholarly focus has been the relationship between visual art and music, which is the subject of a book she co-edited with musicologist Tim Shephard. The Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture (2014) is the first comprehensive reference work in this field. Her principal appointment is as curator and associate director of academic initiatives at the Smart Museum, where she oversees the pre-1900 European collection and has curated numerous exhibitions of European and American art. She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has worked in curatorial departments at the Fogg Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

​​​​​​Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Luis Martin-Estudillo in advance at, or 319-335-2229.