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5 Women, 5 Questions

Edinburgh College of Art

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month 2022, five women from across ECA and the University of Edinburgh Research Collections tell us about their current research.
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On this episode, we’re discussing the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. Born in Paris in 1831, Durand-Ruel took over his father’s business as an art dealer a few years before the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, during which time he escaped to London. It was around this time that he became familiar with a new group of artists called the Impressionists. He became an advocate of their artistic work, seeing their potential for commercial success long before many others in the art world. He is credited with helping to establish some of the best-known artists of this period, including Degas, Manet, Monet, Pissarro and Renoir.

Stating the case for Paul Durand-Ruel as a revolutionary is Professor Frances Fowle, Personal Chair of Nineteenth-Century Art at Edinburgh College of Art and Senior Curator of French Art at National Galleries Scotland. Her specialist area is European and American nineteenth-century art, with an emphasis on collecting, the art market, national identity, cultural revival and artistic networks. She is Senior Trustee of the Burrell Collection in Glasgow and sits on the Burrell Renaissance Board. She is also a founding Board member of the International Art Market Studies Association and is on the steering committee for the European Revivals Research Network, initiated by the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki.

Revolutionaries is produced and recorded at Edinburgh College of Art, and is hosted by Ardie Collins from the Engagement and Communications team. Music is Noahs Stark by krackatoa.

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On this episode, we’re discussing the choreographer and opera and theatre director, Ruth Berghaus. Born in Dresden in 1927, Berghaus studied expressionist dance and dance direction at the German Academy of Arts in Berlin and went on to direct several major productions from the early 1960s to the early 90s. Her style of production was heavily influenced by the work of Bertolt Brecht, having worked as part of the Berliner Ensemble that Brecht co-founded with his wife Helene Weigel. Berghaus’ professional career was during an era when Germany was split in two shortly after the end of the second world war, a split that became more obvious as a physical barrier with the arrival of the Berlin Wall that ran through the capital from 1961 to 1989. Berghaus worked on both sides of the wall during her career, putting on productions that were funded by both governments and that often critiqued both the East and the West, as well as gender roles and the reverential treatment of canonical operas and plays.

Stating the case for Ruth Berghaus as a revolutionary is Dr Elaine Kelly. Elaine is the Head of Music at Edinburgh College of Art where her teaching includes honours courses on “Music and State Socialism in the Twentieth Century” and “Wagner: Music, Philosophy, and Culture”. Her research interests span several broad themes including canon reception, music historiography, opera production, and Marxist aesthetics, many of which coalesce in her work on the German Democratic Republic.

Revolutionaries is produced and recorded at Edinburgh College of Art, and is hosted by Ardie Collins from the Engagement and Communications team. Music is Noahs Stark by krackatoa.

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On this episode, we’re discussing the Virgin Saints. This grouping of early Christian saints pulls together stories of women from different corners of the world and spanning many centuries. They include tales of people rising from the dead, a woman whose eyes are gouged out either by someone else or herself (depending on who you ask), and a woman who came to symbolise French resistance against the English during the Hundred Years’ War. Many of the stories serve as a counterbalance to the focus on men’s stories in religious texts, and, given the nature of sainthood and patronage in the Catholic Church, are called upon daily by people to help them with all aspects of their lives.

Stating the case for the Virgin Saints as revolutionaries is Lindy Richardson. Lindy is the Textiles Programme Director and curator of the historic Needlework Development Scheme embroidery collection at Edinburgh College of Art. Her curation work has included the gathering of oral histories across the UK to compliment the sample and archival collection. She is currently working on an exhibition of the collection which will take place in the Main Library in George Square from November 2019 - February 2020.

Find out more about the St Clare project: http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/st-clare-project

Send your materials for the St Clare shroud: http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/st-clare-submission

Revolutionaries is produced and recorded at Edinburgh College of Art, and is hosted by Ardie Collins from the Engagement and Communications team. Music is Noahs Stark by krackatoa.

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