Tara Contractor presents at the 2021 Frick Conference

May 5, 2021

Ph.D. Candidate Tara Contractor will take part in this year’s annual Symposium on the History of Art organized by the the Institute of Fine Arts (NYU) and The Frick Collection on Friday, May 7th. Her paper, entitled The Spiritual Form of Pitt Guiding Behemoth, explores how William Blake’s unusual gilding suggests gold’s new economic and imperial associations in the years leading up to the formalization of the gold standard. It raises the possibility that he his use of gold drew not only from the gold grounds and glories of medieval art, but also from the gold-heightened surfaces of Indian paintings. The paper then argues that Blake’s gilding reflects a new understanding of gold as a material with the implicit potential to undermine Britain’s status as an advanced civilization and claim to global empire.

More information here.