CRVCCentre for Research in Visual Culture

George Luks and the First World War

Arts Centre Lecture Theatre A30
Wednesday 14th December 2022 (16:30-18:00)

In this talk Dr Oliver O’Donnell (Warburg Institute, University of London) will introduce his next book project, which concerns the Ashcan School of painting as it relates to the growing global power of the United States between 1898 and 1918. To do so he will focus on the example of George Luks, who was one of the Ashcan painters and who made a number of paintings concerning domestic American responses to the First World War. Luks's artworks about the war will be contextualized in relation to other artworks about that conflict, especially by members of the Ashcan School, and in relation to his larger artistic production, which includes illustrations for newspapers and popular magazines. As in the book as a whole, O'Donnell will argue that Luks's images can provide insights into the emergence of the entangled nature of the American empire - being at once cultural, economic, and martial - that still shapes our world today. 

Oliver O’Donnell is a historian of modern art and intellectual history with a particular focus on the diverse Anglo-American traditions of modernity. Since 2018 he has been based at the Warburg Institute, University of London, where he is a member of the Bilderfahrzeuge Project. Prior to coming to London he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut, a position he assumed after completing his doctorate at UC Berkeley in 2016. Oliver‘s first book charts how the art historian Meyer Schapiro worked from the nexus of artistic and intellectual practice to confront some of the 20th century’s most abiding questions.  More recently, he has been extending his historical reach back in time with one project on Anglo-American academic painting in the 18th and 19th centuries, especially as it intersected with the philosophical tradition of empiricism, and another on the Ashcan School as it relates to the burgeoning global power of the United States between 1898 and 1918.

You can also stream the talk on Echo360.

Centre for Research in Visual Culture

University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2RD