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Prof. Robert Hewison. The Mikimoto Memorial Ruskin Lecture 2010
Date: 18 November 2010 Time: 6.00 pm
Venue: Management School Lecture Theatre 1
The 2010 Mikimoto Memorial Ruskin Lecture will take place on Thursday 18th November at 6.00 p.m. in the Management School LT1, Lancaster University.
Speaker: Professor Robert Hewison (City University London)
Title: 'No wealth but life': Ruskin and Cultural Value
The lecture will be followed by a wine reception in The Hub area (Management School) at 7.00 p.m.
All members of staff, students and members of the public are cordially invited to attend this lecture and reception.
For further details please contact:
Lauren Proctor, Ruskin Library and Research Centre, County Main, Lancaster University, Lancaster. LA1 4YD Tel: +44 (0)1524 510818, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
'No wealth but life': Ruskin and Cultural Value
Thinker, critic, controversialist, activist, teacher … these are just a few words that can be used to describe John Ruskin. One of the greatest Victorians, his ideas inspired many and are still relevant today.
Ruskin was a great influence on the Arts and Crafts Movement and the founding of the National Trust, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and the Labour Movement. He fiercely attacked the worst aspects of industrialisation and actively promoted art education and museum access for the working classes. His prophetic statements on environmental issues speak to our generation as well as to his own.
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Ruskin's Unto This Last, Robert Hewison recalls the financial crisis that prompted Ruskin to begin writing about economics, explores his reading of orthodox economists, and traces the development of Ruskin's ideas about the true nature of value. The modern theory of Cultural Value, Hewison argues, has been developed as a response to the pressure on cultural institutions to justify themselves in utilitarian terms, terms that Ruskin would recognize - and deplore. Hewison suggests that the demands of modern public management, as represented by the proposed structure of the Research Excellence Framework, call for the development of a parallel theory of academic value.
Robert Hewison first became interested in Ruskin when he was commissioned by BBC television to write a drama-documentary about the Whistler versus Ruskin libel trial, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies. He decided to return to Oxford to write a thesis on Ruskin, and published his first book, John Ruskin: The Argument of the Eye in 1976. In 1978 he curated Ruskin and Venice for the J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, the beginning of a lifelong study of the relationship between Ruskin and the city. In 1996 he organised Ruskin and Oxford at the Ashmolean Museum, and in 2000 was co-curator of Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites at Tate Britain, and Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford. He has also edited two group collections of essays on Ruskin; his most recent publication is Ruskin on Venice: "The Paradise of Cities", published by Yale University Press in January 2010. Robert Hewison has previously taught at Lancaster, and is an Honorary Professor in the Ruskin Library and Research Centre, and a trustee of the Ruskin Foundation. He is currently Professor of Cultural Policy and Leadership Studies at City University London. He has published widely on 20th British cultural history, and has written on the arts for The Sunday Times since 1981. He is an Associate of the think tank Demos.
The Mikimoto Memorial Ruskin Lecture
This memorial lecture was planned as one of the commemorative events of the tenth anniversary of the Ruskin Library of Tokyo in 1994. The Library had three projects for the commemoration: firstly, a 'Ruskin Symposium' in Tokyo, secondly, the publication of Ruskin's Letters in the Mikimoto Collection, and, finally, setting up a special lecture in memory of Ryuzo Mikimoto in the Ruskin Programme at Lancaster University (now the Ruskin Library and Research Centre). The Trustees of the Ruskin Library in Tokyo donated two million yen to the Ruskin Programme of Lancaster University to establish the Mikimoto Memorial Ruskin Lecture to be held annually, using interest accruing from the fund. James S. Dearden, the then Curator of Bembridge Galleries, Bembridge School, gave the first lecture on "Ruskin To-Day" on 24th October 1995, referring to Mikimoto's Ruskin studies and the Ruskin Library of Tokyo. Since then, the lecture series has continued on nine occasions by internationally distinguished Ruskin scholars.
This lecture programme is nowadays an important legacy of Ryuzo Mikimoto at Lancaster University, along with the Mikimoto Gift at the Ruskin Library, and a symbolic event in memory of a man from the Far East, who devoted his whole life to John Ruskin without attachment to any wealth, which was inherited from his father, Kokichi Mikimoto, the 'Pearl King'.
Event website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/ruskin/Mikimoto/index.html
Who can attend: Anyone
Organising departments and research centres: Ruskin Research Centre
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