19 Live

Introduction to 19 Live



This issue of 19 Live reviews four recent exhibitions — Audubon at the National Museum of Scotland, the exhibition of Charlotte Brontë’s wardrobe at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, ‘Whistler’s Woman in White’ at the Royal Academy, and the Sickert retrospective at Tate Britain — as well as the UK premiere of Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 at the Donmar Warehouse. 

Keywords: 19 Live, introduction

How to Cite: Jakeman, R. (2022) “Introduction to 19 Live”, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century. 1(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ntn.9288

In this issue of 19 Live, Peter Adkins reviews the recent exhibition on John James Audubon’s monumental work of ornithological illustration Birds of America (1827–38), which ran at the National Museum of Scotland from February to May 2022. The exhibition addressed the controversies surrounding the book’s creator and its contemporary influence on natural sciences, as well as current issues of conservation. Emily Gallagher discusses ‘Defying Expectations: Inside Charlotte Brontë’s Wardrobe’, an exhibition which remains open until the beginning of 2023 at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire. Setting out to challenge the idea that, sartorially speaking, Brontë and her protagonist Jane Eyre were identical, the exhibition displays the often remarkable clothes and accessories owned by Brontë, offering insight into her domestic and literary lives. Thomas Hughes reviews the Royal Academy exhibition ‘Whistler’s Woman in White’, which ran from February to May 2022. At the heart of this exhibition was the close personal and professional relationship between the painter and Joanna Hiffernan, his model, most notably for Symphony in White, No. 1, which both played into and stimulated a larger ‘woman in white’ phenomenon in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Kate Aspinall appraises Tate Britain’s major retrospective of the German-born, British artist Walter Sickert, which runs until September 2022. The exhibition spans the six decades of Sickert’s career, beginning in 1882, when he became apprentice to Whistler, through to the Second World War, presenting the immense range of subjects that Sickert returned to throughout his life, and positioning him at an intersection between French and British realist painting. Lastly, Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal reviews a contemporary play, Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 (2017), which recently had its UK premiere at London’s Donmar Warehouse in June 2022. Set in 1894, fifteen years after Nora Helmer slammed shut the door of her family home in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (1879), Hnath’s sequel imagines Nora’s return, as a successful feminist novelist, to finalize her divorce.