Picturing Shakespeare: Shakespeare and the Visual Imagination

Ronan Paterson (Curator)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Picturing Shakespeare: Shakespeare and the Visual Imagination Exhibition

Building upon the work of Sillars (2008, 2015, 2018) and Menges (2011) who have exploring Shakespeare in painting and illustration, and Minami and Yoshihara who have explored Shakespeare in comics and Manga, the research and exhibition brought together these different approaches to the visualisation of Shakespeare himself, his plays and his characters. The exhibition juxtaposed conventional imagery with artefacts from advertising, household ornaments, everyday objects, home utensils and toys and games; exploring the role of Shakespearean in popular culture, the centrality of the visual in creating popular perceptions of Shakespeare, and the significance of widely owned artefacts in cementing Shakespeare’s iconic status in different countries and contexts.

Although representations of Shakespeare across all art forms had been researched before, this research and curation juxtaposed the range of different media in order to demonstrate different movements, trends, approaches and attitudes over a period of 300 years. Works from Britain, Ireland, Japan, America, Germany, Russia, India and Czechoslovakia, from high art to humorous kitsch - charted the progression of a specific image(ry), through innovative curatorial comparisons, from rare art object to widely disseminated illustration totoys and household objects

The exhibition and research provided the focus of an international conference at Teesside University with participants from Japan, China, America, Canada, Ireland, Czechia, Poland, Norway, Philippines and the UK. It was supported by a grant from the Daiwa Foundation, and also with help from Tokyo Kezai University. In the research and curation of the exhibition Paterson created a globally significant addition to the field leading to invitation to Vincennes, France, Philippines (2021 Conference), Ireland, Japan and Moscow but these have had to be rearranged due to Covid-19 travel bans.
Original languageEnglish
SizeEntire art gallery
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2019
EventPicturing Shakespeare: Shakespeare and the Visual Imagination - Teesside University, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sept 20196 Sept 2019


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