SMU to Host First Ever Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture Conference

Professionals, students, and art aficionados alike are invited to the HECAA conference at Southern Methodist University's Meadows School.

Whether you’re a history buff, political junkie, or home goods connoisseur, a new conference coming to Dallas probably has something for youthe only catch is, that ‘something’ is going to be explored through the medium of eighteenth-century art history.

Eighteenth-century scholars from SMU, Texas Christian University, the University of North Texas, and the Dallas Museum of Art have teamed up to plan the Art and Architecture of the Long Eighteenth Century: HECAA at 25 conference. SMU Meadows Associate Professor Amy Freund is leading the pack.

“I proposed that we hold an anniversary conference in Dallas, because there was so much exciting going on in our field here, with all our universities and museums.”
Amy Freund

Freund is not only an associate professor, but is also the Endowed Chair in Art History at the Kleinheinz Family Endowment for the Arts and Educationand her specialty, of course, is 18th Century European art. 

“I proposed that we hold an anniversary conference in Dallas, because there was so much exciting going on in our field here, with all our universities and museums,” Freund says in an email. “And of course, Dallas is centrally located and is really fun to visit!”

Although HECAA will be held at SMU in Dallas, it won’t be your typical academic conference, as the main goal is to create a sense of community. 

“We think of ‘community’ on two levels: the national and the local,” Freund says. “Nationally, HECAA at 25 will bring together senior and junior scholars, from museums and academia, to share ideas. This will reinforce our already strong sense of community as an academic field. Locally, the conference has been a catalyst for really exciting networking and collaboration.”

To allow everyone to enjoy the full experience, no sessions will overlap. Individual conference sessions will include a variety of topics, such as:

  • “‘Master of the World’: Love and Other Inconsistencies in Eighteenth-Century French Art”
  • “‘The Principle of Things’: Materiality and Morality from Dutch Still Life to Korean Chaekgeori”
  • “Slavery and Portraiture in a New Nation”
  • “Dangerous Liaisons: Ambassadors and Embassies in Eighteenth-Century French Art”


If you would like an active role in the conference, there will be breakout sessions where you can discuss conference-related issues in a more intimate group setting. 


Over 100 attendees from across the nation will travel to participate in the Dallas version of the conference, held Nov. 1-4. This event is free for faculty and students from most local universities, but keep in mind that anyone who is interested needs to register in advance in order to participate. For a full schedule of events, registration information, and more, check out the official event website here

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