Wexner Center for the Arts

Stephen Melville: What Was the Tableau, and Why Did It Matter? 


Recent years have seen a significant renewal of interest in the term “tableau,” both in specific relation to painting and in its various broader senses. In this lecture, Professor Melville, faculty emeritus from Ohio State’s History of Art Department, offers a speculative exploration of several recent accounts of the emergence of the tableau—by noted art historians Michael Fried, Victor Stoichita, and the late Thomas Puttfarken, among others—with a view to bringing out something of its possible continuing interest.

The talk is given in conjunction with the Ohio State seminar “Emergence of the Tableau,” co-organized by Philip Armstrong (Comparative Studies), Lisa Florman (History of Art), and Laura Lisbon (Department of Art), and the Painting Tableau Stage exhibition on view at Ohio State’s Urban Arts Space September 28–November 14.

Cosponsored by Ohio State’s Department of Comparative Studies, Department of Art, and Department of History of Art.