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Dissertation Information for Carol M. Armstrong

NAME:
- Carol M. Armstrong

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Art History

SCHOOL:
- Princeton University (USA) (1986)

ADVISORS:
- None

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- None

MPACT Status: Incomplete - Not_Inspected

Title: ODD MAN OUT: READINGS OF THE WORK AND REPUTATION OF EDGAR DEGAS

Abstract: This dissertation treats the work and reputation of Edgar Degas in relation to the canon of modernism: through in-depth readings of a series of images and texts.

Chapter one consists of a study of Degas' involvement in the Impressionist shows; a close examination of one of the key pictures that he submitted, Portraits in a Cotton Office; and a survey of the journalistic treatment of the ballet series of the 1870s--in all of which issues of profession and realist engagement are played out.

Chapter two treats the essay, La Nouvelle Peinture, written about the second Impressionist show by a critic of the Realist generation, Edmond Duranty: layered with references to the realist discourses of the period, it makes Degas' works into illustrations of a theory of completely legible pictorial physiognomics.

Chapter three is a study of the major categories in Degas' oeuvre: his portraits, "narrative" paintings, modern-life pictures and monotype series. In each case, analysis betrays Degas' concern for mediating between physiognomic description and its obliteration--thus matching both Duranty's positivist criticism and the anti-positivist writing of the 1880s.

Chapter four treats Joris-Karl Huysmans' review of Degas' 1886 series of nudes: a key essay by a novelist and critic then engaged in overturning the tenets of realist novel-writing and positivist art criticism. Its language is one of negation, appropriate to the pictorial vocabulary of inversion found in the nudes themselves.

Chapter five is a consideration of the self-image of the artist as portrayed in monographs (with particular focus on Paul Valery's Degas Danse Dessin), and in the artist's own painted and photographic self-portraits. In both, a personal myth which runs counter to the modernist canon is constructed out of the materials of celibate old age, aristocratic reserve and erotic sublimation; in both, a vision of a thoroughly modern, alienated self is articulated.

The aim of this dissertation is to account for Degas' marginal place in the aesthetics and mythologies of modern art: by situating his work in the context of biographical representations, and positivist and anti-positivist debate.

MPACT Scores for Carol M. Armstrong

A = 0
C = 1
A+C = 1
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-05-29 14:21:54

Advisors and Advisees Graph

Directed Graph

Students under Carol M. Armstrong

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- Marcella D. Genz - University of California, Berkeley (1990)