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Helene Schjerfbeck Symposium

One-day symposium

Short course

Friday 27 September 2019
9am — 6.30pm

This event has now ended

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Part of our

Helene Schjerfbeck

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Helene Schjerfbeck, Self-Portrait, Black Background (detail), 1915.

Oil on canvas. 45.5 x 36 cm. Herman and Elisabeth Hallonblad Collection. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum; photo: Finnish National Gallery / Yehia Eweis.

Join us for an academic symposium exploring the extraordinary paintings of Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946) and themes raised by her work.

Talented and widely travelled, Schjerfbeck found artistic success at a young age. In the 1880s she connected with artists’ colonies in Pont Aven, Brittany and St. Ives, Cornwall. In her later years, she left the Finnish capital for a quieter life that allowed her to concentrate on her work. Nonetheless, keeping in touch with artist friends and the seismic shifts in modern art, she produced some of her most raw and radically abstracted paintings in these years. Schjerfbeck’s striking artworks are famous within her native Finland but until now have been largely omitted from the 20th century art historical canon.

This interdisciplinary symposium, timed to coincide with the first solo exhibition of her work in the UK, will explore Schjerfbeck’s life and art, and will situate her work in relation to her contemporaries as well as later artists. International scholars, museum professionals and artists are invited to explore a range of ideas that stem from the exhibition.


9.00 - 10.00
Helene Schjerfbeck Exhibition Access

10.00 - 10.15
Welcome from RA CEO, Axel Ruger

10.15 - 11.50
Session 1: European Artist Colonies

13.15 - 15.00
Session 2: Modernist Artist Sources

15.30 - 16.15
Artist In-Conversation with Chantal Joffe, Ian McKeever and A K Dolven

16.15 - 17.15
Session 3: The Passing of Time and Schjerfbeck’s Self-Portraiture

17.15 - 18.30
Wine Reception

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Friday 27 September 2019

9am — 6.30pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£50. Includes a complimentary ticket to the Helen Schjerfbeck exhibition.