Artists’ Love Letters

This talk explores the intersection of intimacy and creativity through the lens of heartfelt correspondence. During this lecture we explore the private thoughts of artists as they express themselves to/about the person they venerated. We’ll examine artist love letters as creative expressions of desire and admiration, thinking of them as works of art in their own right. Intricate and intimate, letters like these are rawer and more vulnerable than most polished and public works of art. Exploring the letters fleshes out an artist’s humanity, giving us greater insight into them as people, but are such private drawings, fragmented phrases and instructions nestled amongst words truly ‘art’ if they were only meant to be seen by one other person? Amidst admiration for their artistic beauty lies a moral consideration: should we, as viewers, even read these intimate exchanges at all?

Please, note:

  • the total duration of the event is 1 hour ( ~ 50mins lecture and 10mins Q&A)
  • the talk doesn’t require any prior training and anyone can join
  • This event will be recorded: the video will be available in 3-5 days after the talk
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Sarah Jaffray
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Sarah Jaffray holds a BA and MA in Art History with an emphasis in 19th/20th century France and a minor in the Italian Renaissance. She holds a second MA in Cultural Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. Sarah was a lecturer for several colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area before relocating to London in 2012. She has worked in curatorial roles at the British Museum and Wellcome Collection. Sarah is currently a lecturer at the University of Arts London and Coordinator for City Lit’s Art History programme. Her art historical practice focuses on experimental narratives, artistic process, art pedagogy, politics and philosophy. Sarah’s current research is focused on translation and empathy.

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