Stone Face: The psychology of the face, the phenomenology of the bust

The seminar explores the portrait from a phenomenological and psychological approach, looking at how it affects the viewer and what kinds of reactions it prompts. We will be discussing the significance of the bust format, primary sources describing encounters with portraits and busts as well as the significance of the face and the psychology of face perception. The seminar is a preparatory work for understanding the Neoclassical artist Bertel Thorvaldsen as a portrait sculptor within a broader context of sculpture theory and art history.

Helen Ackers (University of Warwick), Josefine Baark (University of Warwick), Malcolm Baker (University of California Riverside), Whitney Davis (University of California Berkeley), Joris van Gastel (University of Zurich), Andreas Grüner (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), Jeanette Kohl (University of California Riverside), Tomas Macsotay (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Lejla Mrgan (Univeristy of Copenhagen), Melissa Percival (University of Exeter), Rubina Raja (Aarhus University), Rolf Schneider (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Alexander Todorov (Princeton University), Anna Schram Vejlby (The Hirschsprung Collection), Michael Yonan (University of Missouri)

The seminar is funded by the Velux Foundation’s Museums Programme and is the second in a series of seminars under the cross-disciplinary research and dissemination project Powerful Presences. The sculptural portrait between absence and presence, group and individual.

Stone Face poster