The Sir M.A. Refalo Sixth Form Annual Lecture 2020: Style and Ornament: European influences on the Decorative Arts in Malta 1800-1900 by Dr Mark Sagona
This year’s annual lecture is dedicated to the ongoing pioneering research on the Decorative Arts in Malta led by Dr Mark Sagona, Resident Academic at the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Malta, ex-student and ex-teacher of the Sir M.A. Refalo Sixth Form. The academic study of the Decorative Arts in the Maltese Islands has been for the last twenty years or so, the subject of academic research for Dr Sagona, who has unearthed extremely important material for the knowledge and analysis of a staggeringly impressive corpus of works in precious metals, wood, embroidery, marble, bronze and other media produced either in Malta or for Malta. This research culminated in Dr Sagona’s doctoral degree on the decorative arts for the Church in Malta in the second half of the nineteenth century, and which is now in the process of publication.
This public lecture will provide an overview of the most important works by the more important artists and designers working for Malta throughout the nineteenth century. It will discuss and highlight the way European styles in the decorative arts manifested themselves boldly in the Maltese Islands through numerous commissions which were generated during the period and which made Malta a microcosm of the larger artistic context in terms of design and decoration.
The Annual Public Lecture will be held at the Cittadella Cultural Centre, The Citadel, Victoria Gozo, on 24th January 2020 at 7:00pm. The general public is invited.
Biography of Dr Mark Sagona
MARK SAGONA, Ph.D., is a visual artist, art historian, curator and lecturer. He is Resident Academic in Decorative Arts in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Malta. His lecturing portfolio includes late eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth century art, architecture and the decorative arts, together with painting and drawing. Sagona leads the Research Programme for the Decorative Arts in the same department.
Mark Sagona has conducted pioneering research on the decorative arts in Malta in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries within their international context, and has published extensively in the local and international spheres, including in the Journal of the Decorative Arts Society (London) and in Sabina de Cavi’s seminal volume on European ornamental drawings: Dibujo y ornamento: Trazas y dibujos de artes decorativas entre Portugal, España, Italia, Malta y Grecia (De Luca Editori d’Arte, Rome).
He has lectured at the Art College of the University of Xiamen, China and at the Dipartimento Culture e Società of the Università degli Studi di Palermo. He is also the editor and main contributor to the volume The Nadur Basilica in Gozo: Art – Architecture – Decoration (2018). As a visual artist Mark Sagona has exhibited widely and his paintings are found in numerous collections around the globe.
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