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University of Delaware316 Old CollegeNewark, DE 19716<div class="ExternalClass69253E45B4064AC5BF0D9C68C8F9513D"><p>Professor <strong>Margaret Werth</strong> received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. She taught at Barnard College, Columbia University, before com​ing to the University of Delaware in 2001. Her area of interest is art and visual culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and her research and teaching are interdisciplinary and intermedial. Her book <em>The Joy of Life: The Idyllic in French Art, circa 1900,</em> published in 2002, explores dreamlike representations of mythic community, individual fantasy, utopianism, and joie de vivre in French painting from 1890 to 1917. Artists such as Henri Matisse, Paul Signac, Puvis de Chavannes, Paul Cézanne, and Henri-Edmond Cross figure prominently in her book and are discussed in relation to contemporary political, literary, psychological, and philosophical discourses.</p><p>Other publications include an essay on Pablo Picasso's early representations of the body in <em>Picasso: The Early Years,</em> National Gallery of Art, in 1997; one on Matisse's <em>Nude with a White Scarf</em> in a collection of essays on Matisse published by the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, in 2005; and another on Monet and the American art colony at Giverny in <em>Giverny: International Artists Colony,</em> Musée d'art américain, Giverny, France, in 2007.</p><p>Her new book project studies representations of the human face in painting, printmaking, photography, and film between 1860 and 1930. It investigates how such representations elaborate changing ideas about subjectivity, identity, affect, gender, sexuality, technology, and visuality. In 2003 she organized a daylong symposium at the University of Delaware entitled "The Ends of Portrayal: Modern Portraiture, 1850-1950." An article indicating the direction of her current research appeared in the journal <em>Intermédialités: Histoire et théorie des arts, des lettres, et des techniques</em> in 2006. Other current projects study Paris films of the 1920s and the work of Edouard Manet in the 1870s.</p><p>Professor Werth teaches undergraduate lecture courses and seminars on Modern European and American art, photography, and film (19th and 20th century), and has taught the following graduate seminars while at the University of Delaware: "Symbolism," "Modern Portraiture," "Silent Film," "Modern Art and Literature," and "Painting, Photography, Film, Literature." She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Georges Pompidou Art and Culture Foundation, the Clark Art Institute, and the Centre allemand d'histoire de l'art.​</p></div>mwerth@udel.eduWerth, Margaret302-831-6789<img alt="Margaret Werth" src="/Images%20Bios/People/Faculty/werth-bio.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Associate ProfessorNineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Art, Photography, FilmPh.D. Harvard University

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The Joy of Life: The Idyllic in French Art, circa 1900https://www.arthistory.udel.edu/Arth Bookshelf/werth-joy-life.jpgThe Joy of Life: The Idyllic in French Art, circa 1900Werth, MargaretUniversity of California PressBerkeley2002https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Life-Idyllic-French-circa/dp/0520221826<p> <em>The Joy of Life</em> investigates the significance of the idyllic in French painting from the early 1890s to World War I, considering a fascinating series of pastoral, mythic, and utopian landscapes. Responding to rapid artistic and social shifts in this period, French artists shaped a dreamlike imagery of mythic community, individual fantasy, and sensual joie de vivre in the midst of mass society. This beautifully illustrated study focuses on three exemplary imaginings of idyll: Puvis de Chavannes's decoration for the Paris Hôtel de Ville, <em>L'été</em>, of 1891, Paul Signac's anarchist <em>Au temps d'harmonie</em> of 1895, and Henri Matisse's fauve <em>Bonheur de vivre</em> of 1905-6, each a monumental and ambitious work exhibited publicly in Paris.<br></p><p>Werth weaves together complex analyses of these paintings and others by Manet, Gauguin, Seurat, Cézanne, and less well known artists with a consideration of their critical reception, literary parallels, and the social and cultural milieu. She moves deftly from artistic concerns with tradition and avant-gardism, decoration and social art, composition and figuration to contemporary debates over human origins and social organization, collective consciousness and individual subjectivity, the fragmentation of history and anticipations of the future. Exploring the preoccupation of the turn-of-the-century imagination with time and memory, nationalism and colonialism, and competing constructions of national, racial, and gender identity, Werth analyzes the contributions of writers as diverse as Baudelaire, Durkheim, Bergson, Kropotkin, Morris, Nietzsche, Mallarmé, and Freud.</p><p>Successfully integrating art history and close visual analysis with literary and social history and psychoanalytic interpretation, <em>The Joy of Life</em> is a rich interdisciplinary work that makes a remarkable contribution to our understanding of modernism one hundred years ago.<br></p>

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