Seeing Art Through Austen’s Eyes

A preview of the exhibition "What Jane Saw."

Relating to CC202′s study of Jane Austen’s work is an article from the NY Times discussing her ventures into art. Here is an extract:

Now, precisely 200 years later, an ambitious online exhibition called “What Jane Saw” will allow modern-day Janeiacs to wander through a meticulous reconstruction of the exhibition and put themselves, if not quite in Austen’s shoes, at least behind her eyes.

“It’s the closest thing to time travel on the Web,” said Janine Barchas, an associate professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, who led the project.

The exhibition “was a wonderful moment in the history of celebrity culture,” said Joseph Roach, a professor of theater and English at Yale University and the author of “It” (2007), a cultural history of the charisma that distinguishes “abnormally interesting” people. “There was a new kind of royalty emerging.”

And Austen, Ms. Barchas said, would have been as interested in that new royalty as any modern reader gobbling up TMZ updates about Kate Middleton and Brangelina. In her recent book, “Matters of Fact in Jane Austen,” Ms. Barchas traces the way Austen wove sly nods to actresses, artists, parliamentarians and scandal-ridden aristocrats into her novels — almost “in the spirit of a preteen adorning a bedroom with Justin Bieber posters,” as one reviewer put it.

For the full article, visit

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