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ADFAS: A Painter in Revolutionary Times: John Singleton Copley and the American Revolution, 1760-1780
This lecture will examine the harrowing story of an outstanding portraitist caught in the deadly divisions of Revolution. Copley, born in 1783 to poor Irish parents in Boston, became a highly sought after painter of the professional and mercantile elite of this small colonial port. Increasing friction between Britain and her American colonies after 1763 polarised this elite into warring camps. Copley found himself caught between old friends and family and by 1774 had to make a choice which would change his life tragically and permanently.
Peter McPhee was Chair in History at the University of Melbourne and its Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost from 2003-2009. He has published widely on the history of France during the French Revolution and its aftermath. Peter is a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012. He is currently Chair of the History Council of Victoria.