Conference: Innovation in Stone: Medieval Stone Sculpture from the Van Horne Collection, Sam Fogg, London, April 26th, 2019

Medieval Stone Sculpture from the Van Horne Collection

A symposium to be held in conjunction with the exhibition ‘Innovation in Stone: Medieval Stone Sculpture from the Van Horne Collection’ at Sam Fogg (April 26th, 2019; 4:00 – 6:00 pm).

The exhibition presents stone sculpture, gathered together over several decades by the New York collectors Alexandra and Charles van Horne. Formerly occupying prominent places in other well-known collections, the works reflect van Horne’s fascination with objects that bear a resemblance to modern art of the early 20th century. There are the Romanesque ‘Picassos’, Celtic ‘Modiglianis’ and ancient ‘Henry Moores,’ and a wealth of research material that visualises the links between modernism and medieval art, which modernist artists themselves emphasised.

This emphasis is also reflected in the symposium, which examines stone sculpture from the 12th-century, a time when innovation and curiosity dominated the architectural and sculptural world. There was a tension with and an awareness of the classical past and an anticipation of change, which would be realised in the Gothic period, and it is within this dichotomy that the Van Horne collection is situated. The changes to architecture and sculpture in the 12th century allowed the art of the Middle Ages to let go of its grip on the ancient past and confidently look forward to its own distinctive style. The sculpted heads and architectural fragments, presented together publicly for the first time in the accompanying exhibition, originate in some of the most innovative and influential sites of 12th- and 13th-century Europe: Cluny, Toulouse, Paris, Parthenay. Having been separated from their context, they invite us to imagine the extraordinary sites in which they were invented, and the innovative sculptors who created them.

The lectures and discussions will be followed by a drinks reception and the opening of the exhibition in the gallery on Clifford Street.


4:00 Introduction

4:10 Medieval Sculpture in Multiples: Illuminating Riddles for the Perplexed

(Charles Little, Metropolitan Museum of Art)

4:35 Focillon’s Jongleur or How to Define Creativity in Twelfth-Century Sculpture

(Alexandra Gajewski, Burlington Magazine)

5:00 Discussion

5:10 In-conversation with Charles van Horne

5:40 Discussion

5:50 Concluding Remarks and Introduction to the Show

6:00 Drinks Reception and Exhibition Opening in Clifford Street

Please register on EVENTBRITE. Contact for any further questions.

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