Tag Archives: Documents

CFP: Following the Paper Trail? Complexities, Implications and Problems in Interpreting Primary Sources for Artistic Production, Renaissance Sociey of America, 22 to 24 March 2018, New Orleans

tumblr_oqexa0oz8t1syzcjgo1_500CFP: Following the Paper Trail? Complexities, Implications and Problems in Interpreting Primary Sources for Artistic Production, Renaissance Society of America, 22 to 24 March 2018, New Orleans

Organised by: Maggie Crosland, Saida Bondini and Costanza Beltrami, PhD Candidates, The Courtauld Institute of Art

As (art) historians we often use documents as evidence. Indeed, what could offer us more direct information about an object, artwork or building than the records of the material used to construct it, or the payments for its labour?

And yet, the mechanisms through which uniquely useful documents such as inventories, contracts and payment accounts are produced are not always transparent. In fact, these are formulaic documents written within tight conventions, for specific economic or legal ends. In this session, we aim to investigate how these records came to be, how they relate to the objects they purportedly explain and how they influence our perception, analysis and conclusions on the past and its relics.

In proposing this session, we are interested in uncovering what documents hide. For example, a contract must often be the final product of a long and multiple discussion. As such, this document reduces the interaction of several people — masters, family members, advisors, apprentices etc. to the legal agreement between just two, effacing all the other voices as well as the temporal dimension of reflection, creation, and changes of mind.

A goal of this session is to provide a platform through which scholars of different media and geographic location can discuss the complexities and implications of relying on and using primary documents. As such, we are interested in paper proposals that engage with such documents from a range of standpoints.

Suggested topics include:

– The temporal and plural vision of the past as hidden or revealed through documents

– Establishing patron-artist networks through primary sources

– Implications of agency and patronage

– The bureaucratic nature of artist contracts and payment accounts

– Missing conversations – how to look beyond the one-to-one relationship suggested by contracts and payment accounts

–  Reconstructing the lost/missing archive

– Early modern and modern historiography on the use of primary sources

– What information remains hidden in the archive, and what is published and promoted instead? What does this tell us about our changing perception and efforts to shape the past?

To be considered for our panel, please email costanza.beltrami@courtauld.ac.uk with:

-The title of your proposed paper (15-word maximum)
– Abstract (150-word maximum)
– 5 keywords
– A very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum), formatted to the RSA’s standards.
Please note that the deadline for applications is June 4, 2017.

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Call for Papers: Seals and Status 800 – 1700 (British Museum 4-6 Dec 2015)

Silver seal matrix set with a red jasper Roman intaglio showing the emperor Antoninus Pius. Acquired with the assistance of Dr. John H. Rassweiler.

Silver seal matrix set with a red jasper Roman intaglio showing the emperor Antoninus Pius. Acquired with the assistance of Dr. John H. Rassweiler.

Quo asserente se sigillum habere, subridens vir illustris, ‘Moris’, inquit, ‘antiquitus non erat quemlibet militulum sigillum habere, quod regibus et precipuis tantum competit personis…’

He answered that he had a seal. The great man smiled. ‘It was not the custom in the past’, he said, ‘for every petty knight to have a seal. They are appropriate for kings and great men only’.

Chronicle of Battle Abbey, 1180s or 1190s, ed. and trans. Eleanor Searle (1980)

 

The aim of this conference is to foster discussions about seals and status, concentrating on three principal themes:
I. Seals and social status
II. Seals and institutional status
III. The status of seals as objects
The famous exchange quoted on the left captures in a few biting words the close and significant connections between seals and status. It evokes the perception that sealing related to social status, that this relationship changed over time, and that such historical developments were both recognized and highly charged. Finally—and perhaps one reason why the Battle anecdote has been so often quoted—these words suggest an important status for seals themselves within the medieval world of objects. If anything, this importance increased with their proliferation: seals eventually belonged to all kinds of people and institutions, and many individuals, corporations, and chanceries had several. Ultimately, seals’ forms and functions came both to articulate and to construct social as well as institutional and administrative hierarchies.
Possible topics for papers include: Seals and heraldry; seals and inequality; seals and villeinage; seals of institutional office; seals and gender; non-heraldic personal seals; seals and status as represented in medieval and early modern texts; corporate seals and the status of institutions; the historiography of seals; the organization of chanceries; the development of sealing practices within and across social groups; relationships of seals to other works of art.
Proposals are welcomed from a wide range of perspectives, such as: archaeology, history, art history, archival studies, literature. Submissions will be accepted in English, French, and German and should be no more than 300 words in length. Send to Lloyd de Beer (ldebeer@thebritishmuseum.ac.uk) by 30th January 2015.
The conference will be held at the British Museum from the 4th – 6th December 2015.
This conference is co-organised with John Cherry and Jessica Berenbeim in collaboration with Sigillvm, a network for the study of medieval European seals and sealing practices.