Tag Archives: History of Art

CFP: ‘Same Old Things? Re-Telling the Italian Renaissance’, London, 3 May 19

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Marcello Maloberti, Trionfo dell’Aurora (2018), courtesy of the artist and Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan

Courtauld Institute of Art London, May 3, 2019

Deadline: Jan 28, 2019

Same Old Things? Re-Telling the Italian Renaissance

Even today, the history of art is largely dominated by narratives that are for the most part style-based. They tell a story that is teleological, ever-progressive, and structured around influential artistic centres. Within this framework, the role of individual objects shifts depending on how they fit into the broader narrative that they articulate visually. By focusing on the objects and their potential to fashion and dictate stories, a different narrative is likely to emerge.

This conference seeks to identify individual objects, or small sets of objects, which have the potential to destabilise canonical art-historical narratives of Italian art. We are not looking for an alternative Renaissance – instead, we want to ask whether a different story can be told for the same, old things. In the last few decades, art historians have reevaluated  the position of understudied works of works in an increasingly de-centred, non-linear history of art. Certain interpretative frameworks, such as queer or feminist approaches, that laudably seek to interrupt conventional readings of objects, have had modest consequences for their placement within a historical narrative, often because they seek to disrupt that narrative in the first place. Sometimes objects themselves show the insufficiency of traditional critical tools to do them justice. But seldom have newly-developed critical tools been used to renegotiate the historical framing of those objects that have long stood at the core of the Western canon.

Having long questioned the exceptionality granted Italian Renaissance art by the founding fathers of art history, academia has not yet modified radically the way we tell the story of the cornerstones of any Western museum. As a consequence, academic discourse has grown increasingly distant from museum spaces. On the whole, museums have not rejected the comforting principles of order inherent in traditional narratives, of which they are sometimes the unyielding outposts. Arguably, they also struggle to balance object-based displays with the disruption of narrative frameworks typical of recent academic discourse. As a result, celebratory, unwavering views of the Italian Renaissance have proved remarkably resilient among the general public.

Applicants are encouraged to shrug off the burden of prescribed narrative schemes; to use fresh critical tools to unravel celebrated artworks from the patchwork of narratives that stitch them together, at the same time as weaving them into new stories — stories that might be open-ended, interrogative, undetermined, and far distant from those previously told. Papers should be object-based, but not object-focused, in that their interpretation should not be confined to the inward-looking understanding of the object per se, but rather should look outwards towards their (potentially large) role in new narratives. The objects themselves should date to between the thirteenth to the early seventeenth century; they may be Italian or not, canonical or lesser-known.

Papers are sought from doctoral candidates, early career scholars and researchers. Preference will be given to candidates presenting unpublished material. Proposals of no more than 350 words should be submitted, together with a short C.V. to giulio.dalvit@courtauld.ac.uk and adriana.concin@courtauld.ac.uk by 5pm on Monday 28 January 2019. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length. We hope to be able to provide subsidy for travel and accommodation. We particularly encourage candidates from the U.K. and Europe. Successful candidates will be notified by mid-February.

CFP: Pilgrimage and the Senses, University of Oxford, 7 June 2019

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Deadline for submissions: 20 January 2019 

Keynote Speaker: Professor Kathryn Rudy (University of St. Andrews)

With the release of its inaugural issue in 2006, The Senses and Society journal proclaimed a “sensual revolution” in the humanities and social sciences. The ensuing decade has seen a boom in sensory studies, resulting in research networks, museum exhibitions, and a wealth of publications. This interdisciplinary conference hosted at the University of Oxford aims to shed light on how sensory perception shapes and is shaped by the experience of pilgrimage across cultures, faith traditions, and throughout history.

Pilgrimages present an intriguing paradox. Grounded in physical experiences—a journey (real or imagined), encounters with sites and/or relics, and commemorative tokens—they also simultaneously demand a devotional focus on the metaphysical. A ubiquitous and long-lasting devotional practice, pilgrimage is a useful lens through which to examine how humans encounter the sacred through the tools of perception available to us. Focusing on the ways in which pilgrimage engages the senses will contribute to our knowledge of how people have historically understood both religious experience and their bodies as vehicles of devotional participation. We call on speakers to grapple with the challenges of understanding the sensory experience of spiritual phenomena, while bearing in mind that understandings of the senses can vary according to specific cultural contexts. While the five senses are a natural starting point, we are open to including papers that deal with “sense” in a more general way, such as senses of time and place.

Sample topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • the role of beholding (places, relics, miracles, mementos) in the pilgrimage experience
  • haptic encounters with relics
  • ways in which pilgrims are seen: wearing specific clothing and/or badges, public acts (or affects) of devotion, how pilgrims are depicted or described
  • pilgrims’ auditory expressions: wailing/crying, chanting, singing, reciting prayers
  • bathing and purification in preparation for devotions
  • food as a ritual element or means of experiencing cultures along a pilgrimage route
  • the place of music on the pilgrimage route and/or at pilgrimage destinations
  • pain as a facet of the pilgrimage journey
  • the sensory spectacle—visual, auditory, olfactory—of pilgrimage processions
  • devotional objects that require handling, such as prayer beads and prayer wheels
  • psychosomatic sensory experiences as a means of engaging with the divine
  • the evocation of sensory participation through works of art and/or written accounts

The organisers invite 20-minute papers from any discipline on topics related to the themes outlined above, especially in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, art history, history, literature, musicology, religious studies, sociology, and theology. We welcome submissions relating to aspects of pilgrimage of any faith or historical period. Doctoral students and early career researchers are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please submit a title, abstract (max. 250 words), and brief bio to pilgrimagesenses2019@gmail.com by January 20th. Successful applicants will be notified by February 5th. All submissions and papers must be in English.

Click here for more information

Conference: Gothic Arts: An Interdisciplinary Symposium (Philadelphia, 23-24/03/2018)

gothic artGothic Arts: An Interdisciplinary Symposium

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion
Van Pelt Library
University of Pennsylvania

March 23rd-24th, 2018

Organizers
Mary Caldwell, Department of Music
Sarah M. Guérin, Department of the History of Art
Ada Kuskowski, Department of History

In a passage from Thomas Aquinas’s treatise on good governance, a text written for the Cypriot king around 1267, the angelic doctor wrote: “Art is the imitation of nature. Works of art are successful to the extent that they achieve a likeness of nature.” This passage would seem to be the perfect explanation for the exceptionally life-like Adam sculpted for the south transept at the Parisian Notre-Dame, completed a handful of years earlier and possibly seen by Thomas before he left Paris for his Italian sojourn. However, by “ars” Aquinas meant not our “fine arts,” but technique and, even more broadly, human endeavor. The passage comes not from a discussion of the visual arts, but from a justification of benign kingship as opposed to democracy—the former being more akin to nature.

Continue reading

Looking back: Medieval & Early Modern Festival, University of Kent, June 2017

The 16th-17th June 2017 was the third annual MEMS Festival, a two-day celebration of all things Medieval and Early Modern at the University of Kent. Papers covered all kinds of topics, from art and literature to politics, identity, and everyday life from the entire period. The range of material meant that lots of different areas of expertise were brought together, leading to interesting discussions and comparisons. There were also lots of exciting practical workshops, such as a “mystery trail” in the Special Collections and Archives and workshopping a scene from the York Corpus Christi play with Claire Wright (University of Kent).

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Kent undergraduate students present their final year dissertations

The two dedicated medieval art sessions covered objects from far and wide. The first panel looked at style and symbolism over the artistic networks in England and France. Cassandra Harrington (University of Kent) gave probably a paper on foliate head keystones, looking at a particular example from the chapter house at Cluny, and distinguishing them from the usual interpretation of such heads as “Green Men”. Angela Websdale’s (University of Kent) paper on the “lost” wall paintings at Faversham Cathedral investigated a potential Westminster workshop moving between London and Kent, while Alice Ball’s (University of Kent) considered images of the Prodigal Son, in particular how the iconography of the windows at Chartres cathedral may have influenced the Bibles Moralisees.

The second medieval art panel was made up of three students who had just finished their undergraduate degrees at the University of Kent, who all presented on their recently-completed dissertations. Michael Gittins gave a fresh look at a well-known object, considering the heraldry and weapons pictured in the Morgan Picture Bible to make a convincing argument that Walter of Brienne may have been the original patron. In contrast, Lucy Splarn’s paper turned towards a tiny and much less well-known pilgrimage badge of St Thomas Becket, looking at the unusual iconography of the saint riding a peacock (see embedded 3D model). This could have been a representation of Thomas’s personality, and the idea that he was arrogant in his outward appearance but humble inside, which tied in well with Paul Binski’s paper at the Thomas Becket study day on the concept of personality in the Middle Ages. Catherine Heydon gave the third paper, on the idea of Purgatory in the thought of St Augustine, thinking about the way in which the imagery of Classical thought influenced the theology of the early Church.

Medieval and Early Modern art made an appearance in other sessions as well. Hannah Straw (University of Kent) gave a paper on the imagery of Charles II’s escape in the Boswell Oak tree and how it was used to shape the king’s public identity. Emily Guerry (University of Kent) also looked at public identity and the use of history, by examining the significance of James Comey’s (mis)quotation of Henry II in his testimony, and the way in which the past can be used in the public imagination.

Each afternoon of the conference was taken up with activities and workshops, which was a great opportunity to get some hands-on work with objects and new technologies. This included a set of workshops and a tour of Eastbridge Pilgrim’s Hospital, which would have been a stopping point for hundreds of visitors to St Thomas’s shrine. Despite the ancient surroundings, two of these were on new technologies for approaching medieval objects and buildings, using GIS mapping and 3D modelling to see medieval art in a new way. Amy Jeffs (Digital Pilgrim Project) led a workshop on digitising pilgrim souvenirs and using software to enable better study and public appreciation of objects which are usually difficult to access, leading to a discussion on the benefits and potential issues of digitalisation. Tim Beach also used technologies to explore medieval art, but on a much larger scale, demonstrating how 3D laser scanning can be used to make a perfect 3D digital representation of medieval buildings, performing a live demonstration on the undercroft of Eastbridge Hospital itself.

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Attendees take part  in a workshop in the Eastbridge Hospital Chapel

The whole conference was an exciting look at new research and approaches to medieval and early modern history, and the diverse mix of papers meant that lots of interesting discussions were happening all through the weekend, finishing up in the beautiful space of Eastbridge Hospital. The festival showcased the new research in the History of Art emerging from the University of Kent, both in relation to the wealth of local art around Canterbury itself, and the international nature of work being done, with a particular focus on the art of France and networks between France and England.    

Review by Han Tame

Postgraduate, University of Kent

CfP: Medieval Echo Chambers: Ideas in Space and Time, College Art Association Annual Conference Los Angeles, 21-24 February 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: ICMA @ CAA

Medieval Echo Chambers: Ideas in Space and Time
College Art Association Annual Conference
Los Angeles, 21-24 February 2018

Session sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art

CFP Deadline: 14th August 2017

In recent decades, historians of medieval art and architecture have begun to think about the ways in which the interaction of objects, images, and performances were focused by particular medieval spaces. Whether directed towards a powerful cumulative spirituality, a slowly-accruing political self-fashioning, or more everyday performances of social coherence, it is clear that medieval space had the power to bind together sometimes quite disparate objects, forming their multiple parts into coherent messages for different types of viewers.

Thus far, however, such discussions have largely chosen to focus on individual moments of such consonance, thinking through the medieval Gesamtkunstwerk in only one particular iteration. This session proposes to expand this type of thinking beyond the snapshot by considering how medieval spaces could not only encourage resonance between objects in the moment but also echo these ideas over time. How did certain medieval spaces act as ideological echo chambers? How did certain spaces encourage particular recurring patterns of patronage, reception, or material reflection? How did people in the Middle Ages respond aesthetically to the history of spaces they inhabited, and how did they imagine these spaces’ future?

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers that focus on material from any part of the Middle Ages, broadly defined both chronologically and geographically.

Paper topics might address, but are by no means limited to:

  • longue durée narratives showcasing the continuous interaction of objects and architecture.
  • the resonance of particular quotidian spaces—marketplaces, bridges, squares—with objects and performances over time and across evolving audiences.
  • relationships emerging over time between certain types of space and certain types of artist or craftsman
  • documents and performances through which the evolving histories of particular spaces and objects were remembered, reiterated, repeated
  • the role of the immaterial—sound, light, smell, touch—in drawing together spaces and objects, and the issues associated with charting these relationships over time
  • medieval spaces that continue to foster relationships with objects of the classical world
  • medieval interactions between objects and space that project into the early modern period and beyond
  • ‘future spaces’, which point to times and places beyond themselves, whether an imminent reality or a more fantastical future

250-word proposals should be sent with a short academic CV to Jack Hartnell (j.hartnell@uea.ac.uk) and Jessica Barker (j.barker@uea.ac.uk) by 14th August 2017.

Accepted speakers may be eligible to apply for ICMA-Kress Travel Grants to support travel to and from Los Angeles. For more information, see: http://www.medievalart.org/kress-travel-grant

Organisers:
Dr Jack Hartnell, Lecturer in Art History (UEA, Norwich)
Dr Jessica Barker, Lecturer in Art History (UEA, Norwich)

CfP: New Directions in the Study of Medieval Sculpture, Leeds, 16-17 Mar 2018

Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, March 16 – 17, 2018
Deadline: Sep 30, 2017

New Directions in the Study of Medieval Sculpture

Focusing on the materiality of medieval sculpture has proven crucial to
its study and has expanded our historical understanding of sculpture
itself. Whether monumental relief sculpture in stone, wooden sculptures
in the round, sculpted altarpieces, ivory plaques or enamelled
reliquaries, the possibilities for research on medieval sculpture now
extend far beyond the established canon.

Contemporary medieval sculpture studies have opened the field to
comparative and inclusive research that embraces the social,
performative, gendered and ritual uses of medieval sculpture. These
developments have inspired the organisers of the conference New
Directions in the Study of Medieval Sculpture to reflect on the field
and ask how do we investigate medieval sculpture today and what might
come ‘after’ materiality?

This two-day conference seeks to assess and critique the state of the
field on medieval sculpture and to investigate new directions,
approaches and technologies for research. A consideration of the state
of the field could be approached through, but is not limited to, the
following topics:

    Processes and techniques of medieval sculpture
    The sensory experience of medieval sculpture
    The ephemeral and intangible aspects of medieval sculpture
    Medieval sculpture, photography and digital reproduction
    Archives, casts and reconstructing medieval sculpture
    Sculpture and medievalism
    Historiography of medieval sculpture studies
    Exhibition histories of medieval sculpture

This conference is hosted by the Henry Moore Institute, a centre for
the study of sculpture, and is convened by Dr Elisa Foster, 2016-18
Henry Moore Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow.

Accommodation and reasonable travel expenses within the UK will be
reimbursed.

Paper proposals should be sent via email to Dr Elisa Foster:
elisa.foster@henry-moore.org by 30 September 2017.

Job: Research Associate / Post doc @ SACRIMA, LMU Munich

Institut für Kunstgeschichte, LMU München, February 1, 2017 – January
31, 2019
Application deadline: Dec 1, 2016

Jobs @ SACRIMA, The Normativity of Sacred Images in Early Modern
Europe, an interdisciplinary ERC funded project at the Institute for
Art History of the LMU in Munich
01.12.2016 um 00:00 Uhr

Research Associates / Post doc
Einrichtung: Fakultät für Geschichts- und Kunstwissenschaften
(Institut für Kunstgeschichte)
Besetzungsdatum: 01.02.2017
Ende der Bewerbungsfrist: 01.12.2016
Entgeltgruppe: 13 TV-L
Befristung: 2 Jahre

Es besteht grundsätzlich die Möglichkeit der Teilzeitbeschäftigung.

Die Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) ist eine der
renommiertesten und größten Universitäten Deutschlands.

Aufgaben

Applications are sought for up to two Research Associates
(Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter/in) on the new ERC funded project
SACRIMA, The Normativity of Sacred Images in Early Modern Europe led by
Professor Chiara Franceschini and based at the LMU Institute for Art
History. Applications from other disciplines are welcome.

We offer one to two post-doctoral positions of 2 years starting at the
earliest in February 2017. After a positive evaluation, each of the
contracts can be extended for one more year (a total of three years
maximum). The starting salary is in accordance with the requirements of
the LMU and depends on relevant research experience.

The project will study the normativity and the autonomy of art in
particular in the religious field in Early Modern Europe (circa
1450-1650). Bringing together researchers trained in the history of art
of different European areas as well as historians of religion, law and
cultural transfer, this interdisciplinary project will break ground in
two main ways. First, by questioning and developing the notion of
‘visual norm’ in a double sense: institutional norms imposed on images
and autonomous visual norms. Second, by adopting a comparative approach
at the crossroads of the history of art, the history of religion and
law, and cultural geography.

Focusing on a comparison between five major areas that, remaining
inside Catholicism, responded differently to the challenge imposed by
the Reformation, the project has the following stated objectives: 1) A
comparative survey of cases of contested images in the Italian
peninsula and islands, France, Iberia, the Low Countries and Southern
Germany. 2) An investigation of the notion of ‘visual norm’ (focusing
on aspects such as styles, iconographies, reproduction and reframing)
and a study of the status, the autonomy and the legal value of images.
3) An exploration of the geography of reactions to art transfer aiming
at reconstructing a cross-border cartography of visual norms in Europe
and the Mediterranean.

Anforderungen

You will have either a PhD in History of Art or in Early Modern History
and allied disciplines. You will have a background in areas of the
History of Art of the early modern period, preferably with a
specialization in Northern European and/or Iberian art (or in one of
the other areas of interests of the project), and/or in the early
modern religious history of Europe.

You will be expected to pursue independent work related to the themes
of SACRIMA focusing in particular on objectives 1 and 2 of the project
(see description above). The successful candidates are expected to work
as part of a team based in Munich and to spend up to four months in
each of the years of research on fieldwork and/or archive visits for
the case studies. They will publish the results of their research
within the publication programme of the project. You will be expected
to be involved in planning and running collaborative activities of the
project group (project meetings and seminars) as well as in some
administrative work associated with the project.
Experience with administration and coordination would be desirable as
well as an interest in archival research and/or the implementation of
digital tools connected with the project.

Working space, working tools and a travel budget will be provided.
Applications by researchers with handicap will be considered with
priority under equal conditions. We welcome applications from female
candidates. This is a full-time position. The possibility of part-time
and flexible working hours will be considered.

Wir bieten Ihnen eine interessante und verantwortungsvolle Tätigkeit
mit guten Weiterbildungs- und Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten.
Schwerbehinderte Bewerber / Bewerberinnen werden bei ansonsten im
Wesentlichen gleicher Eignung bevorzugt. Die Bewerbung von Frauen wird
begrüßt.
Bewerbungsadresse

How to apply:

Please send the following application materials as a single
PDF-document to Chiara.Franceschini@lmu.de (please specify SACRIMA in
your email subject line):
1. Short cover letter;
2. Short CV, including list of publications;
3. A description of your proposed research topic during the 2-year post
relating to the stated objectives of the SACRIMA project (max 1300
words, excluding bibliography);
4. A writing sample (e.g. one chapter of your latest paper or
publication). The writing sample should reflect your current research
interests; it does not need to have been already accepted for
publication and should preferably be no longer than 8000 words;
5. Names and contacts of at least two referees.

Applications received by December 1, 2016 will receive full
consideration. Review of the applications will continue until suitable
candidates are found. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for
interviews in mid December. Informal discussions with long-listed
candidates might be held via Skype on 6-7 December 2016. Informal
enquiries may be made to Prof. Dr. Chiara Franceschini.
Ansprechpartner/in

Prof. Dr. Chiara Franceschini
SACRIMA – The Normativity of Sacred Images in Early Modern Europe (ERC)
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Zentnerstraße 31
80798 München
Telefon: +49 (0)89 2180 3501 / Fax: +49 (089) / 2180-13507
E-Mail: Chiara.Franceschini@lmu.de

http://www.kunstgeschichte.uni-muenchen.de/aktuelles/franceschini-ausschreibung/index.html