Tag Archives: museology

CFP: Recovering the Past (York N/EMICS), 2-3 June 2017

Recovering the past can be an arduous and treacherous task and modern scholars frequently find themselves indebted to those who have gone before them. This multi-disciplinary two-day conference sets out to celebrate and analyse the impact the work of previous generations has had on our understanding of the Medieval past. For example, from the mid-nineteenth century onwards there appears to have been an increased interest in cataloguing and preserving the sculpture of the early Medieval period by figures such as John Romilly Allen and Joseph Anderson, whose seminal work The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland, published in 1903, is still the most complete record of the sculpture of early Medieval Scotland and was an influencing factor behind the creation of the British Academy Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture (which published its twelfth volume in 2016), the key text for any scholar working on Anglo-Saxon monumental sculpture and ecclesiastical / secular patronage of the arts in the early Middle Ages. This recording and cataloguing of the past can also been seen during the Medieval period itself with the collation of earlier oral poetry being preserved in manuscripts, such as the ninth-century poem Genesis B preserved within the c. 1000 Bodleian Junius 11 manuscript-version of the near contemporary poem Genesis.

Wider examples of recovering the past include, but are not limited to: recovering the past given the issues surrounding the accuracy/authenticity of primary sources; excavation and/or scientific analysis, the insights these provide and the issues surrounding the findings; the recovery of lost or stolen artefacts during the Medieval period and beyond; highlighting the skewing of the past through the editing of texts since the later sixteenth century, the production of fakes, the re-carving of sculpture; highlighting the use and manipulation of the past to support nationalistic/religious arguments; the varying interests of antiquarians and early historians; as well as museology and the questions surrounding how we engage with and display the Medieval past.

This conference will bring together emerging scholars, early career researchers and established academics from a variety of disciplines to provide a platform to discuss how this important idea was manifested in the textual, visual and material evidence of the Medieval world and beyond. It aims to examine the implications and the significance of ‘recovering the past’ in its widest possible contexts.

Possible subjects include but are not limited to:

  • Antiquarianism and/or the recording and cataloguing of the Medieval past
  • Historiographies
  • Archaeological investigations
  • Stolen and/or recovered artefacts
  • The creation of fakes: including the re-carving of sculpture and the ‘editing’ of texts
  • Reconstructing fragmentary texts, narratives or objects
  • The recording of the oral tradition during the Medieval period and beyond
  • Issues surrounding the accuracy/authenticity of primary source material
  • Museology and the displaying of the Medieval past

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words (with a short biography) to Elizabeth Alexander (ea502@york.ac.uk) by 17 Feburary 2017.

For Further information on the Northern/Early Medieval Interdisciplinary Conference Series please see our website: northernemics.wordpress.com.

Conference: Sacred Art in Sacred Collections (Florence, 3 October 14)

Sacred Art in Sacred Collections 
Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici – San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini
Via Faenza 43, Florence
3 October 2014

Santa_Croce_interior_2For the second event of our Forum on Museums and Religion, we propose a study day that addresses the particular issues associated with the conservation and display of collections of objects historically belonging to religious institutions—a natural segue from our first conference about religious institutions which are themselves visited as museums. Museums associated with religious institutions have a special mandate to maintain the profile of their institution as a whole and speak to members of their communities; yet, they frequently possess objects of great historical and aesthetic value which are of interest to a broader and possibly non-religious public. In some cases, these collections are overseen by non-religious institutions. As custodians  of sacred objects of different natures and religious status’, are such institutions responsible for reinforcing the holy nature of their collections to their publics? If so, how can this best be done so as to invite deep a understanding of spiritual messages without appearing to proselytize? This study day investigates the means and difficulties in guaranteeing the survival and deep appreciation of such collections in the Florentine area though a series of talks and a roundtable discussion.

I Musei delle Istituzioni Religiose di Firenze ed il loro Pubblico

Dopo il primo Forum sui Musei e la Religione, il 20 & 21 aprile 2012, l’Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici ospita il secondo evento intitolato “Oggetti Sacri in Collezioni Sacre”.

Questa giornata di studio affronta le problematiche specifiche connesse alla conservazione e all’esposizione di collezioni di oggetti storicamente appartenenti a istituzioni religiose – un naturale seguito al precedente convegno del Forum sulle chiese, templi, e moschee, che a 
loro volta sono visitate come musei. I musei associati alle istituzioni religiose hanno un mandato speciale per mantenere il profilo della loro istituzione nel suo insieme e parlare ai membri delle loro comunità; tuttavia, spesso possiedono oggetti di grande valore storico ed estetico, che sono di interesse per pubblico un più ampio e non necessariamente religioso.

In alcuni casi queste collezioni sono gestite da istituzioni non-religiose (o non più religiose). Come custodi di oggetti sacri di diversa natura e tipologia, fino a che punto tali istituzioni si devono sentire responsabili della trasmissione del carattere sacro delle loro collezioni al loro pubblico? Qual’è il modo migliore per stimolare una comprensione profonda dei messaggi spirituali, senza che questo intento possa essere scambiato per proselitismo? Questa giornata di studio vuole invitare tutti partecipanti ad un dibattito su queste tematiche per cercare di garantire la sopravvivenza e l’apprezzamento di tali raccolte nella zona fiorentina, con una serie di colloqui e una tavola rotonda.


Benvenuto – Il forum sui musei e la religione 
Prof. Maia Wellington Gahtan, Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici
Prof. Anna Benvenuti, Università degli Studi di Firenze
Prof. Rita Capurro, Università Politecnico di Milano

Keynote Mons. Timothy Verdon, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo – Grande Museo del Duomo.

Tavola rotonda Moderatore: Don Alfredo Jacopozzi, Responsabile culturale della diocesi


Dott. Licia Bertani, Museo Diocesano di Santo Stefano al Ponte

Dott. Silvia Colucci, Museo Comunale di Santa Maria Novella & Santa Maria del Carmine

Mons. Fabrizio Porcinai, Museo del Tesoro di San Lorenzo


Dott. Giuseppe De Micheli, Museo di Santa Croce

Dott. Fausta Navarro, Museo di San Salvi

Dott. Antonio Godoli, Orsanmichele

Dott. Eleonora Mazzocchi, Istituto degli Innocenti

Further information:
tel. 055 287360 | www.ldminstitute.com | myra.stals@lorenzodemedici.it
Forum on museums and religion | Forum sui musei e la religione