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 email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
On Weds 21st November 2018, Lloyd de Beer, Naomi Speakman, and Oliver Cooke kindly allowed students and staff from the Courtauld Institute of Art and elsewhere into the horological storerooms of the British Museum, the latest in a series of handling sessions organised by Medieval Touch. Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein of the University of York led the group in a joint examination of a series of mostly sixteenth-century scientific instruments, including replicas from her own collection.
We began by looking together at an astrolabe. Astrolabes were observational and calculating instruments and allowed users to tell the time through the position of the stars in relation to the astral map on the astrolabe itself, however your ability to do so was contingent upon any number of factors, not least the environmental conditions.
As well as explaining their purpose, Jeanne attempted to instruct us all in their use and as each of us tried and frequently failed to grasp the fundamentals of astrolabe reading, it became apparent that astrolabes are not intuitive instruments. Their use implies and demands significant technical experience and knowledge. We questioned whether this knowledge was simply more widespread in the early modern world or whether utility was not their only value. Even when we consider astrolabes purely in practical use, several limiting factors would have dictated how and by whom they were employed. Astrolabes are geographically specific instruments, each backplate designed for a set latitude – the mobile user would have required multiple plates. Moreover, larger instruments were more easily legible and produced more accurate readings.
Certain instruments that survive like this column shaped sundial were too elaborately shaped to be of any functional use. Their design seems to effect other concerns, perhaps commemorative (was this the model of a larger monumental sundial?) or aesthetic.
However, other instruments were clearly more useable. Ivory diptych sundials like these 16th-century examples from Nuremberg, appear to have been designed for the Early Modern traveller. Handy and conveniently pocket sized, they also offered a range of adjustable settings depending on location.
London to Naples, Portugal to Constantinople: the lists of cities on these objects, clustering around the cities of Mitteleuropa and Northern Italy, Bremen, Königsberg, Venice and Genoa, spoke to some of us of a now lost trading geography of Europe. However, made of ivory and not unelaborately decorated, these objects were demonstrably prestige items and must have elicited viewing as much as reading.
A glance at the range of sundials in the cabinets of the horological department reveals the complex interplay of aesthetic and practical motives at work in these objects.
Here’s what we saw, all visible on the British Museum’s website:
|Sundial/horary quadrant, England 14th c., 1972,0104.1|
|Sundial etc., Hans Dorn 1492, 1894,0615.1|
|Astrolabe, Georg Hartmann 1532, 1871,1115.3|
|Crucifix polyhedral sundial, Georg Hartmann 1541, 1894,0722.1|
|Astronomical compendium/wind-vane, Christopher Schissler c. 1550, 1855,0904.1|
|Sundial in the form of dividers, Christopher Schissler 1558, 1888,1201.283|
|Universal equinoctial dial with case, Christopher Schissler c. 1570, 1922,0705.3|
|Regiomontanus-style sundial, Caspar Vopel 1551, 1895,0319.1|
|Crucifix sundial, Melchior Reichle 1569, 1874,0727.3|
|Standing cup in the form of a celestial globe, French, 1569, AF.3060|
|Pillar dial in the form of a Corinthian column, Germany, 1593, 1888,1201.282|
|Scaphe sundial, Germany late 16th c., 1922,0705.6|
|Sundial etc., Netherlands late 16th c.?, 1871,1115.5|
|European celestial globe from 1659, 1896,0322.1|
|17c armillary sphere, 1855,1201.221|
|Diptych dial, Hartmann, 1562, 1900,1017.1|
Many thanks again to Jeanne for a fascinating session!
Deadline: Nov 30, 2018
Call For Papers
Illustrating Love: From Myth to Manual
UGA Emerging Scholars Symposium—March 22-23rd, 2019
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Paul Barolsky
Submissions Due: November 30, 2018
The Association of Graduate Art Students (AGAS) at the University of Georgia, in partnership with the Georgia Museum of Art, invites emerging scholars to submit proposals for papers that contribute to a discussion of love in the visual arts. The symposium will be held in conjunction with the exhibition Life, Love, and Marriage Chests in Renaissance Florence, on view at the Georgia Museum of Art March 9—May 26, 2019.
Our symposium will expand the scope of the exhibition by addressing attempts to articulate love throughout the history of visual and material culture. Expressing the many facets of this complex emotion has been a preoccupation in the arts for generations, with artists across genres and media vying to capture the elusive sentiment. Through myth, allegory, and even religion, depictions of love mark cultures’ interpersonal values, both in public and in private. The arts of love reveal society’s most intimate desires, depicting narratives that codify their ideals. From beauty, sexuality, and family to status, agency, and identity, our symposium seeks submissions that exemplify the myriad archetypes related to love.
Submissions that discuss specific works of art or themes related to Life, Love, and Marriage Chests in Renaissance Florence are encouraged. Other relevant topics include but are not limited to:
• Courtly love
• Allegories of love and marriage
• Gender roles in the domestic space
• Eroticism and the nude
• Love poetry and the visual arts
Current graduate students and other emerging scholars should submit abstracts (maximum 300 words) and an up-to-date CV to email@example.com by November 30, 2018. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by December 31, 2018.
Life, Love, and Marriage Chests in Renaissance Florence and related educational programs are made possible by the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art.
The Greek term kairós expresses an idea of ‘grasping the right moment’, which travelled through art, literature, and philosophy. And even today, it is central to debates over, for example, time management. Combining perspectives from classical reception studies and iconology, this ongoing project at KU Leuven (2017-2021) is about the reception of kairós in the visual medium from antiquity to the Renaissance. How was the notion of kairós visualized in images throughout time, from antiquity to the early modern era? And more specifically, how did text and image work together to transform the notion of kairós in various contexts?
The attending speakers from Belgium, Germany, France, Israel, Croatia, The Netherlands, Romania, The United Kingdom, The United States, and Switzerland have not only been selected on the basis of their interdisciplinary skills in the field; but equally because of their distinctive contribution to the method of iconology and visual anthropology.
Many among them are key influencers on, among other things, the importance of the Humanities in terms of peace process work, ecology, and the relationship between Eastern and Western civilizations.
Barbara Baert – Kunstwetenschappen KU Leuven – www.illuminare.be
Thursday, 18 October
09.00-09.15 Welcome speech by Pierre Van Moerbeke,
Executive director of Francqui Foundation
09.15-09.30 Welcome speech by Luc Sels, Rector of KU
09.30-10.00 Introduction by Barbara Baert
10.00-10.30 Coffee break
10.30-11.30 Giotto, the Eye and the Gaze – Victor Stoichita
Respondent: Herman Parret
11.30-12.30 Time in the Context of Ecclesia/Synagoga – Miri Rubin
Respondent: Inigo Bocken
14.00-15.00 Epochal Madness: Notes on the Present Moment – W. J. T. Mitchell
Respondent: Stéphane Symons
15.00-16.00 The Manic Moment – Davide Stimilli
Respondent: Hedwig Schwall
16.00-16.30 Coffee break
16.30-17.30 The Silence of Lifta – Avinoam Shalem
Respondent: Amr Ryad
17.30-18.15 Presentation of the new series Recollection: Experimental Reflections on Texts, Images and Ideas – Veerle De Laet (Leuven University Press) & Ellen Harlizius-Klück
Friday 19 October
08.30-09.00 Welcome & coffee
09.00-10.00 The Nativity Church in Bethlehem as Kairotic
Space – Bianca Kühnel
Respondent: Marina Vicelja-Matijašic
10.00-11.00 L’occasion de la grâce dans le martyre – Pierre Antoine Fabre
Respondent: Ralph Dekoninck
11.00-11.30 Coffee break
11.30-12.30 A Dialogue of Early Buddhism, Hinduism and
Jainism on the Varieties of Auspicious Moments – Eugen Ciurtin
Respondent: Reimund Bieringer
14.00-15.00 Generating Synchronicity: Bodily and Affective
Techniques – Elisabeth Hsu
Respondent: Philippe Van Cauteren
15.00-16.00 The Moment of the Dangerous Women – Catherine Harper
Respondent: Ann-Sophie Lehmann
16.00-16.30 Coffee break
16.30-17.30 Concluding remarks – Han Lamers & Bart Verschaffel
17.30-18.00 Book presentations: Paul Peeters (Peeters Publishers) & Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art
18.00-19.30 Farewell drinks
Contact and registration: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration deadline: 30 September 2018
Deadline: Aug 1, 2018
Call for Contributors: A Volume on Teaching Race in the Renaissance
Edited by Anna Wainwright, University of New Hampshire
Matthieu Chapman, University of Houston
Race is a hot button issue all over the globe. From Black Lives Matter and immigration policies in the US, to Germany announcing that multiculturalism has “failed,” to Meghan Markle radically changing the face of the British monarchy and challenging England’s longstanding obsession with the “Blood Royal” by becoming the first black member of the royal family, many nations are struggling to address the ways in which race, and the conflicts surrounding race, affect both people and society. Often, these countries seek to address race as a purely contemporary issue that exists in an ahistorical vacuum without addressing the historical foundations, processes, and structures that led to these current situations. Although race is often viewed as a contemporary issue, many of the ideas, notions, and constructs of race that affect our world today exist within a continuum that began in the Renaissance.
An interdisciplinary conference at The Courtauld Institute of Art exploring art’s relationship with the invisible.
‘He even painted things that cannot be represented …’, Pliny eulogized Apelles in his Naturalis historia. ‘How can we with mortal eyes contemplate this image whose celestial splendour the host of heaven presumes not to behold?’, asks a Byzantine hymn dedicated to the celebrated Image of Edessa. Cennino Cennini, in the first chapter of his Libro dell’arte, writes that painting ‘…calls for imagination, and skill of hand, in order to discover things not seen, hiding themselves under the shadow of natural objects, and to fix them with the hand, presenting to plain sight what does not actually exist.’ In her 1949 essay Some memories of Pre-dada: Picabia and Duchamp, Gabrielle Buffet-Picabia tried to summarise the art of her era: ‘It would seem … that in every field, the principal direction of the 20th century was the attempt to capture the “nonperceptible”.’
Art has been preoccupied with the invisible before, between, and beyond these disparate yet kindred statements. One of artists’ greatest challenges is and has been representing the invisible subject, in its many guises. Artists working in media based on perception, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and installation, must devise strategies to visualise the invisible: It is a foundational paradox of art.