Tag Archives: Renaissance

Announcement: Society for the Study of the Church Interior

S.-Maria-gloriosa-dei-Frari-Title-page-1500-500.jpgWhat is the study of the church interior?

The church was a highly meaningful site for pre-Modern European society. As architectural sites accessible to all strata of society, church buildings provided contexts for interaction between social classes and genders, and settings for a wide variety of religious and non-religious activities. From an art-historical perspective, the vast majority of artworks produced in the medieval and Renaissance periods was intended for the many chapels, altars and screens in the church interior.

Yet, despite the obvious importance of these sites, the spatial dispositions of church interiors – and how they evolved over time – are still little-understood. Centuries of restorations and adaptations have radically transformed the appearance and usage of church interiors: screens have been removed; altars shifted position; new liturgical furnishings installed; fresco decoration whitewashed; and seating added or taken away.

Scholars studying the church interior seek to reconstruct the meaning, functions and visual appeal of these sacred spaces. The Society for the Study of the Church Interior seeks to promote this holistic and interdisciplinary approach to researching historic church buildings.

Who are we?

We are a group of scholars who are interested in the material culture, spatial dynamics and multifarious functions of the church interior in the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. We are mainly based in the US, Germany, Italy and the UK, but welcome members from around the world.

Primarily focused on pre-Modern Italy, we are interested in reconstructing aspects of individual churches, but also in broader issues associated with large-scale changes to architectural layouts generally associated with religious reform. In addition to purely art-historical inquiry, we investigate the religious, political or practical motivations behind transformation campaigns and the effects such changes had on the use of church buildings.

What do we do?

Studying the church interior presents complex challenges for the historian, given that documentary, archaeological and material sources can be fragmentary or even contradictory. Our research involves the analysis of several types of primary and secondary source material, which may include:

  • Original archival documentation such as payments, contracts, testaments, etc
  • Liturgical texts
  • Official records of Visitations conducted by bishops and other clergy
  • Historic ground plans
  • Antiquarian guidebooks
  • Modern restoration records
  • Material evidence of surviving architecture
  • Archaeological reports
  • Provenance of objects such as altarpieces and liturgical furnishings

What are the activities of the Society?

The Society promotes broader engagement with the study of the church interior, disseminates research findings and fosters an academic community of like-minded scholars.

In the future, we hope to organize sessions and meetings at major conferences such as the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting.

We are also in the process of establishing an online, collaborative database to collect data on the church interior. Initially concentrating on Italy, where the impact of the Counter Reformation was particularly strong, the database will reveal the broad patterns and chronologies which are currently beyond the grasp of the individual researcher. Members of the Society who wish to contribute to the database will receive a login to access it: please email Joanne or Michael if you are interested.

Sign up for the mailing list here.

CFP: Publishing in the Renaissance – Minor and Academic publishers

hypnerotomachia-poliphili_1Call for Journal Submissions: Kunsttexte – Renaissance 2016: “Publishing in the Renaissance – Minor and Academic publishers”
Deadline: Nov 1, 2016

Some major publishers dominated the publishing scene in the
Renaissance, like Aldo Manuzio and his family in Venice, and the Giunti
family in Florence. From early on however there were many minor
publishers, often very engaged, but successful only for a few years.
These were often intellectuals, who followed special interests in their
publishing policy. In Florence there was Anton Francesco Doni, member
of the literary academy, who published his own works, but also those of
his academy fellows, for example the lessons they presented in the
Academy. His engagement did not lead to financial success and after a
few years he had to stop. In Venice Francesco Sansovino was a
likeminded, who published his own works as well and those of his
friends, and some literary editions. There are numerous examples of
private engagement in printing. We invite papers, which present in an
exemplary way minor printers in the Renaissance (in Italy, France,
Spain, Germany), concentrating on their formation, their printing
policy, their outreach and influence.

How to submit: The articles are due on November 1, 2016, but a short note of interest
would be welcome beforehand.  Papers are welcome in German, English,
French, Italian or Spanish. For more information about the open access
online journal Kunsttexte and for the author guidelines please look at
www.kunsttexte.de.
Please send inquiries and proposals to
Angela Dressen (adressen@itatti.harvard.edu)
Susanne Gramatzki (gramatz@uni-wuppertal.de)

CFP: The Network of Cassinese Arts, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Florence, 16-18 Mar 2017

800px-abbey_of_saint_scholastica2c_subiacoCFP: The Network of Cassinese Arts, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Florence, 16-18 Mar 2017
Deadline: Oct 30, 2016

Organized by Alessandro Nova and Giancarla Periti

From the late fifteenth to the mid sixteenth century, an impressive
corpus of architecture, sculpture, and painting was created to
embellish monastic sites affiliated with the Benedictine Cassinese
Congregation of Italy. A religious order of humanistically trained
monks whose mobility among the network of Cassinese monasteries was
paramount to their spiritual reformed agenda, the Cassinese fruitfully
engaged with the most eminent artists and architects of the early
modern period, supporting the production of imagery and architecture
that was often highly experimental in nature. The Cassinese
Congregation constituted a spiritual infrastructure that spread across
the northern, central and southern regions of Italy, through which not
only monks but also works and models circulated, intersected, and
interacted. The mobility and flow of artists, materials, and motifs
tied together the reformed religious communities affiliated with the
Cassinese Congregation and simultaneously connected an antique with a
modern Christian artistic corpus. This system resulted in a virtual
continuum linking works of architecture, sculpture, and painting,
including the Byzantine church of San Vitale in Ravenna, the Norman
cloister of Monreale (Palermo), and Raphael’s Sistine Madonna in
Piacenza.

Scholarship has presented the Cassinese monks principally as learned
patrons of ambitious but locally-inflected works created by credited
Renaissance masters. But such an approach has obscured the fact that
these modern instances of Cassinese Christian arts existed within a
larger cultural network and coexisted with others of differing value,
including the management of late antique buildings, the preservation of
Byzantine mosaics, and the custody of poorly made votive images in
popular shrines. Not only did these lesser-known episodes assure the
survival of late antique arts, and artifacts of limited aesthetic
appeal, but they also provided occasions for Renaissance masters active
in Cassinese communities to confront alternative forms of antiquity in
a dialogue among the arts for the reinvention of a modern Christianized
art.

The present conference proposes itself as a forum for the task of
reconnecting various artistic episodes that were once Cassinese
initiatives in Renaissance Mediterranean Italy and of re-considering
the spatial monastic settings in which the artworks were originally
placed. Investigating the network of Cassinese arts therefore offers a
fresh occasion to gain new perspectives on a rich body of antique and
Renaissance artworks and their life across time, as well as their
makers’ approaches to past models, recipients’ modalities of viewing
and the pressures put on images as agents of religious reform.

Proposals engaging with all aspects of the network of Cassinese arts
are welcome, with a preference for investigations of little-explored
Cassinese works in southern Italy or new readings of major artworks and
their modes of functioning. Comparative approaches to cycles depicting
rebus-like art forms such as grotesques and hieroglyphs are also of
great interest, as are explorations of the social life of Renaissance
artists building on the evidence that some set up workshops within the
Cassinese precincts while working for the monks. Other topics could
include the appropriation and recycling of Early Christian and
Byzantine materials in Cassinese edifices, the ecological management of
built resources (for example, the transfer of antique columns from San
Vitale in Ravenna to the abbey of Santa Maria del Monte in Cesena) that
served to symbolically link Cassinese monasteries, and considerations
on the Cassinese visual network of the sacred, spreading throughout
Mediterranean Italy by means of copies of primary objects and the
mobility of monks, artists and forms.

How to Submit: Please send your proposal (maximum 400 words) and CV in English, German and/or Italian to Dott.ssa Mandy Richter: Richter@khi.fi.it.

Call for Applications: 12 posts in the research group “Spanish Italy and the Iberian Americas”

deorbonovo_28129Call for Applications: 12 junior scholars to join the research group Spanish Italy and the Iberian Americas, from  June 2016 to October 2017.
Deadline: March 31, 2016

A Getty Foundation Connecting Art Histories Project
co-directed by Michael Cole and Alessandra Russo,
Columbia University

The co-directors of the Connecting Art History project “Spanish Italy
and the Iberian Americas” seek twelve junior scholars to join the
research group during the period June 2016 to October 2017. Project
participants will collaborate to discern the common dynamics and study
the artistic ties that developed between these two regions in the early
modern period, especially during the sixteenth-century. Moving beyond
the concerns of national heritage and microhistory, the project depends
on scholars interested in changing their conceptions about their “home”
fields of “Renaissance” Italian or “Colonial” Latin American art. The
project will unfold in multiple stages, centered on travel and
conversation. Throughout the project, the junior scholars and a group
of senior faculty will collaborate and communicate regularly, sharing
bibliographies and contributing monthly to a research blog. As a group,
participants will travel to Italy in January 2017 to visit and discuss
works in historically Spanish regions of Italy. Each member will be
responsible for introducing a series of works, engaging information
across multiple fields. Six months after the visits in Italy, in a
second phase of the project, participants will convene in New York City
for a workshop. Each scholar will present a paper responding to the
conversation and insights elicited during the trip, and considering how
those ideas might provide prospects for the study of arts in Iberian
Americas. While in New York, the group will also visit archives and
museums in the city. The project will cover travel expenses to Italy
and New York.

Eligibility: Recent PhDs to junior faculty members working on early modern Italian
or Latin American art are eligible to apply though preference will be
given to those who did degrees or are working in Italian and Latin
American universities. Candidates should submit a statement (maximum
three pages) explaining their interest in participating; a description
(maximum two pages) of a current project; a CV; two letters of
recommendation; and a writing sample.

How to apply: Application materials should be sent as a single PDF, clearly labeled,
to : connectingarthistories@columbia.edu  by March 31st, 2016.

‘The Matter of Objects’: Medieval and Renaissance Materiality in Contemporary Conversation (26th May 2016)

‘The Matter of Objects’: Medieval and Renaissance Materiality in Contemporary Conversation

 Queen Mary University of London 26th May 2016

Deadline for Proposals: 15th February 2016. 

V&AFollowing the ‘Material Turn(s)’ of the last few decades the place of objects and their materiality has received invigorated attention within humanities research. Yet, approaches to the material often remain stifled by the abstract ways in which they are approached. In the words of social anthropologist Tim Ingold, the engagement of historians with the material is ‘not with the tangible stuff of craftsmen and manufacturers but with the abstract ruminations of philosophers and theorists.’

This project, culminating in a temporary exhibition, aims to juxtapose Medieval and Renaissance objects with contemporary artistic responses in order to challenge traditional narratives of the role of objects in academic research. Taking current humanities research as the launch pad for investigation the event aims to create an open space for conversation between researcher and practitioner. Proposed Medieval and Renaissance objects, and their narratives, will serve as inspiration for artists to create a response piece. The contemporary response will be displayed during an exhibition at Queen Mary, University of London, where a launch event will encourage artists and researchers to come together to discuss their processes of deconstruction, interpretation and creation.

The exhibition will be accompanied by short but critical introductions to each piece, from historian and artist, with room for questions and thought. By creating a space for dialogue with practitioners who approach and experience their knowledge of the material from a different angle, we might open the way for reinvigorated readings of objects from the past. To allow a greater reach and extend the life of the project the temporary exhibition will be supported by an online exhibition that will serve as an on going discussion space.

We are seeking proposals from doctoral or early career researchers in history/art history/literary studies who work on Medieval, Renaissance or Early Modern period and would be prepared to write a synopsis of their research project (accessible to a general audience) and select an object that can serve as a gateway into their research. If your research does not generally use objects (but you have an object in mind) we would still like to hear from you, as we are keen to hear about less traditional integration of objects into histories of the period.

Please contact us if you have further questions and send proposals of 250 words, including an image of your chosen object, its location, dimensions, and material (as far as they are known) and a brief biography to: matterofobjects@gmail.com by 15th February 2016.

The event is supported by the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies at Queen Mary University of London.

CFP: Imaging Utopia – New Perspectives on Northern Renaissance Art (11-13 January 2017)

Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art (University of Leuven), Belgium, 11-13 January 2017

Deadline:  Friday, April 1, 2016

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

The twentieth symposium for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in Painting will be held in Leuven in the context of the major exhibition In Search of Utopia. In 1516, Thomas More (1478- 1535), humanist, statesman and ambassador of Henry VIII of England, published his book Utopia at the renowned printing house established by Dirk Martens in the university city of Leuven. To mark the quincentenary of this milestone in Europe’s intellectual and cultural history the city of Leuven and University of Leuven are mounting In Search of Utopia.

The conference will focus on sixteenth-century Northern art, with special emphasis on painting, sculpture, manuscripts and mixed media, from a variety of approaches. We have extended the original, more technical scope of the symposium to include art historical and iconological perspectives as to reveal the multifarious nature of the sixteenth century. After successful editions on Rogier van der Weyden and Jan van Eyck among others, this symposium will focus on the period in-between the ‘Flemish Primitives’ and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The latter will be the topic of the XXIst edition hosted by KIK-IRPA (Brussels) in 2018.

The symposium calls for papers on art-technical research on Northern Renaissance art based on innovative imaging and analytical techniques (Imaging Utopia, Utopian Imaging). Contributions that explore artist or workshop practice in painting, illumination, sculpture and mixed media objects are welcome. The aim of the conference is to consider how new imaging and analytical techniques can contribute to a better understanding of the arts during this highly dynamic period. Special attention will be paid to mixed media in sixteenth-century art by focussing on the Mechelen Enclosed Garden research and conservation project. In honour of this project, Mechelen will be the venue of the first day of the conference. We also aim to contextualize the artistic impact of intellectual shifts and expanding worldviews that emerged during the first decades of the sixteenth century (Humanism, Visual Culture and the Pursuit of Knowledge). This shift not only occurred in the minds of the humanists and intelligentsia, but can also be seen in the visual culture of this period. Poor life conditions and political instability engendered the desire to search for ideal places and perfect social circumstances. These phantasms had complex and multi-layered repercussions on the visual arts, such as the popular representations of ‘pleasant places’, loci amoeni (Locus Amoenus). However, these internal desires also resulted in ‘external’ expressions: the physical search for paradise on earth, such as the exploratory expeditions to the New World (Terra Incognita). These new horizons shaped the artistic representation of the ‘other’ and the ‘unknown’. At the same time, the artistic search to redeem these deeply-rooted desires produced visual antitypes of this kind of Utopian thinking, resulting in the most horrific scenes in which reality and fantasy are no longer antonyms (Dystopia).

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  1. New perspectives on technical art history and the Northern Renaissance
  • New imaging and analytical tools and techniques applied on Northern Renaissance art
  • The challenges of exploring, preserving and imaging sixteenth-century mixed media, with special emphasis on the Enclosed Gardens
  • Visual Digital Humanities and Northern Renaissance art
  1. New perspectives on Utopian thinking and the art of the Northern Renaissance 
  • Major intellectual, scientific and religious shifts in the sixteenth century and their repercussions on visual culture and society
  • The (re)creation of earthly and heavenly paradises in Northern Renaissance art
  • The search for ‘untouched’ places in the New World
  • Critical evaluations of representations of the ‘other’ and the ‘unknown’ in the visual arts
  • Visual antitypes of Utopian artistic expressions

The partners of the XXth symposium are Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art (University of Leuven), Erfgoed Mechelen (Museums & Heritage Mechelen) Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), KIK-IRPA (Brussels) and the Flemish Research Centre for the Arts in the Burgundian Netherlands (Musea Brugge).

We welcome 20-minute papers that engage with these varied, but interconnected topics of research and, equally important, explore recent technological research methods, fresh methodologies and theoretical frameworks. We wish to encourage an integrated approach of technical art history, art history and iconology. The official language of the conference is English. Proposals of no more than 300 words and a brief CV should be submitted to illuminare@arts.kuleuven.be before Friday, April 1, 2016.

The proceedings of the conference will be published by Peeters Publishers.

For more information, please visit the conference website:

https://imagingutopia.wordpress.com/

Jobs: University of San Francisco and University of Hong Kong

Saint_Matthew2The Department of Art + Architecture at the University of San Francisco invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position at the level of Assistant Professor in the field of Medieval Art History, to begin August 2016. We seek candidates whose research examines the history of European medieval art, preferably with secondary interests in early Islamic art. The ideal candidate will also possess significant museum or collections experience and/or a background in archaeology, architectural history or cultural preservation.

Qualifications include a Ph.D. in Art History with an emphasis in European medieval art at the time of appointment, and a strong record of excellence in research and teaching in the discipline. A secondary specialization in Islamic art of the Mediterranean world (8th-12th c.) is highly desired. Additional museum, archaeology, cultural preservation or architectural history experience is preferred, but not required. The successful candidate will be expected to play an important role both within the Department that includes Bachelor of Arts programs in art history, architecture, design, and fine arts and a Master of Arts program in Museum Studies, and within the College of Arts and Sciences overall. The candidate must also demonstrate a willingness to work in a culturally diverse environment and an understanding of, and commitment to, support the mission of the University.

A/D December 1, 2015. All applications must be submitted online at https://gnosis.usfca.edu/search/.

For more information:

https://www.usfjobs.com/postings/10041

https://www.h-net.org/jobs/job_display.php?id=51867

www.usfca.edu

Please direct inquiries to medievalartsearch@usfca.edu.


The Department of Fine Arts at the University of Hong Kong is looking for an art historian specialising in Medieval or Renaissance art.

The details of the position are as follows:

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AMF108/assistant-professor-in-medieval-or-renaissance-art-history/

And information about the department is online at: http://finearts.hku.hk