Size Matters in Omaha

Posted in Calls for Papers, exhibitions by Editor on August 5, 2009

Midwest Art History Society Call for Session Proposals (due 23 August)
8-10 April 2010 – Omaha, Nebraska


Étienne-Louis Boullée, "Projet de Bibliothèque Royale," 1785

The Midwest Art History Society is currently accepting session proposals for its annual conference, to be held next spring in Omaha. The meeting’s timely theme Exploring Monumentality: Re-Thinking Scale Relationships in Art comes on the heels of the remarkable 2008-09 exhibition, Grand Scale: Monumental Prints in the Age of Dürer and Titian (organized by Larry Silver with Elizabeth Wyckoff), and precedes an exhibition at the Getty that will pursue the subject into the seventeenth century; Grand Manner: Charles Le Brun and the Monumental Prints of the Ancien Régime (organized by Louis Marchesano) opens May 18 and runs through October 17.

The MAHS conference might provide an ideal venue for asking how oversize scale functioned in the eighteenth century (one thinks perhaps of Vanbrugh, Boullée, or Piranesi). Conference organizers will include some topics not related to the theme of monumentality, so other session ideas are welcome, too. Here’s the official call for proposals:

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For its 37th annual conference in Omaha, Nebraska (April 8-10, 2010), the Midwest Art History Society will devote the majority of sessions to a central topic–Monumentality. All cultures and periods have generated works of large relative scale. Well-known examples include the Colossus of Rhodes, the monumental heads of Easter Island, Mount Rushmore, the enormous statuary at Buddhist temple complexes throughout Asia, Michelangelo’s David, and the oversized creations of contemporary artist Jeff Koons. We invite session proposals devoted to the impact and meaning of size; logistical considerations for large and small-scale works; famous and/or important monumental works; and other issues related to scale. Because we will still offer open sessions for conference papers that do not address the central issue, we also invite proposals for sessions on other topics apart from that of our central theme.The conference will be hosted by the University of Nebraska at Omaha, in cooperation with KANEKO, a center for creative research founded by Japanese ceramicist Jun Kaneko, and the Joslyn Art Museum. Sessions will be held at KANEKO, an ideal location for investigating issues of monumentality since Kaneko himself creates work of enormous scale, as well as at the Joslyn Art Museum.

Proposals, including the name and institutional affiliation of session chair(s), session title, mailing address, and e-mail address, along with a 200-word description of the session, should be emailed to:

Paula Wisotzki
MAHS Programming Committee
E-mail: pwisots@luc.edu

Please include the words “MAHS” and “session” in your subject line. Proposals must be received by August 23, 2009. All sessions accepted for the conference will be posted in the regular Call for Papers to be sent out in September.

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