Everyday Objects Symposium

Posted in conferences (to attend), Member News by Editor on November 10, 2009

Everyday Objects: Art and Experience in Early Modern Europe
Courtauld Institute Inaugural Early Modern Symposium, London, 21 November 2009

Through a focus on the everyday object, this one-day symposium explores both the experience of visual culture in everyday life and the phenomenon of the everyday in visual culture. Drawing on theories of the everyday from such fields as anthropology, phenomenology and sociology, papers will examine the seemingly banal things that formed the culture of daily life, asking: what constitutes an everyday object? How were everyday objects experienced, represented or collected? And how does their study enhance our understanding of the cultural history of early modernity?

Papers by established and emerging scholars will explore the theme of the everyday object in a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, dress, furniture and the graphic arts. Presentations will investigate ephemeral objects, quotidian spaces and habitual activities — from the social rituals of marriage, food consumption and waste disposal, to overlooked ‘things’ like taxidermy, miniature furniture and clothing accessories.

Organised by Edward Payne and Hannah Williams. To book a place, please send a cheque for £15 (£10 students) made payable to ‘Courtauld Institute of Art’ to Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN — clearly stating that you wish to book for the Everyday Objects Conference. For credit card bookings, call 020 7848 2785/2909. For further information, send an email to ResearchForumEvents@courtauld.ac.uk, or visit the Institute’s website.

Introduction – Edward Payne & Hannah Williams

Session 1 – Chair: Edward Payne

  • Samuel Bibby (University College London), “The Triumph of the Everyday: Sculpture, Marriage, and Memory in Fifteenth-Century Florence”
  • Joanna Woodall (The Courtauld Institute of Art), “Laying the Table. The Procedures of Still-life”

Session 2 – Chair: Hannah Williams

  • Katie Scott (The Courtauld Institute of Art), “Cochin’s Handkerchiefs”
  • Ariane Fennetaux (Université Paris-Diderot), “What’s in a Pocket? The Contribution of Material Culture to the Cultural and Social History of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain”

Session 3 – Chair: David Solkin

  • Paula Radisich (Whittier College), “Theorizing ‘Things’ in French Genre Painting of the 1740s”
  • Melinda Rabb (Brown University), “Mimesis Reconsidered: Everyday Objects in Miniature”

Session 4 – Chair: Sheila McTighe

  • Beth Fowkes Tobin (Arizona State University), “Women, Decorative Arts, and Taxidermy”
  • Olivia Fryman (Kingston University and Historic Royal Palaces), “‘Necessary Stooles’ and Necessary Women: Dealing with Royal Dirt, 1660-1714”

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