Enfilade

Exhibition | Baroque Paintings from the Francesco Molinari Collection

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 6, 2014

From the Uffizi:

Rooms of the Muses: Baroque Paintings from the Francesco Molinari Collection
Uffizi, Florence, 11 February — 11 May 2014

carlo-magini-553x400

Carlo Magini, Still-life with Vegetables, Bread, Calf’s Head, and Kitchen Utensils, ca. 1760–1800

The Molinari Pradelli private collection is internationally renown and the most important formed in Bologna in the twentieth century. The famed orchestra conductor Francesco Molinari Pradelli (1911–1996) traveled all over the world during his professional career and loved collecting high quality works of art.

With over 100 paintings from the collection, the Uffizi Gallery pays homage to a prestigious conductor who worked in Florence at the helm of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and at the Teatro Comunale. The conductor had success all over the world, in Europe and America, from Vienna to San Francisco to New York’s Metropolitan Opera. His growing passion for collecting paintings started in the 1950s, first with nineteenth-century works and then discovering Baroque painting. He developed an attraction for still-lifes, a genre just beginning to garner interested from scholars. Great art historians from Europe and America came to admire the maestro’s large private collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century painting from various Italian schools and the particular attention for models.

Call for Papers | CAA in New York, 2015

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on April 6, 2014

The following selection of panels may be of interest for scholars of the eighteenth century, though readers are encouraged to consult the full Call for Participation. HECAA members are asked to pay special attention to two sessions: 1) a commemorative panel for Donald Posner chaired by Andria Derstine and Rena Hoisington and 2) a new scholars workshop led by Jennifer Milam (details for the latter will follow soon). CH

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103rd Annual Conference of the College Art Association
New York, 11–14 February 2015

Proposals due by 9 May 2014

The 2015 Call for Participation for the 103rd Annual Conference, taking place February 11–14 in New York, describes many of next year’s sessions. CAA and the session chairs invite your participation: please follow the instructions in the booklet to submit a proposal for a paper or presentation. This publication also includes a call for Poster Session proposals.

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Donald Posner and the Study of Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century French and Italian Art
Andria Derstine, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College; Rena M. Hoisington, Baltimore Museum of Art, Andria.Derstine@oberlin.edu and RHoisington@artbma.org

Donald Posner (1931–2005), the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Professor of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, was one of a select group of art historians who, beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, significantly advanced scholarly inquiry into the Italian and French Baroque. From his first published article, on Le Brun’s Triumphs of Alexander series (1959), to his work on Annibale Carracci, Caravaggio, Domenichino, Lanfranco, Callot, and Poussin, his work helped to initiate and direct future research in the field. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he began to turn his attention toward the eighteenth century—then a notably understudied area. His publications on Watteau, Fragonard, Boucher, Tiepolo, Rigaud, and Nattier set standards for art historical scholarship and greatly contributed to the burgeoning interest in this ‘new’ century. As wide-ranging as the topics he took up was his critical method, encompassing connoisseurship, patronage and collecting, iconography, stylistic issues, taste, and aesthetics, among others. Posner promoted and encouraged research and publication over the course of his long career, and served CAA as Editor-in-Chief of The Art Bulletin from 1968 to 1971 and as Chairman of The Art Bulletin Editorial Board from 1991 to 1994. Ten years after his death, this panel celebrates Posner’s rich legacy by inviting papers that take up particular areas of his field of inquiry and present new information, or that are stimulated by his scholarship and relate to his broad interests.

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Artistic Exchange between the Spanish and British Empires, 1550–1900
Michael A. Brown, The San Diego Museum of Art; and
 Niria E. Leyva-Gutiérrez, Long Island University C.W. Post Campus, michael.alexander.brown92@gmail.com and Niria.Leyva-Gutierrez@liu.edu

This session will focus on the vibrant cultural, political, and economic connections between early modern Spain and Britain and how these histories played out in their American colonies between the years 1550 and 1900. While recent exhibitions and publications have examined the compelling rivalry between the two empires, the nature of artistic exchange between England and Spain and how it unfolded in the Americas is a topic that has received scant scholarly attention. Papers should address any aspect of artistic exchange between Spain and England in North and South America and the Caribbean. We encourage proposals with an interdisciplinary, global purview. Emerging and early career scholars are especially welcome to submit proposals.

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Remaking the American Gallery
Sharon Corwin, Colby College Museum of Art, scorwin@colby.edu

In recent years major museums across the United States have been opening and reopening galleries devoted to American art, from the National Gallery of Art (2009) and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (2010) to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (2012) and the Colby College Museum of Art (2013). This session invites speakers to reflect on these efforts to remake the “American gallery” and specifically examine the kinds of histories of American art that museums are putting on display. How are those histories being (re)constructed in the twenty-first century? What work are they doing for particular institutions, collectors, curators, scholars, students, and museum visitors? In what ways are new museum installations reinforcing and challenging the parameters (or the very notion) of the American canon? Speakers may explore such questions through contemporary case studies; interpretive surveys of historiography, criticism, and institutional practices; or creative proposals to remake an American gallery.

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Rethinking American Art and the Italian Experience, 1760–1918
Melissa Dabakis, Kenyon College; and Paul Kaplan, Purchase College, State University of New York, dabakis@ kenyon.edu and paul.kaplan@purchase.edu

This session will focus on Italy as a key destination for Americans between the years 1760 and 1918. Examining the ways in which artists engaged the social, political, and aesthetic life of the Italian peninsula, papers should expand the ground upon which visual imagery has been understood
by situating it within the dynamic process of transatlantic exchange. This panel seeks papers that offer new avenues of study by locating and analyzing the hybrid aesthetic practices that developed from encounters with Italian cultural traditions. How did American artists adopt, transform, and even translate modern Italian beliefs and aesthetic practices in their own artwork? How did the categories of gender, race, and religion inform artistic production across national boundaries? How were these artists and artworks received by Italian and American critics? We especially invite Italian scholars with research interests in transatlantic exchange and expatriate studies to submit paper proposals.

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Making and Being Made: Visual Representation and/of Citizenship
Corey Dzenko, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; and Theresa Avila, independent scholar, cjdzenko@gmail.com and sahibah@hotmail.com

Traditionally defined by an individual’s membership and level of participation within a community, “citizenship” results in access to benefits or rights, as described by scholars such as Eric Hobsbawm. Yet citizenship moves beyond political framings. According to Aiwha Ong, cultural citizenship is a “dual process of self-making and being-made” but done so “within webs of power linked to the nation-state and civil society.” Taking citizenship as a political position, cultural process, and intertwining of both, this panel examines the role of art and visual culture in reflecting, confirming, or challenging ideals of citizenship across historical periods and media. We seek proposals that engage with the questions: How does citizenship inform artistic and visual practices? And how do images inform citizenship? Topics may include but are not limited to nation building, civic practices, transnationalism, civil rights, politics of identity, labor, border zones, affects of belonging, and activism.

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The Art of Travel: People and Things in Motion in the Early Modern Mediterranean
Elisabeth Fraser, University of South Florida, fraser@usf.edu

For centuries artists, diplomats (ambassadors, consuls, and interpreters), and merchants served as cultural intermediaries in the Mediterranean. Stationed in port cities and other entrepôts of the Mediterranean, these go-betweens forged intercultural connections even as they negotiated and sometimes promoted cultural misunderstandings. They also moved objects of all kinds across time and space. Focusing on the early modern period from roughly 1600 to 1850, this session will consider how the mobility of art is intertwined with diplomatic and trade networks in the international arena of the Mediterranean. With the theorist Arjun Appadurai, we consider “ways in which people find value in things and things give value to social relations,” investigating analogies and relationships between the work performed by artists, diplomats, and merchants. How does the work of art participate in, foster, or resemble diplomatic negotiation or commercial exchange? Papers investigating any aspect of visual and material culture are welcome.

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Shifting Sands: ‘Ancient’ Art and the Art Historical Canon
Amy Gansell, St. John’s University; and Ann Shafer, Rutgers University, gansella@stjohns.edu and ann.shafer@rutgers.edu

This session critiques the art-historical canon by investigating the terminology “ancient” across cultural boundaries. We define a “canon” as an established list of sites, monuments, and objects considered most representative of a tradition. Although the current canon has evolved to include global cultures, outmoded periodizations linger. When, how, and why did ancient art become canonized as such? We aim to take stock of the viability of our present criteria for classifying art as ancient, to investigate how regional subcanons of ancient material have developed, and to explore the impact of discovery, exhibition, and publication. Considering future frameworks of conceptualization, how might ancient art be situated within the global perspective? When issues of authenticity, provenance, and loss arise, should the canon preserve the memory? We welcome contributions from scholars of any period or culture, artists, publishers, and museum professionals whose work transforms the very concept of ancient art in the art-historical canon today.

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White People: The Image of the European in Non-Western Art during the ‘Age of Exploration’, 1400–1750
James Harper and Philip Scher, University of Oregon, harperj@uoregon.edu and pscher@uoregon.edu

How did the rest of the world see Europeans during the so- called Age of Exploration? This session focuses on images of “Westerners” dating from the onset of European expansion to the beginning of the industrial period. While much has been written about Western images of Europe’s others, this session reverses the direction of the gaze, consider
ing the African, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native North or South American as the makers and the European as the object. Whether their exposure to Europeans was fleeting or sustained, first- or secondhand, artists and artisans around the world distilled their impressions of the encounter into images of foreign soldiers, sailors, merchants, missionaries, explorers, and colonists. Culturally specific, these often tell as much about the makers as they do about those they depicted. Papers are invited from a variety of cultural traditions, and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.

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Skeuomorphic: The Skeuomorph from the Acropolis to iOS
Nicholas Herman, The Courtauld Institute of Art; and Sarah M. Guérin, Université de Montréal, nicholas.herman@courtauld.ac.uk and s.guerin@umontreal.ca

A skeuomorph, from Greek σκεῦος (vessel) and μορῦή (form), is an object that adopts essential structural features of its predecessor as ornament. While not strictly necessary, these features connect the new to the old, rendering an object recognizable or more palatable to its audience. Examples include stone modillions on Greek temples derived from the structural elements of wooden architecture; print- ed fonts resembling their handwritten antecedents; faux- wood paneling; and, most topically, touchscreen software that mimics the appearance of three-dimensional items such as notebooks, agendas, and clocks. At the intersection of ergonomics, historicism, and illusionism, the skeuomorph can be revealed as a frequent feature across many historical periods. This session seeks papers that consider instances of skeuomorphism from antiquity to the present, and solicits especially analyses that reach beyond descriptive categories to investigate the motivations, intentions, and ideologies behind seemingly redundant visual continuities that survive at times of technological change.

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Historic Preservation and Changing Architectural Function
Maile Hutterer, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, maile.hutterer@rutgers.edu

This session explores shifts in the visual and physical experience of premodern buildings and monuments as a consequence of their preservation, which intrinsically alters the way historians and visitors interact with those spaces. Sometimes this intervention comes in the form of fences or newly created parvis, and other times by means of changed accessibility, signage, or purpose. The session welcomes papers on subjects from all geographical locations. It seeks to understand more fully how structures operate as records that reflect changing social practice and how that social practice might be reconstructed. If the function of a monument changed, for what purpose was it adapted and was there any resulting amendment to the fabric? Does its preservation obscure or highlight the full range of activities for which it was used, and why or how might it do so? How do the theories and practices of architectural preservation and landmark status account for the intrinsically transformative nature of restoration and conservation?

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Architecture in Islamic Painting
Abdallah Kahil, Lebanese American University, Abdallah.kahil@lau.edu.lb

This session addresses the representation of architecture in Islamic painting. Architectural structures and decoration are often included in Islamic paintings from most periods; they form either an independent visual entity or sets for scenes. The forms and roles of architectural representations in Islamic painting stimulate various methodological and formal approaches. These include exploring spatial concepts and representations, relationships between the architectural representation and visual culture of a specific period or style, the relationship between physical architecture and painted architecture, the imaginative renderings of painters, the formulaic representation, and so on. The architectural decorations in these paintings are so varied and rich in details. Some of them may correspond to the decoration of existing buildings, and some may not. This session is open to exploring all aspects of architectural representation and architectural decoration within the painting, and between the painting and the physical world throughout the periods between thirteenth and eighteenth centuries.

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Unfolding the Enlightenment
Alyce Mahon, University of Cambridge; and
 Nebahat Avcioglu, Hunter College, City University of New York, am414@cam.ac.uk and navciogl@hunter.cuny.edu

What was the value of the Enlightenment for the artist, and how have artists responded to it since? While the Enlightenment is a well-known critical and historical paradigm, associated with an established set of ideas and objects in art, literature, philosophy, and science, this panel asks how we might go beyond existing formulations by seeking to understand the Enlightenment in terms of the expression of flexibility and hybridity in noncanonical art forms such as costume albums, carnets de voyages, livres d’artiste, and performance art. From the late eighteenth century to the present day, artists have explored the Enlightenment and its legacy in various media and historical and geographical contexts. They have challenged and undermined its obsession with knowledge, truth, and classification and exploited its preoccupation with the relationship of ethics to aesthetics, the private to the public, art to the state, and the collector to the museum. We welcome proposals that ask what forms have been taken by these representations of the Enlightenment and its legacy, and what insights they have offered.

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Original Copies: Art and the Practice of Copying
Stephanie Porras, Tulane University, sporras@tulane.edu

Technologies of copying—printing, casting, digital duplication—have always engendered debates about artistic authorship and invention. Copying can be viewed as a debasement and as creative praxis. Albrecht Dürer complained about copyists but also advised young artists learning to draw to “copy the work of good masters until you attain a free hand.” Copying can also produce originality. Andy Warhol’s copies of Brillo Boxes expose this paradox, asking (in Arthur Danto’s words), “What is the difference between two things, exactly alike, one of which is art and one is not?” This session seeks papers addressing techniques and functions of artworks that copy other objects (drawings, prints, casts, rubbings, photographs) produced from the early modern period to today, as well as the legal, ethical, philosophical, and ontological issues embedded in copying. Covering a wide temporal and material range, the session aims to encourage a broader dialogue about the problematic status of the copy in the history of art.

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Art Historical Scholarship and Publishing in the Digital World
Emily Pugh, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art; and Petra Chu, Seton Hall University, emily@emilypugh.com and petra.chu@shu.edu

In recent years computing technologies have opened up new avenues of inquiry and new publishing formats for art-historical research. Yet these new opportunities are not without challenges and raise a number of questions. Do computer-based tools represent merely a more expedient way to answer existing art-historical research questions, or can they inspire art historians to ask (and answer) entirely new questions? What are the options available for publishing new kinds of scholarly data (datasets, three-dimensional images)? What about copyright? And funding? Are there models for best practices for collaborative projects or for working with technical specialists? What are the implications of such approaches for peer review and tenure? Scholars who have used computing technology in their research and publishing are invited to join this panel to discuss their approaches and practices, to analyze what has worked or has not, and in the process to answer some of the questions raised above.

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What Have You Done for Art History Lately? Initiatives for the Future of a Discipline
Karen J. Leader, Florida Atlantic University; and Amy K. Hamlin, St. Catherine University, karen.leader@nyu.edu and akh218@nyu.edu

This session emerges out of the so-called crisis in the humanities, and our objective is to change the conversation toward constructive engagement, using art history as a platform. This Open Forms session will showcase eight to ten initiatives. Examples might include projects that promote positive outcomes in the political and employment arena, classroom innovations that rejuvenate the discipline for a twenty-first-century audience, museum practices that capture the centrality of the physical en- counter with the object in the digital age, or ideas that embrace crowdsourcing or collective activity. This session will represent the outcome of our multiyear, multiplatform project to partner with current and former CAA officers, CAA-affiliated committees and caucuses, and other art professionals. We invite proposals for short presentations on results-oriented initiatives that are concrete vs. anecdotal and that are grounded in best practices. A project website more thoroughly describes our vision: https:// sites.google.com/site/arthistorythat/.

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Performative Architecture before the Modern Era
Wei-Cheng Lin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wclin@email.unc.edu

When speaking of how art engages viewers, one is already considering its performative potential as an active agent in shaping and mediating the world. This panel seeks more specifically to explore architecture’s performativity, not as the structural frame of a theater, so to speak, but as the construction of a theatrical space as well as an essential component of the performance, before it was built with modern technologies. Recent research in architecture has already turned our attention less to what it looks like than what it does, thus shifting our focus to experience rather than interpretation of architecture, asking how it acts upon the beholder and transforms the perceived reality. We are chiefly interested in how architecture creates or provokes synesthetic and kinesthetic experience, and how architecture orchestrates the built environment in such a way that it, for example, performs the sacred, enacts memories, elicits desire, commands authority, and produces social drama.

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Guerilla Approaches to the Decorative Arts and Design
Haneen Rabie, Princeton University; and Catherine Whalen, Bard Graduate Center, hrabie@princeton.edu and whalen@bgc.bard.edu

The methodological conventions of art-historical practice remain inadequate for a thorough appreciation of objects classed as decorative art and design. In a broad “material turn,” researchers in a diverse array of academic fields have begun to consider such objects and proffer alternative frameworks for their study. This panel seeks to move the decorative arts and design further toward the center of our own field with rich, rigorously analytical, multidisciplinary studies that treat them as both document and text, material and abstracted, evidentiary and productive of meaning. The organizers encourage “guerilla” approaches that strategically deploy extradisciplinary analytical tools as needed. We welcome submissions from scholars at all levels whose papers focus on decorative art and design while demonstrating thoughtfully derived theoretical, methodological, and interpretive models.

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Techniques of Reversal
Jennifer L. Roberts and David Pullins, Harvard University, roberts6@fas.harvard.edu and pullins@fas.harvard.edu

This panel explores reversal as a generative operation across a wide range of media, geography, and historical contexts including printmaking, casting, counterproofing, and photography. While art historians have often assumed that a technical understanding of these processes is sufficient, this panel aims to elucidate how basic physical operations that demand an understanding of an image and its inverse might inform more abstract modes of thinking. How is reversal inherent to processes of reproduction and of conceptualizing images in three dimensions? How might formal solutions result from material and technological change? How might “negative intelligence” embody broader cultural beliefs and ideas or engage with problems of symmetry, bodily orientation, and oppositionality? We hope to explore the perspectives of both makers and viewers. And while we seek to highlight historical and geographic breadth and diversity of media (including such traditionally under- interrogated forms as marquetry, metalwork, or weaving), contextual specificity will also be crucial, notably in relation to materials and technology.

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Global Baroques: Shared Artistic Sensibilities in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Ünver Rüstem, Columbia University, ur2124@columbia.edu

Arguably the first truly global artistic style, the Baroque achieved extraordinary reach during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, spreading far beyond its original European context. Little regard, however, has been paid to non-Western aspects of the Baroque outside the colonial framework, despite the style’s manifest impact on regions such as the Ottoman Empire, Iran, India, and China. This session explores the Baroque’s global dimensions in a manner commensurate with the phenomenon itself, encompassing topics and geographies that fall outside the field’s traditional purview. Contributions are invited from scholars concerned with all global expressions of Baroque art and architecture, including Europeanists engaged in cross-cultural perspectives. Relevant topics include the Baroque as an international aesthetic of power; the roles of trade, export, and travel in spreading the style; the meaningfulness or otherwise of Baroque ornament in its global iterations; Orientalism, Occidentalism, and cultural appropriation in the Baroque; and the intellectual and conceptual factors behind the style’s worldwide success.

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Composite Art in the Colonies of Europe: Stealing, Smiting, Enshrining, Erasing, Recarving, and Recontextualizing
Kaylee Spencer, University of Wisconsin-River Falls; and Linnea Wren, Gustavus Adolphus College, kaylee. spencer@uwrf.edu and lwren@gustavus.edu

The term spolia, which derives from the Latin word for “spoils” of war, refers to architectural and sculptural materi- als reused in new monuments, thus creating composite works of art. This panel focuses on spoliated works of art that came into being through the encounter of Europe with the broader world during the Colonial era. What meanings were transferred from Europe to territories on other continents? To what extent was spoliation motivated by pragmatic necessities? How was the materiality of spolia understood by both colonizer and colonized? What potentials for propaganda, imperialism, compliance, or resistance existed in spoliated forms? How did spolia function in the rapidly shifting visual cultures of colonized territories? How do discussions of spoliation in colonial contexts inform dialogues surrounding art criticism today? To engender dialogues about these types of questions, we seek papers of geographic breadth between 1400 CE and the present.

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The Global History of Design and Material Culture
Paul Stirton, Bard Graduate Center, Stirton@bgc.bard.edu

In recent years, the “global history of art” has become a familiar theme in teaching and research, but the global history of design and the decorative arts remains a formidable prospect. As histories of design, craft, and material culture find a wider application in colleges, this session will address the problems of teaching at undergraduate and graduate level, seeking to confront both practical and theoretical questions: how to expand the canon and yet retain some degree of coherence to the field; the lack of introductory tools for teaching particular regions or subject areas; the problems of Eurocentrism; the separation of “indigenous” and “colonial” studies in the Americas; disciplinary boundaries between design, craft, decorative arts, and material culture; also the boundaries between art and design historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists; questioning the role of the survey as a pedagogical method. Papers may consider topics from any period or region, but should aim to highlight underlying conceptual, methodological, or pedagogical problems that relate to the larger histories of design and material culture.

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Early Modern Cross-Cultural Conversions
Claudia Swan, Northwestern University; and 
Bronwen Wilson, University of East Anglia, c-swan@northwestern.edu and bronwen.wilson@me.com

The mobility of people, things, and forms of knowledge between Islamic and European lands in the early modern world, and the intriguing ways in which artifacts activated conversations and creativity across geographical boundaries, have been the focus of much recent scholarly attention. This session seeks contributions concerning early modern cross-cultural and transregional conversions, transformations, and metamorphoses. Cross-cultural interaction has a long history, and one premise of this session is that societies and cultures are always already entangled. By using the terms “conversions,” “transformations,” and “metamorphoses,” then, instead of “encounters” or “exchanges,” this session shifts the focus away from categories of identity, otherness, and hybridity to explore the potential for creativity and imagination—for reorientations of material and pictorial forms—that are opened up by cross-cultural interplay. We seek papers that explore, for example, how forms and ideas were transformed or underwent conversion, and how disorientation, temporality, and concerns with religion manifested in visual and material forms. How might such forms allow us to rethink art-historical categories such as periodization and style?

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The Period of the Period Room: Past or Present?
Elizabeth A. Williams, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, eawilliams@risd.edu

In 1904 Charles L. Pendleton bequeathed his collection of decorative arts to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and in 1906 RISD opened Pendleton House, the country’s first muse- um wing dedicated to the display of American decorative arts. Built to replicate Pendleton’s 1799 house in Providence with eight contextualized period rooms, Pendleton House is ripe for reassessment after nearly 110 years of existence. Yet, among the myriad options of reconsidered interpretation and display, which is the most engaging, the most educational, and the most accurate? What criteria must a period room achieve to be deemed authentic and worthy? This session will rigorously explore and debate the viability of the contextualized period room within the environment of a museum, historical property, or other public institutions and venues. Papers addressing the complex issues of contextualized period installations with innovative approaches, theory, research, and experience from all perspectives are welcome.

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Note (added 14 April 2014)The original version of the posting referenced the HECAA-sponsored Posner session but did not include the full description.