Objects from the Slave Ship São José To Be Displayed in D.C.

Posted in conferences (to attend), exhibitions, on site by Editor on June 4, 2015

Thomas Luny (1759-1837) Oil on panel 27,5 x 43cm Iziko Social History Collections: SACHM 86/235 Photo: Pam Warne

Thomas Luny, Table Bay Cape Town, 1790s, oil on panel (Iziko Social History Collections). Depiction of the port of Cape Town, South Africa where the São José slave ship planned to stop before continuing to Brazil. The ship wrecked near the Cape of Good Hope before arriving in Table Bay. Photo by Pam Warne.

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Press release (1 June 2015) from The Smithonian:

National Museum of African American History and Culture To Display Objects from Slave Shipwreck Found Near Cape Town, South Africa

Museum Joins Iziko Museums of South Africa and George Washington University in Slave Wrecks Research Project

Objects from a slave ship that sank off the coast of Cape Town in 1794 will be on long-term loan to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The announcement, scheduled for Tuesday, June 2, will take place at a historic ceremony at Iziko Museums of South Africa. The discovery of the ship marks a milestone in the study of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and showcases the results of the Slave Wrecks Project, a unique global partnership among museums and research institutions, including NMAAHC and six partners in the U.S. and Africa.

Objects from the shipwreck—iron ballast to weigh down the ship and its human cargo and a wooden pulley block—were retrieved this year from the wreck site of the São José-Paquete de Africa, a Portuguese slave ship that sank off the coast of Cape Town on its way to Brazil while carrying more than 400 enslaved Africans from Mozambique.

Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of NMAAHC, and Rooksana Omar, CEO of Iziko Museums, will join in the announcement of the shipwreck’s discovery and the artifact loan agreement.

“Perhaps the single greatest symbol of the trans-Atlantic slave trade is the ships that carried millions of captive Africans across the Atlantic never to return,” said Bunch. “This discovery is significant because there has never been archaeological documentation of a vessel that foundered and was lost while carrying a cargo of enslaved persons. The São José is all the more significant because it represents one of the earliest attempts to bring East Africans into the trans-Atlantic slave trade—a shift that played a major role in prolonging that tragic trade for decades.”

São José Wreck

The São José’s voyage was one of the earliest in the trans-Atlantic slave trade from East Africa to the Americas, which continued well into the 19th century. More than 400,000 East Africans are estimated to have made the Mozambique-to-Brazil journey between 1800 and 1865. The ship’s crew and some of the more than 400 enslaved on board were rescued after the ship ran into submerged rocks about 100 meters (328 feet) from shore. Tragically, more than half of the enslaved people perished in the violent waves. The remainder were resold into slavery in the Western Cape.

The São José wreck site is located between two reefs, a location that creates a difficult environment to work in because it is prone to strong swells creating challenging conditions for the archaeologists. To date, only a small percentage of the site has been excavated; fully exploring the site will take time.

Even the smallest artifact gives a clue into the shipwreck’s story:

1980s: Local amateur treasure hunters discovered a wreck near Cape Town and mistakenly identified it as the wreck of an earlier Dutch vessel. They applied for a permit under the legislation of the time and had to report their findings.

2008–2009: The Slave Wrecks Project (SWP) staff identified the São José as a target for location in its pilot project.

2010–2011: Jaco Boshoff, the co-originator of SWP, served as lead archaeologist for Iziko and primary investigator for the São José project. He discovered the captain’s account of the wrecking of the São José in the Cape archives. New interest was developed on the site. Copper fastenings and copper sheathing indicated a wreck of a later period, and iron ballast—often found on slave ships and other ships as a means of stabilizing the vessel—was found on the wreck.

2012–2013: SWP uncovered an archival document in Portugal stating that the São José had loaded iron ballast before she departed for Mozambique, further confirming the site as the São José wreck. Archaeological documentation of the wreck site began in 2013.

2014–2015: Some of the first artifacts are brought above water through a targeted retrieval process according to the best archaeological and preservation practices. Using CT scan technology because of the fragility of the site, the SWP identified the remains of shackles on the wreck site, a difficult undertaking because of extreme iron corrosion. Archival research locates a document in which a slave is noted as sold by a local sheikh to the São José’s captain before its departure, definitively identifying Mozambique Island as the port of departure for the slaving voyage. Archival and archaeological prospecting work was launched in Mozambique and Brazil in order to identify sites related to the São José story for future research.

2015–ongoing: Full archaeological documentation and retrieval of select items to help to tell of the São José wreck site continue; the search for descendant communities of Mozambicans from the wreck also continues.

A selection of artifacts retrieved from the São José wreck will be loaned by Iziko Museums and the South African government for display in an inaugural exhibition titled Slavery and Freedom at NMAAHC, opening fall 2016. Iziko Museums also plans an exhibition.

Memorial Service

On Tuesday, June 2, soil brought from Mozambique Island, the site of the São José’s embarkation, will be deposited on the wreck site by a team represented by divers from Mozambique, South Africa and the United States. A solemn memorial service will also be held close by and on shore honoring the 500 enslaved Mozambicans who lost their lives or were sold into slavery. SWP researchers, Cape Town dignitaries and delegations from the U.S. Consulate and South African government will attend the private ceremony.


A daylong public symposium, Bringing the São José into Memory, will be held June 3 featuring a series of panel discussions focusing on the wreck, the slave trade, slavery, history and memory. The panels will take place at the Iziko Museums’ TH Barry Lecture Theatre and feature discussions and performances by scholars, curators, heritage activists, artists, hip-hop musicians and slave descendants from various academic, heritage and religious institutions, including Iziko, St. George’s Cathedral, NMAAHC, George Washington University, Syracuse University, Brown University, University of Western Cape, Cape Family Research Forum among others.

Maritime Archaeology and Conservation Workshop

The week’s activities will also include a conservation workshop for archaeologists, researchers and museum professionals from Mozambique, Senegal and South Africa to learn techniques in conservation and care for marine materials. This workshop, co-taught by Boshoff and George Schwarz of the U.S. Naval Heritage Command, is an opportunity to advance professional training and capacity for individuals and institutions, a core component of SWP’s mission. Representatives from Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique, and Cheik Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, will join with Smithsonian and Iziko professionals in a dialogue about current and future research and searches in their respective regions.

Slave Wrecks Project History

Founded in 2008, SWP brings together partners who have been investigating the impact of the slave trade on world history. It spearheaded the recent discovery of the São José wreck and the ongoing documentation and retrieval of select artifacts. In addition, extensive archival research was conducted on four continents in six countries that ultimately uncovered the ship captain’s account of the wrecking in the Cape archives as well as the ship’s manifest in Portuguese archives. Core SWP partners include George Washington University, Iziko Museums of South Africa, the South African Heritage Resource Agency, the U.S. National Park Service, Diving With a Purpose, a project of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers, and the African Center for Heritage Activities.

SWP, established with funding from the Ford Foundation, set a new model for international collaboration among museums and research institutions. It has been combining groundbreaking slave shipwreck investigation, maritime and historical archeological training, capacity building, heritage tourism and protection, and education to build new scholarship and knowledge about the study of the global slave trade.

Conference | Artistic Correspondences: Rome and Europe, 1700–1900

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on June 4, 2015

From the conference programme:

Artistic Correspondences: Rome and Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Corrispondenze d’artista: Roma e l’Europa (XVIII-XIX secolo)
Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut Rome / Svenska Institutet i Rom, 15–16 June 201

Registration due by 11 June

Epistolary correspondence among artists is a privileged source to unravel the dynamics of intellectual exchange across regional and national boundaries, as it requires a research agenda necessarily focused on ‘mobility’, and a transnational approach and methodology avoiding the rhetorical pitfalls of past European historiography. By focusing on the cosmopolitan context of 18th- and 19th-century Rome as a paradigmatic field of enquiry, the research network Artistic Correspondences: Rome and Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries convenes investigators and research groups working on the same topic throughout Europe in order to explore new opportunities for collaboration. The conference is free of charge, though registration is required (see the Svenska Institutet i Rom website for details).

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M O N D A Y ,  1 5  J U N E  2 01 5

9.30 Saluti, Martin Olin, (Assistant Director, Svenska Institutet i Rom) & Mario De Nonno, (Direttore del Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università degli Studi Roma TRE)

10.00  Plenary Session
Session Chair: Harald Hendrix (KNIR)
• Serenella Rolfi (Università degli Studi Roma TRE), Linee di una ricerca
• Elisabeth Oy-Marra (Gutenberg Universität Mainz), Lettere d’artista e le vite d’artisti: da Giovan Pietro Bellori a Giovanni Gaetano Bottari
• Cinzia Sicca (Università statale di Pisa), Rome as Competitive arena: The evolving nature of a friendship through the early eighteenth-century correspondence of John Talman and William Kent
• Martin Dönike (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg), Rome in Weimar: The artistic correspondence between Goethe and German artists living in Rome around 1800
• Christoph Frank (Università della Svizzera italiana, Mendrisio), Da Grimm a Goethe: l’impatto di Parigi e Weimar sulle corrispondenze artistiche romane del ‘700

12:45  Pause

14:00  Session A1: Esperienza di Roma
Session Chair: Liliana Barroero (Università degli Studi Roma TRE)
• Raquel Gallego (Universitat de Barcelona), Il carteggio di Julien de Parme e la formazione degli artisti indipendenti a Roma
• Tomas Macsotay (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), Northcote, Theed, Tatham, Deare, Flaxman: Five British artists overcome Rome
• Sebastian Dohe – Malve Falk, Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte), Oldenburg To princes, poets and painters: The ‘Tischbein bequest’ at Oldenburg

15.25  Session A2: Prospettive storiografiche
Session Chair: Susanne Adina Meyer (Università di Macerata)
• Raffaella Morselli (Università degli Studi di Teramo), Nostalgia di Roma: Riflessioni di Francesco Albani sulla pittura classicista nell’urbe
• Susanna Pasquali (Università degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’), Algarotti, Temanza e le lettere degli architetti nella prima edizione della ‘Raccolta’ di Bottari
• Stefano Ferrari (Accademia Roveretana degli Agiati di Scienze, Lettere e Arti), Il carteggio di Winckelmann con gli artisti
• Robert Skwirblies (Technische Universität Berlin), Lettere d’artista e ‘Künstlersozialgeschichte’: La dimensione storica e sociale nelle lettere giovanili di Johann David Passavant da Parigi e Roma a Francoforte

14:00  Session B1: Rapporti con le istituzioni
Session Chair: Maria Pia Donato, IHMC (CNRS-ENS-Paris 1)
• Emilie Roffidal (CNRS-Toulouse), Correspondances romaines d’une académie de province: l’Académie de peinture et de sculpture de Marseille, 1760–1790
• Adrian Fernandez Almoguera (Paris – Sorbonne Université),  After the Antique: Correspondence between Rome’s Spanish artistic community and Madrid’s Academy, 1750–1820
• Michela Degortes e Maria Joao Quintas Lopes Baptista Neto, Universidade de Lisboa), La Real Accademia Portoghese di Belle Arti a Roma (1785–1798) nella corrispondenza dei diplomatici, degli artisti e del direttore Giovanni Gherardo De Rossi

15.25  Session B2: Contesti collezionistici e agenti
Session Chair: Christoph Frank (Università della Svizzera italiana)
• Matteo Borchia (Università degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’), Bartolomeo Cavaceppi e la corte di Berlino: stralci di una corrispondenza
• Johanna Selch (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), An attentive glance at Rome: Ludwig I of Bavaria and his Roman correspondents
• Mathias Hofter (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Concetti del collezionismo nella corrispondenza di Ludovico I e Martin Wagner
• Ljerka Dulibi e Iva Tržec Pasini (Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti, Zagreb), Artists in nineteenth-century Rome as mediators of cultural transfer of ideas and objects

18.30  Lecture
• Martin Olin (Svenska Institutet i Rom), Italian food and wine in letters and memoirs of Scandinavian artists

T U E S D A Y ,  1 6  J U N E  2 0 1 5

9:30  Session A3: Corrispondenze cosmopolite
Session Chair: Ilaria Miarelli Mariani (Università di Chieti)
• Miguel Figueira de Faira (Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa), Rome, Paris, Lisbon: Political and Aesthetic Ideas in Portuguese artistic correspondence at the end of Ancient Regime
• Anna Frasca-Rath (Universität Wien), Antonio Canova nelle lettere di John Gibson
• Arnika Schmidt (Technische Universität Dresden), Nino Costa (1826–1903), A Roman painter and his cosmopolitan correspondence

9:30  Session B3: Pratiche artistiche e modelli
Session Chair: Carla Mazzarelli (Università della Svizzera italiana, Mendrisio)
• Valeria Rotili (Accademia di San Luca, Roma), Lo scultore al lavoro. Il carteggio Albacini per una geografia della prassi artistica
• Angela Windholz (Università della Svizzera italiana, Mendrisio), Lettere da Olevano Romano: La descrizione di un motivo ideale
• Rosalba Dinoia (Roma), Traduzione e migrazione del Rinascimento nella corrispondenza di Luigi Calamatta

11.00  Plenary Session
• Georg Schelbert (Humboldt Universität Berlin), Personal Networks and Biographical Data between Edition of Text Documents and Modeling of Historic Events

11:30  Roundtable
Chairs: Christoph Frank (Università della Svizzera italiana), Giovanna Capitelli (Università della Calabria)
• E. Jonas Bencard (Thorvaldsens Museum Copenaghen), The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives: An internet platform for primary written sources on Thorvaldsen & Co.
• Giulia Ericani, (Museo-Biblioteca-Archivio Bassano del Grappa), Il Fondo Canova
• Hannelore Putz (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Projekt Edition des Briefwechsels zwischen König Ludwig I. und Johann Martin von Wagner
• Amaya Alzaga Ruiz, Juan Antonio Yeves (Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid), La Literatura y las Artes en Epistolarios Españoles del siglo XIX
• Babette van Alphen (RKD Nederlands Instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis), RKD Explore: Dutch artists and their societies in the databases of the RKD

American Art in Translation Book Prize

Posted in fellowships, opportunities by Editor on June 4, 2015

From Yale UP:

The Terra Foundation-Yale University Press American Art in Translation Book Prize
Applications due by 3 August 2015

unnamedThe Terra Foundation for American Art, in partnership with Yale University Press, is offering a new prize for an unpublished manuscript or previously published manuscript in a language other than English written by a non-U.S. author. The manuscript should make a significant contribution to scholarship on the historical visual arts of what is now the geographic United States.

unnamedIn helping to overcome the language barrier that often divides scholars and deters international research and collaboration, the prize aims to advance and internationalize scholarship on American art and seeks to recognize original and thorough research, sound methodology, and significance in the field. The award is especially intended to encourage authors who take the field of American art history into new historical and interpretive terrain, or who establish connections among the work of scholars within and outside the United States, providing a model of international exchange important to sustaining relevance and academic rigor for the future of the field.

The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize; the Terra Foundation will fund production of the book, which will be published (in print and electronic form) in English by Yale University Press. In addition, Yale University Press will invite the winner to present a lecture on the book, upon publication, at Yale University. Scholars who have received PhDs within the past five years are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applicants must submit a letter of inquiry by August 3, 2015. The deadline for the receipt of completed applications is October 15, 2015. For more information about application guidelines and the application process, schedule, and checklist, please visit the Yale University Press website.

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