Call for Papers | Nomadic Objects: Material Circulations

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 16, 2016

From the conference website:

Nomadic Objects: Material Circulations, Appropriations, and the
Formation of Identities in the Early Modern Period, 1500–1800
Paris, 2–4 March 2017

Proposals are due by 15 September 2015


Domenico Remps, Trompe-l’oeil with an Open Cabinet (Cabinet of Curiosities), ca. 1690s (Florence: Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure)

This interdisciplinary conference, organized in partnership with two museums of the Paris region, the Musée National de la Renaissance in Écouen and the Musée Cognacq-Jay in Paris, seeks to confront the material history of early modern objects with their artistic and literary representations. It proposes to look at the various ‘traces’ left by material culture as it circulated and was appropriated. Studying the history of material culture (be it dress and personal accessories, everyday and decorative objects, art works, and technical, scientific, or musical instruments…) sheds light upon the various processes of cultural appropriation, transculturation or hybridization that accompanied such material circulations across Europe or between Europe and the rest of the world. Material objects, whether commodities, tools, devotional objects or works of art, can all be considered as bearers or vehicles of cultural identities. By travelling across space they call into question national, religious and linguistic boundaries. The early modern period (1500–1800) corresponds to a period when national identities became more firmly entrenched in Europe with the definition of clearer national territories, languages and religious traditions. The establishment of such boundaries resulted from the development of a new political philosophy, born in part in reaction to Renaissance court culture and its intrinsic nomadism (A. M. Thiesse, La Création des identités nationales, 1999). Following the trajectories of objects as they crossed these boundaries brings into focus the tension between sedentariness and nomadism that Daniel Roche identified as a key element in the advent of modernity (Humeurs vagabondes, 2003).

In addition to the tight network of material circulations within Europe linked to trade, diplomatic exchanges, aristocratic modes of life or religious exile at a time defined by intense religious and political strife, more complex trajectories yet are to be traced. In the context of proto-globalization and of the rise of international trading companies, goods often followed global paths, coming from distant locations and transiting through a number of countries or cultural spaces before reaching their destinations. Because these objects found their way into artistic and literary representations, they also generated in turn less material forms of circulation, posing the question of multi-layered processes of appropriation.

We are seeking proposals that address such processes of circulation and appropriation by looking at the reception of these objects in literature and the arts or at their production and consumption, and the craftsmanship, techniques or practices thereby implied. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to
• Legal and illegal networks for the circulation of objects and goods, whether through trade, smuggling or personal relationships
• Diplomatic gifts and exchanges
• Travelling objects in court culture
• Objects in exile and objects of the exiles
• The transmission of craftsmanship and technologies and its links to human migrations
• Decorative, artistic and literary motifs, and their circulations from one country to another
• The meaning and implications of literary and artistic appropriations of objects
• Processes of linguistic appropriation and cross-fertilization linked to the circulation of objects
• The notion of proto-globalization and its economic, social, material, cultural and artistic manifestations

We hope that this conference will bring into play a variety of methodologies and foster a fruitful dialogue between different disciplines (history, material culture, history of technologies, art history, European languages and literatures, anthropology, archaeology…). Outreach activities, such as workshops and round-tables open to the general public, will also be included in the program. We welcome proposals from established scholars, doctoral students, curators and other professionals working on or with early modern objects. We particularly encourage proposals discussing objects in the collections of the Musée de la Renaissance or the Musée Cognacq-Jay. 300-word proposals, along with a brief CV (1 page maximum), should be sent by September 15, 2016 to the conference organizers at objetsnomades2017@gmail.com.

Professor Giorgio Riello (University of Warwick) will be one of the keynote speakers.

Conference Organizers: Line Cottegnies (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris3); Anne-Valérie Dulac (Paris 13); Ariane Fennetaux (Paris Diderot – Paris 7); Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3); Nancy Oddo (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3); Sandrine Parageau (Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense); Laetitia Sansonetti (Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense); Jean-Paul Sermain (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3)

Scientific Committee: Muriel Barbier (Conservateur du patrimoine, Musée d’Ecouen) ; Pascale Gorguet-Ballesteros (Conservateur du patrimoine, Palais Galliera) ; Isabelle Bour (Université Paris 3) ; Marie-Madeleine Fragonard (Professeur émérite, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3) ; Rose-Marie Herda-Mousseaux (Conservatrice du Patrimoine, Musée Cognacq-Jay) ; Beverly Lemire (University of Alberta) ; Angela McShane (Victoria & Albert Museum) ; Lesley Miller (Victoria & Albert Museum), Alain Montandon (Université Blaise Pascal – Clermont II) ; Ladan Niayesh (Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7) ; Isabelle Paresys (Université Lille 3) ; Joad Raymond (Queen Mary University of London) ; Helen Smith (Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies University of York) ; Chantal Schütz (École Polytechnique).

PhD Studentship | Hans Sloane’s Books: An Early Enlightenment Library

Posted in fellowships, graduate students by Editor on June 16, 2016

From H-ArtHist:

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership
Hans Sloane’s Books: An Early Enlightenment Library and Its Material Relationships

London, 3 October 2016 — 30 September 2019

Applications due by 6 July 2016

Queen Mary University of London and the British Library intend to make a PhD studentship appointment under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme (CDP) from autumn 2016.

The project will investigate the intellectual significance of the library of Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753) to the gathering and dissemination of medical and scientific knowledge in the Enlightenment period. It will focus on Sloane’s library (now housed within the British Library) in relation to his wider collection of natural and artificial specimens, now divided between the Natural History and British Museums. The research will be co-supervised by the British Library and Queen Mary. The project offers privileged access to Sloane’s books at shelf as well as extensive curatorial support in their study and interpretation, in addition to the standard academic doctoral training and supervision.

The project is open to either full-time or part-time students. Studentships are awarded for 3 years (or part-time equivalent) initially, at RCUK rates and subject to standard eligibility criteria for RCUK training grants. Additional Student Development Funding is available to allow time for further training and skills development opportunities that are agreed as part of the PhD programme. If required, this may be used to extend the studentship by up to six months (or part-time equivalent). The British Library also offers the student generous research expenses funding, specialist training, and access to work-space within its curatorial offices.

Application guidelines and a detailed description of the project are available here. Candidates with interests in bibliography, book history, the material book, the history of science and medicine, early-modern scientific literary writing, exchange networks, and the history of collections will be especially welcome. Once recruited, the successful PhD candidate will contribute to the development of the final agreed research topic. Potential candidates are welcome to contact Professor Claire Preston (Queen Mary – c.preston@qmul.ac.uk) and Dr Karen Limper-Herz (the British Library – Karen.limper-herz@bl.uk) for further details.

Exhibition | Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 16, 2016

Press release, via Art Daily:

Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 11 June 2016 — 5 February 2017

John Michael Wright, Portrait of Sir William Bruce, ca. 1664 (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, purchased 1919; photo by Antonia Reeve)

John Michael Wright, Portrait of Sir William Bruce, ca. 1664 (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, purchased 1919; photo by Antonia Reeve)

Some of Scotland’s most stunning buildings and the achievements of the country’s most distinguished architects are being celebrated this summer at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in an innovatively-presented exhibition that explores the key figures who have helped to shape Scotland’s world-renowned architectural heritage. Out of Their Heads: Building Portraits of Scottish Architects, organised by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and supported by the Scottish Futures Trust, is a headline event of the year-long Festival of Architecture 2016 and the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. It features a series of 12 special constructions, based upon the profiles of key buildings, drawn by Edinburgh artist Ian Stuart Campbell Hon FRIAS. On each has been installed a portrait of an architect—paintings, photographs, drawings and busts are drawn from the collections of the SNPG and RIAS.

Internationally recognised names, such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928) and Robert Adam (1728–1792) feature. The exhibition also introduces some architects perhaps less familiar but whose buildings are very well known, such as Jack Coia (1898–1981) and Sir Robert Matthew (1906–1975). Coia was responsible for many of Scotland’s finest Roman Catholic churches, while Matthew’s practice was behind buildings including London’s Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Commonwealth Pool, Edinburgh.

Scotland has produced an impressive array of architect pioneers. The dozen selected architects in Out of Their Heads span a range of styles and a long chronology, beginning with Sir William Bruce (about 1625–1710, depicted in a vivid portrait by John Michael Wright), who almost single-handedly introduced neo-classicism to Scottish architecture in the 17th century, and culminating with the late Kathryn Findlay (1954–2014), former Associate Professor of Architecture at Tokyo University and avant-garde architect of the surrealist, Salvador Dalí-inspired, Soft and Hairy House (1994) in Tsukuba, Japan.

Kathryn Findlay forged a strong career in Japan, producing neo-expressionistic homes alongside her husband Eisaku Ushida (b. 1954). In 2012, Findlay collaborated with the artist Anish Kapoor, on the striking ArcelorMittal Orbit tower in the London’s Olympic Park. Two years later, Findlay was awarded the prestigious Jane Drew prize by the Architects Journal for her “outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture,” tragically announced on the same day as she passed away.

Other architects featured include Sir Basil Spence (1907–1976), designer of Glasgow University’s Natural Philosophy building—on display is a photograph of Spence by the renowned photojournalist Lida Moser; James Craig (1739–1795), responsible for the lay-out of Edinburgh’s New Town, and Sir Robert Lorimer (1864–1929), creator of the magnificent Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle.

Margaret Brodie (1907–1997) was site architect for much of the building of the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1938 and was the first female student to graduate from the Glasgow School of Architecture with First Class Honours.

Also represented is Sir Robert Rowand Anderson (1834–1921), the architect responsible for the red-sandstone Gothic Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the founder in 1916 of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

One of Scotland’s leading Victorian architects, Anderson enjoyed an outstanding architectural career, with the highlight being the Portrait Gallery. The Gallery was completed in 1890, the first specially built portrait gallery in the world. Among his many other commissions were the Dome of Old College, The Faculty of Medicine and McEwan Hall at Edinburgh University, the Catholic Apostolic Church in Edinburgh, Glasgow Central Station Hotel and Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute. Anderson also restored many churches, cathedrals and abbeys, namely Dunblane Cathedral and Paisley Abbey.

Also featured is the great Modernist Peter Womersley (1923–1993), who lived in the Scottish Borders but also worked in Singapore.

As Scotland’s most famous architect and a massively influential figure worldwide, Charles Rennie Mackintosh secured his international reputation upon completion of the stunning Glasgow School of Art in 1909. In the exhibition, he is wonderfully captured in a very personal portrait by his friend and patron Francis Newbery, the Head of Glasgow School of Art.

This year, Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design will be showcased across the globe through a range of events and activity. The Festival of Architecture 2016 is a key to this exciting year-long celebration with hundreds of events across the length and breadth of the country.

To also mark the Festival of Architecture 2016 and running alongside Out of Their Heads, a series of celebrity photographic portraits have been commissioned by the RIAS from Broad Daylight (Tricia Malley and Ross Gillespie), to showcase and document the world class architecture of Scotland. Each portrait features a celebrity along with a commentary on their favourite Scottish building.

Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, said: “The variety and outstanding quality of Scotland’s architecture is a key element of its distinctive culture and international profile. This exhibition celebrates the extraordinary achievements of Scottish architects, ranging from the brilliant seventeenth-century innovator Sir William Bruce to great contemporary figures, such as Kathryn Findlay. It seems fitting that their work should be highlighted within one of Edinburgh’s finest buildings—Sir Robert Rowand Anderson’s spectacular Scottish National Portrait Gallery. We are immensely grateful to the RIAS and Scottish Futures Trust for supporting the project so generously.”

Olivier Meslay Named Next Director of the Clark Art Institute

Posted in museums by Editor on June 16, 2016

Press release (13 June 2016) from The Clark:

20160423-reinventing-museum-meslayThe Board of Trustees of The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts has selected Olivier Meslay to serve as its Dena and Felda Hardymon Director. Meslay, an accomplished museum professional and noted scholar, will become The Clark’s fifth director when he assumes his new role on August 22. He currently serves as associate director of curatorial affairs, senior curator of European and American art, and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) and brings more than thirty-five years of international experience to his role. Meslay was unanimously elected to the position during a special session of The Clark’s board.

“We are thrilled to welcome Olivier Meslay as our new director,” said Andreas Halvorsen, chairman of the Institute’s Board of Trustees. “Olivier’s vision, international experience, and exceptional academic and curatorial qualifications match The Clark’s ambitious aspirations. He comes to the Clark with a deep appreciation for our academic mission, an expert understanding of our museum program, and an energetic perspective on ways to enhance our dual mission and extend The Clark’s reach and impact.”

Since assuming his current position in 2012, Meslay has overseen the DMA’s European and American art collection of more than 4,000 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, and has managed the museum’s curatorial department, conservation program, and art research library. He has also served as the DMA’s curatorial representative with the French American Museum Exchange (FRAME), a collaborative organization of thirty American and French museums. Meslay served as the DMA’s interim director from 2011 to 2012, managing a staff of 250 employees, directing an extensive fundraising program, and coordinating donor relations that have provided continuing support for the museum. He joined the DMA staff in 2009 after a distinguished career at the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

“Olivier first came to know The Clark as a Fellow in our Research and Academic Program in 2000, and it was clear from the very beginning that he had a deep affinity for The Clark and for the unique relationship between our museum and research programs,” said Francis Oakley, The Clark’s interim director. “It is heartening to see such a long relationship culminate in this way. Olivier’s passion for The Clark and for Williamstown and the Berkshires, combined with his extraordinary scholarship and leadership, hold great promise for the future.”

Meslay is the author of the recent publication From Chanel to Reves: La Pausa and Its Collections at the Dallas Museum of Art (2015). He served as the co-organizing curator for Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cézanne (2014) and co-organized the exhibition Chagall: Beyond Color (2013) for the DMA. Meslay was the organizing curator of an exhibition commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy (2013). The exhibition brought together works of art installed in the presidential suite at Hotel Texas during Kennedy’s November 1963 trip to Dallas.

The European art collection at the DMA is recognized for the strength of its holdings of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century paintings, sculpture, and works on paper. During his tenure, Meslay has been instrumental in leading the acquisition of several important works including paintings by Gustave Caillebotte, Ernest Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Signac, Ramon Casas, Guillaume Guillon Lethière, Antoine Giroust, and Edouard Vuillard, as well as sculptures by Anne Whitney and Auguste Préault.

Meslay held a variety of leadership positions at the Musée du Louvre over a period of seventeen years, from 1993 to 2009. He served as curator in charge of British, American, and Spanish paintings from 1993 to 2006; as chief curator of Louvre–Atlanta, a collaborative project with the High Museum, from 2003 to 2006; and as chief curator in charge of the Louvre–Lens project, the first regional branch of the Louvre. During his tenure at the Louvre, Meslay organized such exhibitions as William Hogarth (2006‒07), American Artists and the Louvre (2006), L’art anglais dans les collections de l’Institut (2004), Constable, Le choix de Lucian Freud (2002) and La collection de Sir Edmund Davis (1999). Meslay also served as a professor at the École du Louvre from 1997 to 2000 and from 2003 to 2006.

“The Clark Art Institute has always been, for me, a unique institution blending in perfect balance a refined, strong, and seductive museum; a forum shaping the present and the future of art history through its Research and Academic Program; and a teaching institution thanks to its unique partnership with the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art,” said Meslay. “Adding to all of this is the beauty of The Clark’s natural environment, which is undoubtedly integral to its identity. My longstanding relationship with The Clark now comes to fruition as if in a dream-come-true, but also as a great opportunity to maintain, at the highest level of excellence, what this institution brings to the art world.”

In 2009, the French government honored Meslay as a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in recognition of his contributions to furthering French arts and culture throughout the world. A graduate of the Institut National du Patrimoine (1992–93), the French State School for Curators, Meslay received an MA from the École du Louvre in 1983, having previously received an MA from the Sorbonne in 1982, where he also earned his BA in 1981. He is a member of the editorial board of The British Art Journal, London, and is a member of the Société d’Histoire de l’Art Français, Paris.

Meslay is the author of several books, including Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cezanne (2014); Turner, Life and Landscape (2005); and J.M.W. Turner, The Man Who Set Painting on Fire (2005). He has published extensively on the Franco-British artistic relationship in both the United States and Europe, and has contributed essays to numerous exhibition catalogues.

Meslay’s wife, Laure de Margerie, is a noted scholar on French sculpture and was also a Clark Fellow in 2000–01. She spent most of her career at the Musée d’Orsay before becoming the founding director of the French Sculpture Census—a comprehensive survey of French sculpture in American public collections—in 2009. Meslay and de Margerie are the parents of three adult children.

Chosen after an international search conducted with the assistance of Korn Ferry, New York, Meslay replaces Michael Conforti, who retired from The Clark in August 2015.

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