Call for Papers | MAHS 2017, Cleveland

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 2, 2016


Atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art
(Wikimedia Commons, photo by Erik Droist, January 2014)

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From the MAHS Fall 2016 Newsletter:

44th Annual Conference of the Midwest Art History Society
Cleveland, 6–8 April 2017

Proposals due by 16 December 2016

The Midwest Art History Society (MAHS) will hold its 44th annual conference in Cleveland, 6–8 April 2017, hosted by the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Paper sessions and roundtables will be held at the Cleveland Museum of Art on April 6 and 7 and at the Allen Memorial Art Museum of Oberlin College on April 8. On April 6, a distinguished keynote panel will speak on Raphael’s School of Athens Cartoon, which is currently undergoing restoration in Milan. The panel will include Don Alberto Rocca, Director of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan; Dr. Maurizio Michelozzi, the Florence-based paper conservator who is undertaking the restoration; and Dr. Carmen C. Bambach, Curator of Italian and Spanish Drawings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Funding for the keynote panel has been provided by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Chicago, the Italian Art Society, the University of Notre Dame, the Friends of Art of CWRU, the Painting and Drawing Society of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Midwest Art History Society.

Cleveland and its surrounding metropolitan area have a rich arts scene, including world-class museums, vibrant galleries, and esteemed art historical resources. The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes almost 45,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. The museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education and recently completed an ambitious, multi-phase renovation and expansion project across its campus. One of the top comprehensive art museums in the nation and free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood. Nearby in University Circle, Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) plays an urgent and exciting role in the city’s cultural landscape. As a non-collecting institution and the region’s only contemporary art museum, MOCA is ever-changing, introducing new exhibitions three times a year and creating fresh experiences for visitors each season. The Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society houses exhibits that tell the story of Northeast Ohio through items, documents and artifacts from a variety of collections. Other cultural attractions in and around University Circle include CWRU’s Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, historic Lakeview Cemetery, Little Italy, and the world renowned Cleveland Orchestra housed in Severance Hall, a masterpiece of Art Deco design.

Combining a landmark historical building with a contemporary minimalist addition, the Transformer Station is a new anchor destination in Cleveland’s rapidly evolving Ohio City neighborhood. The project brings a new cultural facility to a mixed residential and industrial neighborhood within walking distance of the restaurants and shops of the Market District and blocks away from the Gordon Square Arts District. In downtown Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s mission is to engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock & roll. The Rock Hall is the world’s foremost museum devoted to the celebration and preservation of rock & roll music. Next door to the Rock Hall, visitors can explore science through hands-on exhibits at the Great Lakes Science Center. Cleveland is also home to Playhouse Square, the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City; a lively music scene; a vibrant culinary scene including the historic West Side Market and nationally recognized restaurants; the award- winning Cleveland Metroparks system; a fantastic zoo; and three professional sports teams.

Cleveland and its surrounds are home to distinguished academic departments of art history and college art museums. Next door to the CMA is CWRU, home to the joint program in Art History and Museum Studies. This innovative program offers master’s and doctoral degrees, preparing future academics and museum curators through an intensive object-based curriculum taught by CWRU art history professors in association with museum curators and staff. The program takes advantage of the CMA’s Ingalls Library, the third largest art library in the country. The Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) at Oberlin College houses an encyclopedic collection of more than 14,000 works that provide a comprehensive overview of the history of art. Recognized as one of the best academic museums in the country, the AMAM works with faculty and students to promote direct study of original works of art and deepen appreciation for the diversity of the world’s cultures, while also serving a broad regional audience. The museum complex includes a 1917 building designed by Cass Gilbert, and a 1977 addition designed by Robert Venturi, the architect’s first museum commission. The AMAM also shares responsibility with Oberlin College for a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, the  first Usonian house in Ohio, located in Oberlin. . .

We welcome your participation in the 2017 Midwest Art History Society Annual Conference held in Cleveland . . . In most cases, conference presentations will be expected to be under twenty minutes long. Proposals of no more than 250 words and a two-page CV should be emailed (preferably as Word documents) to the chairs of individual sessions by Friday, December 16, 2017.

The following is a selection of sessions potentially relevant for eighteenth-century studies; please see the newsletter for the full listing.

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The Art Market and Connoisseurship
Chair: Catherine Scallen, Case Western Reserve University, catherine.scallen@case.edu

In this session we will consider the entwined issues of the roles of art markets and of connoisseurship in the history of private and public collecting or in the historiography of art history. Papers are welcomed on any period and geographical region of art.

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Body and Soul: The Visual Arts and Medical Practice
Chair: Andrea Wolk Rager, Case Western Reserve University, andrea.rager@case.edu

This session invites papers that consider the complex relationship between the visual arts and the history of medical practice. The city of Cleveland has been hailed as a hub of bio-medical innovation, rendering this an ideal setting for exploring the revolutionary possibilities of interdisciplinary exchange between cutting-edge art history and medicine. This session will consider not only what lessons we can learn from the intertwined histories of medical practice and the arts, but also how art historical methodologies and critical strategies can inform the practice of healthcare professionals today. How can universities, museums, and medical institutions enrich and inform each other through the arts? Topics may include: the representation of mental and physical illness; the body as a site of knowledge and surveillance through the medical gaze; the socio-political uses of medical imagery; sexuality, pregnancy, and the representation of the female body; physical perception and the operation of cultural bias; the doctor as a figure of authority; trauma and representation; death and grieving through the arts; and the depiction of beauty, disease, and deformity. Papers are welcomed from art historians, museum professionals, and medical clinicians.

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Digital Art History
Chair: Anne Helmreich, Texas Christian University, a.helmreich@tcu.edu

The concept of digital art history has emerged over the past decade to describe an array of new approaches and practices in art history (in both academia and art museums) made possible by the rise of the internet and greater accessibility to computational resources. These include born-digital publications, new tools and techniques for the analysis of art objects and texts as well as building and investigating art and archival collections, and new scholarly interpretations that have resulted from such tools and techniques. It has been manifested by exemplary publications and projects as well as a robust and growing bibliography and has fostered new forms of collaboration across disciplines and institutions. Digital art history has also been an important impetus for open access within the discipline. This session seeks papers that illuminate exemplary projects as well as lessons learned; that is, speakers are expected to share with the audience the perspectives they have acquired through developing and implementing their projects in digital art history so that the session may result in a meaningful discussion of best practices that can be disseminated to the field.

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Is There an African Atlantic?
Chair: Matthew Francis Rarey, Oberlin College, mrarey@oberlin.edu

The Atlantic Ocean provides Africanist art historians a rich model of investigation and analysis. Connecting Africa to Europe and the Americas, the Atlantic maps the flows, circularities, and dislocations of African arts in and out of diaspora. But it also separates. In the hulls of slave ships, new worlds were both forged and lost, underscoring a separation that lives on as today even distinctly black Atlantic scholarship often includes little space for African ideas and worldviews. Responding to the inclusion of open panels dedicated separately to both African and African-American art, this thematic panel seeks contributions that take up African arts’ indeterminate space in the Atlantic world as both possibility and pitfall. Such case studies may include, but are not limited to, the role of African artworks in negotiating new identities and profound social changes wrought by the Atlantic world; the impact of diasporic arts on the African continent; African artistic responses to slavery and the slave trade; and efforts to re-center African epistemologies in diasporic contexts.

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Shifting Meaning: Recontextualizing Objects through Action
Chairs: Amy Sowder Koch, Towson University, akoch@towson.edu, and Susan Ludi Blevins, Washington University in St. Louis, blevins.susan@wustl.edu

This session will address the long afterlives of objects, which are by the very nature of their materiality often intended to survive their creators. With topics of reuse, recycling, appropriation, and conversion in mind, we invite papers that explore the multilayered aspects of meaning created through the physical interactions of people and objects in a variety of cultural contexts: public or private, civic or religious, ritual/ceremonial or mundane, elite or non-elite. Questions addressed might include: When objects and buildings are separated in time from their creators’ original intentions, how do their later uses fill out or complete—or perhaps simplify— these ‘degraded’ original meanings? What might the practice of materially altering an object from the past tell us about later understandings of its symbolic value? How might the physical accumulation of reused and recycled objects through repeated action transform understandings of not only the objects but also the spaces in which they are deposited or displayed? Submissions are welcome from all time periods and geographies that critically reflect on the nuanced ways in which intentional and unintentional interactions with objects from the past have the capacity to create and transform meaning in the present.

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Studio Practice, Research Practice
Chair: Cyra Levenson, The Cleveland Museum of Art, clevenson@clevelandart.org

This panel will explore the intersecting worlds of art making and research practice. Presentations might explore the work of contemporary artists who reference the art historical past; the pedagogical link between material study, observational experience, and research; and multi-sensory approaches to research and learning.

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The Teaching Museum: Best Practices and Future Development
Chairs: Liliana Milkova, Allen Memorial Art Museum, lmilkova@oberlin.edu, and Erik Inglis, Oberlin College, einglis@oberlin.edu

College and university art museums have grown significantly in the last twenty years. Many institutions have created new museums and/or museum studies programs, while established museums have re- visited their mission to deepen their educational contributions. For example, Oberlin College’s Allen Memorial Art Museum has pushed to integrate the Museum’s collection and resources into the College’s curriculum as a whole, and developed a rigorous docent training program that serves as a professional portal. For this roundtable, timed to the Allen’s centennial, we seek case- studies from faculty and museum professionals highlighting how museums contribute to a wide range of student learning. Such cases might include but are not limited to: empowering students as educators in docent programs; involving students in the curatorial process; collaborating with faculty on teaching exhibitions and curatorial projects (real or virtual); bringing STEM faculty and classes into the museum; and training and mentoring students for careers in museums, the arts, and education.

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Technical Art History: Evaluating the Progress of the Interdisciplinary Study of Works of Art
Chair: Maryan Ainsworth, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Maryan.Ainsworth@metmuseum.org

The development over the last century of the technical examination of works of art has completely altered the ways in which we evaluate objects. Employing an increasingly wide range of analytical tools, researchers from the fields of academic art history, museum curatorship, conservation, and conservation science are demonstrating the value of working together in an interdisciplinary manner in a burgeoning field of study called technical art history. This session invites papers on recent research that addresses any aspect of the creation of or later adjustment to the work of art and that challenges accepted views or leads to a new understanding of an object’s place in history. Papers that demonstrate cooperation between individuals in di erent fields in a jointly-communicated paper will be most welcome.

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O P E N  S E S S I O N S

Undergraduate Research
Chairs: Heidi Hornik, Baylor University, Heidi_Hornik@baylor. edu, and Paula Wisotzki, Loyola University Chicago, pwisots@luc.edu

African Art
Chair: Costa Petridis, Art Institute of Chicago, cpetridis@artic.edu

African-American Art
Chair: David Hart, Cleveland Institute of Art, dhart@cia.edu

American Art
Chair: Mark Pohlad, DePaul University, mpohlad@depaul.edu

Ancient Art
Chair: Michael Bennett, The Cleveland Museum of Art, mbennett@clevelandart.org

Art of the Americas
Chair: Caitlin Earley, Metropolitan Museum of Art, caitlin.earley@metmuseum.org

East Asian Art
Chair: Noelle Giuffrida, Case Western Reserve University, noelle.giuffrida@case.edu

Islamic Art
Chair: Emily Neumeier, The Ohio State University, neumeier.25@osu.edu

Latin American Art
Chair: Daniel Quiles, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, dquiles@saic.edu

Medieval Art
Chair: Marian Bleeke, Cleveland State University, m.bleeke@csuohio.edu

Modern and Contemporary Art
Chair: Matthew Levy, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, mll33@psu.edu

Nineteenth-Century Art
Chair: Catherine Goebel, Augustana College, CatherineGoebel@augustana.edu

Chair: Andrea Wolk Rager, Case Western Reserve University, andrea.rager@case.edu

Recent Acquisitions in Midwestern Collections
Chair: Beau Rutland, The Cleveland Museum of Art, brutland@clevelandart.org

Renaissance and Baroque Art
Chair: Erin Benay, Case Western Reserve University, erin.benay@case.edu

South, Southeast Asian, and Himalayan Art
Chair: Kimberly Masteller, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, kmasteller@nelson-atkins.org

Works on Paper
Chairs: Robert Randolf Coleman, University of Notre Dame, rcoleman@nd.edu, and Cheryl K. Snay, Snite Museum of Art, csnay@nd.edu


Symposium | Objects of Study: Paper, Ink, and the Material Turn

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on November 2, 2016

From the symposium website:

Objects of Study: Paper, Ink, and the Material Turn
University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 30 March — 1 April 2017

This symposium is co-organized by Aaron M. Hyman (University of California, Berkeley) and Juliet Sperling (University of Pennsylvania). It is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through a partnership of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School and the Andrew W. Mellon Object-Based Learning Initiative between the History of Art Department at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The goal of this symposium is to dissect the interpretive aims of ‘materiality studies’ through a focused lens of works on paper. In recent years, ‘materiality’ has become a buzzword across the humanities, and an impressive range of methods, investigative starting points, and analytic goals have come to rest under the term’s mantle. But in grouping this diverse array of approaches under a single heading, does each method’s unique potential risk becoming flattened and obscured? An illustrated book might just as easily inspire a reconsideration of workshop practices as it could a chemical investigation of ink formulae; are social history and chemistry, to name just these two examples, justifiably held together within the rubric of materiality?

The institutional landscape of object-based study has had a role to play in miscommunications about the goals of focusing on materiality. As art historians, we have noticed that materiality, as a concept, has often complicated communication between scholars of art objects in academic and museum settings. Conversations about process and the substance of things in the academy often veer quite far from the ways of engaging objects with which curators and conservators have long been deeply invested. In light of this muddled translation across institutions, we have chosen to focus this symposium on a single genre of objects that rely upon the materials of paper and ink. Books, prints, drawings, and documents, to name but a few examples, attract intense interest across not only museums and the academy but also libraries, archives, and antiquarian collections. By looking at the spectrum of approaches generated by these materials, this symposium works towards answering a pressing question: do the academy, museum, archive, and library define ‘materiality’ differently? And, if so, what are future avenues towards intersection and collaboration?

The questions and objectives of this symposium have been shaped by the emerging field of ‘critical bibliography’, which unites scholars from a range of disciplinary and methodological backgrounds around the central axis of the book. We aim to map these connections onto art history by gathering academics, archivists, artists, conservators, and curators to think together about shared and divergent premises and, most importantly, goals for object-based study. The symposium will interweave hands-on workshops led by curators, conservators and artists with public talks by materially-focused scholars. In turn, discussions will not solely center on formal presentations, but will extend to alternative venues: the conservation lab, the studio, and the study room.

To begin addressing the symposium’s driving questions, we will ask participants to present ‘materialist’ case studies of 20 minutes in length, and then to devote at least 5 additional minutes to explicitly addressing how ‘materiality’ operates in their work. What are the analytic goals of a materially focused account? Where and how does such an inquiry begin? And, finally, how do those aims and methods relate to the field’s broader material turn? Talks may engage these questions in relationship to works on paper across time, and from any geographic origin.

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