Call for Papers | Enlightened Princesses: Britain and Europe, 1700–1820

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 28, 2017

Left to right: Sir Godfrey Kneller, Queen Caroline of Ansbach, when Princess of Wales, 1716, oil on canvas, Royal Collection Trust; Jean-Baptiste van Loo, Augusta, Princess of Wales, 1742, oil on canvas, Royal Collection Trust; Thomas Gainsborough, Queen Charlotte, 1781, oil on canvas, Royal Collection Trust.

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From the Yale Center for British Art:

Enlightened Princesses: Britain and Europe, 1700–1820
Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace, and the Tower of London, 29–31 October 2017

Proposals due by 15 May 2017

Co-organized by Historic Royal Palaces, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, in association with the exhibition Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte, and the Shaping of the Modern World, on view at Kensington Palace, June 22–November 12, 2017

Caroline of Ansbach (1683–1737), Augusta of Saxe Gotha (1719–1772), and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744–1818), three Protestant German princesses, became variously Princess of Wales, Queen Consort, and Princess Dowager of Great Britain. Recent research has explored how in fulfilling these roles they made major contributions to the arts; the development of new models of philanthropy and social welfare; the promotion and support of advances in science and medicine, as well as trade and industry; and the furthering of imperial ambition. While local contexts may have conditioned the forms such initiatives took, their objectives were rooted in a European tradition of elite female empowerment.

This symposium, Enlightened Princesses: Britain and Europe, 1700–1820, seeks to investigate the role played by royal women—electresses, princesses, queens consort, reigning queens, and empresses—in the shaping of court culture and politics in Europe of the long eighteenth century. Papers that explore some of the following themes are invited:
• Royal women as political agents
• Royal women: networks and conversations
• Royal women: education, charity, and health
• Royal women as patrons of art and architecture
• Royal women and science
• Royal women: mercantile culture and the wider world
• Royal women as political gardeners

The conference will take place October 29–31, 2017, at Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace, and the Tower of London. Please send proposals of 400 words maximum, for papers of 25 minutes, together with a short biography of 100 words maximum to samantha.howard@hrp.org.uk.

Journal18, #3 Lifelike (Spring 2017)

Posted in journal articles by Editor on March 28, 2017

The third issue of J18 is now available.

Journal18, Issue #3: Lifelike (Spring 2017) 
Issue Editors: Noémie Etienne and Meredith Martin

During the eighteenth century, a range of artistic productions sought to simulate motion and life in new ways. At the same time, individuals became ever more preoccupied with performing or embodying static works of art. Echoing contemporary discussions in artistic and literary discourses around vraisemblance and verisimilitude, as well as mimesis and imitation, these preoccupations also tapped in to larger social and intellectual debates about matter, mankind, and machines at a global level.

This issue of Journal18 explores these fundamental tensions between art and life, movement and permanence that obsessed the worlds of art, science, and entertainment during the eighteenth century. What was considered ‘lifelike’ in this period? How did artworks—among them taxidermy tableaux, moving statues, nautilus cups, and automaton clocks—engage with this notion and participate in redefining it? What was at stake in staging a convincing simulation of life, and what purpose—political, pedagogical, or otherwise—did it serve? What role did ephemeral performances or spectacles play in generating such illusions and in shaping their significance? And how might we interpret these acts historically today?

In addition to full-length articles, we have assembled a series of shorter essays on the theme of ‘Waxworks’. More than any other material in the eighteenth century, wax seems to have provoked debates about the permeable boundaries between illusion and imitation, art and science, absence and presence. At the same time, objects made of wax—from La Specola’s famous anatomical Venus to busts portraying victims of the French Revolution modeled from life by Marie Tussaud—have the potential to disrupt traditional categories and hierarchies of art history, which is perhaps one reason why wax has emerged in recent years as such an exciting and provocative field of study.


• Valérie Kobi, Staging Life: Natural History Tableaux in Eighteenth-Century Europe
• Amelia Rauser, Vitalist Statues and the Belly Pad of 1793
• Eugenia Zuroski, Nautilus Cups and Unstill Life
• Lihong Liu, Pyrotechnic Profusion: Fireworks, Spectacles, and Automata in Time


• David Mark Mitchell, Vividness without Vitality: The Specola Venus’s Intersecting Afterlives
• Robert Wellington, Antoine Benoist’s Wax Portraits of Louis XIV
• Charles Kang, Anatomy of the Bel Effet: Wax between Science and Art
• Paris Amanda Spies-Gans, ‘The Fullest Imitation of Life’: Reconsidering Marie Tussaud, Artist-Historian of the French Revolution

Cover image: Detail of stuffed Starling, Oriole and Bird’s Skeleton from Goethe’s Collection, before 1790 (Goethe-Nationalmuseum, Weimar ©Klassik Stiftung Weimar/Thomas Korn)

Call for Papers | Plaster as an Art Material

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on March 28, 2017

From H-ArtHist:

Uniqueness and Multiplication: Plaster as an Art Material
Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels, 10–11 October 2017

Proposals due by 5 May 2017

The study of plaster objects is experiencing a true revival, amongst others attested by the scientific conferences of the past years. Plaster, a material of low value often used for reproductions, has been part of sculpture practice for centuries. The conferences and publications of the past years have discussed a wide range of subjects related to plasters, from the restoration and valorisation of plaster collections to the study and possible implementation of conservation and restoration campaigns.

The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA, Brussels), is the Belgian federal institution committed to the inventory, scientific study, conservation and promotion of the country’s cultural heritage. The Institute, whose chief mission is research and public service, represents a unique instrument for the Belgian heritage, both movable and immovable. Amongst others active in the historical study, conservation and restoration of these objects, KIK-IRPA has partnered up with Epitaaf. Since 1989, this non-profit volunteer organization manages the former sculptor’s and mason’s studio of the Ernest Salu dynasty, active in Laeken (near Brussels) between 1872 and 1983. As a funerary art museum they have a substantial collection of plaster moulds and models that were manufactured in the studio. The wide range of approaches presented on this international conference will allow us to study different aspects of plaster objects.

The conference will take place at the KIK-IRPA in Brussels 10–11 October 2017 and consists of three sessions:

Session 1  Plaster (and plaster moulds), their role and signification within the studio
This session will focus on the role of plaster (as a material for sculpture or architecture), plaster moulds (casts) and plaster models in art history. The following topics could be addressed: plaster for which use, the use and or role of plaster in the artist’s training, in an institutional context (academy, art education) or in that of the studio? The authenticity and position (status) of plaster in the artistic process (design, intermediary state, model, art work)? The added value of plasters, prints and photos in the artist’s studio? The representation or the role of plasters in the practice of the artist’s studio, and more particularly their position within an artist’s oeuvre and its diffusion? The significance or status of plasters as autonomous objects?

Session 2  Plaster collections, their origins, aim, and future
The aim of this session is to put together a survey of existing plaster collections as museum collections, not in the form of an exhaustive inventory, but in order to get a broad and general view of the wide range of differences (and significations) of the collections to get insight in the collection building and composition of the different plaster collections. The lines of approach are the collections’ history and objective. How should one go about their presentation (museology) and what is the status of plaster collections within a public (museum), semi-public (university, academy) or private context (artist’s collection).

Session 3  Conservation and restoration of plasters (and plaster moulds)
This session is the logical continuation of session 2. Due to a renewed interest in plaster objects, regardless of their context, repairing them has once again become a priority. Which conservation and restoration techniques are best suited for plaster and plaster objects? Should a different approach be adopted with regards to their presentation and status (within art history or as an educational tool)? Can the material or technique used tell us more about the period, place of origin or author of the plaster? These topics are preferably evoked through case studies and examples of best practices, by choice concerning so-called masterpieces. The official language of the conference is English (submissions in French or Dutch are also accepted).

Candidates are invited to submit their proposals to Géraldine Patigny (geraldine.patigny@kikirpa.be) by May 5th 2017. This should include an abstract (up to 300 words) and a brief CV (max. 1 page). The conference organizers are unable to cover travel and accommodation costs for speakers. Interested parties are encouraged to apply for aid from their respective institutions. The Scientific Committee will inform all the applicants of the final selection on June 16th 2017.

Scientific direction
Géraldine Patigny (KIK-IRPA)
Tom Verhofstadt (vzw Epitaaf)

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