CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Deadline for Call for Participation in College Art Association Annual Meeting 2005: 14 May 2004

14 May is the deadline for proposing papers for the 2005 Annual Meeting of the College Art Association. Although it must be said that the tone of the 2005 meeting is heavily abstract, CODART members will always find something of interest. Some sessions to which you may wish to contribute follow.

Reconsidering the Catalogue

Malcolm Baker, University of Southern California, Dept. of Art History, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0047;; and John Brewer, California Institute of Technology, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Pasadena, CA 91125;

Despite its importance within the historiography of art, the catalogue has within the past few decades occupied at best an ambiguous position as a genre of art-historical writing. This session aims to examine the various roles of the catalogue, both in the past and today. In what ways has the catalogue shaped thinking in art history? How have the traditional functions of the catalogue as both a promotional vehicle for the art market and a system of classification been reconciled? How does the language of the catalogue relate to that employed in other modes of art-historical writing? What are the relationships among different modes of catalogue, including the exhibition catalogue? In what ways might the catalogue be reconfigured to deal with current concerns in art history? What are the possibilities for the catalogue in the 21st century?

A Sense of Place: A Valid Tool of Explanation within Art History?

Caroline Boyle-Turner, Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art, and Veerle Thielemans, Musée d’Art Américain, Giverny, Terra Foundation for the Arts; mail to: Caroline Boyle- Turner, Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art, 269 S. Main St., Providence, RI 02903

A major part of research in art history involves the mapping of an artist’s itinerary to different places, or the tracing of an artistic network that developed in a certain place. We invite speakers to reflect upon the nature of the art-historical narrative in which the notion of place is operative. What kinds of meaning are attributed to the connection among place, artist, and artwork? What models articulate the causal relationships among these three elements? How are notions of a geographical and a cultural landscape intermingled? What are the historical variants of this form of research within art-historical discourse over time? What are the effects of turning “artist sites” into mythical places ready for consumption by mass tourism? Both case studies and theoretical papers are welcomed.

The Auction House and Art History

Véronique Chagnon-Burke and Cristin Tierney, Christie’s Education; mail to: Véronique Chagnon-Burke, Christie’s Education, 55 E. 59th St., 15th Floor, New York, NY 10022

Much scholarship during the past two decades has been dedicated to exploring and analyzing the critical, institutional, and audience reception of art. The market has also been recognized as a context that influences both the meaning and the value of works of art. Given this, it seems odd that so few serious studies of the auction house have been published. This session seeks to redress this omission. We welcome papers that examine the auction house and its role in the history of art in any given period. What is the relationship among artists, the production of art, and the auction house? Does the auction house influence the process of artistic “canonization”? How has exhibition of art in such venues changed over time, and how does the auction house relate to other exhibition venues? Finally, what is the role of the auction as an artistic institution in the shaping of significant collections, including those of museums?

Historical Anthropology and the Art of Early Modern Europe

Wayne Franits, Syracuse University, Dept. of Fine Arts, Ste. 308, Bowne Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244-1200

This session explores the emerging discipline of historical anthropology and its ramifications for the interpretation of early modern European art. Historical anthropology reconstructs the value systems, collective beliefs, and rituals of societies and cultures of yore, embodied in signs and symbols culled from an astonishing array of ostensibly prosaic “sources.” Many historians of early modern Europe have adopted the insights and approaches of historical anthropology in an effort to proffer nuanced and sophisticated interpretations on a microsocial level of the respective cultures with which they are engaged. Moreover, several historians have invoked artworks to substantiate their hypotheses. Yet the potential applicability of various historical-anthropologically based modes of inquiry to art remains insufficiently explored. We welcome proposals for papers that adopt historical-anthropological perspectives for analyses of early modern European art. Potential topics include the depiction of gestures, postures, social rituals, social stratification, space, food, and drink.

The International Art Market in the Early Modern Era

Deborah Hutton, Skidmore College, 227 Scribner Library, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

This session will explore the ways in which markets for art shaped the transmission of objects, artists, and ideas among various geographical and cultural centers between about 1550 and 1700. It also seeks to address how such exchange fostered international communication, and how it affected artistic approaches, styles, and types of objects in seemingly farflung regions of the world. Papers might address the movement of artists and artworks across national boundaries, the logistics of trade, the nature of market demand in various cultural contexts, collecting, the impact of royal patronage of foreign goods, the question of the “exotic,” and so on. They might also consider how issues of political influence, fashion, race, and gender affected the production, transfer, and reception of artworks and artists in other cultural contexts. The panel encourages papers in various non-Western areas, as well as European, that aid in the making of an international art history of the early modern period.

The Uses of Italy and Antiquity: Reviewing a Renaissance in the Netherlands and Germany, 1400–1700

Ethan Matt Kavaler, University of Toronto, Dept. of Fine Art, 100 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 3G3, Canada

This session addresses Northern Europe’s engagement with the formal legacy of antiquity, primarily through the mediation of Italy. Issues of periodization are central to this inquiry. As one trend among many, the adaptation of southern artistic designs answered needs and desires specific to the Low Countries and the German lands. Imperial ambitions and the changing self-image of the high nobility played a crucial role, but so too did humanist ideals among the professional and entrepreneurial sectors of society. What were the motives and factors that helped determine this process? What was the place accorded to Italianate design? What were the goals, conflicts, and consequences of adapting such forms to religious works? Papers are welcome that address these concerns or deal with historiographic issues in the charting of these interests.

The Nature of Blockbuster Exhibitions: Audience, Expectations, Impact, and the Future

Marilyn Kushner, Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Joe Ruzicka, Association of Art Museum Curators; mail to: Marilyn Kushner, Brooklyn Museum of Art, 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn, NY 11238; and Joe Ruzicka, AAMC, 174 E. 80th St., New York, NY 10021

Blockbuster exhibitions have been a part of the American museum landscape for decades and have reshaped museums in fundamental ways. Often the effects of blockbusters are accepted at face value or as inevitable, without close analysis of their benefits or, conversely, their detrimental aspects. This session will address the broad variety of issues presented by these enormous endeavors. Examples of topics that might be considered are: How have blockbusters shaped the staffing of today’s museums and what stress do they put on the staff? How do blockbusters advance (or deter) an art museum’s mission? Are blockbusters a threat to the artwork? Can blockbusters make significant contributions to arthistorical scholarship? How does the economic and political climate affect the feasibility of blockbusters?

Art and Vision in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Sherry C. M. Lindquist, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon,

This session invites papers that investigate how historical constructions of the faculty of sight bring new understanding to the diverse modes of representation in the art of late medieval and early modern Europe (ca. 1200–1600). Papers might address images reserved for those thought to have special powers of sight (monastic and visionary art), images that were intended to guide the laity in perceiving the divine (Books of Hours, carved rosary beads, indulgenced images), and images that questioned and/or asserted secular ways of seeing (illustrated romances, mirrors, illustrated historical chronicles). Pertinent topics might also include the invention of new visual technologies, systems of perspective, or architectural structures designed to regulate sight. Especially welcome are interdisciplinary proposals that go beyond the case study and that demonstrate how developments in science, philosophy, and theology changed and were changed by artistic representation.

Art of the Northern Renaissance

Carol J. Purtle, University of Memphis,

This session is open to all subjects dealing with art of the 15th and 16th centuries north of the Alps. Proposals considering broad issues within the field, those suggesting new methods for framing relationships among different media, and those approaching traditional issues with the assistance of widely available technology are particularly encouraged. Please send your proposal as an e-mail attachment in Word or WordPerfect.

Visualizing Food and Drink in the Eighteenth Century

Romita Ray, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, 90 Carlton St., Athens, GA 30602-6719

This session will focus on the visualization of food and drink in 18thcentury European and American art. The impact of culinary history has been traditionally restricted to the study of decorative arts. This session seeks to widen that scope to include painting, the graphic arts, rare books, and sculpture. Commodities such as tea, coffee, chocolate, and sugar, for example, influenced economic, political, cultural, social, and visual histories within the context of colonialism and imperialism. Papers are invited that probe issues related to gender, race, and class, while examining the ways in which cultures of consumption were aestheticized and displayed in the 18th century. What are the ideological and political links between culinary history and the visual arts? How did certain forms of art include and alienate consumers when they focused on such modes of consumption? Did they borrow from each other? Which institutions and economic structures encouraged and produced such commodities and spectacles? How did the consumption of food and drink affect viewing experiences?

Renaissance and Baroque Drawings

Carolyn H. Wood, Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, CB #3400, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3400; 919-962-3344;