CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Call for papers: Early Modern artists’ collections in Northern Europe (Session to be sponsored by Historians of Netherlandish Art at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America)

Organized by Koenraad Jonckheere (University of Ghent) and Sven Dupré (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science / Free University of Berlin)

The ever growing literature on Early Modern collections, first of all in Italy but also north of the Alps, has considered collecting primarily in terms of prestige, social status and the aesthetics of display. The use of objects in collections or the activities inside the walls of collections have been considered far less frequently, admittedly because sources to study such aspects are often missing. Important exceptions are collections of artists who, because of their artistic production, offer us more sources to tackle such questions. This session aims at describing and defining ways in which artists’ collections may have shaped the owner’s concepts of art theory and ultimately art itself. It will do this bearing in mind that all collections were formed in a specific economic and intellectual context.

Central questions of this session are: (1) How and where (through which networks) did artists acquire objects for their collections? (2) Why did artists acquire objects and how did their material acquisitions represent epistemic interests? (3) If and how did artists use such objects for the creation of new works of art? To address these questions we seek papers that investigate the composition of artists’ collections, their display, their role as a site of conversation on (artists’) knowledge, and their use for the creation of new works of art.

Please email your proposal (maximum 150 words) with your name, affiliation and cv (maximum 2 pages) by 15 May 2011 to both organizers: Koenraad Jonckheere and Sven Dupré