CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Panel Sessions during the CAA Conference (14-17 February 2024): Two Calls for Papers

From 14 until 17 February 2024 the CAA (College Art Association) will organize its 112th Annual Conference in Chicago. For this convention for art professionals, the organizers of two panel sessions are inviting papers on the themes: Center and Periphery? Mapping a future for Research in Netherlandish Art and Changing Viewpoints, Shifting Narratives: Tangled Stories of Renaissance Objects (1300-1600). Please see below for both calls for papers.

Center and Periphery? Mapping a future for Research in Netherlandish Art

In recent years, academic scholarship on Netherlandish art has increasingly embraced decolonial and intersectional approaches to the study of visual culture. Meanwhile, many museums continue to mount exhibitions and sponsor technical research focused around well-known artists such as Pieter Bruegel, Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer. Easel painting remains the crowd-pleasing focal point of most large-scale art exhibitions even as new research illuminates alternative media ranging from glass engraving to textiles. Efforts to reinscribe those previously excluded from the ‘canon’, such as women artists, offer promise but must reckon with the problematics of canonicity itself. This session seeks papers that model a productive synthesis or dialogue between these trends, mapping pathways for future inquiry that reconcile divergent goals and prepare today’s emerging scholars for careers both within and beyond academe. Papers might situate works by familiar artists in unfamiliar terrain, for instance by examining them in relation to global trade, material culture, or through an intersectional lens. Others may offer critiques of the ‘center and periphery’ dichotomy by foregrounding historically marginalized topics and makers against the background of canonical art production. Analyses of innovative museum projects (recent and future) are also welcome, as is a frank assessment of the continuing value of connoisseurship as practice and methodology. Proposals from early-stage scholars are especially welcome.

Field(s) of Study:
Geographic Area: Northern Europe
Time Period: Early Modern (1450-1800)
Theory / Practice: Multidisciplinary
Theory / Practice: Methodologies
Field: Art History

Applications can be submitted to the CAA portal or sent directly to Stephanie Dickey ( and Suzanne van de Meerendonk ( by 1 September.
This session is sponsored by Historians of Netherlandish Art (

Installation photo, Collection Count + Care,
Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston ON, 2022
Photo: Tim Forbes

Changing ViewpointsShifting Narratives: Tangled Stories of Renaissance Objects (1300-1600)

Museums and galleries across the world are facing numerous financial, ethical and practical challenges, and curators and collection managers are expected to use these opportunities to transform and adapt permanent collections and exhibition displays in order to cater to diverse audiences. The study of cross-cultural interactions during the so-called Renaissance period has led to the re-telling of narratives from more inclusive viewpoints by scholars and curators alike. By bringing stories of global encounters into the foreground, as well as analyzing the circumstances that led to the acquisition of Renaissance objects, curators can engage in a more meaningful way with non-traditional audiences and local communities, while simultaneously emphasizing the relevance of Renaissance collections in today’s world.

The panel session held at the 112th CAA Annual Conference (Chicago, 14-17 February 2024) will explore how curators can navigate the challenges of current curatorial practice, and how to facilitate meaningful interactions between Renaissance objects and audiences. The session welcomes proposals for papers that share examples of museum work that opens Renaissance collections to a wider public and invites 15-minute papers that explore, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Contemporary responses to Renaissance objects
  • Decolonizing/Decentering Renaissance collections (provenance and collecting history)
  • Community engagement projects
  • Educational programmes
  • Use of modern technologies such as VR, AR, AI, immersive experiences, video games
  • Foregrounding transcultural and transhistorical narratives

This session seeks to provide a platform to exchange ideas on how to reinterpret Renaissance collections. It also offers an opportunity for speakers to share personal experiences and insights into audience engagement.

Field(s) of Study:
Time Period: Early Modern (1450-1800)
Cultural Spheres: Renaissance
Theory / Practice: Curatorial Studies
Business of Art: Museum Practice
Field: Art History

Talitha Maria G. Schepers, Harvard Art Museums and Serenella Sessini, Victoria & Albert Museum

The abstract submission deadline is 31 August. See the website for more information about submitting the abstract to this session.

Installation shot from the Harvard Art Museums, Gallery 2540, European Art, 13th–16th century, The Renaissance, February 18, 2015
Photo: Katya Kallsen. © President and Fellows of Harvard College.