Moving in Three Dimensions

A Conference on Sculpture and Change

Friday 11 and Saturday 12 May 2012
The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

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bronze statue of David and marble statue of St George
Donatello, David and St George, bronze and marble, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence; ex. Palazzo Medici, Palazzo della Signoria and Orsanmichele, Florence. Photo: Jim Harris

Speaker(s): Lindsay Allen (King’s College, London); Conny Bailey (University of Leicester); Fernando Caceres (Independent Conservator, IFACS); Lynn Catterson (Columbia University); Eray Cayli (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL); Leah Clark (St Michael’s College, Vermont); Rebecca Constabel (University of Leicester); Francesca Dell’Acqua (Università di Salerno); Peter Dent (University of Bristol); Ute Dercks (Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence, Max-Planck-Institut); Anna Ferrari (Pembroke College, University of Cambridge); Bernard Frischer (University of Virginia); Henrik Holm (Royal Cast Collection, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen); Hans Christian Hönes (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich); David Hulks (Colchester School of Art); Daisy Jones (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Katerina Loukopoulou (University College, London); Eoin Martin (University of Warwick); Peter Muir (Manchester Metropolitan University); Isabel Seliger (independent scholar); Inga Soderlund (Museum of the History of Science, Oxford; Observatoriemuseet, Stockholm) ; Maria Elena Versari (University of North Florida); Ian Walker (University of Wales, Newport); Simon Watney (University of the Creative Arts, Farnham)

Ticket/entry details: £16 (£11 external students and free for Courtauld staff/students but advance booking required) BOOK ONLINE:  Or send a cheque made payable to ‘Courtauld Institute of Art’ to: Research Forum Events Co-ordinator, Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, stating the event title ‘Moving in Three Dimensions’ conference. For further information, email 

Organised by: Dr Jim Harris (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

The concluding conference of the Research Forum project Three Approaches to Three Dimensions brings together scholars from Europe, the US and the UK to explore current issues in the study of sculpture.

In three sessions, each divided into thematically related groups of papers, the conference will address questions surrounding the physical and ideological histories of sculpture, its commodification, and the many shifts in the perceptual and theoretical understanding of its objects and their contexts over time.

Session 1: Conversion, Iconoclasm and Revolution.
The discourse surrounding the traumatic events leading to the removal, transport and relocation of sculpture often centres on the acts of destruction associated with revolution and iconoclasm, or simply with changing tastes. However, the changes resulting from re-use and conversion are not always destructive; spiritual, functional and symbolic changes are as important to our understanding of the objects and locations of sculpture as are the records and physical traces of loss. This session will present studies touching on the varieties of vandalism, the conversion of objects and the use of objects in conversions, and on recent re-conceptions of sculpture and the spaces it occupies.

Session 2: Plunder, Export and Sale.
Sculptural objects have long been prized for their potency as indicators of possession and conquest, and for their usefulness as gifts and saleable commodities. This session will feature case studies touching on questions of movement and value, from the life-stories of individual sculptures to the role of whole categories of three-dimensional object in the contemporary museum.

Session 3: Competition, Collection and Classification.
The study of sculpture has, to varying degrees, been conditioned by the classification of its objects. This has been accomplished not only according to their medium, place of origin and maker, but by the groups into which they have been organised and within which they have been presented and understood. These groups have not been static and this session will address the definitions and categorisations of sculpture, and some of the ways of looking and recording which enable its lost, altered and decontextualised objects to be reimagined.

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