Fourth Early Modern Symposium

Art and Its Afterlives

Saturday, 17 November 2012

09.30 - 17.45 , Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre (with registration from 09.00)

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Karen KnorrKaren Knorr, The Green Bedroom of Louis XVI. © courtesy Eric Franck Fine Art
Art and Its Afterlives aims to address the ways in which the work of art continues to resonate after its creation. While much art history takes as its focus the initial facture of the work of art, this one-day symposium explores what happens to early modern art after the moment of its making. How did early modern works continue to be created in their display, preservation, and reception from the moment of their creation on? Papers will examine how art is shaped by its afterlives – whether these collect, curate, cut up, cut out, copy or correct it – and the ways in which art both persists and changes through time as a material object, a field of generative meaning, and a subject of debate and interpretation.

The question of afterlife is a pertinent topic for art history in general, where the work of art is uniquely tied to a particular assemblage of materials which inevitably change with time, rendering fraught questions of preservation, the presence or possibility of copies, the idea of original state, and how a work of art is staged for a viewer. Less material but no less concrete, the interactions between the work and the viewer, and between the work and  its assumed referent are not stable but open to change. The question of afterlife is particularly relevant for the early modern period, when emergent art markets and cultures of collection allowed not only the circulation of artworks, but also their appropriation and adaptation. Taking as its point of departure Bourdieu’s encouragement to investigate ‘not only the material production of the work but also the production of the value of the work’, this symposium privileges the afterlives of art and the alternative histories they present.

Art and Its Afterlives is the fourth symposium of The Courtauld’s Early Modern Department.


Speaker(s): Anna Bortolozzi (National Museum, Stockholm); Sian Bowen (Northumbria University, Newcastle); Amy Concannon (Tate Britain, London); Noémie Etienne (Barnard College, New York); Christina Ferando (Columbia University, New York); Owen Hopkins (Royal Academy of Arts); Edward Houle (McGill University, Montreal); Stephanie Knöll (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf); Ronit Milano (Ben-Gurion University, Israel); Jason Nguyen (Harvard University, Boston); Antonia Putzger (Technische Universität, Berlin); Gabriella Szalay (Columbia University, New York); Giulia Weston (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Heike Zech (Victoria and Albert Museum, London)

Ticket/entry details: £16 (£11 students, Courtauld staff/students and concessions)

BOOK ONLINE: http://courtauld-institute.digitalmuseum.co.uk (An automatic email of confirmation will be sent to you – if you do not receive this email, please contact researchforumevents@courtauld.ac.uk)

Alternatively, you can 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 ‘Art and Its Afterlives’.

Organised by: Laura Sanders and Francesca Whitlum-Cooper


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