The Itineraries of Art Topographies of Artistic Mobility in Europe and Asia 1500-1900 (Berlin, 23-25 mai)


Annual Conference of the DFG Research Unit 1703 Transcultural Negotiations in the Ambits of Art. Comparative Perspectives on Historical Contexts and Contemporary Constellations

Organized by Project Area B Transgressive Itineraries and Transcultural Aesthetics of Artistic Exchange in cooperation with the DFG Research Project Landscape, Canon and Intermediality in Chinese Painting of the 1930s and 1940s

The conference discusses the interaction between routes as channels of communication and as modes of artistic experience in Europe and Asia. While recent scholarship has devoted attention to the economic and political historiographies of road-systems, this conference will focus on routes as stimuli of cultural transfer and artistic production. Addressing interactive overland and maritime networks as itineraries of contact and catalysts of artistic exchange will underscore the cultural agency of routes and interconnections. Framed in the historiography of longue durée, routes may be addressed as trajectories that cut across culturally determined geographies and periodizations. The conference concentrates on the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries and thereby foregrounds a period characterized by the unprecedented expansion and transformation of pre-existent route-networks. In the wake of the first global circumnavigation in 1522, the connection of overland-roads and maritime routes triggered new dynamics of transcontinental entanglements.

The conference aims at parallel perspectives on both Western Europe and East Asia, geographical regions that imagined each other as ›natural‹ terminus points of the ancient Eurasian trade networks. Consequently, new combinations of transcontinental telluric and nautical routes profoundly affected such predominant cultural topographies and symbolic paradigms. The rise of Asian and European port cities as nodes of maritime systems and prosperous cultural contact zones, often at the expense of inland metropoles, bespeaks this fundamental shift. By the end of the nineteenth century this process entered its end-stages; it is hardly coincidental that in this period, marked by colonialism and nationalism, some of the most enduring narratives of pre-modern routes evolved. To relate the proliferation of routes in the Early Modern era to art and artistic practices is also to engage with not only the actual translocation of persons, animals and objects, but with protocols and mechanisms of control and constraint. Furthermore, it is crucial to pose the question of how the visual arts in diverse historical and cultural contexts contributed to the fabrication of collective imaginations about routes past and present, as well as long-distance journeys. Parallel enquiries of practices and tropes of artistic mobility in Western Europe and East Asia enable the reconsideration of previously separate research in the agency of routes pursued at the intersection of the histories of art, cross-cultural transfer and entanglement.

Informations et programme:

Cultures of Things in Early Modern Antwerp (New York, 27-29 March 14)

CFP/Appel à contribution

New York, RSA, March 27 – 29, 2014

Cultures of Things in Early Modern Antwerp: Values, Identities, and Transformations

In the past years there has been a growing interest in the circulation of precious objects in the early modern world. Taking these recent studies on early modern cultures of making, collecting, and representation as its point of departure, this panel focuses on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Antwerp as the site of a particularly rich and diverse ‘culture of precious things’, including tapestries, gold- and silverware, glass works, jewelry, books, prints, musical and mathematical instruments, and paintings. In the course of the sixteenth century Antwerp developed into an emporium of foreign trade and a center of artists’ knowledge and expertise. With the arrival of new artifacts (both local and foreign) new types of specialty markets (panden) emerged. Collections and images of collections reflected and reinforced an increased preoccupation with the values and identities of various crafts and arts. Papers may focus, among other topics, on the making, collecting, and circulation of precious objects, whether individually or as groups; on strategies of describing and representing Antwerp’s culture of things; on competing and shared interests between different craftsmen and artisans, creators of images and creators of things, or artisans, merchants, and consumers. How did Antwerp’s luxury industries respond to and shape collecting desires, connoisseurship, and taste? How did merchants’ and artists’ abilities to ‘imitate what is foreign’ (Guicciardini) affect notions of ingenuity, innovation, knowledge, and skill?

Please send a brief abstract (maximum 150 words), keywords, and a 300-word CV to Christine Goettler:  christine.goettler(at) The submission deadline is 27 May 2013.

Séminaire: Explorations Collections Circulations XVIème – XXème siècles


Ce séminaire est centré sur le rapport des Européens aux mondes extra-européens dans son lien à la pratique de l’exploration. Il souhaite fédérer des chercheurs spécialistes de l’histoire des sciences humaines et des expéditions et des spécialistes des différentes aires culturelles européennes et extra-européennes concernées, autour d’une réflexion collective sur les explorations envisagées comme archives des interactions entre différentes zones du monde, aux enjeux à la fois conceptuels, esthétiques et politiques.

« Explorations-Collections-Circulations (XVIe-XXe siècles) » (2012/13) [PDF – 39 Ko]

Court Residences as Places of Exchange (Madrid, 4-14 Juillet 2013)‏

Université d'été: appel à participation(date limite: 05/05/2013)

The second PALATIUM Summer School “Court Residences as Places of Exchange in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe » will be held in Madrid (Spain), from 4 to 14 July 2013.

It will focus on the late medieval and early modern European court residence or ‘palace’ in an interdisciplinary perspective. The summer school will offer lectures on this topic by an international group of experts, as well as field trips to various castles and residences in central Spain. Participation is free and open to both MA and PhD students.

Site du programme:

Objects in Motion in the Early Modern World (Los Angeles, 10-11 Mai 2013)

The Getty Research Institute, 10 Mai – 11Mai, 2013, 9:30 – 5:30

This two-day conference examines the circulation of objects across regions and cultures in the early modern period (1500–1800). Scholarly presentations address how this mobility led to new meanings, uses, and interpretations. Breakout sessions invite the audience to examine works of art in the Getty’s collections.

Scholarly presentations address such topics as the diplomatic exchange of gifts among the Ottoman Empire, Europe, and South Asia; the transfer of luxury goods between China and Mexico; and the reception of Persian ceramics and other foreign imports on the Swahili Coast of East Africa. Breakout sessions invite the audience to consider the questions raised by the conference while examining works of art in the Getty’s collections. A closing roundtable provides an opportunity to discuss the methodological and theoretical potential of this line of inquiry for the study and teaching of art history.