CFP: 2 Sessions at HNA (Amsterdam/The Hague, 2-5 Jun 21)

Amsterdam and The Hague, June 2 - 05, 2021
Deadline: Jul 1, 2020

Call for Papers
Historians of Netherlandish Art Conference 2021
Amsterdam and The Hague, 2-5 June 2021

Deadline: 1 July 2020. Applicants will be notified by the session organizers no later than 1 August 2020.

[1] Breaking Conventions and Confronting Gender: The Multifaceted Relationship Between Women and Art in the Low Countries, 1500–1800
[2] “Here and Now”: Capturing the Moment in Netherlandish Art (1400–1700)

[1] Breaking Conventions and Confronting Gender: The Multifaceted Relationship Between Women and Art in the Low Countries, 1500–1800

DO: dress modestly and act piously; obey your husband in everything; rear your children.
DON’T: be too sweet or too sour or too thin or too fat; be too independent; growl or bark at your husband.

Does the advice encouraged by Jacob Cats and depicted in numerous well-known objects accurately represent the normative behaviour of early modern women in the Low Countries? This session explores the less commonly portrayed ― and much less discussed ― representation of women as artists, collectors, and agents of cultural and artistic change. Recent exhibitions and publications (for example Sarah Joan Moran and Amanda Pipkin’s Women and Gender in the Early Modern Low Countries, 1500–1750 and Elizabeth Sutton’s Women Artists and Patrons in the Netherlands, 1500–1700, both from 2019) raise and address the participation of mostly ‘exceptional’ women artists and aristocratic and noblewomen in the creation and patronage of art. Notwithstanding these works, however, the field continues to be dominated by a history of men and centres upon patriarchal analyses and methodologies. Instead of reflecting on the exceptional, what can we gather on the paradigmatic women of the Low Countries?

In our session, we critically examine the role of gender and gender identity in the creation, collection, and curation of art in the broadest sense. How did this multifaceted relationship play out in the development and portrayal of women’s identity and their self-actualization? In what ways did women artists subvert societal norms? What role does gender play in the creation, acquisition, and use of objects? To what extent does gender impact collecting, patronage, and display practices? Can we formulate approaches that further discussions of the role of gender within artistic pursuits?

We seek papers that extend beyond traditional methodologies and analytical frameworks. In particular, we welcome proposals that are interdisciplinary and/or consider unusual or often under-researched artistic media, such as textiles, watercolours, ceramics, ephemeral art, etc. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

- Identity and self-representation through art;
- Self-definition as a so-called ‘workshop wife’ and/or the nuanced participation of women in the family’s artistic enterprise;
- Gender and the art market;
- Issues of class and accessibility;
- The artist as collector;
- Material culture: creation, use, and display;
- The home as a space for the display and/or performance of art;
- Strategies of display

As part of 90 minute-sessions, papers should be maximum 20 minutes long. Proposals should present new, rather than published research and reflect the current state of scholarship. Please send paper proposals of maximum 500 words, along with a single-paged curriculum vitae, to the session organizers.

Session Organizers
Samantha Chang, University of Toronto, samantha.changmail.utoronto.ca
Catherine Powell, University of Texas at Austin/Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society, catherine.powellutexas.edu
Lauryn Smith, Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Museum of Art, lauryn.smithcase.edu

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[2] “Here and Now”: Capturing the Moment in Netherlandish Art (1400–1700)

We can identify an increased focus on the present time as one of the main innovations introduced by Dutch artists from the beginning of the fifteenth century onwards. This focus took shape in several ways. In 1454, George Chastellain of Ghent, the official historiographer of the court of Burgundy, was the first to use in French the word contemporain to explain, at the beginning of his Chronicle, that Charles VII of France and Philip of Burgundy are “contemporains et en égalité d’âge, régnans glorieusement tous deux en ce royaume et dehors, à la dure confusion de leurs ennemis et à la grant joye et félicité de leurs subjets”. He thus created a word that put the actuality and the present world at the core of his historical writing. Twenty years earlier, in Bruges, Jan van Eyck famously signed the Arnolfini Portrait: “Johannes de Eyck fuit hic 1434.” Although written in the past tense and in Latin, the principal purpose of this sentence is to recall the “present” of the conception of his painting, as well as the “presence” of the painter in front of his models and his easel – evoked in addition by the coloured silhouettes visible in the convex mirror.

Van Eyck’s painting is one of the first explicit cases in which this Dutch artistic ambition makes acte de présence in artworks in the early modern period. It is a question, in the words of Dutch theoreticians, of studying the world naer het leven, i.e. in an illusionistic way, but also of becoming one with their subject matter. This aspect of artistic practice gains great importance in all pictorial genres. We also encounter it in the inclusion of contemporary costumes, Gothic architecture and views of modern cities in Flemish fifteenth-century religious paintings; or in the development of portraits during the fifteenth and sixteenth
century, in which the threequarter view and the gaze towards the spectator blur the boundaries between the image and its viewers. The interest in everyday life, portrayed in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Netherlandish genre paintings, can equally be seen as a result of the increased interest in – and awareness of – the present. Finally, depictions of notable contemporary events, such as disasters (e.g. floods, miracles (stranded whales, comets in the sky), battles, diplomatic visits (joyous entries, visits by foreign princes) or festivities, also illustrate a deliberate focus on the present – besides forming valuable documents for historians.

We welcome interdisciplinary propositions for case studies as well as general reflections.
Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):
• State of the research on the history of present time in Dutch art history;
• Cross-reflections on how Netherlandish historians, poets, writers and artists
described their own present time
• Examples of an awareness of the present in artworks;
• The depiction of contemporary events;
• Theoretical reflections in (art) literature on the present in relation to the visual
arts.

As part of 90 minute-sessions, papers should be max. 20 minutes long. Proposals should present new, rather than published research and reflect the current state of scholarship.
Please send proposals of max. 500 words, along with a single-paged curriculum vitae, to the session chair(s).

Session organizers:
Jan Blanc, Université de Genève (jan.blancunige.ch)
Marije Osnabrugge, Université de Genève (marije.osnabruggeunige.ch)

Reference:
CFP: 2 Sessions at HNA (Amsterdam/The Hague, 2-5 Jun 21). In: ArtHist.net, Jun 1, 2020 (accessed Oct 1, 2020), <https://arthist.net/archive/23172>.

Contributor: ArtHist Redaktion, Scarborough, Ontario

Contribution published: Jun 1, 2020

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