CFP Jun 13, 2022

Session at RSA (San Juan, 9-11 Mar 23)

San Juan, RSA Conference in Puerto Rico 2023, 09.–11.03.2023, Mar 9–11, 2023
Deadline: Aug 1, 2022 Redaktion

[1] Celebrations at Court: Ephemeral Objects, Materials and Machineries in the early modern period


[1] Celebrations at Court: Ephemeral Objects, Materials and Machineries in the early modern period

From: Casper Thorhauge Mønsted
Date: Jun 9, 2022
Deadline: Aug 1, 2022

Enhancing the cultural prestige and power of the princely dynasties, vast amounts of resources and effort were invested in various art forms at the European court festivities of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries, including ephemeral objects.

With this conference session we wish to explore the interrelations between spectacle, performance, machineries, and materials at court festivities.

We seek contributions that present how various materials and technologies were utilized in staging festivities at court and that reflect on the notions of art and nature as well as the various approaches to import, production and handling of the materials underlying the celebrations.

We hope to draw new attention to a field crossing over various aspects of the visual culture of the time and welcome both empirical and theoretical analyses.

Contributions might shed light on some of the following questions (but are not limited to these):

- What kinds of technology and machinery were used and how was it integrated in the celebrations?
- How were firework spectacles designed and staged?
- What were the relations between the designs and production of fireworks and artillery/equipment for military purposes?
- How was allegory and symbolic content integrated in the festivals and for what purposes?
- What role did royal sites (tournaments squares, parks etc.) as well as the urban fabric play as frameworks for the spectacles?
- Which concepts of art and nature were embedded in the spectacles and their equipment?
- In which ways were the media of books and prints used to present the theory and practice of materials and techniques related to the court celebrations?
- How did artist’s mobility, trade and cultural exchange influence knowledge transfer related to the making of spectacles?

Please submit proposals with:
- your full name and current affiliation, and email address
- paper title (15-word maximum)
- paper abstract (150-word maximum)
- CV (1-page maximum)
- PhD completion date (past or expected)
Submissions will be accepted until August 1st. Presenters must be RSA members at the time of the conference. Please email submission materials to Maria Fabricius Hansen (

This session is organized by Professor in Art History Maria Fabricius Hansen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and Paintings Conservator Anne Haack Christensen (SMK, National Gallery of Art, Denmark).

Keywords: art history, visual culture, fireworks, artillery, spectacles, technology, manuscripts, royal sites, allegory, theatre, festivals


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