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Bibliographical Society of America sponsored session,
College Art Association Annual Conference:
- prerecorded presentations (accessible during conference);
- live, online discussion (10 February, noon-12:30 pm).
This session considers books transformed through the incorporation of independently printed images. The session focuses on the production and reception of such books between the late fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. These books are investigated both as unique items and as exemplars of continually evolving creative and curatorial practices.
A theme running through the session is the challenge these works have posed when they have entered institutional collections: their intermedial nature has placed them at odds with the increasingly standardized and discrete organizational systems developed by public museums and libraries. A second theme is the opportunity these volumes have provided to those wishing to interpret the intimate interface between book, image and audience, whether for intellectual or practical purposes.
Larisa Grollemond, The J. Paul Getty Museum: “Reading Between the Lines: Passion Prints in a Hybrid Book of Hours, ca. 1480-1490”
Sarah C. Schaefer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: “Bibles Unbound: The Material Semantics of Nineteenth-Century Scriptural Illustration”
Silvia Massa, SMB-Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin: “Crossed Gazes: Prints in Books in Parma and Berlin”
Julie Park, New York University: “Making Paper Windows to the Past: Extra-Illustration as the Art of Writing”
Madeleine Viljoen, The New York Public Library
Presentation, “Re-imagining a Jewish Past: Jewish Architecture and Historical Scholarship in 19th-Century Central Europe”
This paper analyzes Jewish historic revival architecture to better understand the popular presentation of Jewish history in all its culturally situated complexity.
Session: History Writing and Its Popular Reception in Jewish Communities of 19th-Century Central Europe.
Historic libraries are coming into their own as resources for interpreting intellectual history. Analyzing those libraries that have informed art historians, art critics and their public has opened new paths for exploring art historiography. Whether book and manuscript collections survive intact, perhaps in their original locations, or are known only through bibliographies or inventories, they yield information that broadens established narratives of the discipline. What is more, such collections are ideally suited to documenting art history’s evolving relationship with social, intellectual and geopolitical currents.
This session builds on a theme introduced at CAA 2019 by addressing new questions, incorporating new methodologies, and introducing previously untapped collections. New questions include, for example, the distribution and impact of “official” vs. “unofficial” resources in the Communist-era library of the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Art. New methodologies include data visualizations of the readership of an art library given to the University of Paris in 1918; the visualizations incorporate quantitative and prosopographical data. Previously untapped libraries include that of Charles Eastlake, which served him in his several roles, including as Director of the National Gallery, London. Comparative analysis of Eastlake’s library with those of precursors and contemporaries underlines how readily analysis of any one library aids and encourages the analysis of others. Taken as a whole, this session highlights how libraries not only inform but also shape the relatively young and still restive discipline of art history.
Historic libraries offer underutilized resources for understanding art history. This session explores the potential of such collections – whether intended explicitly for the study of art or not – to deepen and broaden our interpretation of art historiography and its relationship to social, intellectual and geopolitical currents. Libraries significant for these purposes include those of Count Leopoldo Cicognara, Rodolfo Lanciani and the twelfth Duke of Osuna, formed in the eighteenth through twentieth centuries and largely intact, as well as those that survive partially or in inventory form, such as that (c. 1600) of Xu Bo. Cicognara’s library, for example, offers a view of the history and geography of art at a key moment for shifting geopolitical conceptualizations of Europe. President of the Venetian Academy of Art when Venice shifted from Napoleonic French to Habsburg Austrian control, Cicognara wished his library to contribute to Italy’s ability to compete for cultural eminence. For him, as for scholars throughout post-Napoleonic Europe, study of artistic heritage and shaping nationhood went hand in hand. But his collection, like others of its day, reflects more than patriotism. It underlines his effort to define an inchoate discipline through a wide spectrum of printed materials, including ephemera. It also demonstrates his active participation in art historical debates and connections with artists and arts administrators in Italy and beyond. By addressing Cicognara’s, Lanciani’s, Osuna’s and Xu’s libraries using diverse methodological lenses, this session seeks to expand avenues into the history of our discipline.