This session will explore objects situated at the boundaries of materialities, such as plaster painted to resemble terracotta, wax portraits or specimens reproducing the properties of flesh, glass and porcelain flowers, tapestries framed as paintings, and gardens designed as grottoes. These are just a few examples of the ambivalent materiality of certain early modern artifacts.
One might say that these are equivocal art objects—things that resist precise classification. Questions we are interested in pursuing include: what might it mean to substitute one material for another, to translate an object or concept into a different medium? How do we reconcile the mutability and instability of things? How were such objects theorized then and how are they now? How does an object’s materiality—and the questions of likeness, illusion, allusion, metonymy, and metaphor potentially associated with it—substantiate and/or complicate the interdisciplinary claims of art historians and material culture specialists?
In addition to addressing the creation, reception, and categorization of such objects, this panel will be an opportunity to question the intersections between the arts and other fields including but not limited to the sciences or landscape and garden studies. We invite contributions that introduce new historical and methodological approaches. Proposals that seek to go beyond the case study are especially encouraged.
For submission guidelines: http://www.collegeart.org/pdf/2017-call-for-participation.pdf