Appel à communications : « Artists on the Move: New Methods, New Directions »

The Conference Program Committee of The Historians of Netherlandish Art solicits paper proposals for the organization’s quadrennial conference, to be held in Ghent, May 24-26, 2018. We welcome proposals for papers that present new directions in the study of Netherlandish art between 1350 and 1750. Sessions will be two hours long, generally including four papers of 20 minutes in length with ample time for discussion.

General guidelines
1. Current HNA membership is required of all chairs and speakers at the conference.
2. No one may participate as a chair or speaker in more than one paper session. This does not apply to participation in workshops (where all are encouraged to contribute).
3. See below for the list of paper sessions and descriptions. Please submit proposals directly to the chair(s) of individual sessions. Proposals should include an abstract of the proposed paper (maximum of 500 words) and a curriculum vitae. Please inform session chairs if you submit proposals to more than one session. Papers already published or presented in full to another scholarly conference will not be considered.

Proposals for papers due to session chairs by MAY 15, 2017. Chairs determine speakers and reply to all applicants by SEPTEMBER 18, 2017. Full texts of papers due to session chairs by MARCH 26, 2018.

Jan Blanc, Université de Genève,
Marije Osnabrugge, Université de Montpellier III,

The mobility of artists is an omnipresent phenomenon throughout the history of art. Its great significance for Netherlandish art in the sixteenth and seventeenth century has made it a recurrent component of research, even more so with the recent emergence of migration studies. In the early modern period, over a thousand Dutch and Flemish artists spent a short or longer period outside their region of origin. In some cases, a study trip sufficed to satisfy an artist’s ‘urge to travel’ (reislust), whereas others left never to return. The mobility of Netherlandish artists, as well as the short or longer stays of foreign artists in the Netherlands, had an undeniable impact on the development of Netherlandish art, both in terms of the careers of individual artists and on art as a whole. Individual artists needed to adapt to new environments, with different social and cultural rules and artistic and economic contexts. The absence from their home region, presence abroad and the journey itself, all left their marks on their life and artistic development. Meanwhile, local artists and patrons were confronted with the existence of art elsewhere, forcing them to place local art and artistic practices within an international context and indeed question the identity, if not the proper definition, of ‘local’ art.

In this session we aim to foster a discussion on methodological issues and theoretical challenges concerning the research on the mobility of artists (from and to the Netherlands), either in general or in relation to case studies. We are especially looking for papers on:
– the methodological issues in portraying the role of travel in the artistic development of an artist;
– (the search for) traces of the migratory experience in an artist’s oeuvre – while avoiding the pitfalls of ‘influence’, ‘local styles’ or ‘artistic geography’;
– the consequences of the massive mobility of artists for the development of Netherlandish art – both in the Southern and Northern Netherlands;
– the strategies used by artists to build (or insert themselves in) professional communities and networks and exchange artistic knowledge and practice.

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