Renaissance Society of America Conference
Dublin, 7–10 avril 2021
Collecting and Display of Small, Portable Objects (15th–17th century)
The taste for small objects, such as gems, jewels, coins, small antiquities, statuettes and miniature works of art is evident in leading collections from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries. The materiality of small precious objects and their portability raise questions about the dynamics and the reasons behind the taste for small things, addressing concepts of intimacy, privacy and public access in relation to the display of these objects, as well as questions about their significance in periods of uncertainty. Long-standing scholarship on collections has focused on their legacies, while less attention has been paid to the status of these objects and to the way in which objects may have been valued for their diminutive size, movability, or even disposability. The topic for these sessions raises new questions about the appeal of collecting and displaying such works of art.
We invite proposals that consider the following:
- The significance and value of gems, cameos, medals, and other small works of art, as contrasted to paintings or large-scale sculpture
- Collecting reduced copies of well-known sculpture and the ways in which these miniatures altered the collector’s relationships with and perceptions of the original
- Collecting across different scales and the display of miniature collections
- Moveable works of art and mobility of works of art within a collection
- The transformation of collections through small, precious objects during periods of change
- Collections perceived as disposable and exchangeable
- The safeguard of inheritances and collections
- Dislocation and re-interpretation of collections
Proposals should be for 20-minute papers and must include a title, abstract of no more than 150 words, keywords and a one-page CV. Speakers will need to be members of RSA and members of The Society for the History of Collecting at the time of the conference.
Applicants will be notified by 10 August.