The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Final call for applicants: Preserving Historic Environments colloquium

'Preserving Historic Environments' is a new, cross disciplinary research cluster for the discussion of frameworks of value in relation to the preservation of historic environments. The cluster will meet at three one day colloquia to take place between January and July 2007 and on an online wiki, available from the cluster www from January 2007. Detailed notes documenting the discussion at each colloquium will also be available from the cluster www. We aim for the activities of this cluster to lead to further research connections, collaborations, opportunities and outputs, with the potential to influence academic debate and policy formulation.

The first colloquium associated with this cluster takes place on the 26th January 2007. The main focus of the colloquium is 'Heritage of the Recent Past' but it will also serve to kick off the cluster activities more generally and especially we want this first colloquium to set the tone of the series by being challenging to the ways in which different disciplines and the industry understands heritage and the instrumental implications of these constructions.

There are a limited number of places available, there is no cost to attend but we are not normally able to pay expenses. Applications to attend should include a 100 word statement of how the applicants' research or work will enable them to make a significant contribution to debate in the colloquia. The closing date for applications for Colloquium 1 is 01/12/06.

Colloquia details are as follows:

26th Jan- Heritage of the Recent Past
Keynotes: Professor Peter Howard, Visiting Professor of Cultural Landscape, Bournemouth University and Professor Patrick Wright, Nottingham Trent University

Other Speakers: Blackpool's World Heritage Status Bid- Professor John Walton, University of Central Lancashire and Jason Wood; and Professor Paul Carter, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne- non-material heritage and landscapes of the mind

Location: Leicester University

You can find further details about the research cluster at

Yours sincerely,
Anna Woodham
Project Assistant - Preserving Historic Environments

PP: Lisanne Gibson BA (Hons), PhD
Department of Museum Studies
University of Leicester
103-105 Princess Road East
Leicester, LE1 7LG, UK
Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5719
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 3960

Comments and moderation

Overnight The Attic received a rash of comments (well...four to be honest!), but (so far) I haven't published any of them (all comments are sent to me first for moderation). While it's fantastic to know that so many people out there in cyber-space are reading and enjoying the blog, a decision has been made to restrict comments to subjects related to specific blog posts or museum studies in general. If you're advertising a new blog or website, please feel free to email The Attic, and if we (that being the 'Royal We', i.e. moi!) feel it would of interest to other readers we'll blog it. Oh, and please mind your language. Personally I'm not fussed about effing and blinding, but please be mindful of other readers who may have more delicate sensibilities. :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oral histories and You Tube

Taking a break from writing my chapter and thanks to an article on BBC Online, earlier today I came across a video weblog by 79 year old Peter Oakley from good old Leicester who, going by the name 'geriatric1927', regularly uploads videos of himself reminiscing about his life, to the video-sharing website 'You Tube'.

At Viv's research seminar today she mentioned something that Cynthia Brown had talked about at the Oral History training a few weeks ago: how when George Ewart Evans was doing his pioneering work with agricultural workers, he would be quite stern with his subjects if they went 'off-topic'. What strikes me about Peter Oakley's weblog (which is well worth a look, if you get a chance) is that it is essentially unmediated. He gets to talk about what he wants, to remember what he wants, to present the viewpoint or perspective that he wants. Oral history is something which is often talked about in relation to democratising history, but, of course, as the tale about Evans reminds us, there's usually somebody 'pulling the strings' in the background, i.e. the person choosing the subject, the questions they ask, the editing process, the interpretative slant they put on the result, the way the recording or transcript is then used. You Tube, seems to me, especially where the output is controlled entirely by the subject - as is the case with 'geriatric1927' - is the ulimate in oral history. At the very least it's the natural successor, perhaps even the death knell, to the oral historian armed with a digital recorder and a notebook of questions. Which begs the question, who's going to collect and preserve online recordings for posterity? Will Peter Oakley's efforts be for nothing, if ultimately his remembrances are forgotten? Is the pace of technology leaving museums and archives behind? perhaps some of the Digital Heritage people in the Department would like to comment?!

Lecture Series: Issues of Chinese Art: Memory, Innovation and Collecting

From H-Asia:

Five Lectures (in Mandarin Chinese) on Issues of Chinese Art: Memory, Innovation and Collecting, University of British Columbia, commencing this week--29 November 2006 and continuing through April 11, 2007
Memory, Innovation and Collecting: Five Lectures on Issues of Chinese Art at UBC, starting November 29, 2006

UBC Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory and The Department of Asian Studies
The Chinese Canadian Artist Federation in Vancouver and The Studio of Fleeting Thoughts
is pleased to present:

Memory, Innovation and Collecting: Five Lectures on Issues of Chinese Art

* *
UBC Asian Centre, Auditorium, 1871 West Mall, Vancouver, BC
All events start at 7:00 PM and admission is free. Please note lectures are in Mandarin Chinese
* *

In a series of five lectures, Dr. Tsao Hsingyuan explores the continuity of memory, and traces how selected art objects and paintings of China from the Neolithic period to the 20th century are records of the past. In the first talk of the series, *Art for Eternity: Ritual and Mortuary Offerings*, Dr.Tsao reveals how massive bronze vessels and small portable jade pieces testify to a sense of extended time. In *Painting the Paragons: Figurative Painting of the Han and Tang, *tomb art and scrolls from the Han to Tang dynasties show how personal and legendary tales were models for emulation. *Referencing Antiquity: Values of Literati Art *outlines how Literati Art theory, through promoting the use of the past, pushes painting to breathtaking compositions and styles. *Innovation in Continuity: Creativity and Tradition* discusses how the values of Literati Painting have endured and manifested in art of the 20th century. In the final lecture, *Private Passions: Collecting and Collections, *selections from prominent collections of books, paintings and calligraphy in Vancouver will be featured in a discussion on the impact of art collections on cultural landscapes.

"Art for Eternity--Ritual and Mortuary Offerings"
The early art of China is imbued with a sense of time that weaves impermanence with eternity. Cultural production in the early period of Chinese art ranges widely from monumental bronze vessels and bells to intimate handheld gold and jade carvings. These objects in their materiality, style and content demanded massive human resources and are expressions of time invested and embodied. Bronze and jade objects testify to an understanding that life and human memory is transient, and they are preparations by the past to preserve meanings for the future. Rare images of precious jade carvings from a local collection will be featured in this talk.

"Painting the Paragons: Figurative Painting of the Han and Tang"
Confucian teachings place great importance and heavy emphasis on learning from history, and this theme sheds light on selected works from the Han to Tang dynasties that feature didactic lessons from the past. The 3rd century BC Wu Liang Shrine carvings uphold ancestor deeds as models for emulation while Gu Kaizhi's 7th century scroll,* Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies,* promotes legendary virtuous women as outstanding subjects to admire.

"Referencing Antiquity: Values of Literati Art"
Literati painters of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties frequently invoked the past to contest political and social issues. Selected paintings by Zhao Mengfu, Ni Zan, Dong Qichang and others show how knowledge and timely use of themes centuries old could evoke searing heartache or steadfast resolve. The criteria of Literati Artists and their works changed throughout the centuries with only one enduring commonality: literati artists always referenced antiquity. They knew past brush strokes, themes and styles were infused with historical significance and they skillfully used and read style as expressions of self on politics. Furthermore, Literati Artists drew heavily from past styles as a strategy to justify innovative daring and bold styles.

"Innovation in Continuity: Creativity and Tradition"
At the turn of the 20th century, China began a period of adaptation to tumultuous social and political changes. A series of events punctuating the last century compelled and inspired painters in China to oscillate between innovation and continuity of past styles. After a century of social turmoil and cultural agony, traditional Chinese ink painting did not vanish; recent developments in ink painting attest to the revitalization of literati art values in the late 20th century.

"Private Passions: Collecting and Collections"
In Vancouver there are numerous Chinese art collectors and several eminent collections hold priceless objects of great cultural value. In the past, these collectors and their collections shifted the West Coast cultural landscape, and in the future, these collections will continue to impact the cultural field. Collections of books, paintings, and calligraphy in Vancouver can be vital forces to propel change in public and private cultural spheres. As artists, art enthusiasts and art collectors, an active and flourishing cultural environment in the city we live in is essential to fulfilling our private passions.

DR. TSAO HSINGYUAN* received her M.A. degrees from the Central Academy of Art in Beijing and the University of California Berkeley, and her Ph.D from Stanford University. She currently teaches Chinese art at UBC in the Department of Art History, Visual art & Theory
For more information please contact Zoe Li at

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Free Online Journal Access

From H-Museum:

We're happy to announce that Left Coast Press Inc.'s museum journals are now available online. Both Journal of Museum Education and Museums & Social Issues are available to be browsed from your computer.

To demonstrate the value of these publications, both journals are offering free electronic access of their 2006 issues to the museum community through January 31,2007!

Features include full access to all journal content for 2006, advanced search capability, and personalized settings.

After January 31, museum and library subscribers will have the option of print-only versions of any Left Coast Press, Inc. journal, or print-plus-online subscriptions, which include on line access to all current and previous year issues. In addition, individual subscribers will be able to electronically access and purchase individual journal articles.Please visit our website at and click through "BrowseJ ournals" to the "Online Journals Access" button, to try out the on linecontent access service, free of charge through January.

The newest Left Coast serial, Museum History Journal, slated to begin publication in 2008, will also feature an electronic version when published. Details on the website. Inquiries and subscription orders should be directed to

Mitch Allen
Left Coast Press, Inc.1630 N. Main Street, #400Walnut Creek, California
94596925 935-3380 phone and fax

CFP: Upheavals of Memory: Defining, Imagining, Creating, Contesting

From H-Museum:

Call For Papers
Upheavals of Memory: Defining, Imagining, Creating, Contesting
Humanities Institute, University College Dublin
27-28 April 2007

The aim of this two-day conference is to examine the discourses in which memory is defined, imagined, created, and contested. The focus of the event is to examine the identical, oppositional, complementary, and contradictory boundaries of the powers of remembrance across various disciplines. This event focuses on the overarching theme of the initial HII research programme, Identity, Memory and Meaning in the Twenty-First Century, by tangling the issue of the upheavals of memory from a variety of intersecting discourses including, but not limited to, philosophy, psychology,anthropology, archaeology, sociology, language, literature, linguistics, history, art history, classical studies, film studies, geography, and music. The intention here is to draw together contributions from the wider spectrum of the academic circle in a way that will initiate and foster further fertile research, creative expression, and meaningful collaboration.

For further information, see The conference language will be English, and each paper will be allotted twenty minutes of presentation time. Abstracts of 250 words should be e-mailed to The deadline for submission is Friday, February 16th 2007.

UCD Humanities Institute of Ireland
International Postgraduate Conference
The Humanities Institute of Ireland is funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI), administered by the HEA.

Reminder – A joint Museum Studies Research Seminar with the Post Colonial Research Group

Wednesday 29th November at 4.30pm in Att 204

Viv Golding will make a presentation at the Museum Studies Research Seminar Series 2006-7, On Wednesday 29th November at 4.30pm.

Museum Studies is an interdisciplinary field and all are welcome. Refreshments served. This meeting will be held in Att 204. For further details, or to join the email list, contact Viv Golding (

29th November 2006
Viv Golding (University of Leicester)
New Voices and Visibilities at the Museum Frontiers
Venue: Att 204
New Voices and Visibilities at the Museum Frontiers
Viv Golding joined the Department of Museum Studies in January 2002. The title of her talk is New Voices and Visibilities at the Museum Frontiers. The paper concerns 10 years collaborative work at the Horniman Museum. Horniman, according to Ofsted 2000, is located in a ‘culturally rich’ yet ‘socially and economically disadvantaged’ area of South London where the local communities have global connections to many parts of the world, most notably Africa, the Caribbean and Portugal. Viv’s research interests in the museum are related to the wider fields of art and language education, modern philosophy and Black women’s writing. While museums have long been viewed as a site of oppression for Black people, Viv’s research shows how, by employing innovative approaches, museums in the twenty-first century need not continue to erase or misrepresent ‘Other’ peoples. Specifically she highlights the new location of the museum ‘frontiers’, the museum acting as a dynamic forum for dialogical exchange and the celebration of cultural diversity. Her current project is a monograph for Ashgate Learning at the Museum Frontiers: Identity Race and Power, which is scheduled for delivery in July 2007. Her publications include:

Golding, V. 2008 (forthcoming) Learning at the Museum Frontiers:Identity, Race & Power, Ashgate

Golding, V. 2007 (forthcoming) ‘Learning at the Museum Frontiers: Democracy, Identity and Difference’ in Knell, S. MacLeod, S. and Watson, S. (ed) Museum Revolutions, Routledge

Golding, V. 2006 (forthcoming) 'Questions of cultural authority: drawing on diverse perspectives and interpretations', in Khan, N. (ed) Museums, Communities and Cultural Connections. V&A Publications

Golding, V. 2007 (forthcoming) 'Using tangible and intangible heritage to promote social inclusion for students with disabilities: 'Inspiration Africa!', in Watson, S. (ed) Museums and their Communities, Routledge

Golding, V. 2006 'Carnival Connections: challenging racism as the unsaid at the museum/school frontiers with feminist-hermeneutics' in Inglilleri, M. (ed) Swinging her Breasts at History, Mango Publishing, London: 290-309

Golding, V. 2006 'Using tangible and intangible heritage to promote social inclusion for students with disabilities: 'Inspiration Africa!', in the International Journal of Intangible Heritage, Vol 1, Seoul, Korea: 83-93

Golding, V. 2005 'Challenging Fear and Loathing at the Museum Forum' in M Museos de Mexico y del Mundo, Mexico: 132-139

Golding, V. 2005 'The Museum Clearing: A Metaphor for New Museum Practice' in Atkinson D., and Dash, P. (Eds.) Critical and Social Practice in Art Education, Trentham Books, Staffordshire, UK: 51-66

Golding, V. 2004 'Using tangible and intangible heritage to promote social inclusion for students with disabilities: 'Inspiration Africa!',

Golding, V. 2004, 'A field-site of creative collaboration: Inspiration Africa!' in the Journal of Museum Ethnography 16: 19-36, Hants, UK.

Golding, V. 2003, 'What is Learning in the Museum?' in Communicating Culture to Kids Ages 6-12 Years, Tropen Museum, Amsterdam, CD.

Golding, V. 2000, Using feminist-hermeneutics to re-read and write a Benin Collection, Journal of Museum Ethnography, 12, 72-86.

Golding, V. 2000, New Voices and Visibilities at the Museum Frontiers, PhD Thesis, University of Leicester.

Golding, V. 1999, 'Working with Multicultural Communities,' in Moffatt, H., and V. Wollard, (eds.), A Manual of Good Practice in Museum Education, The Stationery Office, London: 56-68.

Golding, V. 1998, Cultural Journeys: Traditions from Africa, Wayland Publications.

Golding, V. 1998, 'A Museum Worker's Diary,' in Anim-Addo, J. (ed.) Another Doorway. Visible in the Museum, Mango Publishing, London:119-135

Golding, V. 1997, Meaning and truth in multicultural education, in Hooper-Greenhill, E. (ed.), 1997, Cultural Diversity. Developing Museum Audiences in Britain, Leicester University Press, p203-225. ISBN 0 7185 2411X

Golding, V. 1997, Poetry, in Anim-Addo (ed), Visible in the Museum, Mango Publishing. p119-134. ISBN 1 902294 017. Golding, V. 1996, Using Museums. Video and Resource Pack, Fulcrum Production, Channel 4 Television.

Golding, V. 1996, 'Puppet on a string,' in Yorath, J. 1995, (ed.), Learning about science and technology in museums. South Eastern Museums

Monday, November 27, 2006

Announcement: New Edition of Exposition and Worlds' Fairs Bibliography, 1851-2005

From H-ArtHist:

New Edition of Exposition and World's Fairs Bibliography, 1851-2005

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the availability of the new and improved "International Exhibitions, Expositions Universelles and World's Fairs,1851-2005: A Bibliography." This is the third edition of the most current and complete bibliography of secondary sources on international expositions anywhere, whether online or in print. You will find the expanded bibliography here

On the same web site, you will also find lists of exposition films and fiction, for your reference.

In addition, we would like to announce that the two major web-based world's fair bibliographies (ours and the one from the Smithsonian InstitutionLibraries), are about to be merged into one comprehensive, fully indexed,searchable online bibliography which will be made available in the nearfuture. As soon as it is complete and fully functional, we will send out a widespread announcement. Judging from people's responses in the past, the bibliography has been a tremendously useful resource to researchers, students and scholars. We hope to keep it as vital and up-to-date in the future, with your help. Please send any comments, questions, suggestions, or additions to the bibliography to Alexander Geppert and Jean Coffey at

Yours sincerely,

Alexander Geppert, Jean Coffey and Tammy LauFreie Universität Berlin/California State University, Fresno

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Okay, so the usual 'stuff' of this blog (conference alerts, CFPs etc) are a bit thin on the ground at the moment, so here's a quick round-up of some museum related news items and articles that have caught my eye recently.

First up, the British Museum's new advertising campaign.

Next, an exhibition at the Kremlin that includes, amongst assorted 'stuff' presented to Soviet leaders, some innovative portraits of Lenin using unlikely media.

Finally, Bury Council flogging a Lowry and in the process upsetting, amongst others, the Museums Association (though this article doesn't cover that angle). I heard the leader of the Council, I think, on the radio the other day complaining about the Museums Associations' 'southern' attitude and implying that, 'up north', people have no time (both literally and figuratively) for art. :S

Monday, November 20, 2006

Exhibition space up for grabs!

The Museum of London has put a square metre of exhibition space on Ebay. The highest bidder (currently at £601) will get the opportunity to put their own exhibit on display until the end of February. Innovative way of democratising the museum, or money-making exercise reigniting that perennial concern of some at the steady commercialisation of museums? This puts me in mind of reading (all those aeons ago when I was a masters student) about disquiet in some quarters at the V&A's decision to allow the BBC to film Antiques Roadshow at the museum .

But the museums profession appears to have steadily relaxed about this formerly tricky issue. I haven't seen it, but what do people think about the new Channel 4 programme Codex set in the British Museum? Are attitudes starting to change about the role of museums and the commercial potential of their buildings? Do these things encourage more and new people to visit? Do they remind society of the value of museums? I note on the Museum of London website that you can now buy a year in history. What's going on?!!

Personally I feel that if the auction raises the profile of the museum inspiring more people to visit, fostering a greater sense of ownership and shared experience within its target audience, as well as raising a bit of extra cash, then all well and good. But I'm sure all you lot out there have probably got some quite different views!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A shameless plug! The Department of Museum Studies Research Seminar Series 2006-2007

The Museum Studies Research Seminar Series 2006/7

The Museum Studies Research Seminar is an informal ‘brown bag’ (bring a sandwich!) group that meets fortnightly on Mondays at 1.00pm. Museum Studies is an inter-disciplinary field and all are welcome. Refreshments served.

*This year one meeting, 29th November at 4.30-6.00pm, has been coordinated with the School of Historical Studies Post Colonial Research Group. The Postcolonial Research Group have dinner (usually at a local curry house!) after their ‘twilight’ meeting and we hope you will join us for this. All other meetings during the autumn term will be held in the School of Education.
The first meeting on 30th October will be held in the Stable Block (off Princess Road East, opposite the Education Car Park) in Room H2. The seminar with the Post Colonial Group on 29.11.06 will be held in Att 204.

For further details, or to join the email list, please contact Viv Golding

29 November 2006
Viv Golding (University of Leicester)

Raising New Voices and Visibilities at the Museum Frontiers
Venue ATT 204
(with Post Colonial Research Seminar)

11 December 2006
Jeanette Atkinson (University of Leicester, PhD candidate)
An Overview of Field Research In New Zealand
Venue: ED G001

15 January 2007
Joan Anim-Addo (Director of the Caribbean Centre Goldsmith
College, Lecturer)
Museums and the Black Body
Venue: PRE

29 January 2007
Heather Hollins (University of Leicester, PhD candidate)
Research Ethics
Venue: PRE

12 February 2007
Jenny Gregory (University of Western Australia, Professor)
Colonialism and Historic Collections in the 19th century
Venue: PRE

26 February 2007
Anna Chrusciel (Visiting Research Fellow from University of Hildesheim, Dept of Cultural Policy)
Social inclusion: the German context
Venue: PRE

12 March 2007
Amy Barnes (University of Leicester, PhD candidate)
The Historical display of China in Britain
Venue: PRE

26 March 2007
Ann Brysbaert (University of Leicester, Lecturer)
Heritage and Conservation
Venue: PRE

14 May 2007
Alima Bucciantini (Univeristy of Edinburgh, Lecturer)
Investigating Objects: How Museum Icons are Born
Venue: PRE

21 May 2007
Bernadette Buckley (University of Newcastle, Lecturer)
Creative Curating New Institutions (In PhD Research Week)
Venue: PRE

11 June 2007
Donna Chambers (Napier University)
Cultural Identity and Heritage
Venue: PRE

25 June 2007
Carmen Morsch (University of Oldenburg, Lecturer)
Documenta: Art production and consumption in Germany after WW2
Venue: PRE

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Works-life balance: how a writer finds time to write

Okay, not strictly museum-related, but this article amused me. I haven't got children, a husband or a dog for that matter (how pitiful does that make me sound ;)), but as a PhD student (and I can officially call myself that now having passed my APG!), I kind of know how she feels...

The Attic and the Blogo(a?)sphere

The lovely people at Material World Blog have given us a mention and provided a link to, amongst others, the new Museum Anthropology blog which also looks good.

Friday, November 17, 2006

CFP: No Museum is an Island

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers

The Association of Midwest Museums (AMM) and the Michigan MuseumsAssociation (MMA) invite you to submit a proposal for the 2007 Annual Conference, No Museum is an Island.

The conference is scheduled forSeptember 25-28, 2007 at the magnificent Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island,Michigan. A proposal form is available on the AMM web site at

Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, January 31, 2007. Sessions can be developed under various formats, including panel or round table discussions. Sessions should identify various challenges and solutions to common museum issues. We encourage proposals that examine different points of view, involve innovative thinking, and provide creative approaches to problem-solving.The 2007 AMM/MMA Conference will feature outstanding sessions, unique evening events (including a dinner at and tour of Ft. Mackinac), and ac onference setting like no other. Built in 1897, the Grand Hotel is considered one of the world's greatest hotels and is a member of theNational Trust Historic Hotels of America.For more information, visit the AMM web site at

Brian Bray
Executive Director
Association of Midwest Museums
St. Louis, MO 63112314-746 4557

New resource: The Virtual Catalogue for Art History

From H-ArtHist:

(A really useful search engine for the art historians amongst us - a quick search brought up the details of several publications I hadn't come across before.)

The Virtual Catalogue for Art History ( ) has today been enriched by two new target systems of utmost importance: the Library of the Getty ResearchInstitute, Los Angeles, and the National Art Library, Victoria andAlbert Museum. London.

Research Library at the Getty Research Institute: General collections include more than 900,000 volumes, incl. 140,000 auction catalogs on the history of art, architecture, and archaeology since prehistory and antiquity and extending to contemporary art in Europe, North America,Latin America, and selected regions of Asia. Special collections contain rare books, prints, photographs, manuscripts, and archival collections.The online catalogue currently contains ca. 650,000 bibliographical records for books, microforms, A/V materials etc., and about 15,000 serial/periodical titles (3,500 current).

National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: The collections main strengths focus on the main collecting areas of theMuseum and the Library's own specialist area in the history of the art,craft and design of the book. There are also strong collections in architecture. Major strengths are in sales catalogues, particularly18th and 19th century and in exhibition catalogues. The online catalogue now provides 750,000 records for all forms of material held, both the documentary collections of literature (about 1 million printed items) , and the material, both historic and contemporary, which now forms partof the V&A Word and Image department's curatorial collections.

Both the Getty Library and the NAL provide in-depth subject indexing for their holdings.With the inclusion of these two institutions, the Virtual Catalogue forArt Histories gives access to about 5,7 million records. A significant percentage of these records concerns articles from periodicals and collective writings as well special collections as photographic collections, manuscripts and archival collections.To better communicate the project’s international scope and purpose, a complete relaunch of the interface is in preparation for the beginningof 2007. On this occasion, the project will probably be rechristened as You may already use the pertinent URL:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A quick round up...

... of various CFPs, conference alerts and new journal issues recently received:

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers
Radical & Popular pasts
Ruskin College, Oxford
Saturday March 17th 2007

In recent years Ruskin College has been at the forefront of debate inBritain on the nature and uses of public history. Our past six conferences have explored many aspects including the relationship between official and unofficial histories, or the nature of the visual in history or people's relationship with their pasts; the topic of the 2005 international conference, a collection arising from which is being published by Palgrave.This year we wish to return explicitly to some of the past concerns of Ruskin college & earlier public historians by exploring the nature ofradical and popular pasts but in a contemporary context. Guest speakers include Ken Loach. Contributions which explore different ways of creating, or representing, radical pasts within a public history context are welcomed.The format is flexible and can include presentations, commentaries on film/art work, written papers, and displays. Please send a proposal of 200 words maximum together with name, and institution /organisation if any, byDecember 15th to the organisers: Professor Sally Morgan, Massey University,New Zealand, ( ), John Siblon, City & Islington College, ( , Dr Hilda Kean, Ruskin College ( )

This looks really good, but I've already signed up for another conference at the V&A. :(

University of Nottingham
4-5 January 2007

The Editors of Art History, Deborah Cherry and Fintan Cullen, will host a two day conference in the University of Nottingam from 4-5 January 2007 that focuses on issues relating to the politics of display and public spectacle.The conference will also form the basis for a collection of essays for publication in an issue of the journal in September 2007 on the theme of 'Display and Spectacle'. In the ten years since Carol Duncan's much used text book, Civilising Rituals: inside public art museums (1995), public and scholarly interest in the way art and the visual are and have been displayed has increased enormously.The aim of the conference is to create an international forum of speakers some of whose work will subsequently appear in the pages of Art History.

Preliminary Programme
Thursday 4 January 2007

11.00 Registration and coffee
12.00 Plenary by Tapati Guha Thakurta (Centre for Studies and SocialSciences, Calcutta) on the theme of the travels, returns and repatriation ofIndia's art objects.


Afternoon of four 30 minute papers, each followed by time for discussion.

Speakers will include:Peter Funnell (National Portrait Gallery, London), Sabrina Norlander(Stockholm University), John Bonehill (Birkbeck College, London), Angus Lockyer (School of Oriental and African Studies, London)

18.00-18.45 A drinks reception in the Arts Centre followed by an optional dinner at 19.30 in Florence Boot Hall

Friday 5 January 2007

09.30 Start with 2 papers plus time for discussion:
(First speaker to be announced) Robert Nelson (Yale University)


2 papers plus time for discussion:
Charles Saumarez Smith (National Gallery, London) Helen Rees Leahy (University of Manchester)


Second plenary of an hour: Andrew McClellan (Tufts University, Boston), possibly on the theme of the museum as mausoleum.

All to end about 4.00

Participants will also include the artists Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska (London)Total of 10 papers: 8 papers of approx 30 mins each and 2 plenaries of an hour each.

More information and a booking form can be obtained from the conference administrator, Liz Jennings, email:

From Ethnomuseums:

Courtauld History of Dress Association (CHODA)
Black and white
29 and 30 June 2007
Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London

Call for Papers

From mourning dress to evening wear, black and white are colours which have provided some of the most iconic dress through time and across cultures. They can be dramatically combined, in the check of a Chanel suit and the humbug stripes of a football player’s shirt. Or they can be worn separately as in the white of a debutante’s gown and the long, dark folds of a burkha.

Papers are solicited that draw on a wide variety of symbolic, cultural and technical aspects of black and white dress, from a diversity of approaches and a spread of historical periods and geographical areas. Topics may include: the symbolism of black and white dress, the different social occasions on which black and white are worn, the technical production of black and white fabric, fashion in film, dress in photography and key figures or events associated with black and white dress. We welcome proposals from academics, research students, museum curators, practitioners and independent scholars. Preference will be given to proposals which include images.

CHODA regrets that it is unable to pay for any expenses involved in the preparation and presentation of a paper, or for travel to the conference. Please send a one page abstract, and brief CV by Friday 15 December to:

Alexandra MacCulloch
Museum Resource Centre
Tring Road
HP22 5PN

Fax +44 (0)1296 624 519 Email

A new issue of Journal of the History of Collections has been made available: December 2006; Vol. 18, No. 2


Libraries, memory and the space of knowledge
Eric Garberson J Hist Collections 2006 18:105-136.

The chief and perhaps only antiquarian in Spain: Pompeo Leoni and his collection in Madrid Kelley Helmstutler Di Dio J Hist Collections 2006 18:137-167.

A dragon tree in the Garden of Eden: A case study of the mobility of objects and their images in early modern Europe
Peter Mason J Hist Collections 2006 18:169-185.

Migrating objects: The Bohemian National Museum and its scientific collaborations in the early nineteenth century
Claudia Schweizer J Hist Collections 2006 18:187-199.

Art collecting of the Central-European aristocracy in the nineteenth century: The case of Count Palffy
Ingrid Ciulisova J Hist Collections 2006 18:201-209.

The rise and fall of the Musee Marcello
Caterina Y. Pierre J Hist Collections 2006 18:211-223.

In all cases of difference adopt Signor Riano's view: Collecting Spanish decorative arts at South Kensington in the late nineteenth century
Marjorie Trusted J Hist Collections 2006 18:225-236.

Blackfoot culture and world culture: Contexts for the collection and display of the decorated shirt of Issapoomahsika (or Crowfoot) in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter
Stephanie Pratt J Hist Collections 2006 18:237-247.

'The tedious & expensive journey': Augustus Wollaston Franks's travels through Finland in 1874 Visa Immonen J Hist Collections 2006 18:249-256.

Chance and certitude: Pitt Rivers and his first collection
Alison Petch J Hist Collections 2006 18:257-266.

Personal collecting meets institutional vision: The origins of Harvard's Fogg Art Museum Kimberly A. Orcutt J Hist Collections 2006 18:267-284.

Book Reviews

Weights and Measures of Scotland: A European Perspective
DJ Bryden J Hist Collections 2006 18:285-286.

Artists at Court: Image-Making and Identity 1300-1550
Kate Heard J Hist Collections 2006 18:286-287.

The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Series B: Natural History. Fungi
Stephen A. Harris J Hist Collections 2006 18:287-288.

Das Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum und seine Sammlungen 1578, 1754, 2004 * 250 Jahre Museum. Von den furstlichen Sammlungen zum Museum der Aufklarung
Christian Rumelin J Hist Collections 2006 18:288-290.

English Delftware Drug Jars. The Collection of the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
Margaret C. Macfarlane J Hist Collections 2006 18:290-291.

The Hummingbird Cabinet: A Rare and Curious History of Romantic Collectors
Luisa Cale J Hist Collections 2006 18:291-292.

Les Salons de Lille de l'Ancien Regime a la Restauration 1773-1820
Colin Harrison J Hist Collections 2006 18:292-294.

Victorian and Edwardian Responses to the Italian Renaissance
Jenny Graham J Hist Collections 2006 18:294-295.

History's Beauties: Women and the National Portrait Gallery, 1856-1900
Kate Retford J Hist Collections 2006 18:295-296.

Research Seminar Report

The second Department of Museum Studies research seminar of the new academic year (13th November 2006) was a presentation by Fiona Kerlogue from the Horniman Museum entitled 'South-east Asia in the Museum. The development of the South-east Asian collections of the Horniman Museum, London, 1891-1925'.

Fiona discussed the development of the Horniman's South-east Asian collections and modes of display from it's inception as a private collection of curiosities, to public museum arranged to illustrate popular theories of technological evolution.

Monday, November 13, 2006

CFP: Making National Museums: Comparing institutional arrangements, narrative scope and cultural integration (NaMu)

From H-Museum:

Making National Museums: Comparing institutional arrangements, narrative scope and cultural integration (NaMu)


Linköping University, Sweden
26-28 February 2007

End of call date: 1 December 2006

This three-day conference is the first in a series bringing together PhD students and senior scholars. Application for participation is open for all disciplines doing research on the historical and contemporary dynamics around National Museums. The program and series is presented on

SETTING THE FRAMES is part of the program Making National Museums:
Comparing institutional arrangements, narrative scope and cultural integration (NaMu), funded by Marie Curie Conferences and Training Courses.

The Marie Curie Conferences & Training Courses are one of the four so-called Host-driven actions aimed at supporting research networks, research organisations and enterprises. The specific objective is to bring together researchers with a different level of experience.
The NaMu-program will form a new departure for understanding and working with the European diversity in the museum institution by bringing the multidisciplinary field of museum and heritage studies together with a sharp and comparative focus on national museums. The purpose of the program is to develop the tools, concepts and organisational resources necessary for training researchers, investigating and comparing the major public structure of National Museums, responding to challenges of globalisation, European integration, and new media. This will be achieved by a series of conferences providing a venue for younger scholars and eminent researcher from Europe to gather and develop the multi-disciplinary competence necessary to understand and compare the dynamics of national museums in a framework for broader historical culture and identity politics. The full program of six consecutive workshops is presented on the website

The first conference is working under the heading "Setting the Frames", denoting the work of refining the comparative scheme that is presented below. Cultural, archaeological, art, natural and technological museums might be part of forming a national museum in each country. Suggestions for papers should relate to the comparative design but might deal with a variety of empirical questions such as:

< How can we understand and define the national museum concept? How has the concept been understood and defined by different actors in the past? What historical, political and cultural contexts are relevant to the creation of national museums?

< How are politicians, the public sphere, university disciplines and civil society negotiating the concept of National Museum in different nations?
Different groups of actors and users might stand for different defining processes through both intentions and practices.
What historical changes can be identified? How can their role in the broader historical culture be assessed?

< How could the creation of and narration within National Museums be read as performative acts, text, visual and architectural statements and discourses?

Among the keynote speakers are professors Tony Bennett and Stefan Berger.
More information on the website, and
Send application by registering at and submit an abstract of 1-3 pages to before 1 December 2006. Admittance will be decided before 20 December 2006.
Grants for participating will cover travel costs and accommodation at the conference.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Some interesting tidbits to ponder

Here's a few links to some recent museum and gallery-related articles of note (well, perhaps not 'of note'; 'piqued my interest' would perhaps be more accurate) from 24 Hour Museum. First up, the Horniman Museum's missing polar bear, closely followed by a new take on those so-called peoples' exhibitions so beloved of museums in the late 90s, with a supermarket/gallery link-up bringing up the rear.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Symposium: Studies on Historical Heritage

From H-Museum:

Studies on Historical Heritage
Dedeman Resort, Antalya (Turkey)
17-21 September 2007

Research Center for Preservation of Historical Heritage, established in 2005 in Yildiz Technical University, organizes an International Symposium on"Studies on Historical Heritage" in Antalya, Turkey between 17-21 September 2007. The symposium will be as a continuation of the previous international symposia entitled "Studies in Ancient Structures" held in Istanbul in 1997and 2001. Antalya, known as Pamphilia in history, was inhabited 50 thousand years agoand housed Hittites, Phyrgians, Lydians, Greeks, Romans, Seljuks and Ottomans. From 2nd century B.C. on the name of the place has been known successively as Attaleis, Adalia, Adalya and finally Antalya. Housing many historical remains from these periods, Antalya is one of the most suitable places to communicate the rapid advances made in theoretical and applied aspects of studies in preservation of the historical heritage.This symposium is aimed to provide an international and multi-disciplinary meeting for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the past,present and future of historical art and architectural heritage and their environments. It will bring together historians, art historians,archaeologists, architects, engineers, scientists, building surveyors, urban planners, and other specialists to exchange their analytical, experimental,historical and constructional experiences and studies in preservation of thehistorical heritage.

A - Historical Aspects
B - Architectural Aspects
C - Archaeological Aspects
D - Information System – Documentation
E - Evaluation - Experimental Methods and Tests
F - Structural Behavior - static, dynamic
G - Numerical Analysis
H - Intervention, Restoration and Prevention Techniques
I - Preservation in Museum Exhibitions and Storage Areas
J - Environmental Aspects
K - Planning the Future of Historic Urban Areas
L - Heritage Management
M - Case Studies

Dedeman Resort, Antalya, Turkey (

Exhibition facilities related to the symposium are planned at the symposium venue. This offers opportunity for consultants, contractors, systems manufacturers and other organizations to illustrate projects, processes,components, materials, hardware, software and literature. For details please contact to the symposium organization.

Leading experts in chosen topics will be invited to deliver keynote speeches.

The official language of the symposium is English. All papers should be written and presented in English. Simultaneous translation will be providedonly into Turkish. Both oral and poster presentations will take place.Proceedings will be available at the registration desk.

The abstract of two pages should include:
• a brief description
• experiments or technical developments
• results
• relevant conclusions on the topics outlined above.

Figures can also be included in the abstract. The abstracts should be submitted to the Organizing Committee no later than January 26, 2007 via e-mail.

• Submission of Abstracts: January 26, 2007
• Preliminary Acceptance : March 09, 2007
• Final Submission: April 27, 2007
• Final Acceptance: June 15, 2007
• Last Date for Early Registration: July 13, 2007

The symposium fee will include participation in all technical sessions, lunches, coffee breaks, reception and symposium dinner. Following are the estimated registration fees. Participants: until July 13, 2007: 450 Euro, after July 13, 2007: 500 Euro Accompanying: until July 13, 2007: 200 Euro, after July 13, 2007: 250 Euro

Members D. Eksi Akbulut, N. Ertürk, M. Vatan Kaptan, S. E. Pusat, N. Yüzer

Yildiz Technical University
Research Center for Preservation of Historical Heritage
34349 Yildiz, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: + 90 212 2612004 Fax: + 90 212 2585140 e-mail:

CFP: Sacred Possessions? Italy and Collecting Religious Art, 1500-1900

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers
Sacred Possessions? Italy and Collecting Religious Art, 1500-1900
Bibliotheca Hertziana-Max Planck Institute for Art History, Getty Research Institute,
American Academy (Rome) June 19-21, 2007 in Rome (Italy)

This conference explores the collecting of religious art in Italy and the collecting of Italian religious art elsewhere as special cases within the broader study of collecting. The guiding questions for this endeavor include: How does the religious, devotional, and spiritual content of art influence how it is collected? Do religious significance and/or function in the production of a work of art make a difference in its subsequentc ollection? What changes-social, confessional, intellectual, political-have affected the collecting of religious art?

Papers should focus on 1) collect ing religious art in Italy or 2) the collecting of Italian religious art elsewhere. We hope that proposals will address a spectrum of periods and themes, such as (but not limited to) the following:- When a work leaves its sacred context, what are the new conditions of its reception and interpretation? How can the commingling of aesthetic and religious meaning be balanced when a work is collected?- To what extent is religious art differentiated as a category by collectors, for example, by its placement or mode of display within a collection?- What constitutes the category of "religious art" in the context of collecting in Italy? Does crosscultural, cross-temporal collecting mitigate the religious content of works of art, such as when cardinals acquired antique statues of pagan gods or when representations of Aztec gods in feathers and gold appeared in the collections of popes and princes?- The confessional, social, and political upheavals in early-modern Europe were transnational phenomena and led to the dispersal and recontextualization of religious art. How was the religious meaning of individual works transformed over the course of these broader historical movements?- With the advent of tourism to Italy, art lovers joined religious pilgrims in visiting Italian churches. Did this phenomenon transform a church into the imaginary of a collection? Conversely, did a sense of sacrality somehow transfer to public museums as the new temples for devotion to art?

The deadline for proposals is January 1, 2007. Proposals should be submitted for consideration in the form of an abstract no longer than 250 words, and may be in Italian, German, or English. Abstracts, as well as a curriculum vitae, must be sent by email to both the Bibliotheca Hertziana-Max PlanckInstitute for Art History and the Getty Research Institute:Dott.ssa Elisabetta Pastore, Direktionssekretariat, Bibliotheca Dr. Katja Zelljadt, Research Associate, Getty ResearchInstitute:

Web site

For Italian and German versions of this document, please visit theBibliotheca HertzianaMax Planck Institute for Art History on the Web at

Friday, November 10, 2006

Contact the Attic

The Attic has a shiny new email address. Contact us if you have any comments, suggestions, to advertise conference alerts and calls for papers, etc.

New material culture weblog

From H-Museum (this looks like it could be a really useful resource):

Material World - a new webspace

Material World is an interactive, online hub for contemporary debates, discussion, thinking and research centered on material and visual culture. Material World is the brainchild of scholars working in the anthropology department of University College London and in the anthropology and museum studies departments of New York University, but it aims to create a new international community of academics, students, curators, artists and anyone else with particular interests in material and visual culture.We will use this digital framework to post exhibition, book and other reviews; discuss key topics; develop online reading groups and symposia;post links to images, objects and collections; highlight cutting edge research and fieldwork, conferences, meetings and other events; develop teaching resources and syllabi; and encourage student participation.Please browse the site, and feel free to send content in the form of reviews, outlines of research projects, commentaries, good links, conference announcements and so on. Information regarding submissions can be found on or email

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

CFP: Nationalism, Regionalism and Internationalism

From H-ArtHist:

Nationalism, Regionalism and Internationalism
Barber Insitute of Art, Birmingham University, 31st March 2007, ResearchExchange.

The AHRC inititive, the Research Exchange, exists in order to share information between art history departments in the South of Britain. We invite proposals of around 400 words from all Ph.D. students in the fieldsof visual culture for 20 minute paper presentations and posters on the themes of Nationalism, Regionalism and Internationalism. This conference offers an opportunity to not only present their work in a formal setting but could also help to answer questions about identity through a diverse range of disciplines eg. the built environment, fine art and material culture.

Proposals for papers should be submitted to Camilla Smith( ) and Charlotte Gore ( ) by no laterthan the 31st of December. Posters should be sent by post or delivered on the day of the conference. Posters should be sent to Charlotte Gore and Camilla Smith, Department of History of Art, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TS, U.K.

Vietnam Museum Studies Field School

From H-Museum:

Anyone fancy a trip to Vietnam in January?!

Vietnam Museum Studies Field School
The University of Queensland, Brisbane
3-20 January 2007

The UQ Museum Studies Field School aims to provide first-hand experience to students and Professional Development Program participants about museums of all types and their location in a rapidly globalising world. The focus is on documented case studies, which will consider the challenges of conservation, governance and development frameworks that have become imperative in the contemporary world. The UQ Museums Studies Field School will be offered for the first time during the summer session 2006/7 in Vietnam with the total support of thelocal, provincial and national museums and their respective authorities.The focus is on:. Critical investigation into the positive and negative effects that tourism has had on the traditional ways of life and heritage values of ethnic minority groups in northern Vietnam and their representation in museums. Two day national symposium on Museums, Women and Sustainable Development hosted by the Vietnam Museum of Women, Vietnam Museum of History and VietnamMuseum of Ethnology with the support of VVOB, Belgium and UNESCO.. Planning workshop bringing together floating fishing villages and curators, site managers and conservators to evaluate the construction and development of the world's first floating museum in Ha Long Bay WorldHeritage Area. Participants will live in the Cua Van floating village and work with the local staff in the evaluation process.. Evaluation workshop with the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology examining the future development and management of Ba Dinh Archaeological Site andThang Long Citadel in the heart of Hanoi, including the concept for an urban museum for Hanoi dealing with both tangible and intangible heritage values.. Workshop at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology on the participation of indigenous and minority groups in the conservation and interpretation of tangible and intangible heritage.. Roundtable at the Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts and the Vietnam Temple of Literature to interrogate the construction of the aesthetic in art museum discourse and its contemporary globalisation through biennales and triennials.. Digital Heritage workshop: innovative and creative use of technologies bringing together source communities and major museum collections at theDanang Museum and Cham Museum.. The significance of Object ID, national cultural heritage law and UNESCO Conventions in the minimization of illicit traffic in cultural property.. Understanding Vietnam's community stakeholder evaluation of the managementof Hoi An Social History, Folklife and Archaeological museums.. Evaluating cultural mapping methodologies in locating museums in integrated local area planning and sustainable development.. A range of short exercises giving the participants first hand exposure to understanding key issues for museums and heritage management.

The Field School is led by a faculty of national and international researchers and museum professionals with substantial track record ofapplied work in Vietnam. It is coordinated by Dr Amareswar Galla, Professorof Museum Studies, the University of Queensland, and Guest Curator ofInternational Projects, Vietnam National Department of Cultural Heritage,Ministry of Culture and Information.The Vietnamese faculty is led by Professor Nguyen Van Huy, Director, VietnamMuseum of Ethnology; Dr Dang Van Bai, Director General, Vietnam National Department of Cultural Heritage; and Mrs Nguyen Tuyet, Director of theVietnam National Museum of Women supported by the Vietnam Women's Union.

The Field School is available to University of Queensland students as an elective, and to graduate students from other higher education institutions and professionals from the museum, heritage and other relevant sectors, who can take the course as a Professional Development program subject to prior approval from the Course Coordinator and meeting the entry requirements.Please note that places are strictly limited.The full program and travel itinerary will be sent to the participants on acceptance of enrolment.Please note that there are several study tours to Vietnam and other Asian countries run by various universities. The Vietnam Museum Studies Field School at the University of Queensland is an academic and professional program which requires a considerable amount of field based learning mentored through leading edge faculty supervision and engagement from Museum Directors and other specialists. This is NOT a study tour.Participants pay for their own return airfares to Hanoi, travel insurance,plus a discounted land package fee in addition to normal tuition fees.Professional development program participants incur a separate fee.
This Field School is available through two study options(a) Professional Development Program through the Intensive (3-20 January2006) or(b) UQ graduate course for the full Summer Semester (27 November 2006 - 27January 2007) as ENGL3012 Research Topic A.

Application for the Professional Development Program:For details of application and enrolment procedures email:
Applications for the Professional Development Program will be accepted until Monday 4 December 2006 and should include:. Application Form. Current Curriculum Vitae. It should include details of graduate qualifications.. Supporting letter from a referee or employer.. Further documentation of educational qualifications may be required forthe admission to the Field School.
Deadline: 4 December 2006
Contact:Dr Kim Selling, Project Officer, Museum Studies
Phone: +61 7 3365 2590

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A couple of things for Bonfire Night...

From H-ArtHist:

Call for Papers
7th Annual Graduate Humanities Forum Conference
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
February 22-23, 2007
Deadline for proposals: December 15, 2006

Keynote Speaker: Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Professor of PerformanceStudies, New York University
Keynote address: "Old Histories, New Itineraries: Museum of the History ofPolish Jews"

The Graduate Humanities Forum, a graduate student-run division of the PennHumanities Forum, seeks papers for its interdisciplinary conference onthis year's theme, Travel. We encourage interdisciplinary approaches andwelcome proposals that consider any facet of this topic. In addition toformal papers, we encourage proposals for art displays, performances,panels, group discussions, short seminars, or workshops. Contributions from all fields in the humanities and sciences will be appreciated.Possible topics may include:TourismMuseums and sites of memoryPostmodern excursionsPostcolonial voyagesSociology/anthropology of travelArt and film on the roadMigration, emigration, exile, forced displacementGeographies of the novel, travel writing, literature and travelExperiences of travelersPilgrimages, crusades, grand tours, voyages of discoveryTraveling theoryEpic journeysTime/Space TravelMobility and language changeMetaphors, allegory, and translationGlobalization

The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2006. E-mail abstracts of nomore than 200 words to Joseph Benatov, Penn Humanities Research Assistant, Notification of acceptances will be emailedby January 5, 2007.


From H-Museum:

Symposium VIII on synthetic materials in art and design
Zollverein School of Management and Design, Zeche Zollverein, Essen
20-21 November 2006

Making the future todayPractical experience - for practical applicationsI
n a museum context, the preservation and maintenance of objects made fromsynthetic materials poses a particular challenge. This two-day symposiumwill address the manufacture and application of synthetics as key topicsalong with proper handling and conservation in private and publiccollections."The future is being made today"Taking this point of view, the symposium will address the topic of syntheticmaterials in an interdisciplinary fashion from a range of perspectives.In response to the ongoing boom in the use of synthetics since themid-1990s, the spotlight will be directed toward current trends in designand development. The emphasis is less on the past and more on the presentand future. Designers like Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec will talk about currentprojects, furnishing in-depth insights into the selection of materials andapplications. In addition, the plastics manufacturing industry asrepresented by BASF will demonstrate current research efforts and visions.The rapid development in the synthetics market opens up new perspectives toboth artists and conservators in the development of conservation strategiesand methods. In connection with the current exhibits at ENTRY 2006 organisedby the Ausstellungsgesellschaft Zeche Zollverein Essen (,case studies from the fields of conservation and newly developed syntheticproducts will be investigated and presented.The goal of the symposium is to form an interdisciplinary platform fordiscussion and cooperation facilitating professional-level exchange anddialogue. The programme is geared toward all those interested in syntheticmaterials in the fields of art and design.The definitive programme should be available by end-October. The symposium language is English. The participation fee of 135 euros - 75 euros forstudents - includes symposium materials and concluding documentation, aswell as 2x lunch and refreshments.Information requests & registration should be submitted no later than 13November 2006 to:Alexa Tepen, or tel.: +49 (0)7621 702 3153.

CFP: re:place 2007

From H-ArtHist:

re:place 2007
The Second International Conference on the Histories of Media, Art, Science and Technology
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
15 - 18 November 2007

Deadline for submissions: 15 January 2007.


re:place 2007, the Second International Conference on the Histories of Media, Art, Science and Technology, will take place in Berlin from15 - 18 November 2007 as a project of Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH in cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt. This conference is a sequel to 'Refresh!', the first in this series, chaired by Oliver Grau and produced by the Database of Virtual Art, Leonardo, and Banff New Media Institute, and held at the Banff Center in Canada in September 2005, which brought together several hundred artists, scientists, researchers, curators and theoreticians of different disciplines. re:place 2007 will be an international forum for the presentation and the discussion of exemplary approaches to the rapport between art, media, science and technology. With the title, 're:place', we propose a thematic focus on locatedness and the migration of knowledge and knowledge production in the interdisciplinary contexts of art, historiography, science and technology.The re:place 2007 conference will be devoted to examining the manifold connections between art, science and technology, connections which have come into view more sharply through the growing attentionto media art and its histories over the past years. It will address historical contexts and artistic explorations of new technologies as well as the historical and contemporary research into the mutual influences between artistic work, scientific research and technological developments. This research concerns such diverse fields as cybernetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, nano-technology, and bio-technology, as well as investigations in the humanities including art history, visual culture, musicology, comparative literature, media archaeology, media theory, science studies, and sociology.

Conference Programme
The conference programme will include competitively selected, peer-reviewed individual papers, panel presentations, poster sessions, as well as a small number of invited speakers. Several Keynote Lectures, by internationally renowned, outstanding theoreticians and artists, will deliberate on the central themes of the conference.The conference will also include dedicated forum sessions for participants to engage in more open-ended discussion and debate on relevant issues and questions.


re:place 2007 welcomes contributions from established as well as from emerging researchers in diverse fields. The conference will be of interest to those working in, but not limited to, the following areas: art history and theory, literary studies, cultural studies, film and media studies, theatre, dance and performance studies, philosophy, history, gender studies, human-computer interaction, contemporary art, musicology, sound studies, anthropology, sociology, geography, science, technology and society studies, history of science, and history of technology.We are especially keen on empirical, conceptual, and historical contributions that exemplify and expand the diverse methodological and thematic concerns of this extended interdisciplinary area. These might include contributions to:- institutional histories of centers, sites, or events that have helped to concretize and engender the intersections between media, art, science and technology. Some broad areas could be: experimental arts spaces, collaborative research labs, significant exhibitions, etc.- 'place studies' that highlight significant locations or situations where such interdisciplinary intersections or significant historical episodes have occurred. A few examples might be: 'Tesla in Budapest','Flusser in Brazil', USSR in the 1920s, 'Japan between 1950s-1970s,'etc.- historiographical issues, methods, and debates that pose critical questions in the formulation of the histories of the 'media arts'.These might include: archaeology, genealogy or variantology as methodological tools, bridging the divide between art and media history, sociologies of interactivity, etc.- theoretical frameworks from various philosophical and disciplinary positions. Topics might include the exemplary role of film studies or musicology for the study of media arts, or the significance ofcultural specificities and location in media and technologies, etc.- the migration of knowledges and practices from different contexts, whether disciplinary, institutional, geographical or cultural. Topics might include: the role of migrant artists in the development of new discourses and practices; the movement and adoption of disciplinary ideas from science into art contexts or vice versa, etc.

A dedicated website and online paper submission system will be ready for submissions from 1st December 2006. Abstracts of proposals, panel presentations and posters will have to be submitted in either Text,RTF, Word or PDF formats.The DEADLINE for submissions will be 15 January 2007.

INFORMATION about the submission process and general information can be found at:

replace 2007 is a project of Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH incooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Funded byHauptstadtkulturfonds, Berlin. Conference partners include Leonardo, Database of Virtual Art at Danube University Krems' Center for Image Science, Ludwig BoltzmannInstitute Media. Art.Research, Forum Goethe Institut, and others. Conference chairs: Andreas Broeckmann (D), Gunalan Nadarajan (SG/USA)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Asia House programme

Those of you interested in Asian art, who find yourselves in and around London in the near future might be interested in some of these events organised by Asia House. Students get a reduced rate (though several are limited to Asia House members only). I'd like to go to the Yan Kit So Memorial - the speaker, Fuchsia Dunlop, has written a collection of recipes from Mao Zedong's home province, Hunan, entitled 'The Revolutionary Cookbook', which has gone on my Christmas list! £35 is just too expensive though. Shame. :(

Asia House Programme

Booking is now open for our November Programme.

Japan From Prehistory to the Present
Gallery talk at the new Japanese Galleries at the British Museum led by Tim Clark.
The Japanese Collections at the British Museum are the most comprehensive in Europe, totalling over 30,000 objects.

Thursday 2nd November 6.30-7.30pm at the British Museum
Admission: £5 Asia House Members

Panel Discussion ­
Beyond the Page: Contemporary Art from Pakistan
Moderated by curator Hammad Nasar, this mixture of film, visuals and discussion explores how Pakistani artists have transformed traditional miniature painting into a contemporary art practice.
Saturday 4 November 10.30am-1pm at Asia House (Two Sessions- Session 1: 10.30 ­ 11.45; Session 2: 12.00 ­ 1.00)
Asia House Members and Concessions £4/ Non-members £7

Lecture: The Centhini Story
Lecture by Kesty Pringgoharjono
The Centhini Story is one of the oldest surviving manuscripts in Indonesia, encompassing art, music, divination, erotic knowledge, religious speculation and mysticism. The lecture will be followed by an Indonesian buffet.
Wednesday 8th November at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £4/ Non-members £7

Lecture - The Shan of Burma: Princes and Palaces
Lecture by Dr Susan Conway
Dr Susan Conway, research associate at the School for Oriental and African Studies, tells the fascinating story of the Shan States and its people which occupy a quarter of the country of Myanmar. Thursday 9th November at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

Lecture ­ Made for Maharajas: A Design Diary of Princely India
Lecture by Amin Jaffar
Amin Jaffar, curator in the Asian Department of the V&A, in his latest book explores the fascination among Indian royals for western luxury goods especially during the height of the British Raj.
Monday 13th November at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

Collecting Workshop: Celadon
Led by Phillip Allen
The first in two events kindly sponsored by Mr. Giuseppe Eskenazi (one of London's leading Oriental art dealers) this meeting is devoted to celadon ceramics. Members of Asia House and the Oriental Ceramic Society have the option to bring any celadon ceramics they wish to discuss.
Tuesday 14 November at Asia House, Workshop 3.30-5.00pm
Free to Asia House members (booking required)

Lecture ­ Oh Tae Suk, Shakespeare and Popular Theatre
Lecture by John Russell Brown
John Russell Brown, author of New Sites for Shakespeare: theatre, the audience and Asia, examines the essential elements in Oh Tae Suk's work, with particular reference to his Romeo and Juliet brought here by Asia House, playing at the Pit, Barbican Centre from 23 November ­ 9 December.
Wednesday 15th November at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

Yan Kit So Memorial: Hunan Food
Lecture by Fuchsia Dunlop followed by canapé reception
Fuchsia Dunlop will deliver this year¹s lecture and will be discussing Hunan Food. She is one of the few Europeans to have trained in China as a chef and was encouraged and inspired by Yan Kit So. This year's lecture will also launch the Yan Kit So Memorial Bursary for Food Writers On Asia, made possible thanks to generous donations.
Thursday 16th November at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
All Tickets £35

Panel Discussion ­
Through the Looking Glass: Korean Contemporary Art
Moderated by Jiyoon Lee
Asia House presents a half-day panel discussion with the recently opened Asia House exhibition Through the Looking Glass: Korean Contemporary Art as its starting point.
Saturday 25th November at Asia House, 10.30am ­ 1pm
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

Lecture ­
Chinese Sculpture
Lecture by Ann Paludin
Ann Paludin, Honorary Fellow of Durham University, has spent 30 years researching Chinese sculpture in her field. In this lecture she will discuss the extent to which sculpture in China has been adapted to serve the political, practical and spiritual needs of its rulers through two thousand years.
Monday 27th November at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

Lecture ­
The Bloodless Revolution: Radical Vegetarians and the Discovery of India
Lecture by Tristram Stuart
In a lecture based on his first book of the same title, Tristram Stuart will discuss the results of an enduring cultural exchange between East and West and those who dissented from the entrenched custom of meat-eating and sough to overthrow a rapacious consumer society. Tuesday 28th November at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm, Lecture 6.45-7.45
Asia House members and concessions £ 4, Non-members £ 7

Game Evening ­
The Art of Shogi
Lecture, workshop and match led by Shoji Segawa followed by reception
Recently Shogi, or 'Japanese Chess' has been enjoying a quiet boom internationally. Shoji Segawa (professional Shogi player) will lead the event with an introductory talk followed by a demonstration and match. A sake and sushi reception will be sponsored by Toshiba of Europe Ltd.
Wednesday 29th November at Asia House, Doors 6.30pm
All tickets £5

Next Exhibition at Asia House Gallery
Through the Looking Glass: Korean Contemporary Art
Features work by emerging and established contemporary artists from Korea in an exhibition that will weave through the Asia House building. The exhibition encompasses video, installation, sculpture, photography and painting.
Thursday 23 November ­ - Saturday 3 March 2007. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm.
Admission £2. Asia House members and under 18s free.

Full details are available on our website:

Why not become an Asia House Member? This winter our benefits include 15% discount at Kaya Korean Restaurant, a 20% discount on annual subscriptions to Steppe Magazine as well as a 20% discount on tickets for Romeo and Juliet by Oh Tae-Suk at the Pit, Barbican Centre. Members also enjoy discounted ticket prices and priority booking on all events, permanent free entry to our gallery and a 15% discount in Café T at Asia House, open Monday ­ Saturday 10am-5pm.For all ticket and membership enquiries, please contact:

Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP
Tel: 020 730754554

CFP: Media and Imperialism

From H-Museum:

Amsterdam, July 18-21, 2007

Organised by the University of Amsterdam, dept. Media Studies in close cooperation with the International Association for Media and History and Utrecht University Media and Imperialism.
Press, Photography, Film, Radio and Television in the Era of Modern Imperialism

We are entering a whole new era where the circulation of images is concerned, due to the large-scale digitisation of archives and collections, which has revolutionised existing practices of preservation, retrieval and distribution. We signal therefore an urgent need to rethink the relationship between media and modern imperialism, particularly in light of the complex process of globalisation. These developments invoke critical discussions between various disciplines, such as media studies, ethnology and history.

The conference will focus on the politics of representation and media practices, from the emergence of mass media and modern imperialism in the mid-nineteenth century, to the successive episodes of decolonisation, as well as on more current issues surrounding heritage and ownership of media collections. The conference welcomes papers from disciplines such as history, anthropology, media studies, history of art, visual culture studies, social and political science, literary and cultural studies. The organisers welcome participation from all over the world.

Key issues
The conference sessions will be grouped together under four overarching
1. Exhibiting Imperialism
Images and media artefacts (re)presenting imperialism provide the centre of attention for media archivists all over the world, who are trying to make this rich visual heritage available for contemporary media use (e.g.
documentaries, fiction films,
Internet...) and to preserve it for future generations. The conference organisers welcome papers exploring the aesthetical and ethical questions this development poses, by scholars as well as archivists.
2. Imagined Empires and Mediated Colonies Media has played a crucial role in the construction of imagined communities and identities, and as an instrument for political power and cultural radiance within imperial and colonized societies. This theme would include the circulation and appropriation of diverse media technologies, and the impact this has had on the production, diffusion and reception of media contents.
3. Reversing the Lens
Representations of imperialism and colonialism have often been shaped by power relations. Although media ownership, regulation and literacy clearly reflect political, social and cultural inequalities, the use and 'readings'
of these media by its audiences often escape the control mechanisms of imperial rule due to processes of interaction, appropriation and negotiation. The conference committee welcomes papers that look at alternative and oppositional patterns in media culture, particularly coming from non-dominant groups and underprivileged individuals.
4. Imperial imaginary and the contemporary gaze Following recent strands in cultural theory, media studies, historiography and the social sciences, it seems researchers and media producers are urged to become more self-reflexive and critical of their own approaches towards media representations produced in imperial contexts. They are invited to consider the question: whose story is really being told? We would welcome papers reflecting on the methodological and ethical problems posed by historical narratives on colonialism and imperialism in the media, ranging from documentaries, fiction films and television histories, to schoolbooks and exhibitions.

Visit the conference website :
Paper proposals (200 words + short cv) are to be submitted before December 1st, 2006 to:


IAMHIST XXII: Media and Imperialism
University of Amsterdam
Department of Media Studies
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

CFP: Constructions of Conflict

From H-Museum:

Call for papers

Swansea University September 10 - 12, 2007

An interdisciplinary conference hosted by MEICAM, the Modern European Ideologies, Conflict and Memory Research Group.

Keynote speakers will include:

Dr John Foot (University College London)
Prof. Mary Fulbrook (University College London)

The recent war in Iraq has produced a heightened awareness of how memories of conflict, such as the rescue of Jessica Lynch, are mediated and represented in the public domain. This inter-disciplinary conference seeks to investigate the ways in which memories of social, political and military conflicts have been transmitted within 20th and 21st century European culture. Which roles are played by those who mediate the memory of conflict (first-hand witnesses, historians, jour-nalists, writers, filmmakers, bloggers)? What kinds of interactions and tensions are visible between public and private discourses of memory? In what ways are memories of conflict (or their absence) shaped by the political, economic and social parameters of the present? To which ends are such narratives of the past deployed?

Papers are sought from the areas of history, literature, cultural studies, translation studies, film/media studies, soci-ology, politics, geography, law, psychology and philosophy on the transmission of the memory of conflict in a European context. These could include World Wars I and II, the Spanish Civil War, the Cold War, protest movements (1968, Greenham Common, G8 at Genoa), the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London, as well as colonial engagements such as the Algerian War of Indepen-dence. Papers exploring European perspectives on global conflicts are also welcome.

Aspects that papers at this conference might address:

. History versus memory; archival versus oral history
. The 'ownership' of memories of conflict
. Bearing witness: first-hand memories of conflict
. Witness testimony: issues of authenticity, reliability and veracity
. Memory, history and revisionism
. Memorials, museums and landscapes of memory
. 'Memory contests' between differing representations of conflicts
. Public debates on/public perceptions of memories of conflict
. The use of 'memory objects' (photographs, letters) in representations of conflict
. The shifting roles of different mediators of the past (historians, journalists, writers, internet bloggers etc.)
. The role of historians/journalists in war-crimes trials
. The role of discourses of memory in shaping perceptions of perpetrators and victims
. The ethics of history and memory
. The mediation of the memory of conflict in educational contexts
. The incorporation of historical material in literature and film
. The use of literary/filmic techniques in historical accounts
. The memory of conflict in the crime novel or other literary genres
. How mediators of the past deal with the memory of trauma or repressed memories of conflict

Abstracts for individual papers or full sessions (300 words) should be sent to the organisers, Dr. Jonathan Dunnage, Dr. Jane Dunnett, Dr. Kathryn Jones and Dr. Katharina Hall ( ) by January 19, 2007. Papers will be given in English, and we intend to publish selected contributions.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Workshop: Small Cases, Big Ideas: Planning Exhibitions

The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) presents:
Philadelphia, PA - December 5, 2006
Cosponsored by:Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Held at:Historic Landmark Building, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

About the Workshop
Exhibitions are integral to the mission of museums, historic houses,historical societies, and to archives and libraries as these institutions strive to showcase their collections. Quality exhibits reflect the good stewardship activities that take place behind the scenes in cultural institutions and allow organizations to interpret their collections to the public.While exhibitions are essential in assisting institutions in fulfilling their missions, they can also be time consuming, expensive, and potentially damaging to artifacts. This workshop is designed to assist institutions incoordinating the many activities that are part of planning small to medium sized exhibitions.Local exhibit designers, curators, and conservators will discuss exhibit development, the process of working with a designer, and preservation considerations when mounting exhibitions. Concepts will be illustrated through case studies that range from small case exhibits to art installations and historic interiors.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Historic Landmark Building
118 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

8:45 AM - 9:15 AM Registration and Coffee
9:15 AM - 4:30 PM Workshop

Karie Diethorn, Chief Curator, Independence National Historical Park
Alice Dommert, Principal, Dommert Philips
Jim Hinz, Book Conservator, CCAHA
SallyMalenka, Objects Conservator, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Lynn Marsden-Atass, Senior Curator, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Brian Murray, ChiefPreparator, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Keith Ragone, Keith Ragone Studio
Jeffey Ray, Senior Curator, Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia

Brochure & Registration
Workshop brochure and registration form can be accessed at:<> (download may take a few moments)

Please Note:If you have special needs, please contact CCAHA three weeks prior to the workshop date so that accommodations can be made.

This workshop is partially subsidized through funding from the NationalEndowment for the Humanities and the William Penn Foundation, The ClaneilFoundation, and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation. For information about CCAHA, its programs and services, please visit our website at or contact CCAHA's Preservation Services Office at 215.545.0613 or

CFP: This is the Pleasant Land - Heritage and the Environment

From H-Museum:

Call for Papers
This is the Pleasant Land
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK
June 20th to June 22nd 2007, with optional excursions on June 23rd

A Conference on 'Heritage and the Environment' jointly organised by SabhalMòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye and Heritage Futures, Glasgow Caledonian University

Landscape and the environment are critical concepts and realities of contemporary culture and politics. To be better understood requires scrutiny of 'the past' incorporating multiple sources of evidence and deepening insights. What are these insights and how will they inform perceptions, decisions and actions of the present and the future? Taking as inspiration the rich and unique resource of Gaelic culture to develop innovative and challenging discourses, this conference will be held in the Isle of Skye, a setting that will provide inspiration and direction for the discussions. Gaelic culture is uniquely placed to deepen our understanding by offering important insights and fresh perspectives drawing on an enormously expanded body of evidence. Importantly this will allow the role of people to be highlighted and will locate them within their landscape. The reconsideration and re-examination of Gaelic sources offers a distinctive view of Scottish history which will seek to move away from traditional assumptions and challenge current popular perceptions of Gaelic culture.This conference will examine the role of the environment and give fresh insights into the relationship of people and the environment. Both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary conversations will occur across traditional subject areas and in a variety of contexts. Underlying these ideas will be the consideration of how Gaelic culture, both tangible and intangible, will add significantly to larger discourses of landscape and the environment. In a departure from conventional approaches we are keen to explore these issues from the widest possible perspective acknowledging both the particular and the universal.

Call for Papers
Papers are now invited for presentation at the conference. A number of themes are offered to help direct initial thoughts, and international keynote speakers will be invited to introduce some of the key themes and to stimulate discussion. These include (but are not limited to):
* people and livelihood;
* ownership and occupation;
* symbolism and tradition;
* language, literature and song;
* settlement and migration;
* trade;
* home and leisure;
* memory, representation and interpretation.

Papers are welcomed from a wide variety of disciplines from all areas of thearts, humanities and sciences and are encouraged in both Gaelic and English. An abstract of 500 words with contact details, should be submitted by 30 November 2006 to Fiona McLean, Heritage Futures, Glasgow CaledonianUniversity, Buchanan House, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, Scotland, UK. Or by e-mail attachment to <>

Authors will be notified if their papers have been successful by 15 December2006. A preliminary programme will be available on the conference web site from 20 February 2007, with the final programme available on 1 May 2007. It is intended that the proceedings from the conference will be published online, and the best papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of the 'International Journal of Heritage Studies'.

The conference will be held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in the Isle of Skye, Scotland from 20th to 22nd June, 2007. On the 21st June, an excursion has been organised to the Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore, where a number of the themes raised at the conference will be addressed, particularly representation and interpretation. There will also be an opportunity on 23rd June to visit some of the sites which will be under discussion, including the Isles of Canna and Raasay, the Knoydart peninsula, and locations within the Isle of Skye.

For further details about the conference please contact either Fiona McLean( ), Mary-Cate Garden ( ), or Hugh Cheape( <> ). For details about the venue and accommodation and to register for the conference please go to the conference web site at:

* Taken from 'Moladh Beinn Dòbhrain' by Duncan Ban Macintyre c1765