CFP: Artist and Networks – Friends, Collaborators, Contract Owners (Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the National Gallery in Prague, 30-31 May 2024)

Only in rare cases has the artist been a complete loner, more often we find him in the middle of a more or less complex network of social relationships. Because of his profession and livelihood, he had to communicate with contract owners, patrons, or superiors, and in his personal life he somehow figured in society – among friends, relatives, competitors, and collaborators.

An individual’s network of social relations is best reconstructed on the basis of information coming from ego documents, diaries, or the correspondence of the person concerned. In the absence of such sources, it is possible to work relatively successfully with data from, for example, registry records – for important life events, such as weddings or baptisms of children, because people often invited their closest relatives to participate in the ceremonies or to be witnesses for them on these festive occasions. In this regard, repeated participation in the life events of friends and loved ones has a significant informative value.

The cultural-historical topic of the conference offers the opportunity to focus on the artist not only as a creative personality, but also as a member of an urban or rural community as well as professionally organized or interest groups (guilds, associations, societies, religious fraternities, etc.). It is also possible to focus on the form of a clientele network and mutual relations and links between artists and other persons or institutions. The contribution may concentrate on contacts with Czech and foreign personalities, the exchange of opinions and knowledge, the mechanism of awarding contracts and other aspects within the framework of the formation of an individual’s social networks, in a broadly conceived time frame – from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The topic is open not only to art historians, but also to archivists, historians and other related fields, the only condition is to base the contribution on the testimony of archival sources.

We hereby invite those interested in active participation to send a contribution proposal in the form of an abstract of a maximum of 300 characters and a brief biographical profile. The expected duration of the presentation is 20 minutes, the publication of contributions is anticipated. The working languages will be Czech and English.

deadline for registration and submission of abstract and brief biographical profile: 31 March 2024
conference dates: 30–31 May 2024
submission of contribution for publication: by the end of 2024

Please send abstracts of contributions with brief biographical profiles to the following addresses:

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