CFP: Artists and their Collections, 1300-1700 – Session at RSA (Philadelphia, 2-4 Apr 20)

Recent publications and exhibitions [Painters’ Paintings, The National Gallery, London; Magnificent Obsessions, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich / The Barbican Centre, London] have explored artists’ motivations for forming collections, demonstrating that assembling works of art is inextricably linked to producing them. Less concerned with the use of objects as markers of social status, artists collected, displayed, and used objects with more attention to the creative process than their wealthy or noble contemporaries. In some cases, artists even pioneered the collecting of particular works of art.

A concentration on famous artists’ and architects’ collecting habits is noticeable, perhaps even unavoidable. Dependence on the chance survival of archival documents, such as inventories or letters, further limits the scope of inquiry. Recent case studies on Lorenzo Ghiberti, Andrea Bregno, Filippino Lippi, Gerard David, Pieter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Thomas Lawrence or Angelika Kaufmann have made strong cases for a closer study of the ways in which collections can inform works of art.

This panel invites contributions for papers that present new case studies or provide novel approaches to the study of the ways in which owned objects inspired works of art. Applicants are encouraged to consider source material in all media, including workshop utensils, uninhibited by geographical boundaries. Papers drawing from unpublished archival material, presenting lesser-known artists, or considering a cross-cultural perspective are particularly welcome.
Please send your application before 5 August 2019 to panel organizers Alessio Assonitis ( and Alexander Röstel (

– Paper title and abstract (max. 300 words)
– CV (max. 200 words), including your academic status and affiliation