CFP: China and the West: Reconsidering Chinese Reverse Glass Painting International Workshop (Romont, 14-16 Feb 20)

Vitromusée Romont, Au Château, CH-1680 Romont, Switzerland, February 14 – 16, 2020

Deadline: Sep 15, 2019
Notification of acceptance: October 15, 2019

Organizational committee
Francine Giese (Director of the Vitromusée & Vitrocentre Romont)
Hans Bjarne Thomsen (Professor of East Asian Art History, University of Zurich)
Elisa Ambrosio (Curator of the Vitromusée Romont and scientific collaborator of the Vitrocentre Romont)

The Vitrocentre and Vitromusée Romont are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for an international conference on Chinese reverse glass painting and related research fields including other media to be held at the museum in Romont, Switzerland on February 14–16, 2020.
The workshop is jointly organized by the Vitrocentre and Vitromusée Romont and the Section of East Asian Art History (KGOA) at the University of Zurich. It will be held in conjunction with an important exhibition of Chinese reverse glass paintings, held at the museum from June 16, 2019 to March 1, 2020.

Devoted entirely to the glass arts, the Vitromusée Romont houses, manages and showcases important collections that bring together stained-glass windows, reverse glass painting, objects in glass, and graphic works, as well as tools and materials related to the glass arts. The Vitrocentre, its scientific partner, has core tasks primarily in researching the art history of glass arts. For the first time in Switzerland and at international scale, the Vitromusée presents a major survey dedicated to Chinese reverse glass painting, tracing its long history, little known to date. The exhibition gathers examples of the genre from two major collections, from Germany and France, as well as the Vitromusée’s own collection, and features both reverse glass paintings made for export to Europe and for local consumption within China.

The purposes of the workshop are to:
– open a cross-cultural dialogue between scholars of Asian art and to offer a platform for the presentation and discussion of recent research on Chinese reverse glass paintings and popular culture;
– revise historical approaches that have been prevalent in the study and research of Chinese reverse glass paintings and related fields;
– elaborate on the existing theories and methodology on the topic;
– form new research approaches and methods by young, emerging scholars.

Workshop participation:
Scholars and curators of Asian art from Europe and beyond are invited to submit their proposals for contributions on Chinese reverse glass paintings. Presenters can be either established scholars (working at museums, universities or independent scholars) or junior scholars (holding an MA or PhD degree).

Possible topics for the workshop presentations on Chinese reverse glass paintings include:
– Chinese reverse glass paintings as points of knowledge transfer between East and West
– Chinese reverse glass paintings in the context of cultural appropriation
– The question of export vs. local consumption of Chinese reverse glass paintings
– Chinese reverse glass paintings as popular and/or elite art
– Technical aspects, types of glass and painting techniques in Chinese reverse glass paintings
– Types of frames in Chinese reverse glass paintings and their meanings
– Connections of Chinese reverse glass paintings to Chinese popular prints
– Connections of Chinese reverse glass paintings to porcelain (Compagnie des Indes orientales, etc.)
– The question of 3D aesthetics in Chinese reverse glass paintings
– Various themes and motives represented in the Chinese reverse glass paintings
– Gaps in understanding of Chinese reverse glass paintings in the East and in the West
– Reception of Chinese reverse glass paintings in the West
– Other East Asian traditions of reverse glass paintings
– Collection histories of the Chinese reverse glass paintings in the West

The languages of the workshop are English, French and German. Presentations are to last twenty minutes, followed by a ten-minute discussion period.

The presentations and the viewing of the exhibition will take place on the first two days of the symposium (Feb 14-15, 2020). The final day (Feb 16, 2020) is an optional day with tours of local historical sites.

Please send a presentation title, a paper proposal (max. 250 words) and a CV to Elisa Ambrosio ( by September 15, 2019.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by October 15, 2019.
The workshop will cover the costs of accommodation and food during the workshop. Participants are expected to pay for their own transportation.

Further information
For more information on the exhibition, visit:

In case you have any questions, please contact:
Elisa Ambrosio
Telephone: +41 (0)26 652 18 34