CFP: Collecting Latin America: Actors, Networks, and Approaches in the 20th century (Leiden University, 28-29 Jun 2022)

Museums across Europe and the United States hold innumerable Latin American objects in their collections. A small percentage of these were collected in the Early Modern Era, most, however, were brought together in the 19th and 20th-century. While the trade and collecting of these items in the 19th-century is relatively well-studied and documented, studies of the 20th century market for these pieces is much less-well understood.

Deadline: 18 May 2022

Still, the 20th century is the moment in which the largest number of pieces reaches museums outside of Latin America. This is especially true for pre-Colonial (archaeological) material, the large-scale market for which took off in the early 20th century and exploded in the 1950s-70s. While some recent scholarship has focused on this market for pre- Colonial objects, research on the networks involved in this phase of the trade is still in its beginning stages.

This seminar seeks to bring together researchers and curators interested in the history of collecting ethnographic and archaeological material from Latin America in the 20th century. We are inviting papers that consider the role of individual dealers, academics, and curators involved in this trade, the networks that brought pieces from Latin America to Europe and the United States, as well as different methodological approaches to the study of provenance, networks, and object biographies. Digital tools that facilitate the analysis of large provenance datasets are of special interest, also if they are not related to Latin American material.

In principle, papers will be presented in-person in Leiden. Presenters interested only in presenting online should make this explicit in their applications. A limited number of online papers will be accepted, which will be grouped in a session on June 29. Deadline for submissions is May 18, 2022. Applicants will be notified about the acceptance of their paper within a week of submission. Abstracts should be sent to Martin Berger at