Provenance Research as a Method of Connoisseurship?
Call for Papers, CAA 2018
Christian Huemer (Getty Research Institute, CHuemer@getty.edu),
Valérie Kobi (Universität Bielefeld, firstname.lastname@example.org),
Valentina Locatelli (Kunstmuseum Bern, email@example.com)
This session will explore the intersections between provenance research and connoisseurship with regard to the early modern period. In order to go beyond today’s dominant understanding of provenance research as a practice exclusively related to Nazi-looted art and questions of restitutions, the panel will deliberately focus on topics from the late fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. By setting this alternative chronological limit, we will delve into the historical role of provenance research, its tools and significations, and its relation to connoisseurship and collecting practices. What influence did the biography of an artwork exert on the opinion of some of the greatest connoisseurs of the past? How did the documented (or suspected) provenance of a work of art impact its attribution and authentication process? Which strategies were employed in the mentioning of provenance information in sale catalogues or, sometimes, directly on the artworks themselves? Did the development of art historical knowledge change the practice of provenance research over time? And finally, how can we call attention to these questions in contemporary museum practice and reassess provenance research as a tool of connoisseurship? In addition to addressing the history as well as the strategies of provenance research, this session will be an opportunity to question its relationship to other domains as well as to bring it closer to core problems of art history and museology. We invite contributions that introduce new historical and methodological approaches. Proposals which go beyond the case study are especially encouraged.
For submission guidelines:
Paper proposals are due August 14. Please email your proposal to both chairs.