CONF: Collections, Displays & the Agency of Objects (Cambridge, 20-23 Sep 17)

University of Cambridge
Keynes Library
20. – 23.09.2017

Collections, Displays & the Agency of Objects

The Cambridge Union Society

Conference organized as part of the BMBF project Parerga and Paratexts – How Things Enter Language. Practices and Forms of Presentation in Goethe’s Collections in collaboration with the Department of Art History in Cambridge


September 20, 2017

Moderator: Caroline van Eck (University of Cambridge)

6 pm Welcome & Introduction

6:30 pm Opening Lecture:
Ivan Gaskell (Bard Graduate Center)
Display Displayed

September 21, 2017

Moderator: Johannes Grave (Universität Bielefeld)

9-9:45 am
Ruth Bielfeldt (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Do Things Talk? On the Practice of Epigraphein in Greek Sanctuaries

9:45-10:30 am
Elsje van Kessel (University of St Andrews)
The Street as Frame

10:30-10:45am Coffee Break

10:45-11:30 am
Peter Schade (National Gallery, London)
The Framing of Sebastiano del Piombo’s The Raising of Lazarus

11:30 am-12:15 pm
Hannah Williams (Queen Mary University of London)
Staging Belief: Immersive Encounters and the Agency of Religious Art in 18th-Century Paris

2-4pm Encounters with Objects

Moderator: Wolfgang Holler (Klassik Stiftung Weimar)

4:15-5 pm
Eelco Nagelsmit (ETH Zürich)
Interiority on Display: Models of Holy Sites in Halle Pietism

5-5:45 pm
Thomas Schmuck (Klassik Stiftung Weimar)
Vestiges of Earth History. Objects and Order in Goethe’s Geological Collections

5:45-6:30 pm
Diana Stört (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
Goethe’s Cabinets as Epistemic Furniture

September 22, 2017

Moderator: Cindy Kang (The Barnes Collection)

9-9:45 am
Mechthild Fend (University College London)
Order and Affect. The Museum of Dermatological Wax Moulages at the Hôpital Saint Louis in Paris

9:45-10:30 am
Juliet Carey (Waddesdon Manor, The Rothschild Collection)
Staging Things: Framing the Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor

10:30-11am Coffee Break

11-11:45 am
Dario Gamboni (Université de Genève)
Ready-made Eye-opener: Models, Functions and Meanings of the Ironwork in Albert C. Barnes’s Displays

2-4pm Encounters with Objects

Moderator: Valérie Kobi (Universität Bielefeld)

4:15-5 pm
Noémie Étienne (Universität Bern)
Unfolding the Specimen. Display and Diorama in New York, 1900

5-5:45 pm
Angela Matyssek (Philipps-Universität Marburg)
Death by/Life by Wall Label

Final Discussion & Conclusions


Conference venue:

Keynes Library
The Cambridge Union Society
9a Bridge Street

Contact, Information & Registration

Conference organized by :

Universität Bielefeld
University of Cambridge
Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Reference: CONF: Collections, Displays & the Agency of Objects (Cambridge, 20-23 Sep 17). In:, Sep 19, 2017. <>.