Power, Patronage and Production: Book Arts from Central Europe (ca. 800–1500) in American Collections

February 01, 2021

On January 13–15, 2022, the Index of Medieval Art (Princeton University), the Pierpont Morgan Library & Museum (New York), and the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University will host a conference to accompany the exhibition, “Imperial Splendor: The Art of the Book in the Holy Roman Empire, 800–1500,” presented at the Morgan Library from October 15, 2021 to January 23, 2022. The conference will include two days of papers as well as a study day at the Morgan Library. For each paper, 30 minutes of speaking time, followed by 15 minutes of discussion, will be allotted. In addition to a viewing of the exhibition, the study day will include an opportunity to view other, unexhibited materials in the Morgan’s collections.

Despite its scope, the exhibition cannot comprehend all the relevant material in American collections. Nor can the accompanying book treat all the exhibited items in depth. With this in mind, we solicit proposals for papers. Pending the usual peer-review process, the contributions will be published.

Paper proposals, no more than one page in length, should fall into one of the following categories or address one of the following topics:

– in-depth monographic discussion of a single manuscript in an American collection, whether or not it is included in the exhibition. Please contact Joshua O'Driscoll ([email protected]) for a list of objects that will be discussed in the book accompanying the exhibition (many but not all of which will be exhibited) and a list of all relevant materials in the Morgan Library’s collections. More information on many of these manuscripts, also those in other American collections, can be found at Digital Scriptorium: https://digital-scriptorium.org/.

– thematic treatment of one of a number of broader issues relevant to the exhibition’s concerns; these include but are by no means limited to the following:

Art & the politics of empire
Art & reform/Reformation
Borders of empire
Cosmopolitan contacts and exchanges
Geographic foci (e.g., Helmarshausen, Prague, Salzburg, Weingarten)
Humanism in Central Europe
Imperial patronage
Monastic networks
Manuscript illumination and the other arts
Paper, parchment & pen-drawing/production techniques
Patrician patronage in imperial cities
Panel painting
Reception/collecting of German medieval art in the United States
Urbanism & the art of the book
Visualization & the vernacular

Proposals should be submitted to Prof. Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Harvard University ([email protected]) by February 1, 2021. A response indicating whether or not any given proposal has been accepted will be forthcoming by April 1, 2021. Finalized abstracts, which will be circulated to all participants, would then be due by August 1, 2021. The organizers will do their best to accommodate all relevant proposals within the confines of the program, the scope and format of which will be determined by the funding available and the current public health situation. In the event that an in-person meeting is feasible, speakers' costs for travel and accommodation in Princeton and New York will be covered. Colleagues submitting proposals are asked to indicate their interest in presenting a paper by video call, should travel not be possible.