Seen on Classicists (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):
DESTROY THE COPY! A WORKSHOP ON THE FATE OF PLASTER CAST COLLECTIONSSeptember 24-25, 2010
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA organized by Annetta Alexandridis, Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornel University and Lorenz Winkler-Horaček, Institut für Klassische Archäologie, Freie Universität Berlin and Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik, Berlin The histories of university classics collections in Europe and the United States demonstrate art, science, academia and politics were—and still are—closely intertwined, both on a global level and on more specific national, local, and disciplinary levels. Plaster cast collections of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and architecture usually formed a core part of royal, museum, and finally university collections. Their heyday is marked by the nineteenth century when the cast collections—by now including other periods— constituted universal museums in Europe and in the United States. However, the nineteenth century marks also the beginning of a decline in the reputation of plaster casts that eventually ended in entire collections being dispersed and discarded, if not actively demolished. Our workshop aims to inquire the reasons for these destructive acts, which happened at different places in different moments. While it often seems that classicists or art historians themselves were in the end responsible for the destruction of cast collections, we want to place their decisions within broader political, economic, aesthetic orscholarly discourses. This approach from the opposite and often denied side of the reception of Classical antiquity and European art will provide further insight into the history of disciplines such as Classics and History of Art. We are looking for papers that address the question within and against European and U.S. American political, artistic and intellectual movements such as the enlightenment, neoclassicism, romanticism, nationalism, positivism, fascism, communism, capitalism etc.
Keynote speakers for the conference are Lorenz Winkler-Horaček (Institute of Classical Archaeology, Free University Berlin and curator of the Berlin Cast Collection of Ancient Sculpture); Marcello Barbanera (Department of History of Art, La Sapienza, Rome) and Stephen Dyson(Department of Classics, SUNY Buffalo). A publication of the papers is planned. Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent via email by July 31st to Annetta Alexandridis, Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University,
aa376 AT cornell.edu