Elemental Forces | Newberry

Elemental Forces

Engraving of “Chaos” by Bernard Picart, in The Temple of the Muses, or, The Principal Histories of Fabulous Antiquity. Amsterdam, 1733 (Wing oversize B 974 .867)

Friday, May 7, 2021Saturday, May 8, 2021

Friday, 10am-2 pm; Saturday, 10am-3pm

Online

Center for Renaissance Studies Programs

This international symposium explores questions of early modern matter by focusing on the four elements (earth, air, water, and fire) and their properties, combinations, and transformations. For early modern people, how were the elements at work—not only in the subject matter of artworks, manuscripts, and books, but also in their material existence, their fabrication and their ongoing existence, and, indeed, their makers and viewers?

This program is co-organized by Thalia Allington-Wood (Oxford Brookes University), Sophie Morris (Victoria and Albert Museum), Claudia Swan (Washington University), and Rebecca Zorach (Northwestern University). The symposium is co-sponsored by Northwestern University, the Mary Jane Crowe Fund for Art History, and the Myers Foundations.

Speaker Bios

Abstracts

Speakers:

Keynote Speaker
Christine Göttler, University of Bern

Panelists
Thalia Allington-Wood, Oxford Brookes University
Monica Azzolini, University of Bologna
Alicia Caticha, Northwestern University
James Clifton, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Lowell Duckert, University of Delaware
Leslie Geddes, Tulane University
Ingrid Greenfield, Villa I Tatti, Harvard University
Christopher Heuer, University of Rochester
Janna Israel, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Maria Loh, CUNY Hunter College
Sophie Morris, Victoria & Albert Museum
Bronwen Wilson, UCLA

Graduate Student Presenters
Benjamin Weil, Northwestern University
Stephanie Lee, Northwestern University
Arianna Ray, Northwestern University
John Sullivan, Northwestern University

Schedule

Recordings of all sessions below are available here.

Friday, May 7

10-11 am Keynote Address
Introductions: Rebecca Zorach, Northwestern University and Lia Markey, Newberry Library

Fire, Sulfur, and Salt: Elemental Transformation in Depictions of the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
Christine Göttler, University of Bern

Respondent: Claudia Swan, Washington University in St. Louis

11:30-12:30 Session 1: Risk
Moderator: Lia Markey, Newberry Library

Seismic Encounters
Thalia Allington-Wood, Oxford Brookes University

Slip
Lowell Duckert, University of Delaware

Swimming (and Drowning) in Print
Leslie Geddes, Tulane University

1-2 pm Session 2: Collection Presentation of Newberry Materials
Moderator: Suzanne Karr Schmidt, Newberry Library

Benjamin Weil, Northwestern University
Stephanie Lee, Northwestern University
Arianna Ray, Northwestern University
John Sullivan, Northwestern University

Saturday, May 8

10-11 am Session 3: Depth
Moderator: Lydia Barnett, Northwestern University

Below the Surface, Unseen: Astrology and Meteorology in Ulisse Aldrovandi’s Stone and Mineral Collection
Monica Azzolini, University of Bologna

“The Repository of all Treasures”: The Art of Early Modern Extraction
Janna Israel, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Dürer, Abstract Geologist
Christopher Heuer, University of Rochester

11:30-12:30 pm Session 4: Shape
Moderator: Olivia Dill, Northwestern University

Diderot and the (Atomic?) Matter of Sculpture
Alicia Caticha, Northwestern University

Anthills as Idolatrous Architecture in West African Contact Zones
Ingrid Greenfield, Villa I Tatti, Harvard University

The Shape of Water
Sophie Morris, Victoria & Albert Museum

1-2 pm Session 5: Generation
Moderator: Christopher Nygren, University of Pittsburgh

Inanis et vacua: Chaos, Creation, and the Limits of Representation
James Clifton, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Quarries and In-between Spaces in Some Fifteenth-Century Florentine Paintings
Bronwen Wilson, UCLA

Rainbow Power
Maria Loh, CUNY Hunter College

2-3 pm Session 6: Closing Remarks

Rebecca Zorach, Northwestern University

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration for this event has closed.