A central but challenging question for art history is the relationship between objects and their audiences. This issue, like most of the questions faced by the discipline, is usually addressed in terms of individual media. Yet how might the study of the historical interpretation of objects complicate current academic divisions by media? Recent scholarship testifies to the breadth of British artistic production, yet histories that focus on different media do not always speak to one another. While a specialist understanding of specific media may be essential to a thorough study of the process and experience of making, a broader, more inclusive approach may be more appropriate to a study of the ways in which contemporaries engaged with objects. This panel seeks papers focusing on British art of any period, including colonial contexts, that address the question of reception and cut across current scholarly divisions, especially between the “fine” and “decorative” arts.
Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a C.V., to the session co-chairs: Imogen Hart, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Yale Center for British Art, firstname.lastname@example.org and Catherine Roach, Postdoctoral Associate, Department of the History of Art, Cornell University, email@example.com
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