CFP: A Beautiful Role: Architecture and the Display of Art

Recent installation of Edwardian art at the Tate Gallery

Recent installation of Edwardian art at the Tate Gallery

Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following CFP:

Yale Center for British Art: Graduate Student Symposium

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Painting and sculpture play a beautiful role in the realm of architecture, as architecture plays a beautiful role in the realms of painting and sculpture.[1]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           —Louis I. Kahn (1960)

The Yale Center for British Art—designed by Louis Kahn and completed in 1975—has recently undergone an extensive program of conservation. To mark the reopening of the building, and the complete reinstallation of the collection, the Center will be hosting a conference to investigate the role that buildings play in the display of art.

Our experience of objects is greatly influenced by their setting, whether in the home of a collector, in a museum display, in a storage rack, or on a computer screen. This conference will focus on museum architecture and explore where it has been and where it is going. Seeking to inspire fresh thinking about the relationship between works of art and the buildings that contain them, the conference will address the ways in which architecture can enhance, limit, and transform our encounters with art. Graduate students of all disciplines—including art, design, architecture and architectural history, and museum studies—are invited to submit proposals for papers that examine the ways in which architecture influences our experience of art.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

The museums of Louis Kahn; the advantages and/or limitations of the modernist museum concept; the role of architectural setting in the understanding of art; the history of museum design; the role of the museum building in the university; the translation of personal collections from domestic space to museum displays; the relationships between patrons, architects, and curators; contrasting needs in the display of collections and in the curating of exhibitions; the renovation/conservation of historic museum spaces; and the current fashion for museum extensions. We particularly welcome topics related to the historical moment of the Center’s building and to the challenges and opportunities faced by museums working to conserve their existing buildings.

We are accepting proposals for twenty-five-minute papers from graduate students working in any discipline. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the organizers. Please e-mail abstracts of no more than three hundred words along with a one-page CV to david.lewis@yale.edu by January 29, 2016.

[1] Quoted in Alexandra Tyng, Beginnings: Louis I. Kahn’s Philosophy of Architecture (New York: Wiley, 1984), 71.

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