Past Events

The Intellectual Histories of Art and the Archive

Call for Papers

  • 23 February to 15 March 2023
  • Deadline 11:59 pm
  • Workshop to be held at Paul Mellon Centre on 10 May 2023

For those interested in art’s intellectual histories, the archive offers a multitude of possibilities – especially those archives that hold the papers of art historians and critics. While the development of an idea can be traced through drafts, notes and annotations, correspondence allows a wider intellectual context to be mapped. Yet these archives also pose certain problems, raising questions around authorship, authority and authenticity. Given the selective and often partial nature of archive collections, what place should the discoveries they yield be afforded in a wider research project? Moreover, given the move from paper to a digital record, are the same kinds of research journeys still possible with email?

This event will bring together scholars working directly with the archives of art historians and critics to discuss the methodological questions and issues posed by archive-driven intellectual histories. While there is no geographical or historical restriction for the presentations, they should be rooted in a discussion of a particular archive. Presentations on early-stage research projects are encouraged.

This event has been organised in conjunction with the workshop Abiding Present: Challenges of Time in Art History, which will take place on 11–12 May 2023 at The Warburg Institute. The workshop will explore anew art history’s complex dealings with time and the relationship between the present and the past in art history, initiating a dialogue that critically considers old and new methods in our field.

Submission Details

Please submit a one-hundred word abstract for a fifteen-minute presentation by 11.59pm (GMT) on Wednesday 15 March 2023 listing "The Intellectual Histories of Art and the Archive" as the subject line to: [email protected]

Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered.

Successful contributors selected through this open call will be paid a fee of £150 for their contribution and reasonable travel and accommodation costs will be covered. If there is any relevant information that you would like to share with us, such as required adjustments or access needs, please do let us know when you submit and we will do our best to support these.

This is a collaboration between the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Warburg Institute, London. The co-convenors of this workshop are Chloe Julius, current holder of the PMC’s Archive & Library Fellowship, and Ambra D’Antone, Research Associate, Bilderfahrzeuge International Research Project, Max Weber Stiftung.