Mellon Research Initiative: Events

Presentism

November 5, 2011
Convened by Jim Coddington, Chief Conservator, Museum of Modern Art
The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
1 East 78th Street, New York


This closed-session workshop posed questions about our relationship to the past and to the objects that are being treated in the present. It is a theme of common interest, but one with special implications for the conservation and restoration of works of art. It asked what are the tools and methods that we currently use to place ourselves in the past or to recognize and negotiate historical distance? This is a matter of both a historical and historiographic awareness: are our current means of describing and comparing the objects we study and treat fundamentally different from earlier approaches or from those of the time of the creation of the objects? We hope that this approach,  taken as a means for examining the objectivity, and even the possibility of objectivity in the study and restoration of works of art and artefacts will be an entrée to examining the broader questions posed by this project.

The format of the workshop consisted of presentations by invited scholars as well as extended discussion around the theme and its impact on the larger question of research at the IFA and in conservation, art history, and archaeology.

Participants:
Thea Burns, Independent Scholar, Kingston, Ontario
David Carrier, Champney Family Professor, Case Western Reserve/Cleveland Institute of Art
Rebecca Farbstein, Visiting Scholar, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge
Lance Mayer and Gay Myers, independent conservators at Lyman Allyn Art Museum

Convened by Jim Coddington, Chief Conservator, Museum of Modern Art

This workshop is by invitation only. For questions, please email the IFA Research Activities Coordinator at yaelle.amir@nyu.edu

Presentism Workshop

Saturday, November 5, 2011
The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
1 East 78th Street, New York

Program