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The Art History of Architectural History
Call for Papers for this session in the Association of Art Historians (UK) 41st Annual Conference & Bookfair
Sainsbury Centre for Art, UEA, Norwich 9 - 11 April 2015
Deadline for submission of papers - 10 November 2014
Art history and architectural history are sister disciplines… or are they? How many art history departments regard architectural history as a core component of their provision? What might art history students miss if architectural history were not part of their curricula? Perhaps art objects and architectural objects are so radically different their study cannot be shared. Or perhaps there are modes of enquiry that can be developed to mutual benefit. This session reviews the art history/architectural history relationship in several ways. One way is to excavate those moments when art and architectural history were tightly bound together: in the very formation of art history as a discipline, for example, when both art and architecture were natural objects of study. Other ways might be: investigations of the parallel developments of formalism in art and architectural history; of architectural history’s relation to the ‘new art history’; of the ways in which architectural history might adopt recent developments in object studies, global art history, and art writing. Academics dealing with contemporary architecture find themselves wrestling with debates that in other disciplines may be more abstract or indirect: How does money or power represent itself in visual form? How does the general public (whoever they may be) understand form? How does government use aesthetics to communicate? All of these things are, and always have been, live in architecture. Perhaps this might be part of a case for making architectural history more central to art history. If so, what implications would it have for our curricula and our pedagogy?