Mellon Research Initiative: From ‘Surface’ to ‘Substrate’: The Archaeology and Art History of Material Transfers – Nov 7-8

The Institute of Fine Arts

From ‘Surface’ to ‘Substrate’: The Archaeology and Art History of Material Transfers

A conference organized in conjunction with the Mellon Research Initiative

November 7-8, 2014

Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
1 East 78th Street, New York City
RSVP required

This advanced seminar will bring together world-leading researchers in anthropology, art history, conservation, and archaeological science to discuss the impact of the material sciences on these disciplines. Papers will present examples of cutting-edge analytical techniques, which take the study of ancient images and material culture from ‘surface’ to ‘substrate’, using microscopic and other laboratory-based methods to transform our understanding of the life histories of objects such as China’s famous terracotta army, Europe’s earliest known ceramics, and the enigmatic ‘cylinder jars’ of Chaco Canyon. The conference will also provide a forum to reflect on the implications of this analytical shift for key concepts such as ‘style’, ’emulation’, and ‘provenance’. It will commence with a plenary lecture by Professor David Killick, and will include contributions from Profs. Patricia Crown, Olivier Gosselain, and Marcos Martinon-Torres.

More information is available by clicking here.


Patricia Crown, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of New Mexico
Rebecca Farbstein, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Southampton
Olivier Gosselain, Professor in the Department of History, Art and Archaeology and the Department of Social Science, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Jonathan Hay, Deputy Director; Ailsa Mellon Bruce Professor of Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
Erma Hermens, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Associate Professor in Technical Art History, College of Arts, University of Glasgow
David Killick, Professor of Anthropology, University of Arizona
Clemente Marconi, James R. McCredie Professor in the History of Greek Art and Archaeology; University Professor, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
Michele Marincola, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Conservation; Conservator, The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (part-time); Conservation Consultant, Villa La Pietra
Marcos Martinon-Torres, Professor of Archaeological Science, University College London

With additional presentations by Mellon Student Research Grantees: Elizabeth Buhe, Annika Finne, Elizabeth McGovern, Maria Veronica Munoz-Najar Luque, and Andrew Ward.

This conference is convened by David Wengrow (Professor of Comparative Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, University College London) as part of the IFA’s Mellon Research Initiative.

For a conference agenda click here.
This conference will be streamed live on this webpage.

RSVP information:
This event is open to the public, but an RSVP is required. To make a reservation for this event, please click here. Please note that seating in the Lecture Hall is on a first-come first-served basis with RSVP. A reservation does not guarantee a seat in the lecture hall. We will provide a simulcast in an adjacent room to accommodate overflow.

About the Mellon Research Initiative 
In March 2010 the Institute of Fine Arts was awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a four-year project to examine the state of advanced research in the fields that are the primary components of the program at Institute of Fine Arts: art history, archaeology, and conservation. The aim of the project is to ask where these areas are going, what are the strengths in given areas of study, what do they require in terms of resources to pursue advanced research, how these resources are best managed, and how is learning best delivered in curriculum and training programs. The project acknowledges the Institute’s leading role in these fields, but is also intended to review the IFA’s current position, organization, and research activities and to suggest ways to enhance and to forward its leadership. For more information, please click here.

Upcoming events of the Mellon Research Initiative:

February 1112, 2015 | Field/Work: Object and Site 
In conjunction with the College Art Association’s annual conference, the IFA is convening three panels to explore topics arising from the work of the Mellon Research Initiative. More information available here.

March 27, 2015 | Surfaces (15th-19th Centuries)
Organized by Noemie Etienne, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Fine Arts-NYU. More information available here.


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