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CFP: Romantic Prints On The Move (Philadelphia, 1-2 Feb 2019)

To be held at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Enchanted World of German Romantic Prints: In 2013, there was the exhibition. In 2017, there was the award-winning collection catalogue. In 2019, there will be the symposium looking at “Romantic Prints On The Move.” The two-day event will have two parts: a series of public lectures in the afternoon, and two object-based study sessions which will be, for reasons of space limitations, by invitation only. This CFP—call for participation—offers the opportunity for students to apply for participation in study-sessions.

Throughout the most recent economic recession and recovery, the art market has continued to boom. This holds true for the subject of this conference: German Romantic prints. The reflection on this contemporary marketplace phenomenon from an (art & book) historical perspective is thus a timely one. This conference provides such reflection by centering on a print collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that (in unrivalled fashion) addresses key aspects of our modern transnational market economy: the collection of roughly 8500 German Romantic prints amassed by the Philadelphian John S. Phillips in the second half of the nineteenth century. Inspired by recent debates about the circulation and pricing of contemporary art, “Romantic Prints On The Move” sets out to bridge the nineteenth and the twenty-first centuries. To that end, the conference creates a stimulating conversation among academics, curators, and contemporary collectors. In particular, this conversation will focus on connecting nineteenth-century technologies with the current media revolution, thus bringing material history into the digital present. The goal is to shed more (and new) light on the economic, aesthetic, and geographical aspects of the production, dissemination, and collection of these prints in an era of burgeoning new printmaking technologies, while discussing their continuing appeal and marketability.

A central aspect of the conference is student participation and to offer a training opportunity along the lines of the symposium’s central goals: to forge new connections between different fields (from academia to the market place) and to provide an in-depth exposure to German Romantic print culture. Thus, the conference includes two focused study sessions (offered by invitation) with 10 slots reserved for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. The successful candidate will be asked to give a brief presentation (3-5 minutes maximum) of a pre-assigned object (either from the university’s rare book library or the museum’s print collection). Application from all fields, including (but not limited to) art history, studio art, history, German studies, media studies, etc., are encouraged. No knowledge of German or any previous study of German Romanticism or print culture is required. (However, an ideal basis for preparation is the catalogue “The Enchanted World of German Romantic Prints;” Participation in the study sessions requires attendance at the conference as well; accepted students will receive a small stipend of $250.

To apply for the study sessions, please send a cv, a 1 page object-centered analysis of a single print (of any culture or date), and 1 letter of recommendation to Cordula Grewe, Indiana University Bloomington (, and Catriona MacLeod, University of Pennsylvania ( Deadline: December 21, 2018. Successful candidates will be notified in the first week of January 2019.

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