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Illustrated albums as sites for knowledge production, commercial mediation, and technological investigation.

CAA's 111th Annual Conference will be held February 15–18, 2023 at the New York Midtown Hilton.
The session will present: In Person
Abstracts due: 08/31/2022

Illustrated albums, from small travel publications to larger encyclopedias, while often consulted by scholars and the larger public for their appealing illustrations, textual information, or the scientific or artistic value of images, have a largely forgotten and complex history of production that requires further investigation. Since many of these books included illustrations executed on various media and reproduced through diverse traditional and modern printmaking techniques, these books often relied on greater financial investments and a higher number of contributors than many other non-illustrated publications. Additionally, the production of multi-volume books with hundreds of expensive plates, such as the Dutch collector Albertus Seba's 'Thesaurus' (1734-65), or 'La Description de l’Égypte' (1809-22), written by the French scholars who accompanied Napoleon to Egypt, could take decades and involve temporary suspensions of the publication process, sometimes affected by the death of the author(s) or the change of direction in the publishing process. Finally, the production of illustrated albums could also call for well-measured marketing strategies (for instance, commercial prospectuses), and the preparation of various editions with differentiated formats and quality of prints thus responding to the changing public demand.

This panel seeks papers that bring light to the structural aspects of the book market and the production of illustrated albums across time and location. It particularly welcomes researchers who examine the process of production of illustrated books as dependent on technical and commercial aspects associated with publication and printmaking, that could affect the conceptualization of these books and the knowledge emerging from these products.

Chair: Paulina Banas, University of Alabama at Birmingham -
Detailed submission guidelines can be found on the CAA Call for Participation page.

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