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Call for Papers 2021 College Art Association Annual Meeting session "Art's Undoing: Impermanence, Degradation, and Destruction"

By Rebecca Rushfield posted 08-14-2020 06:44




"Art's Undoing: Impermanence, Degradation, and Destruction" 

Panel, College Art Association Annual Conference 2021 

Deadline: Sept. 16 


This session seeks papers that shed new light on art produced in the eighteenth or nineteenth century that was affected by physical impermanence, damage, or destruction. While the session has specific chronological parameters, we welcome examinations of art works from any geographic or cultural context as well as cross-cultural topics. What developments either fostered the production of ephemeral or impermanent works of art or led to art works’ demise? What particular forms of iconoclasm emerged during this period? How did changes in the manufacture of artists’ materials influence the physical integrity and durability of art works? In what ways did the practice of conservation reflect evolving views on the longevity, originality, and materials of art? How did artists’ attitudes towards the preservation or deterioration of their work shape their practice? What political, social, or economic ruptures manifested themselves in acts of artistic destruction? 


We invite submissions from art historians, curators, or conservators whose research engages with these questions in new ways. Papers might take the form of case studies, broader considerations of impermanence, degradation, or damage in the art of the period, or discussions of interpretive models and tools that are useful for approaching these issues.


For consideration submit a 250-word abstract and short cv to Michelle Foa, and Jennifer Van Horn, by September 16, 2020. More submission details can be found here: