CFP: The Female Impact. Women and the Art Market in the Early Modern Era.
Gender studies in art history tend to focus on the role of the woman artist, on the representation of the female body, and the gendered reception of art, contemporary and historical.
In this session, however, a different perspective is taken: what was the role of women in commissioning, buying and displaying art and architecture in the early modern era, particularly in the Netherlands? Was it always their husband, father, brother, or even son, who had a final say in the design of exterior and interior decoration, the selection of artists and subjects represented in commissioned works of art, and in the latest purchase for the art collection in the house?
This question is reasonably well explored in studies into the field of the early modern royal and princely mecenate, where the role of often unmarried or widowed princesses, like Amalia van Solms, Elisabeth of Bohemia and others has been well studied. The same goes for that special branch of cultural production that is usually connected to the female sex: the luxurious dolls house, as owned by affluent women like Petronella Oortman and others.
However, despite the fact that women from the urban middle class in the Northern and Southern Netherlands in this age are known to have been relatively independent and well cultured, we know very little about their position within the wider field of artistic production. When hearing of an art shop being set up by Hendrickje Stoffels and her son Titus, we tend to think that this was mainly done to function as a front store for Rembrandt’s commercial activities and to shield him from his creditors, but why not take a serious look at Hendrickje’s activities in her own right? And what about the widows of book printers and sellers who continued the shops of their late husbands and kept commissioning engravers, map makers and the like, sometimes for many years on end?
We invite all those who work on the female impact on the artistic climate in the Early Modern era to contribute to this session, either by presenting a spoken contribution or a poster.
Please send your abstract, shortened cv, cover letter and proposal form no later than August 6, 2018 to the session chairs: prof. dr. Frans Grijzenhout (firstname.lastname@example.org) and dr. Judith Noorman (email@example.com). (Proposals forms will be available on the CAA conference website the first week of July 2018.)