19 Nov 2014 12:00pm - 2:00pm Room SG1, Alison Richard Building


Dr Chris Wingfield (Senior Curator (Archaeology), Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
Dr Leah Clark (Art History, The Open University)


Chris Wingfield
Collecting Things, Making Objects: Missionaries, Museums and Moving Idols

The London Missionary Society (1814 – 1910) is chiefly known from a number of contemporary engravings, and its contents are recorded in two surviving catalogues (1826 and c.1860). However, these are just some of the many instances of inscription through which items from this collection have been repeatedly ‘objectified’ over the last two centuries. This talk will explore the role of inscription in processes of object-making, as well as the potential for surviving inscriptions to enable the reconstruction of processes of movement and mobility, and thus reveal the complex entanglements in which collected things can become involved, at times in spite of the efforts and intentions of those who collected them.


Leah Clark
Collecting, Exchange, and the Culture of Things in the Renaissance Court

In the Archivio di Stato di Modena, where the records of the Este and the court of Ferrara are maintained, there exists a series of account and inventory books belonging to Duchess Eleonora d’Aragona (b. 1450-d. 1493). By focussing on one particular account book, this talk will examine how the objects recorded within such a book were sociable things—in their intended uses, but also in terms of the people who maintained them, recorded them in inventories or account books, and those who handled them during their movement. By concentrating on the mobility of objects in court culture, this paper will illuminate how through their circulation, objects navigated an often paradoxical status: on the one hand, they were symbolic goods reflecting magnificence and operating as repositories of knowledge, while on the other hand, they were often used as liquid capital, functioning as pawns for loans.


Open to all.  No registration required

Part of Things that Matter, 1400-1900 Research Group seminar series

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