Women in Art and Music Conference

Monday, Nov 21, 2022
Juilliard Journal
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Call for Papers

Juilliard and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, are co-hosting a symposium on women in art and music in the early modern period (ca. 1500–ca. 1800), in honor of the National Gallery’s recent acquisition of Bolognese painter Lavinia Fontana’s portrait of the 16th-century singer and lute player, Lucia Garzoni (b. 1561). The goal is to think broadly about women as creators, as part of the cultural and global economy, and as experts in their chosen field of art.

The conference will take place in the fall of 2023—on October 18 at Juilliard and October 20 at the National Gallery. Musicians from the Historical Performance program and from the Sonnambula ensemble will be at both days of the conference to perform and to provide musical illustrations for submitted papers.

Portrait (painting) of Fontana Lucia Garzoni
Portrait of Lucia Bonasoni Garzoni, c. 1590, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art

Elizabeth Weinfield, a Juilliard music history faculty member, wrote about the submission of papers. “we suggest that visual art and musical performance were so tightly enmeshed at this time as to form their own language, particularly in women-centered spaces. We therefore seek a new way of addressing this shared space—not necessarily as an interdisciplinary zone where art and music converge—but one in which modes of creation are shared in codependent and overlapping ways.”

“Early modern scholarship has recently suggested that identity is a process, a fluid phenomenon rather than fixed formation, in which the interaction between groups (be they national, religious, social, gendered, or racial) is the crucial point of study. What happens when we apply this idea to the realm of artistic identity? How does reading art and music as coexistent entities enhance our understanding of women in the early modern era? How did art-/music-making offer women pathways for independence? How did issues of class, race, and gender play into advances for women on the global stage? We hope that the co-mingling of a museum and a conservatory will help to answer some of these questions. Live music will be provided alongside papers to reveal how crucial performance is to the study of music and the sister arts in the early modern period; public concerts will also occur on both days.

“We invite submissions from scholars across the humanities that engage with early modern women as artists and/or musicians. Papers are particularly encouraged that consider cross-cultural connections in how they address issues of artmaking and performance in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and beyond. A selection of papers will be published in an edited volume by the Center/Yale.”

To submit a proposal, please send paper title, abstract, and CV by December 9, to Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, curator and head of Italian and Spanish paintings, National Gallery of Art, at [email protected], and Elizabeth Weinfield, professor of music history and director of Sonnambula, at [email protected]