The Department of History of Art is delighted to be part of a very successful exchange programme with Columbia University in New York.
During the Easter Vacation 2012 six of our graduate students travelled to New York for the second in our series of informal research exchanges with the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. The theme was 'Modernism and Cross-Cultural Exchange'.
This year's symposium took place in Cambridge on 8 March 2013 and explored the theme of 'The Persistence of Tradition'. This symposium sought to address how and why tradition and traditionalism have persisted in the production of art and architecture, and in the writing of their histories. It explored questions such as Why is it that despite (or perhaps because of) the emergence of artistic avant-gardes certain forms, subjects, and methods have recurred and resurfaced in the visual arts? Why have particular topics and methods in art history maintained their prominence and stature? And what is the relationship between the geography of art and attitudes towards tradition? Papers might include topics such as the ways in which artistic traditions (in terms of style, technique, subject matter, etc.) have been maintained over the longue durée; the role of workshops and apprenticeship systems in the maintenance of tradition; the social and political dimensions of traditionalism; the relationship between nostalgia, tradition, and returns to order; the impact of tradition on the display of art; and the invention and manipulation of traditions for artistic or scholarly purposes.