Summer Institute in Technical Art History for Doctoral Students, NY

Deadline: 25 March 2013
Open to: Students currently enrolled in or completing a doctoral program in the US and Canada
Venue: New York, June 10-21, 2013


Technical methodologies and material analyses are becoming increasingly prevalent in the scholarship of Modern and Contemporary art. Theoretical Subjectivities is a two-week, intensive seminar that examines how technical art history might simultaneously clarify and complicate established Post-war art historical narratives. Under the direction of distinguished conservators, scholars and technical art historians, participants will consider specific artworks as case studies, examine materiality and process, and receive an introduction to imaging and analytical techniques. Participants will ascertain how these methodologies materially and theoretically inform their own diverse research interests. This seminar will provide a forum to develop critical skills in the interpretation of object-based analyses related to the scholarship of Post-war art.

Artworks under consideration will span multiple decades, including objects associated with Kinetic Art, Minimalism, Post-Minimalism and Conceptualism, as well as contemporary examples that defy genre. Specific case studies will question whether kinetic artworks must be functional to have agency. How might issues of material authenticity and post studio fabrication challenge the ontology of an object? How might the degradation of an object’s materials disavow its status as a work of art? What does the shifting nature of the readymade tell us about issues of originality?


Students currently enrolled in or completing a doctoral program in the US and Canada are eligible to apply. No background in science or conservation is required. A maximum of fifteen participants will be admitted to the program. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their academic accomplishment to date and on their expressed interest in integrating technical art history into their own research.

Application procedure

Applicants should submit a cover letter, a statement of purpose of interest in integrating technical art history into their research, a letter of support from their advisor that addresses their academic standing and their interest in the topic, and an academic and professional CV addressed to: Mellon Summer Institute in Technical Art History, attn.: Professor Michele Marincola, Sherman Fairchild Chairman, The Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 14 East 78th Street, New York NY 10075. The application deadline is March 25, 2013. Please submit applications in electronic format to: Sarah Barack, course coordinator, [email protected]


Participants will receive housing (single room occupancy) and stipends of $1,300 to help defray travel and living costs.


For further information, please contact: Professor Michele Marincola at 212-992-5849, email: [email protected]

The official website.

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