American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) 52nd Annual Conference

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Thursday, 8 April, 2021 to Saturday, 10 April, 2021
Tuesday, 15 September, 2020

Call for Papers - Playing with Pigments: Color Experiments in the Visual Arts

With the emergence of novel pigments and dyes -- some from the New World -- prompting myriad experimentation in color and facture, the eighteenth century is widely acknowledged as a turning point for artists' materials. This panel explores the impact of such innovations on artistic practice across the long eighteenth century. The microcosm of color in art exemplifies larger trends of the period as technological and scientific advances transformed the ways in which color was perceived, described, transmitted, commodified, thematized, and preserved. From furniture and paper makers to aquatint engravers and history painters, artists and artisans were invested in discussions about hue, discoloration, and the impact of time on color. Explorations in alternative mediums such as encaustic and enamel aspired to the most saturated, the most authentic, or the most durable color palettes. Advances in printmaking revolutionized the circulation of chromatic knowledge, including a new understanding of Old Masters through reproductive engravings and the transmission of cultural and botanical information about distant lands.

ASECS welcomes papers that consider the full spectrum of artistic production and experimentation across the visual arts during this transformational period. Papers considering the science and materials of color, the restoration of historic palettes, or issues of pigmented materials' change over time are also encouraged.

Chairs: Daniella Berman, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU and Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Caroline M. Culp, Stanford University and Metropolitan Museum of Art

Please send an abstract of 250–300 words including your name, institution, email, and CV to Daniella Berman at and Caroline Culp at by September 15, 2020.
Submission deadline: September 15, 2020

American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) 52nd Annual Conference
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
April 8-10, 2021