Specialist Workshop “Golden Age Art and Globalization in Madrid’s Museums”

Many of the objects that are admired today in Spain’s major museums  arrived here in the Early Modern period.  Collections of art,  artifacts, and objects – everythig from paintings and sculptures to  armor, textiles, feathers, books, exotic shells and even animal horns  – transmitted a variety of meanings, many of which are lost to the  average museum visitor today.

Understanding these objects (their origins, how they arrived and how  they were seen) introduces students to a deeper appreciation of how  Spanish history and identity has been and is created in relationship  with the rest of the world, and especially with Spanish-speaking  America and Asia.  The course will explore these issues using ten  selected objects that will provide a view of early globalization  focusing on questions raised by the objects themselves.  One of the  topics to analyze will be the relationship of art to diplomacy,  seeking to shed light on the value of paintings of distant places,  peoples and animals as “proof” or “document” in the age before  photography, or the place of “the others” (non-Europeans) in the  history of Spanish and European societies in general, both in the past  and in today’s globalized and multicultural world.  Attention will  also be paid to questions such as commerce, consumption, religion, and  gender in a world of travelling objects and persons, always with an  emphasis on elucidating how these travels created new meanings for  objects in new contexts.

This course has a practical, object-based character, with practically  all of the sessions taking place in museums, libraries and other  collections in Madrid and its surroundings.  Presentations and  discussions will take place in fromt of the objects themselves.  This  experience will help students to work with objects and to be aware of  the material aspects of globalization, further from what is expressed  in academic texts and articles.  It is expected too that all will feel  something of the fascination and intrigue experienced by  contemporaries who saw these things for the first time.

Organizer: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Place: Madrid, Spain

Date: September 2 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Jun 2, 2019

For further details and inscriptions, click here.
For enquiries: mcruz.decarlos@uam.es / elena.alcala@uam.es / isabel.cervera@uam.es