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41st Annual Cleveland Symposium Call for Papers

The 41st Annual Cleveland Symposium

Unity and Division in the History of Art

Friday, October 23, 2015

Recital Hall, The Cleveland Museum of Art


In what ways can the visual arts unite or divide humanity? How can their subjects and functions stir us to collaboration or lead to disagreement, apathy, or even war?   How do objects themselves change when their relationships to one another, or to the viewer, are altered or rearranged?


The Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Museum of Art Joint Graduate Program in Art History and Museum Studies invites submissions from all areas of art history that address unity, collaboration, division, and disconnection in the visual arts. Also encouraged are papers that explore the ways in which these themes influence interpretation, function, classification, or the perceived value of artworks. The 41st Annual Cleveland Symposium is presented in conjunction with the Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art. As the exhibition reunites the three dispersed panels of Claude Monet’s Agapanthus triptych, so too will the 2015 Cleveland Symposium reexamine what unity and division mean to visual culture, exhibition and conservation practices, and objects themselves.


Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Themes and subjects of unity and division, alliance and conflict
  • Propaganda and art used to unite or divide
  • Disjoined artworks and objects with missing pieces and subsequent issues of interpretation
  • Looting, repatriation and lost works of arts
  • Reflections of ideological controversy and consistency within visual culture
  • Alliances and antagonism between artists and artistic movements


Current doctoral and master’s degree students and recent graduates (degree conferred no earlier than January 1, 2014) in art history and related disciplines are invited to submit a 250-word abstract and C.V. by July 1, 2015. Please do not include identifying information other than your name on the abstract and send both documents to Applicants will receive notification of their status via email by August 15, 2015. One $250 prize and two $125 prizes will be awarded to the most successful papers.


Now in its 41st year, the Cleveland Symposium is one of the longest running art history graduate student symposia in the United States. Organized each year by students in the joint art history and museum studies graduate program of Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art, graduate students from institutions across North America and Europe present original research in art history on a specific theme at this one-day event.


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The Cleveland Museum of Art is located at 11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106 in the heart of University Circle. General admission is FREE OF CHARGE.


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