4th Annual Study Day Medieval Sculpture: Collecting Medieval Sculpture
23 - 24 November 2017

The 4th annual Ards colloquium ‘Current research in medieval and renaissance sculpture: Collecting Medieval Sculpture', was held in the Musée du Louvre in Paris (FR) on November 23rd and 24th 2017.

Collecting Medieval Sculpture

How did or do medieval sculpture collections get formed? How has medieval sculpture been collected in the past (including in the middle ages and renaissance period) and how is this evolving right now?
We know the prices on the art market are slowly rising as medieval sculpture is becoming increasingly more interesting as an investment. Can we take a closer look at what’s happening in that area? In december 2014 the Getty Museum acquired a rare medieval alabaster sculpture of Saint Philip by the Master of the Rimini Altarpiece at Sotheby’s for no less than 542,500 GBP. If a small statuette by an anonymous master can generate this kind of money at a sale, this must mean the ‘market’ for medieval sculpture is shifting thoroughly.
Moreover, does the exhibition or publication of medieval sculpture influence this trend? It is a fact that the more we know about an art piece or artist, the more interesting it becomes to buy or exhibit them. What are the motifs or instigating factors for museums and private collectors to collect this intrinsiquely religiously inspired and therefore (?) ‘less attractive’ discipline. Links can be drawn to the abolition of churchly instances at the end of the 19th century and the gothic revival in the 19th century, the export of mainland patrimony to the United Kingdom.

Download a pdf programme here

Lecture 1 | Dr. Céline Brugeat, TRACES (UMR 5608), Université Toulouse -
Jean Jaurès

Elginism or collecting? Importer, collectionner, exposer l'architecture médiévale française aux Etats-Unis (XIXe - XXIe siècles)

Lecture 2 | Dra. Michaela Zöschg, Project Curator The Burrell Collection Glasgow Museum
‘An exceedingly good carving’:
Sir William Burrell (1861-1958) and his Collection of Medieval Sculpture

Lecture 3 | Dr. Marco M. Mascolo, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz-Max Planck Institut

Medieval Sculpture at the Detroit Institute of Arts: The Role of Wilhelm R. Valentiner between Expressionism and Connoisseurship

Lecture 4 | Dra. Blandine Landau, Curator of the Musée des Emaux et Faïences de Longwy and Lucas Giles, Duke University

The Brummer Gallery: Buying and Selling Medieval Sculpture in New York 1924-1947

Lecture 5 | Dr. Miya Tokumitsu, University of Melbourne

The Rise of a Sculpture Collecting Culture in Late Medieval Germany

Lecture 6 | Dr. Dagmar Preising, Curator Suermondt – Ludwig - Museum Aachen
A Neo-Gothic Carver's Collection of Gothic Sculptures. Meaning and Function

Lecture 7 | Sophie Guillot de Suduiraut, Honorary Curator of Heritage and Cécile Oulhen, Curator of Historic Monuments DRAC Bretagne

Collectionneurs et sculptures anversoises du XVIe siècle. L'exemple du retable de la cathédrale de Rennes

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Lecture 8 | Dra. Marthje Sagewitz, University of Leipzig

Auguste Rodin: Admirateur et collectionneur passionné de la sculpture médiévale. De la motivation de collectionner d'un artiste

Discussion | ‘Collecting medieval sculpture nowadays’

Erik Bijzet, Sculpture and Works of Art Amsterdam;
Isabelle d’Amécourt, Christie’s Paris;
Bernard Descheemaeker, Works of Art, Antwerp;
Lars Hendrikman, Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht;
Niels Schalley, The Phoebus Foundation, Antwerp
Marieke Van Vlierden, independent researcher.

Moderator: dr.Peter Carpreau

Discussed topics:
-Who collects medieval sculpture? Are they specialists collecting in depth and striving for completeness or are they transhistoric collectors, looking for ‘exotic’ or ‘special’ works of art?
-How does the appreciation for sculpture evolve? Are prices rising generally or is this only the case for a top layer? What are the reasons and consequences of this? Will mid-scale museums still be able to buy objects in the future?
-How is anonymous religious sculpture related to sculpture from a known (and sometimes famous) artist, in terms of sales and price range. Does the lacking of a ‘name’ really impact the collectability of an object?
-Are there noticeable evolutions in the past decades, in the art market and in the museumworld, that allow us to say there is ‘more’ interest in medieval sculpture nowadays? Is this evolution related to exhibitions, publications, research projects?

Ards yearly overview | Dra. Marjan Debaene, Head of Collections M- Museum Leuven and Coordinator Ards

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact info@ards.be