Organized by Matthew J. Westerby, Robert H. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate
The study of art history has long dealt with fragments and processes of fragmentation. Illuminated manuscripts and illustrated books in particular may have their fragments and folia fugitiva—pieces of material—separated from a whole collection or corpus. Many thousands of drawings and miniatures are dispersed around the world, including those donated to the National Gallery of Art by Lessing J. Rosenwald.
The adoption of open-access online collections has enabled new avenues for study. Open digital frameworks promise to bring new data and new attention to these objects and to ask critical questions about their provenance and conservation.
This conference discussed fragments and frameworks, actual and conceptual, in art history, and addressed emerging questions in the digital humanities. What kinds of afterlives are incurred by processes of fragmentation and cutting? How does the concept of the frame or framework inform the study of illuminated manuscripts and illustrated books? How does the concept of (digital) remediation inform our approach to these works?