From Connoisseurship to Technical Art History: The Evolution of the Interdisciplinary Study of Art
Once the realm of a small group of connoisseurs, object-based art history has been transformed over the last century through the scientific examination of works of art. Employing a wide range of analytical tools, researchers from the fields of art history, conservation,
and conservation science are working together in an interdisciplinary manner to evaluate art objects. These collaborative efforts, originally called technical studies, now compose a burgeoning field known as technical art history.
A Matter of Teamwork: A Discussion about Technical Studies and Art History
Is technical art history a separate area of study or another aspect of art-historical research? How can the interdisciplinary collaboration that the work requires be encouraged and strengthened? Heather Lechtman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Richard Stone of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Katharina Walch-von Miller of the Bavarian State Department of Historical Monuments discuss these questions with Brian Considine of the J. Paul Getty Museum and Jeffrey Levin of the GCI.
Changing the Way Professionals Work: Collaboration in the Preservation of Ethnographic and Archaeological Objects
The challenge for conservators who work with objects from archaeological sites and indigenous cultures extends beyond preservation of the physical forms of objects to include interdisciplinary dialogues that can produce broader cultural information. Examples of
collaborations among conservators, curators, archaeologists, cultural representatives, and conservation scientists illustrate how conservators can contribute directly to scholarly inquiry, as well as to the larger cultural discussion surrounding these objects.
Recent Initiatives in Technical Art History
Through a variety of means, conservators and their colleagues in the humanities and the sciences are developing new interpretations and meanings for works of art and cultural artifacts. Improvements in technology, the combining of technical analysis with primary source research, new periodicals and monographic studies, and interdisciplinary grant making are among the elements that are driving these recent initiatives in technical art history.
GCI News: Projects, Events, and Publications
Updates on Getty Conservation Institute projects, events, publications, and staff.