Kress Fellow in the Literature of Art Shira Brisman presents, “The Provisionality of Sixteenth-Century Designs.”
In the sixteenth century, as goldsmiths affiliated with families such as Jamnitzer and de Bry began to publish their engraved designs for objects that could be implemented as metalwork—jewelry, tableware, knife handles and sheaths—they did so with a new urgency, communicating to the collectors of these prints that if gold and silver were nature’s resource, available for use, artistic talent was also a resource, one that would die out if not put to use. These pattern-books were thus more than advertisements for what might be made. They were artistic expressions about the relationship of image to object produced during a time when social, religious, and economic changes posed threats to the most carefully guarded and heavily regulated craft trade.
Tuesday May 1 5:30pm