The Intellectual Histories of Art and the Archive

Workshop 10 May 2023 at the Paul Mellon Centre, London

Full details here.

For those interested in art’s intellectual histories, the archive offers a multitude of possibilities – especially those archives that hold the papers of art historians and critics. While the development of an idea can be traced through drafts, notes and annotations, correspondence allows a wider intellectual context to be mapped. Yet these archives also pose certain problems, raising questions around authorship, authority and authenticity. Given the selective and often partial nature of archive collections, what place should the discoveries they yield be afforded in a wider research project? Moreover, given the move from paper to a digital record, are the same kinds of research journeys still possible with email? 

This workshop will bring together scholars working directly with the archives of art historians and critics to discuss the methodological questions and issues posed by archive-driven intellectual histories.

This is a collaboration between the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Warburg Institute, London. The co-convenors of this workshop are Chloe Julius, current holder of the PMC’s Archive & Library Fellowship, and Ambra D’Antone, Research Associate, Bilderfahrzeuge International Research Project, Max Weber Stiftung.


12:45pm–1pm: Arrive at Paul Mellon Centre

1pm–1:30pm: Lunch (provided) 

1:30pm–1:45pm: Welcome & Introduction

1:45pm–2:15pm: ‘Readings & Misreadings’ 

  • Nadia Von Maltzahn, ‘The role of Archives in reconstructing Lebanon’s art world’
  • Edi Guerzoni, ‘Arnold Hauser translated: The Social Art History and its publication in Italy from Einaudi Editore’

2:15pm–2:30pm: Discussion

2:30pm–3pm: ‘Absences & Presences’ 

  • Luke Uglow, ‘Leonardo Unfinished
  • Rachel Warriner, ‘Archives against erasure’

3pm–3:15pm: Discussion

3:15pm–3:45pm: ‘Discoveries and distractions’ 

  • Shantel Blakely, ‘Herbert Read in the Parallax of the Public Eye’
  • Hans Hones, ‘Archives and the Economy of Knowledge’

3:45pm–4pm: Discussion, with tea and coffee. 

4pm–5pm: A chance to view material from the Sewell & Oppé Archives & Library collections in the Public Study Room.

Cite this blog post
Nadia von Maltzahn (2023, May 6). The Intellectual Histories of Art and the Archive. LAWHA Lebanon's Art World at Home and Abroad. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from

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