The Paper Project

Touched/Retouched: Paper across Time (1400–1800)

Unlike paintings, paper objects can be altered quickly and easily. Their support registers concerns over their fragility and discloses how they were cared for and maintained, touched and retouched: heightened, overdrawn, infilled, or trimmed; mounted, framed, bound, or strung; inscribed, numbered, or stamped; folded, cut, glued, bleached, or overlaid with other media.

Among drawing specialists, detecting and dating these alterations is considered to be largely a matter of tacit knowledge. The intensive, hands-on workshop at the center of this initiative provides object-based training to the next generation of curators in the graphic arts. It focuses on premodern practices of care and their recovery through the study of objects’ material histories.

This project is made possible with support from Getty through The Paper Project initiative. The workshop is organized by the Lise Meitner Group in collaboration with the Istituto Centrale per la Grafica. Aimed at early career specialists entering the field, it advances a materially layered understanding of paper, fostering collaboration between academics, curators, and conservators. It is scheduled to take place November 11–16 in Rome, hosting twelve early career professionals along with senior discussants in collaboration with the ICG. The workshop will include hands-on examination and viewing exercises of works on paper at the ICG and the Hertziana, visits to the archive of the Fondazione Caetani in Rome and Fondazione Fedrigoni in Fabriano, as well as two practical sessions on letter locking and paper making.

Confirmed keynote speakers at workshop (events open to the public):

Carmen Bambach, The Met
Antony Griffiths, former curator at the British Museum

Confirmed senior speakers at workshop:

Rhea Sylvia Blok, Fondation Custodia
Jonathan Bober, former curator at the NGA
Hugo Chapman, British Museum
Jana Dambrogio, MIT
Catherine Goguel, CNRS-Musée du Louvre emerita
Francesco Grisolia, Università di Roma Tor Vergata
Giorgio Marini, ICG
Mauro Mussolin, Università degli studi di Roma Tre
Gabriella Pace, ICG
Simonetta Prosperi Valenti Rodinò, Università di Roma Tor Vergata
Cristiana Romalli, Sotheby’s

Research and curatorial activities centering on the theme will continue throughout 2024/25 beyond the workshop, with a planned exhibition and seminars in the Conserving Histories of Art series.

Confirmed seminar speakers:

Marzia Faietti, Università di Bologna
Lorenza Melli, KHI
Nicola Suthor, Yale
Piera Giovanna Tordella, Università di Torino

Go to Editor View