Objects in Motion
Colonial North America was a place of extraordinary cultural diversity and material exchange. Conquest and settlement brought Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans into frequent contact, generating hybrid cultural practices and unique artistic traditions. Further, the production and circulation of art and vernacular objects linked sites as distant as New York, New Orleans, and Mexico City. Yet art-historical and cultural studies of this period continue to be divided by national, linguistic, and geographical boundaries, with the art of Canada, the United States, and Latin America studied separately.
"Objects in Motion: Art and Material Culture across Colonial North America" proposes an alternative approach: a cross-cultural model that bridges the material worlds of New Spain, New France, and British America. Presenting new research by an interdisciplinary group of scholars from Mexico, Canada, and the United States, this symposium investigates how ethnicity, geography, and commerce played crucial roles in the material life of early North America.
Please join us in this exploration of the art and culture of the northern New World, from the urban settlements of New Spain to the trading posts of Quebec and the port cities of the British Atlantic.
This symposium is made possible through a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States for national and international audiences. Recognizing the importance of experiencing original works of art, the foundation provides opportunities for interaction and study, beginning with the presentation and growth of its own art collection in Chicago. To further cross-cultural dialogue on American art, the foundation supports and collaborates on innovative exhibitions, research, and educational programs. Implicit in such activities is the belief that art has the potential both to distinguish cultures and to unite them.
"Objects in Motion" is organized by the Department of Art History at the University of Delaware, with the support of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, University of Delaware's College of Arts and Sciences, Center for Material Culture Studies, Office of the Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs and International Programs, Center for International Studies, Committee on Cultural Activities and Public Events, Visiting Women Scholars Fund, University Museums, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, the UD-Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, and the Latin American Studies Program.