The Mirror of Spolia: Premodern Practice and Postmodern Theory

December 8 - 9, 2006

Spolia (spoils or plunder) have been of great interest to ancient and medieval historians, and art historians, who use the term to explore how fragments of ancient monuments are inserted into new and changed architectural contexts—yet appropriation, reuse, and redesignation are key terms in understanding postmodern culture, as well. This Clark colloquium brought scholars of ancient art and contemporary art to discuss the issue of plunder and appropriation and its importance to our understanding of visual culture, ancient and contemporary. This colloquium was convened by Richard Brilliant, professor emeritus, Columbia University, and Dale Kinney, dean and professor of art history, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Bryn Mawr College.

Participants included: Leonard Barkan (Princeton University), Mary Beard (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK), Finbarr Barry Flood (New York University), Donald Kuspit (State University of New York at Stony Brook), Paolo Liverani (Direttore del Reparto Antichitá Classiche, Musei Vaticani, Rome, Italy), and Annabel Wharton (Duke University).