The Art of Commodities: Medieval Venice

The Art of Commodities: Medieval Venice


April 16, 2019

5:30 PM-6:30 PM


225 South St
Williamstown, MA 01267

Mellon Decade Fellow Philippe Cordez presents, “The Art of Commodities: Medieval Venice.”

Since the twelfth century, Europe has seen a steady increase of highly specialized objects produced in large quantities, involving a variety of materials, techniques, ornaments, images, and functions, the very first of which was to be sold. The lecture focuses on the case of medieval Venice in order to address the complexities of this art of commodities that remain a challenge for today’s art history.

Philippe Cordez is deputy director of the German Center for Art History in Paris. Primarily a medievalist, he previously led a research group on object studies in art history at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich (20132018). Cordez’s book on medieval church objects––investigating notions of treasure, memory, and wonder––was published in German and French in 2015 and 2016, respectively. At the Clark, he will work on nineteenth-century publications of historical and ethnographic objects, seeking to understand how they shaped the modern—and still so influential—concepts of "decorative arts," "objets d’art," and "Kunstgewerbe."