Book Talk and Signing: The Art of Paper

Book Talk and Signing: The Art of Paper


December 1, 2019

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM


225 South St
Williamstown, MA 01267

Caroline Fowler, interim director of the Research and Academic Program, discusses her newly published book, The Art of Paper: From the Holy Land to the Americas, which was just selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of this season’s top art book picks for holiday gift giving. In the late medieval and Renaissance periods, paper transformed society not only through its role in the invention of print but also in the way it influenced artistic production. The Art of Paper tells the history of this medium in the context of the artist’s workshop from the thirteenth century, when it was imported to Europe from Africa, to the sixteenth century, when European paper was exported to the colonies of New Spain.

Following her talk, Fowler is joined by Jonathan M. Bloom, author of Paper Before Print: The History of Paper in the Islamic World, and chair of Islamic Art at Virginia Commonwealth University for a discussion on the topic.

The talk is free. A book signing follows the presentation; copies of the book will be available for sale at the Manton Research Center desk that afternoon.

Caroline Fowler is the interim director of the Research and Academic Program at the Clark. She works on intersections between intellectual history and artistic practice in the early modern period. Her first book, Drawing and the Senses: An Early Modern History, was published in the Harvey Miller Series in Baroque Art. Her second book, The Art of Paper: From the Holy Land to the New World, was published with Yale University Press in November 2019. She also works on comparative histories of print culture, the philosophy of conservation, and the material historiography of art history.

Jonathan M. Bloom was the Norma Jean Calderwood Professor of Islamic and Asian Art at Boston College and the Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair of Islamic Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, positions he shared with his wife and colleague Sheila Blair until their retirement last year. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of a score of books and hundreds of articles on many aspects of Islamic art, ranging from general surveys to specialized studies of the minaret and the history of paper in the Islamic lands. His Paper Before Print (2001) won the Charles Rufus Morey Prize for a notable book in the history of art from the College Art Association, and his and Blair’s three-volume Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture (2009) was awarded the World Book of the Year Prize from the Islamic Republic of Iran. His particular interest is the arts of the Islamic Mediterranean in the medieval period, and he has just written a book about Islamic architecture in the western Mediterranean lands from the eighth century to the eighteenth. It will be published in June by Yale University Press.