Diptychs, Triptychs and Polyptychs, from the Middle Ages to Modernity
A symposium hosted by the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, The University of Texas at Dallas, April 23, 2016, and organized by Dr. Kristine Larison (Research Fellow, O'Donnell Institute) and James Rodriguez (Research Fellow, O'Donnell Institute; Ph.D. candidate, Yale)
From left to right: Jan van Eyck, Annunciation Diptych, c. 1433-1435, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza; Panel of a Diptych Announcing the Consulship of Justinian, 521, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; Francis Bacon, Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969, Collection of Elaine Wynn; Neapolitan follow of Giotto, The Dead Christ and the Virgin, 1330s-1340s (?), The National Gallery, London
This symposium brings together art historians whose fields of specialization span the period from Antiquity to the twentieth century. Each speaker will deliver a thirty-minute paper dedicated to a type of object known throughout the history of art, but one that has evaded focused investigation: the folding, multi-panel artwork intended as an unified composition. Art historians refer to such an object as a diptych, triptych or polyptych, based on its number of panels, and each speaker will focus on one or several examples from her/his respective field. The artworks discussed come from the fields of Late Antiquity, the Northern Renaissance, the Middle Ages of Western Europe and Byzantium, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The goal of this symposium is not to chart a linear history for these objects; rather, the speakers and moderators will open discussion of problems and questions raised by the study of these objects, as well as propose new directions and methodologies scholars might apply in the future. Some of the broader questions we will address and consider together include the following:
- What are possible points of intersection in the individual papers on folding, multi-panel art objects from different art-historical periods?
- Do these points of intersection relate to the objects' materials, to the contexts in which viewers viewed them, to their uses, or to other possibilities?
- What new paths toward an understanding of diptychs, triptychs and polyptychs are raised when examples from different centuries are brought together?
- Might focused consideration of the folding, multi-panel art object reveal, ultimately, new connections to contemporary art works?
All that would like to attend the symposium must RSVP (see below). All events will take place on the campus of The University of Texas at Dallas. The day will open with coffee and pastries in the Edith O'Donnell Arts & Technology Building, ATC 2.800; lunch will be provided for attendees, also in ATC 2.800. The symposium papers will be delivered in the McDermott Suite, located on the fourth floor of the Eugene McDermott Library (MC 4.4). See the link to the campus map (below) for building and room location.
Schedule of Events
Dr. Anthony Cutler, Evan Pugh Professor of Art History, The Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Sarah Kozlowski, Assistant Director of the Edith O’Donnell Instituted of Art History, The University of Texas at Dallas
Dr. Paul Galvez, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, The University of Texas at Dallas
Dr. Joan Holladay, Professor of Art History, The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Kay Fortson Chair in European Art and Professor of Art History, The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Kristine Larison, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, The University of Texas at Dallas
Dr. Benjamin Lima, Assistant Professor of Art History, The University of Texas at Arlington
James Rodriguez, Ph.D. candidate, Dept. of the History of Art, Yale; Predoctoral Fellow at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, The University of Texas at Dallas
For those driving to the UT Dallas campus, free parking will be available in Parking Structure 1 (or PS1 on the campus map; see the link above). A greeter will be on-site the morning of the symposium to indicate available parking and to direct you toward the symposium's locations.
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road, ATC 11
Richardson, Texas 75080
Telephone (UT Dallas office): 972 883 2475
Fax: 972 883 2466
SPACE AVAILABLE FOR THIS EVENT IS LIMITED. PLEASE RSVP BY APRIL 4, 2016.
A lunch of sandwiches, salad, soup and dessert will be available for all that RSVP for the symposium and the lunch. In your RSVP, please indicate any dietary restrictions.
Please direct any additional questions via e-mail to James Rodriguez,