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Tuesday, March 03, 2020
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)

Visual Culture Program

The Reconstruction of Colour Worlds
Sven Dupré, Professor of History of Art, Science and Technology, Utrecht University,

Performative methods play an increasingly prominent role in the study of the arts and material culture. These methods, including Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Replication, Reproduction and Re-working (RRR), are used across the humanities and social sciences—in fields such as history of science and technology, archaeology, anthropology, conservation, and musicology, among other disciplines—to scrutinize historical production processes, materials, bodily knowledge, and sensory skills.

Despite the growing interest in performative approaches across disciplines, reflection upon these RRR methods has so far largely remained within the disciplines. In this talk, Dupré examines how RRR methods have developed within disciplines and how there is much to learn from interdisciplinary methodological reflection, and he argues we should design interdisciplinary RRR methods to fruitfully reconstruct early modern colour worlds. Illustrated with examples of rosichiero enamels (by re-working seventeenth-century glass recipes) and recreated black-dyed textiles made fashionable at the Burgundian court, Dupré reflects on the importance of site–the "field" versus the laboratory–and the value of re-working with makers for the production of knowledge in RRR research on material culture and the arts.

About the Visual Culture Program
The Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture, which is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and based in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), features new undergraduate course offerings, guest lecturers, and other programming to foster conversations between humanists and scientists. Its activities are organized by HSS and other Caltech faculty in collaboration with scholars at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

For more information, please contact Cecilia Lu by phone at 626-395-1724 or by email at cecilial@caltech.edu.