Conference ‘Origins and the Legitimacy of Architecture in Europe, 1750-1850’, 30 April 2015

From Thursday 30 April to Saturday 2 May 2015 we will host an international conference at the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, to conclude our research program at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS). Supported with generous funding from NWO, the project aimed at understanding how, between 1750–1850, changing views about the origins of civilization and the arts have affected the theory and practice of architecture in Europe. More in particular, the project aimed to understand how these views of origins, and especially the primitivism they often imply, have been adopted in architectural discourse to buttress the legitimacy of architecture in society.

The questions the conference wishes to address include: how do architectural origins relate to questions of architecture’s legitimacy as an artistic and cultural practice in the period under consideration? Why are origins deemed relevant to address these questions? To which particular architectural problems does the question of origins pertain? With which intellectual contexts and debates do architectural theory and practice enter in dialogue through the matter of origins? How do architectural origins relate to the primitivism that is manifest across a wide range of intellectual and artistic practices of the period? How do notions about origins sustained in historiography writ large affect architectural history and ideas about the historicity of buildings?

Speakers at the conference include Eric Moormann, Hendrik Ziegler, Sigrid de Jong, Erika Naginski, Matteo Burioni, Petra Brouwer, Christopher Drew Armstrong, Maarten Delbeke, Ralph Ghoche, Tomas Macsotay, Caroline van Eck, and Richard Wittman, with a keynote lecture by Mari Hvattum. For the full program, click here.



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