Subject: CFP: Ordering colours in 18th and early 19th century Europe (Berlin, 13-14 Mar 20)

Technische Universität Berlin, Chair for the History of Science, March 13 – 14, 2020
Deadline: Nov 30, 2019

Ordering colours in 18th and early 19th century Europe

The question of how to order colours reaches far back, but in the 18th century, particularly in its second half, we see a steeply increasing number of studies that indicates a broad and urgent interest in classifying colour. Quite diverse contributions from the sciences, arts, crafts and trade created a diverse field of colour order research in the 18th century. The workshop will explore, examine and discuss those efforts and hereby contribute to the history of colour in 18th and early 19th century Europe. Proposals from other epochs are welcome when focussing on or crossing substantially the 18th or early 19th centuries; for instance the revival of antique knowledge/ ideas. While focussing on Europe, the workshop also welcomes studies of other cultural regions. The workshop will be opened by a keynote talk by Jose Luis Caivano (Buenos Aires).

According to the multidisciplinary historical approaches, we invite contributions from the history of arts, artisanry, economy, technology, science as well as scholars from restauration, cultural and material studies. Work in progress contributions are as welcome as finalized results. There might be detailed case studies, but also comparative, long-term and cross-sectional studies on the history of materials, objects, practices, theories, or ideas. Through all the bewildering variety of colour research of that period, the focus of the workshop will be on the attempts of ordering or even systematizing colours. Topics might include, among others

·Colour samples, colour ordered objects, colour selections, colour
collections, and colour atlases;

·Colour diagrams: illustrations, papertools;

·Colour codes, colour nomenclatures, colour references, and colour systems;

·Colour experiments;

·Early colour print and the trichromatic idea;

·Discussion about colour primaries;

·Natural history and colour;

·Mining, chemistry, and colour knowledge;

·Colour materials: porcelain, dyes, Indian / inks;

·Commercial and theoretical interest in colour orders: developers,
producers, traders;

·Exchange of colour knowledge and objects in Europe: networks,
connectors, translators, hotspots, and peripheries.

Please send your proposal in English (up to 350 words) before 30th November 2019 to Notification of acceptance will be given by 22nd December.

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Ordering colours in 18th and early 19th century Europe (Berlin, 13-14 Mar 20). In:, Nov 15, 2019. <>.

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