Renaissance Conservations


The early modern past surrounds us in art and architecture, in literature, and less concretely in socio-political attitudes and processes. And yet as fewer school students study the early modern world, and as archives and museums fill up, we are forced to ask is the Renaissance worth keeping or remembering? What does it mean to conserve the past, both materially and cognitively? What affective responses does the past inspire and why? Which pasts do we conserve? Must conservation shade into conservatism? ‘Renaissance conservations’ will bring together scholars from across Art History, History, English, and Modern Languages to explore these questions at a workshop at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini by placing our own anxieties and preoccupations about conservation in dialogue with the Renaissance’s own ideas about what it meant to conserve the past.

Participants at the workshop will work directly with the collections at the Cini to spur our collective reflection on ‘Renaissance conservations’. Rather than coming to the workshop with a ‘finished’ paper, participants will be encouraged to make the most of the time together to reflect on their methods and analysis.

Partcipants will include:


Dr Jessica Barker (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Prof Alice Brooke (University of Oxford )

Dr Federica Gigante (Oxford, Ashmolean Museum)

Dr Erin Magalaque (University of Sheffield)

Dr Emily Mayne (UEA)

Dr Alice Roullière (University of Cambridge)

Dr Jennifer Rushworth (UCL)

Prof Francesca Southerden (University of Oxford )

Dr Miranda Fay Thomas (Trinity College Dublin)


This project is funded by the TORCH International Partnership Scheme and is led by Prof Simon Park and Dr Emma Claussen in collaboration with the Fondazione Giorgio Cini of Venice, Italy.

Read more about the Fondazione Cini on their website ( and follow them on their Twitter handle (@FondazioneGCini)

Past Events