You are here


Competing Truths: Art and the Objects of History after the Council of Trent

Competing Truths: Art and the Objects of History After the Council of Trent is a two-day symposium to be jointly held at the Italian Academy and The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library on November 15 and 16. The event will bring together scholars and museum professionals in order to investigate how Italian art helped to formulate competing truths in the long aftermath of the Council of Trent, and how the strategies of that era continue to affect our understanding of historical truth today. Italian art of this period is often dismissed as propagandistic and derivative. This symposium instead fosters recent scholarship that shows the potency of art in shaping people’s beliefs during a time of deep political and spiritual divisions. Understanding how images and objects give shape to history and knowledge has never been more urgent. Thus, the aim of the symposium is not merely to advance scholarship, but to meet an acute contemporary need for perspective on how to navigate an era of competing truths.

Roundtable participants:
David Freedberg (Columbia University, Department of Art History and Archaeology)
Felipe Pereda (Harvard University, Department of History of Art and Architecture)
Alessandra Russo (Columbia University, Department of Latin American and Iberian Studies)
Pamela H. Smith (Columbia University, Department of History)
Stefania Tutino (UCLA, Department of History)

Panel participants:
Barbara Wisch (SUNY Cortland, Art and Art History Department, Emerita)
Silvia Tita (TBC)
Jeffrey Fraiman (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts)
William Stenhouse (Yeshiva University, Department of History)
Pamela Jones (University of Massachusetts, Art History Department, Emerita)
Clare Kobasa (Philadelphia Museum of Art)
Stephen Scher (Independent Scholar)

Organizers: Alessandra Di Croce; Hannah Friedman; Grace Harpster.
Co-sponsors alongside The Frick and the Italian Academy: Kress Foundation; Columbia University's Department of Art History; Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life; Heyman Center for the Humanities; Department of History.

Register here for the symposia at the Italian Academy &/or the Frick Art Reference Library: [check back again for confirmation of timing]

Event Date 
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm