Call For Papers: Join the WPI at the 109th CAA Annual Conference, Feb. 10-13, 2021

The WPI is pleased to announce its participation in the 109th CAA Annual Conference, taking place February 10-13, 2021 in New York. Join us for a rich discussion led by the WPI’s very own Samantha Rowe, Digital Archivist.



Photographs, handwritten notes, source materials and other pieces of ephemera have long been collected by museums and archival repositories, yet their status as works of art or archival objects is often open to interpretation. It is thus possible to find the same photograph preserved in both an artist’s personal papers and in a museum registrar’s files. What could at first be considered a conservation issue, however, raises important ontological questions about what distinguishes a work of art from an archival object. This session will address the complex relationship between works of art and archival materials and how the contexts in which they are displayed or conserved can affect their meaning or obscure their nature. Furthermore, this panel will explore how institutions are tackling these points of contention as the field progresses toward the digital realm and virtual exhibitions.

This session invites papers that address such issues, including case studies of archival objects reclassified as art objects, and whether this distinction endures as both museums and archival repositories embrace the digital. Submissions from archivists, librarians, curators, scholars, digital humanists, and artists are all welcome.

All proposals should be submitted at the link below no later than Wednesday, September 16, 2020.


Field of Study:
Theory / Practice: Library and Archival Studies
Theory / Practice: Conservation
Field: Art History
Business of Art: Art Librarianship
Topics: Digital Humanities

Chair: Samantha Rowe, Wildenstein Plattner Institute –

Discussant: Sandrine Canac, Wildenstein Plattner Institute –

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