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

Grace Harpster's picture
November 15, 2019 to November 16, 2019
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Humanities, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology

We are pleased to announce the upcoming symposium Competing Truths: Art and the Objects of History after the Council of Trent

This two-day symposium will be held jointly at the Italian Academy and the Frick Collection on November 15th & 16th, 2019. The event seeks to 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. 

The event includes an interdisciplinary roundtable at the Italian Academy, and an afternoon of scholarly presentations at the Frick. To see the full schedule of speakers and to register, please visit: .

This event is made possible by the support of our hosting institutions and our additional sponsors: the Kress Foundation, Columbia University's Department of Art History, the Department of History, the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, and the Heyman Center for the Humanities. A special thanks goes out to Dr. Stephen Scher for his assistance with the event.


Contact Info: 

Please contact Alessandra Di Croce (, Hannah Friedman (, or Grace Harpster ( for more information.