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Competing Truths: Art and the Objects of History after the Council of Trent
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11/15/2019 to 11/16/2019
When: Friday, November 15, 2019
Where: The Italian Academy
1161 Amsterdam Ave
New York, New York  10027
United States
Contact: Grace Harpster

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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 on November 15th & 16th, 2019. 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.

Made possible through the support of our hosting institutions and additional sponsors, including the Kress Foundation, Columbia University's Dept. of Art History, the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, the Heyman Center for the Humanities, and the Dept. of History. A special thanks to Dr. Stephen Scher as well.

For additional details and to register, please visit:

In case of further questions, please contact event organizers Alessandra Di Croce (, Hannah Friedman (, or Grace Harpster (

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