Allison Stielau will be coming to speak at the New York Silver Society Lecture on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. Her talk is entitled “Flux: On Silver and Time.”

Allison Stielau is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History of Art at Yale University. She graduated with a BA in English from Yale University and received her MA from the Bard Graduate Center. Stielau is the recipient of several fellowships and grants, including, most recently, the Baden-Württemberg Exchange Fellowship (2012-2013). Her primary research interests are in northern European object cultures from 1400 to 1700 CE. She has presented her research in this area at a number of academic conferences, including the 101st Annual Conference of the College Art Association in New York City (February 2013) and the Sixth International Conference of Frühe Neuzeit Interdisziplinär at Duke University (March 2012). Her in-progress doctoral dissertation, from which the material of her talk will be drawn, is entitled “The Unmaking of Metalwork in Early Modern Europe.”

As an infinitely recyclable material, silver is transhistorical, shifting shapes as it moves through time. In her talk at the BGC, Stielau will consider moments in the early modern material and documentary record in which one can observe silver in flux, on the move in the molten state between forms. The mass liquidation and sometimes literal reformation of church plate as a result of sixteenth-century confessional change provides one such context. Another is the bullion found in hoards and shipwreck sites that preserves silver as raw capital, congealed liquidity that has become historical, and thus inalienable, artifact. These and other examples allow Stielau to explore the factors determining a silver object’s susceptibility, or resistance, to transformation, as well as how and in which contexts human attitudes to silver’s protean nature have changed over time.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. Registrants who arrive late may be seated in an overflow viewing area.