Votive objects or ex-votos are a broad category of material artifacts produced with the intention of being offered as acts of faith. Common across historical periods, religions, and cultures, they are presented as tokens of gratitude for prayers answered, and the physical manifestation of hopes, dreams, and anxieties. To celebrate the opening of the exhibition Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place (on view September 14, 2018–January 6, 2019), this one-day symposium will look at what humans chose to offer in their votive transactions. Speakers will explore how votives mark the most intimate moments in human existence and question the nature, role, and function of one of the most fundamental aspects of the relationship between people and things—the imbuing of objects with sentiment.

Speakers will include Suzanne Blier, Harvard University; John Guy, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Fredrika Jacobs, Virginia Commonwealth University; Mitchell Merback, Johns Hopkins University; David Morgan, Duke University; Catrien Notermans, Radboud University; Gerhard Wolf, Kunsthistoricihes Institut, Florence. Convened by Ittai Weinryb, Bard Graduate Center.

Additional details will be posted soon.