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.

Peter N. Miller, Bard Graduate Center
Nina Stritzler-Levine, Bard Graduate Center

Ittai Weinryb, Bard Graduate Center

Fredrika Jacobs
Virginia Commonwealth University
Remedial Options and Votive Culture in Early Modern Italy

John Guy
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Boons and Blessings in Early India

Mitchell Merback
Johns Hopkins University
Observations on a Tyrolean War Votive, Its Destination and Function

Suzanne Preston Blier
Harvard University
How Some Yoruba Live Forever: Ẹbọ Arts as Living Votives

David Morgan
Duke University
Votive Practice as Sacred Economy

Catrien Notermans
Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
The Politics and Poetics of an Ex-voto in Lourdes

Gerhard Wolf
Kunsthistorisches Institut - Max Planck Institute, Florence

Questions & Discussion