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Negotiating Art and Narrative

Negotiating Art and NarrativeRembrandt etching depicting biblical scene of the Sacrifice of Isaac: Emerging Scholars’ Symposium for Undergraduates

Friday, June 9, 2017

(Click here for PDF.)

The Frick Collection invites submissions from undergraduates and recent college graduates for a symposium on the subject of art and narrative. This program seeks to develop and diversify the next generation of scholars in the visual arts by offering a platform for their early research.

We welcome twenty-minute papers (max. 2,500 words) examining the ways in which the visual arts engage with narrative (broadly defined as any literary, historical, political, or personal story). Papers should derive from either a research paper or thesis chapter, and may focus on any material or medium, chronological period, and geographic region.

Potential lines of inquiry include, but are not limited to:

  • How does the translation of the verbal into the visual affect and even alter meaning?
  • In what ways have the visual arts informed and shaped understandings of historical events?
  • How have modern and contemporary art forms, such as sound, video, or performance, expanded or contracted the possibilities for visual narrative?
  • How have artists navigated temporal concerns like instantaneity, seriality, and simultaneity?
  • What roles have the visual arts played in forwarding sociopolitical narratives? How has art multiplied or otherwise departed from “single stories?”
  • How have artists responded to the expansion and redefinition of narrative form in literature?


This symposium is organized in connection with the upcoming exhibition Divine Encounter: Rembrandt’s Abraham and the Angels. This exhibition (on view from May 30 through August 20, 2017) presents a selection of Rembrandt’s depictions of the biblical story of Abraham and examines the artist’s innovative approach to pictorial narrative.

Please submit the following materials to students@frick.org by April 21, 2017:

  • completed application form
  • résumé or C.V.
  • 200-word abstract and title
  • a draft of the paper or chapter you are submitting (even if not in final form)

Eligibility: Current undergraduates, as well as recent graduates who are not yet engaged in graduate study, from any college or university within the United States or abroad are encouraged to apply. Travel stipends may be available on an as-needed basis.

Education programs for Divine Encounter: Rembrandt’s Abraham and the Angels are made possible by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Rembrandt, Sacrifice of Isaac (detail), 1655, etching and drypoint, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Ida Kammerer, in memory of her husband, Frederic  Kammerer, M.D., 1933 (33.79.13); Photo courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.