Founded in 2005 by Dr. Liana De Girolami Cheney and Dr. Norman Land, the Society for Renaissance Art History is an association of art and architectural historians alongside scholars in related humanistic and social-scientific fields that promotes research on the fine arts during the early-modern period.
Beginning in the fourteenth century, early modernity was a time marked by historical developments in Europe that included, among other things, the revival of aspects of ancient Roman civilization, the consolidation of territorial states and the emergence of voluntary laic institutions (guilds, confraternities) for their promotion and support, the surfacing of a capitalistic economic system on an international basis, the Protestant Reformation, and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Greater realism in figural representations and settings in painting and sculpture, and a renewed interest in the elements of Classical style in architecture, were among the concomitant art-historical developments. While scholarly concerns of the Society for Renaissance Art History have traditionally focused on Italy and Northern Europe, the association enthusiastically encourages studies in the arts of all geographical areas during the post-medieval period.
The Society provides opportunities for the sharing and dissemination of knowledge at professional meetings, notably that of the South-Central Renaissance Conference, for the benefit of both established and emerging scholars. Besides presenting papers at annual gatherings of the latter umbrella organization, for which purpose a limited number of graduate-student travel fellowships is available, Society members have the opportunity to submit articles for publication in Explorations in Renaissance Culture, the scholarly journal of the South-Central Renaissance Conference, and shorter essays to appear in Discoveries, the SCRC’s periodic newsletter.
William R. Levin, Professor Emeritus of Art History, Centre College, Danville, Kentucky