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Conference "Symbolism in 18th-Century Gardens"

  • 2006-09-28
  • 2006-09-29
  • Schwetzingen (Germany)
SYMBOLISM IN 18TH CENTURY GARDENS The Influence of Intellectual and Esoteric Currents, such as Freemasonry. 28-29 September 2006, Schloss Schwetzingen, Germany. During the 18th century, freemasonry provided a social network for men of different walks of life, including many aristocrats, intellectuals, artists and architects. Membership of a masonic order was socially accepted at the time and it was even fashionable to make one’s membership subtly known to others, for instance through the use of domestic objects with symbolic decorations. Also the decoration of houses could be used in this respect. In the same time period, garden design and landscape art incorporated classical, mythological and religious symbolism, and gardens became an expression of the status, personality and learning of their owners. It was not uncommon for a garden design to include ‘hidden’ symbolism, for the path through a garden to reflect a journey of initiation, or for architectural follies to be built in the shape of masonic temples. This symbolism was purposefully ‘hidden’, meant to be discovered by the initiated or to enlighten the visitor with new insights. Today, we are no longer familiar with common 18th century iconography and unable to read the visual clues to the meaning of such gardens. Art historical approaches and heritage preservation policies are traditionally based on Christian iconography, and have largely overlooked the importance of masonic and esoteric symbolism to art, architecture and garden design. Recent academic studies, however, have shown the importance of masonic heritage to our cultural collective heritage and brought the hidden symbolism in historical gardens to the centre of attention. This conference aims to provide an introduction into the masonic and esoteric symbolism in 18th century garden architecture, provide an overview of recent academic research into the subject, and raise awareness of the importance of preserving the remaining sites as a part of our cultural heritage. The conference takes place at the summer residence of ‘Kurfürst’ Carl Theodor in Schwetzingen, the location of one of the oldest, most intricate and best preserved masonic gardens in the world. Registration: All who are interested in the subject of this conference are welcome. For organisational reasons, registration is requested before September 15th, 2006. Please register with Dr. Monika Scholl . Dates: September 28th and 29th, 2006. Place: Schwetzingen Castle, Southern Wing (Südlicher Zirkel des Schlosses in Schwetzingen). Organizers: OVN (Foundation for the advancement of academic research into the history of freemasonty in the Netherlands), together with “Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg, Amt Mannheim”, the Institute for the Schollarly Study of Religions and the Institute for the History of Art of the University of Heidelberg. Conference fee: 50 Euro; reduced price: 25 Euro (for members of the OVN, the ESSWE, and (PhD) Students). The conference fee includes tea/coffee and conference hand outs and is to be paid on arrival or to be transfered to: Account: 749 55301 02 of: Landesoberkasse Baden-Württemberg Bank: Baden-Württembergischen Bank IBAN: DE02 6005 0101 7495 5301 02 BIC: SOLADEST Always indicate: “On behalf of 8610285376132” (Lunch is excluded. Participants can have lunch at a café or restaurant of their choice near the venue.) Program Thursday 28/9: 8:30 Registration, Coffee 9:30 Siegfried Kendel (Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg, Amt Mannheim): Welcome SESSION I: GENERAL INTRODUCTIONS (I) (Snoek) 9:45 Prof. Dr. James Stevens Curl (Professor Emeritus Queen’s University, Belfast & De Montfort University, Leicester): “Symbolism in Gardens: An Introduction” 10:30 Discussion 10:45 Pause SESSION II: GENERAL INTRODUCTIONS (II) (Scholl) 11:15 Caroline Holmes (Tutor of Garden History, Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge): “A Rose by Any Other Name? – An Introduction to the Symbolism of Plants and Planting” 11:45 Dr. Cristina Ruggero (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Roma): “Denkmäler für internationale Freunde. Juvarras ‘Capricci’ und ihre Symbolik” 12:15 Discussion 12:30 Lunch SESSION III: MASONIC GARDENS THROUGHOUT EUROPE (I) (Scholl) 14:00 Prof. Dr. Patrizia Granziera (University of Cuernavaca, Mexico): “Politics and Freemasonic Symbolism in 18th Century Venetian Architecture and Garden Design” 14:30 Discussion 14:45 Pause SESSION IV: SCHWETZINGEN (Curl) 15:15 Dr. Monika Scholl (Kunsthistorikerin, Offenburg): “Minerva und Arion: ‘Schnäppchen’ für Schwetzingen?” 16:00 Prof. Dr. Jan Snoek (Universität Heidelberg): “Die ‘Fabriques’ im englischen Gartenteil, ein wahlloses Durcheinander?” 16:45 Discussion 17:00-19:00 First guided tour through the Schwetzingen Garden (3 x 20 participants) 20:00 Dinner of speakers and organizers Friday 29/9: 8:30 Registration, Coffee SESSION V: MASONIC GARDENS THROUGHOUT EUROPE (II) (Snoek) 9:00 Dr. Heimerick Tromp (independent scholar, graduated at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands): “Symbolism in 18th-Century Gardens in The Netherlands: The Masonic Contribution” 9:30 Wim Oers (M.Sc. University Leuven, M.Sc. University College London, Bristol University): “Schönenberg, a Palace in the Age of the Enlightenment” 10:00 Discussion 10:15 Pause SESSION VI: MASONIC GARDENS THROUGHOUT EUROPE (III) (Scholl) 10:45 Annegreth Dietze MA (Doktorandin Universität Ås, Norwegen): “Freimaureraktivitäten in Norwegen und die Bedeutung für die norwegische Gartenkunst des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts” 11:15 Erik Westengaard (Curator of the Nationalhistoriske Museum in Frederiksborg and the Danske Frimurerordens Museum in Copenhagen): “Gardens of the Mind. A Walk Through the Masonic Symbolism of Three Gardens in Denmark: Louisenlund, Jægerspris and Sanderumgaard” 11:45 Agata Michalska MA (PhD Candidate, Poznan University of Technology): “The Influence of Freemasonry and Esoteric Ideas on Landscape Design during the Enlightenment in Poland” 12:15 Discussion 12:30 Lunch SESSION VII: GARDENS WITH A DIFFERENT FLAVOUR (Scholl) 14:00 Sascha Winter MA (Doktorand Universität Heidelberg): “‘Wo der Tod winkt, lächelt das Leben’: Gräber von Freimaurern und Rosenkreuzern in Gärten um 1800” 14:30 Berit Ruge MA (Doktorandin Freie Universität Berlin): “Der Einfluss des Ordens der Gold- und Rosenkreuzer auf Gartengestaltungen der Spätaufklärung in Deutschland am Beispiel alchemistischer Symbolik” 15:00 Discussion 15:15 Pause SESSION VIII: MASONIC GARDENS THROUGHOUT EUROPE (IV) (Snoek) 15:45 Frank Albo BA (MA Student, University of Amsterdam): “The Masonic Garden ‘Desert de Retz’, near Paris” 16:15 Discussion CLOSING SESSION (Ahn) 16:30 General discussion 16:50 The organizers: Words of thanks 17:00 End of the conference. 17:00-19:00 Second guided tour through the Schwetzingen Garden (3 x 20 participants).


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