Call For Papers – International Conference

Glass in Museums: Research, Context, Communication

Bildungszentrum Adler, Historisches Museum Thurgau, Frauenfeld, 5 November 2022

Deadline for submission: 15 October 2021

2022 is the International Year of Glass. The United Nations is going to dedicate an entire year to this fascinating material, which will be discussed in all its facets over the twelve months. In the context of the theme it has adopted for the year, ‘Glas & Gloria. Fensterkunst im Thurgau’ (‘Glass and Glory. The Art of Window Glass in Thurgau’), the Historisches Museum Thurgau is taking this international focus as an opportunity to mount a conference that will examine glass from both its historical and museal angles. The conference is being mounted in collaboration with the Vitrocentre in Romont and at the same time will also constitute an opportunity to evaluate the work undertaken for the research project ‘Die Glasmalereien vom 14.–21. Jahrhundert im Thurgau’ (‘Stained Glass from the 14th to the 21st c. in Thurgau’), a project sponsored by Thurgau Canton and implemented by the Vitrocentre Romont, as part of the Swiss Corpus Vitrearum series.

While only a few museums have dedicated themselves entirely to glass art, there are significant collections of glass objects in historical collections. The transparency and fragility of glass pose challenges, but they also form the basis of our fascination with a material that has been in use for millennia. A range of issues make a multifaceted analysis possible: the significance of glass-painting as a vehicle for images, a significance closely intertwined with the medium’s own history; the employment of glass for everyday objects; its use in the fields of craft and art; and the technological aspects of the production and conservation of glass.

It is intended that discussion of the features of art glass held in museums and collections—whether as glass- painting, reverse glass-painting, vessel glass, or glass sculpture—as well as the challenges that it poses for museums will be divided into four sections. How can glass objects that have been removed from their architectonic contexts be exhibited in a new context? In this regard, what is to be gained through research into an object’s provenance? What opportunities are opened up for us by new communication media, both digital and virtual? To what extent should and can collection histories and earlier modes of presentation (for example, heraldic panels built into historical rooms) be included in exhibitions? What demands do glass objects make on the staging of exhibition space?

It is intended that the conference in Frauenfeld will promote exchange between experts in different disciplines and offer a forum for discussion of practice-based as well as theoretical and methodological perspectives. We welcome contributions that focus on the following subjects:

  • the scenography and staging of art glass in exhibitions

  • research into provenance in the field of art glass

  • digital story-telling: new ways of imparting information about glass

  • the conservation and restoration of glass

It is envisaged that papers will last 20 minutes. The conference languages are German, French, and English. Abstracts of a maximum of 300 words, together with a brief CV, should be sent by 15 October 2021 to Some accommodation and travel costs can be covered.

This academic conference is being organized by the Historisches Museum Thurgau (https://historisches- in collaboration with the Vitrocentre Romont (

All enquiries to .

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