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Workshop at the Ashmolean Museum, 1-2 July 2011

Tentative program

 Material Encounters of the East India Companies 1600-1850

DAY 1 (1st of July):
 10.30 - 11.00 Register & Coffee
 11.00 - 11.15 Welcome - Maxine Berg,  University of Warwick, Project Leader
11.15 12.30  Chair: Chris Nierstrasz, University of Warwick 
Session 1: Collecting the Companies: the  material and quantitive evidence
What material evidence do we have connected with the East India Companies trade, what do existing collections represent? How do they relate to fashions in scholarship & collecting? Are there unresearched resources that can help us understand the connection between trade and material culture? The histories of the companies have largely been national ones, although they borrowed from one another, competed and collaborated. They sold their goods to overlapping markets in Europe, and trade was conducted by merchants belonging to transnationally active networks.
  • Anna Jackson, Deputy Keeper, Asian  Department,Victoria and Albert Museum, London, ‘Creating ‘Encounters’: the V&A and its East India Company Collection’
  • Lars Olof Loof, City Museum, Gothenburg
  • Berit Eldvik, Nordiske Museet, Stockholm, ‘Tracing the history of the English East India Company through fabric in the Nordiske Museum’.
12.30-1.15 Lunch
1.15 - 5.30  Chair: Felicia Gottmann, University of Warwick  
Session 2:The East - West Dialogue: Shaping Manufacture
How was design and production of objects managed, were there differences between the supply of large bulk orders and one off orders? How was information transmitted? How did ordering systems and quality control/rejection work?
1.15 - 2.30 
  • Brigitte Nicolas, Head Curator, Musée des  Indes, Lorient, ‘Textile Imports and the French East India Company’
  • Kirsten Toftegaard, Danish Museum of Art & Design, Copenhagen
  • Sonia Ashmore, Research Fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, ‘How the muslin trade embodied relations between Britain and India’
  2.30 - 3.30 Object Handling Sessions
  • Clare Pollard - Lacquer
  • Dinah Reynolds - Chinese Export Porcelain 
  • Shelagh Vainker - Textiles
3.30 - 4.30   
  • Christaan Jorge, University of Leiden, ‘Chinese Export Porcelain’
  • Jessica Harrison-Hall, Curator, Department of Asia, British Museum, London, ‘Chinese Export Ceramics and the East India Company’
4.30 - 5.30 d) ) Inventories & Objects
  • Kevin Rogers, architectural historian and Associate Director, Peter Inskip Associates, London ‘Fabrics connected with the East India Company in London  merchant inventories’
  • Kévin Le Doudic, CERHIO CNRS, European University of Brittany, University of South Brittany, Lorient, France ‘From Artifact to Daily Life Environment: “East India Company Style” in the Eighteenth Century Pondicherry Trading Post'.
5.30-6.00  Summary and close 
7.00 Workshop Dinner
DAY 2 (2nd of July):
10.00-10.30 Coffee and Welcome - Helen Clifford,  University of Warwick
10.30- 12.30  Chair: Hanna Hodacs, University of Warwick
Session 3: The Private Trade
How did the private trade differ from that of Company trade? How do we judge the impact of one off and custom made pieces on manufacture and consumption?
  • Menno Fitske, Curator of East Asian Art, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, ‘Lacquer’
  • Roger Smith, independent historian, London ‘The private trade in Sing-Songs’
  • Patrick Conner, Martyn Gregory, London‘Chinese Export Paintings’
12.30-1.00  Concluding Discussion & Summary - Maxine Berg